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59 levels to play before you die: D - G

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Elite Beat Agents (DS) | 'No More Music!? The Last Hope!!'
"They're... all rocked out..." It looks like the Elite Beat Agents are beaten. Turned to stone by the music-hating aliens. But little Lucy refuses to believe it. She starts to chant "E. B. A." Quietly at first, then louder, joined by hundreds. Stamp Stamp Clap! Stamp Stamp Clap! The beat from the massive crowd of people sounds just like the start of 'We Will Rock You'. Sure enough, the agents break free and then one of the best levels of gaming we've ever seen begins.

Firstly, if it looks easy in the video, it really isn't. It's harder than nails. It's only when you start to tap the screen like you're playing the song that it starts getting manageable. And when you get it right, and you see the red circles appearing on the top screen to show you passed each section, you feel like a rock god.

Naturally, having such a classic rock and roll song as the Rolling Stones' Jumping Jack Flash (yup, the same 'Spring-heeled Jack' of legend that The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion speaks of) is a massive bonus, even if it is a cover version. And when you get it right, defeat the aliens and bring peace to the world, it's incredibly rewarding. Just keep bringing the singin', honey. Check out our abridged video below to get the jist of it, then go find a copy and play it. You'll have a ball.


 

Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem (GameCube) | The Roivas mansion
The Roivas mansion inherited by Eternal Darkness' heroine, Alex Roivas, isn't so much a single level as it is a big, creepy hub that gradually opens up for exploration as the game progresses. The more you explore it - especially in different time periods, as characters other than Alex - the more that you'll find out unwholesome new things about it, and the more you'll see creepy, mess-with-your-mind moments like this:



The reason for all this, as it turns out, is that deep underneath the house is an entire ancient, subterranean, horror-infested city, ripped straight out of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft's "The Rats in the Walls." It's as though the house is a big, rotting onion, and when you get to the center, it turns out 100 times bigger than the rest of the vegetable and drives you insane with its non-Euclidean geometry. 

Extreme G III (PS2) | Atradaitoshi
At one point, this was one of PS2's best games. It's not aged too well, but there is one level that's still awesome, and that's Atradaitoshi. At first, it seems like any other track - there's the Bladerunner-esque visual style, the crowds of spectators and pounding dance music. But after a few hundred yards (already at several hundred mph), you leave the covered start area and emerge into the outside world...

And it's a deluge. Rain smashes across the track as you begin your assault on the rollercoaster-like lap. At the time, there had never been a weather effect like it. The next-generation had really arrived, and this race still stands tall as one of PS2's defining moments. Don't let it go unplayed.


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