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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 - Review

Wario Land is a good, unique game to take for a spin.


The Good

Unique powerups and abilities
Treasure hunting and secret exits to come back to

The Bad

A lot of levels feel the same
The bonus games aren't fun

The Review


Wario Land picks up where Super Mario Land 2 left off. Wario now wants his own castle and sets out to get as much money as he can. It's a really selfish and interesting story different from most heroic platformers. Wario travels and elbow bashes his way through several different worlds, collecting coins and various treasures. There are multiple endings featuring different sized castles depending on how man coins Wario collects. All of the endings are very cartoony and fun to watch. This adds a lot to the replay value if you're interested in seeing all of them, although you'll have to play through the game again if you want to see more. It's not much of a narrative but it's more interesting than previous Mario concepts.



Nintendo completely threw away most of the mechanics from previous games in the series and introduced unique and interesting ideas to take over. In addition to his normal head-wear, Wario gets a bull hat, a jet hat, and a dragon hat to take down his enemies and fight bosses with and they're a lot of fun to use. Wario's normal hat ,which is, to say, an archaeologist's hat, allows him to bash his enemies by charging at them with his elbow. The bull hat also allows Wario to charge but farther and more powerful as well as enable him to cling to blocks and ceilings and ground pound. The jet hat allows Wario to fly through the air which becomes incredibly useful to unlocking a secret exit or treasure door he wouldn't normally be able to get to. The dragon hat is arguably the weakest. It lets Wario breath fire from it to destroy blocks or enemies slightly above him. It sounds like a neat idea but once you use it you have to wait for it to die down to use it again so spamming isn't an option.

The levels themselves offer a lot more puzzles and backtracking than its predecessors. Early on the levels are pretty straightforward, going from point A to point B and collecting all of the coins that you can along the way. But then things start to liven up as you may come across a dead end and need to go back to find an alternate path to hit a switch to unlock the way. Some levels also contain a treasure chest where Wario must find a key somewhere in the level and bring it back to the locked door with enemies standing in convenient spots to make it difficult. This all is really neat but then you start to realize that the game throws the same tricks and death traps at you over and over again in different levels which makes playing through it get boring after a while. You'll also face a cool boss at the end of each world but they can all be a total cakewalk if you know what you're doing. Simply stomping on them or bashing them off a ledge is all you need. At the end of each level you'll get a choice of bonus games to play. One of them involves you pulling on a string to tip over one of two buckets to either double the amount of coins you just earned or cut them in half. Most attempts end in the latter so you're better off just skipping it. The other bonus game has you trying to earn more hearts which act as life. This is just as dumb as the other one and is better off avoided.



There's a very nice looking game here. Character and enemy models look a lot better than previous games in the series and Wario's face has some changing emotions. When he looks up at buckets he has an obvious look of curiosity in his face and puppy dog eyes. His death animation his hilarious, as he looks like he just sat on a pile of thumbtacks. As detailed as the enemies look, get ready to see the same ones over and over again. Goombas, sea urchins, pirate ducks, and vicious birds all come back to kill you in practicallly every level and it's rather boring. You'll also see similar environments throughout most of the game whether it's walking on the same floors with vines wrapped around it or the same walls in the background. There's just so much wasted potential with the talent that drew these characters and backgrounds.



Wario Land has a humorous soundtrack, one that fits Wario's character perfectly. From the very first level you hear a delightful tune that will get stuck in your head for a while. It gives the game a nice comic relief feel. While you'll hear the same songs over again in many different levels, there's enough music to keep it from being too repetitive and they're all great and catchy themes. The music to the end credits drops the weird vibe and goes for something that belongs in a more protagonistic theme such as Mario, which is kind of anti-climatic considering an incredibly comical song might be expected with taking in the rest of the game to account. Sound effects are simple bleeps and bloops, which is nothing special but manages to work just fine playing over the great tunes.


Closing Comments

There is a lot of wasted potential here, but it's unique gameplay mechanics and greed-based gameplay is a refreshing look at platformers and good start to the wonderful spin-off series known as Wario Land.