Out of blatant curiosity, which method of "stage selection" do you prefer? The ever classic menu based stage selection ("the Brady Bunch") or the more open-ended "exploration" type ala' Zero, ZX?
Hands down, I love the traditional method: nothing beats that spiffy stage select tune, alongside foe's mugshots. At time, I do prefer the exploration method as it's sort of a "stage-before-the stage" thingie.
How about you guys?