Wario World
Game Info
Platform(s)
GameCube
Publisher
Nintendo
Developer
Treasure
Genre
Platformer
Official Website
ESRB Rating
Cartoon Violence
 
Grade
The Good

• Downright fun
• Nice level design and catchy music

The Bad

• Way too short
• Continue system is to easy
• Repeated enemy types

 
Grade
B-

Nintendo's anti-hero, Wario, finally makes his appearance in a game all his own in Wario World. The story, which really only to serves up the reason why your playing, begins with Wario's kingdom and treasure being magically taken from him by an evil jewel that the treasure hunter found in an earlier trip. From that point, he must travel through themed locations, finding his treasures and defeating bosses to continue on.

Rather than following Mario's transition to full 3D worlds, Wario World is established as a more 2D side-scrolling adventure. Each stage often plays out in multi-tiered fashion with enough Z-axis movement to keep the game from feeling too 2D and linear in nature. Wario is faced with swarms of enemies, environmental puzzles, and treasure to locate. At his disposal, Wario can jump, punch and grab, dash into enemies, and even suck up coins. Advanced moves include a butt-bump attack similar to Mario's and and spinning attack where you pick up an enemy and rotate the analog stick. This spinning move is also useful in opening gates or raising platforms in most stages.

To get to the boss at the end of each level, Wario must jump down hatches to rooms where puzzles similar to the Secret Stages from Super Mario Sunshine. At the goal of each room is a red jewel. Once you accumulate enough of these, you can remove the statue covering the hatch to the boss area. Also in each location are colored buttons, which can be activated to reveal Wario's treasure throughout the stage. Hidden in each stage are pieces of gold Wario statues and small colored elves. And, of course, you can pick up loads of money, which can be used to buy continues on the chance you might run out of hearts. And, if you manage to fall off the edge of the stage, you'll run around a room, breaking boxes to find a spring back up, all the while dodging money stealing ghosts. You can complete each level without locating everything, but with so many hidden nooks and crannies, diehard platformer fans will go back for more.

Visually, Wario World pretty sharp. The levels show off some nice textures and a variety of visual effects to accent the style of the game. With lots of action going on, the well designed levels are really enticing, especially for fans of platformers and Treasure (Ikaruga, Stretch Panic) in general. There are some nice touches with the visual effects on soe of the aspects of the game, but I wish there had just been a little more. Maybe it stems from the fact that there needs to be more levels and the enemies feel repeated. All in all, things look just fine, especially for the style the game is built on.

The music is eerily catchy. Don't be surprised to find yourself humming the theme from the pause menu, with Wario going "Nah nana nah nah!" all the while. Sound effects and voice parts are generally well done if not overly impressive. Wario's comments tend to be quite humorous early on, but once you hear them for the 100th time, they can get old.

Let it be known that Wario World can be addictingly fun, but this fun is tempered by the fact that the game is ridiculously short. So much so that you can finish it in a day or two. Also, the game is pretty easy largely due to the cheap way of continuing (when you die, pay some pocket change to come back where you died). Even when the game itself gets more challenging, the continue system just deflates any real challenge present.

If you can look past the shortness and inherent easiness made by the continue system, Wario World is a really enjoyable game. If you think full price is a little much, you might want to rent it first and wait for it to go on sale before investing in this title.

- - Kinderfeld

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