I picked Shifting Sand Land. For similar reasons, I like working my way around the ground outside and then into the pyramid inside. It's almost like 2 levels in one. The level also has my favorite boss of the game... those crazy 3-part hand-pillar things... don't know what they're called. The first time I made it to the boss, I really worked for it because I went the hard way of going through the level and then back-jumping into the brick house from the top. I didn't even know about the easy elevator route. It was really suspenseful.
Tall, Tall Mountain is a good level too. All things equal, it would probably be in my top 3 levels, just behind Small, Big World, but the big thing that spoils it for me and prevents me from liking either of those levels is the fact that Lakatu always sucks in those levels. In any level that involves going up and around a mountain, Lakatu always rotates the frikkin camera angle automatically as you run, which means that if you're not EXTREMELY EXTREMLY careful, then you'll be running in a straight line one second, and then the next, you'll be taking a bad unexpected turn and fall clean off the hill you were trying to climb. I always hate that. Everytime he does that, I find myself screaming out loud at the TV. So yeah, the frustration there kind of ruins everything for me on those levels. The levels are good, but the gameplay is ruined.
Yeah those swimming levels take forever to get through. And you gotta love the creativity at the beginning of Dire, Dire Docks... like how there's no other option but to swim right... DOWN. And then once you get there, there's nowhere to go but in the UNIDIRECTIONAL TUNNEL. Yeah... lotta good stuff there! :sick:
I loved Tall Tall Mountain. It was the level that to me seemed to fit Mario best of them all. Plus, it's a good challenge. I remember there was this one part that took me forever to finally complete, cause I downright sucked at it... and it was still fun.
There was also that one place where you had to long jump across a HUGE ass gap around a curve where you couldn't see the landing spot until you had already jumped. Lakatu liked to annoyingly rotate the camera angle right there. Had to get used to anticipating his move in order to pull the jump off.