Next up in my portable trip down memory lane, is the unusual but classic Wario Land. Technically, this is a sequel to Super Mario Land 2, but other than the name, and the fact that the game features Wario, there’s not a lot of similarities.
This title is very unique in many ways. For starters, you get to play as the villain. That’s right, you control Wario in his quest of sheer greed. The goal is to earn as many coins and find as many treasures as possible before the end of the game in hopes of having enough wealth to one-up Mario. Silly, but fun.
Unlike Mario who jumps on top his enemies, Wario prefers to dash at them at high speed. Also, he’s quite fond of throwing things. Wario’s power-ups consist of different hats that provide him with various abilities. (I’m personally a big fan of the dragon hat). Aside from these differences, the game plays very much like your standard Mario title.
This is a game that I actually didn’t experience as a kid. I played this for the first time when I was in my early twenties. Shortly after getting married, I went thru a second gaming phase in which I purchased a couple of the systems and various titles I missed during my teenage years. This was one of the games that landed in my hands and I’ve been a fan ever since.
Difficulty: Medium – One of the biggest challenges in the game for me was learning to do things the “Wario Way” and not the “Mario Way”. Also, Wario controls a bit differently from most platformers. This makes for a bit of a learning curve. But once you get the hang of things, it’s a lot of fun.
Story: In a bit of refreshing change, we finally get to the play the bad guy! While there’s not much more to it than “get as rich as possible”, it’s a lot of fun and a nice change of pace.
Originality: Despite being another platformer, the concept of playing as the villain and the differences presented in the gameplay really give this title an original feel.
Soundtrack: Dopey, quirky sounding tunes. I suppose they are appropriate for the title, but I could take it or leave it.
Fun: I found the game to be a lots of fun. It’s very childish in many ways, but if you don’t take things too seriously, it’s a real blast to play.
Graphics: The graphics here are on par with SML2. There’s not much more you can squeeze out of the Game Boy in terms of looks.
Playcontrol: The feel of the game is a bit different from either of the other Mario games. Wario seems to move a bit more sluggishly. But I believe this by design. It’s a bit getting used to if you are playing this immediately after Mario Land 2 like I did. Regardless, the controls themselves are perfect.
Overall rating (out of four stars): 3 – Wario Land is a solid title and it’s different enough to stand out in a crowd. It’s memorable because it’s fun and different. In some ways, it’s been my favorite of the Mario Land trilogy.
Currently available on: 3DS eShop
Other Reviews In This Series:
SMB – SMB Lost Levels – SMB 2 – SMB 3 – SM World – SM World 2- SM Land – SM Land 2 – SM Land 3 – Mario 64 – Mario Sunshine – New SMB – Galaxy – Galaxy 2 – New SMB Wii – Mario 3D Land – New SMB 2 – New SMB U – SMB 3D World
Paper Mario – Thousand Year Door – Super Paper Mario – Sticker Star
Luigi’s Mansion – Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon – Super Princess Peach