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Metroidvania is a genre of video game pioneered in the late 1980s by the Metroid and Castlevania series. Games are said to be in the Metroidvania genre if they are story-based 2D platformers with a strong emphasis on adventure and action and include ways to increase the strength of your character. This usually is done by collecting items to gain stronger abilities, leveling up by gaining experience, or both.

These games tend to be among my favorites for several reasons. I like the fact that they tend to be graphically beautiful with a thought-provoking atmosphere. I like that, if areas are too difficult, you can grind for a little while and try again when you're stronger. I also like returning to previous areas after you've become stronger and seeing how easy it has become.

Games that I feel best illustrate the genre include: