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12. Wario Land 2 (last year 7) first impression 8.5, replay 10, technical 8.5

Pros: Here's a game that worked by thinking entirely outside the box: no dying, ever. The challenge was entirely based on the need to collect coins to get 100% completion (the coins used in a guessing game to gather pieces of a golden picture), as well as maneuvering from A to B, as there was always knockback from getting hurt, and that would disrupt your platforming. Cleverly designed levels did the rest. In many cases, you *wanted* to be hurt, whether crushed flat, or set on fire, or zombified, as that was the only way to get through obstacles. Bosses too were focused on capturing you or forcing you out of the arena, often with a bit of a trek to get back to the fight.

Cons: Keeping it out of the top 10 is the mere fact that the game could be maddeningly obtuse at times, which was clever, but only after going through the frustration of figuring it out.



Monster Hunter: pissing me off since 2010.