What Is It?
After releasing two games that only sort of felt like Super Mario Bros. sequels, Nintendo threw their hands in the air and officially gave up. Gone are the Italian plumbers and their never-ending quest to collect coins and rescue princesses. In their place is Wario, a smart-mouthed villain with a penchant for money and an ego the size of the Atari Lynx. The result is one of the most engaging and original platformers on the Game Boy.
With Mario and Luigi out of the picture, Nintendo was free to create an entirely new world full of creative play mechanics and exciting bosses. This was just the jolt of energy needed for this franchise. Here Wario bullies his way through an impressive number of platforming stages. His large frame is perfect to ram into enemies (or breakable objects), and if that doesn't work he can still pick them up or smash them with his giant shoes. He travels all around the world collecting money and surviving treacherous platforming challenges. He's aided by three useful helmets, including a jet helmet, bull helmet and dragon helmet. These new power-ups, along with the new enemies and backgrounds, are a breath of fresh air for the Super Mario franchise.
Does It Still Hold Up?
If there's one thing Nintendo knows how to do, it's craft an amazing 2D platformer. The controls are spot-on and the graphics are full of life. Who cares that the Game Boy is an underpowered system only capable of black and white graphics, Wario Land is every bit as good as his console counterparts. The power-ups allow the developers to create even more exciting levels than ever before, making this a must-own Virtual Console game.
Is It Worth The Money?
This is the Nintendo I fell in love with in the mid-1980s. Wario Land is Nintendo creating new worlds, characters and enemies from scratch. This is what they've always been good at, and it's amazing to see the masters at work. But at the same time, Nintendo is quick to get in a rut. They recycle concepts and rely on proven characters (namely Mario) to sell their products. Wario Land is what you get when you take Mario out of the equation. It makes me wish Nintendo would send a certain Italian plumber on a long cruise to focus on new ideas.
This is the Nintendo I fell in love with in the mid-1980s. Wario Land is Nintendo creating new worlds, characters and enemies from scratch. This is what they've always been good at, and it's amazing to see the masters at work. But at the same time, Nintendo is quit to get in a rut. They recycle concepts and rely on proven characters (namely Mario) to sell their products.
This product was submitted by the publisher for review. As a rule, Defunct Games does not review games we spent money on. However, that does not always apply to classic/retro games. This specific product, however, came straight from a PR guy for the purposes of being reviewed!