It seems there are more platforming games in existence than there are unique environments on planet Earth. And that's a problem, because interesting settings and inventive level design can make or break a sidescroller's appeal. Too often, developers seem to fall back on the backdrops we've seen hundreds of times, often churning out an unexciting carbon-copy in the process. You can only cavort through so many video game forests or jungles before they all start to look the same.
But for every tired old level trope, there's an ingenious, innovative zone that defies archetypical, preordained standards of what themed worlds should be. It's time that we honored those imaginative exceptions, while condemning the stages we've seen one too many times. Because, after all, variety is the spice of platforming life.