I rediscovered my SNES recently. In the past week, I have conquered such classics as Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country, and Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest. Platform gaming at it's best, right?


Not that I'm putting these games down completely. They are classic games that I love and cherish, but they all have one fatal flaw:

They all contain water levels.

Water levels are the cruel joke that game designers play on their unsuspecting customers. They are annoying, difficult, and completely break the flow of the game. Take, for example, Donkey Kong Country. You're all up in the jungle jumping around, having a fucking blast. You finish a level and you think: "Hell yeah! I hope the next level is just as fun!" But no. It's a goddamn water level. No jumping. No running. No fun. Just complete concentration.

Controlling a swimming ape is no picnic. They aren't meant to swim so easily. So of course, mishaps often occur. "WHOOPS! I guess I swam up a little too soon and hit that stupid little shark! Oh well. I'll start all the way at the beginning of the level and hope it doesn't happen again!" The only bonus to the DK series' water levels is the addition of Enguarde in some of the levels. Enguarde, if you don't know, is pure awesomeness in the form of a swordfish that you ride. While riding Enguarde, you can just sort of glide around the level, stabbing the fuck out of almost anything in your path along the way. This actually makes the water levels somewhat fun, but not that fun.

Super Mario World has no such compensation. Just a tiny plumber and a fuckload of water. Oddly enough, Mario is even worse at swimming than anyone in the Kong family. Also, unlike in DKC, the bodies of water that Mario chills in turn into bottomless pits in some places. Go below the screen and you're fucked. And since that fat, mustached asshole falls so damn fast you have no choice but to swim up into a fucking fish, causing you to lose that boost in height and/or your life.

Now as time went on, water levels became a little more acceptable. At least they were in Super Mario 64. Come to think of it, it's been a while since I played a new game that contained a water level. This is most likely due to the fact that all the game designers realized that such levels are comprised of nothing but epic fail.