By Jerrad Wyche
Thanks to Xbox's ever increasing catalogue of games in their Backwards Compatibility feature, I sometimes find a gem I never knew my life was missing. Spelunky contains everything I love in a 2D platformer, and some things I wish others had.
As I played for the first time, Indiana Jones' whip in hand, I immediately died to a spider freefalling right onto my head. That's when I knew this game had me. Like Dark Souls and Trials, I absolutely adore experiences where you know a lack of progress is your fault. Only through countless hours of repetition do you learn and slowly become more competent. After a week I went from painstakingly drudging my way through the mines, to consistently facing off with Anubis in his own temple towards the end of the game. That being said the final boss and end credits are still a dream of mine to view in the coming weeks.
Then I found out about all of the easter eggs and hidden secrets. What a wonderful surprise to find that a game you thought you knew, turns out to have multiple hidden secrets and references. Whether it's a gravestone marked with the name Ash containing a free shotgun, or a hidden portal to another level containing Super Meat Boy as a secret unlockable character, this game just keeps giving and giving.
If there is one thing I have learned in the year 2016 in terms of my relationship with video games it's that it is never too late to play great games, no matter their original release date.
Thank you, Spelunky.