A great game that makes all the improvements that you'd expect from a sequel on a new platform.

User Rating: 8.8 | Wario Land Advance: Youki no Otakara GBA
Wario’s fourth Game Boy Adventure is one of those games that manages to satisfy in almost every department. It manages to look, sound, and even play like a true classic. There's only one thing that keeps this game from reaching the level of greatness that would make it a legend for years to come. That thing is it's length. Sadly, this game can be beaten in just a few days, or perhaps in even one sitting if you have that much time. Of course, that's not to say that this game is a disappointment or not worth your time, for it's still very well made and a lot of fun to play. It all starts when Wario discovers a story about a golden pyramid in his newspaper. Of course, knowing that there's treasure afoot, Wario gets into the Wariomobile and races off to the pyramid. But then he winds up stuck inside it and has to find a way out. When the game begins you can access only one level, a brief training stage. Then you have to fight a boss fight, after which four separate passages open up for you. Each passage contains four stages, a mini-game area, and a boss fight. After you finish all four passages, you reach a final passage with another stage and a final boss fight. So, gameplay-wise this is a great game. Wario controls almost exactly as he did in the previous game, except now there is a head-charge move that he can perform by running with the R button pressed. Other than that, he controls exactly as he did in his previous adventures. He has his shoulder dash, his ground pound, and the ability to lift and throw enemies of all shapes and sizes. And in this adventure he doesn't have to power up as he did in Wario Land 3. Just like in his last two adventures, in this game the attacks of his enemies will alter Wario's condition to allow him to perform different special moves that he could not before. However, Wario is no longer completely invincible in this game. Wario now has a life meter, and most attacks from enemies will now diminish it until Wario is defeated and is sent back to the map. However, there are an infinite number of lives in this game, so you can play through each stage as many times as necessary to finish it. Also, to finish each level in this game, Wario must set off a time bomb and race back to the entrance of each stage. Along the way, he must find a key to open the locked door on the map to proceed to the next stage. And in each stage he must find all four pieces of a treasure that must be used to open the door to the boss. Finding each of these treasures in all four stages of a passage will allow Wario access to both the mini-games and to the boss itself. It's important to recognize the presence of three minigames that can be found before every boss fight. By reaching certain scores in each of these games, Wario can gain coins which he can pay to a slightly familiar-looking (except for his eyes for some reason) figure who will assist him in the next boss fight. These games are all quite fun and stand up well on their own. Among them, you'll find Wario's Home-Run Derby, The Wario Hop, and Wario's Roulette. You'll have quite a fun time playing each of them, although it's a wee bit annoying that there isn't any free-play option to use them without getting any coins. But they're still wonderful, so it isn't that much of a problem that you have to pay for them with the money that you get in each stage. Graphically, this game is the best of any game in the Wario series. The graphics engine from the previous games in the series has been ditched, save for Flat Wario's appearance for some reason. Every single character and piece of scenery has a wonderfully colorful appearance to it. All of the characters look great and animate wonderfully. There aren't any problems with the graphics at all. This is probably the best looking game of all on the GBA. The game's sound is also nothing short of amazing. Not only are the songs themselves amazing and very memorable, but you can actually hear lyrics to many of them. That's right, there are actually vocals on many of the songs in this game, most notably the opening theme. Also, you can make out the individual instruments that are being synthesized into each song, from the horns on Toy Block Tower to the organ in the Fiery Cavern. And Wario's voice actually works into this game quite nicely, unlike some of the voice samples in certain other games. The sound in this game is probably it's best feature, and it could be the best that you'll find in any portable game. But as I said before, the one thing that brings this game down more than anything is the fact that it's so short. There are only twenty-two stages in total, not counting the boss fights. But unlike Wario Land 3, you don't have to go through each stage up to four times to get everything, so you can actually finish it quite quickly. It's not like this is a major flaw or anything, especially since there's a "Hard" mode for people who think that the game is too easy the first time through, but it's still a bit sad that there aren't as many areas to explore as you might like. Still, you do always have the mini-games to play with, and nothing is going to stop you from playing through it twice, but overall it's still sort of sad that the game isn't very long. So overall, this is a great game for the GBA. It's presentation is among the best on the system, and it plays like a charm. The only problem as I've said over and over again is how short it is. If it wasn't for it's length, this would be a perfect game. But even so, it's still a wonderful game, and you should definitely pick it up. It's still one of the best.
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