Wario Land

Just finished a great game: Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, which is the first Wario Land and the first game you can play as Wario. What a nice game this is. I much prefer Wario over Mario as a character. Mario is this endearing but gullible individual while Wario is a classic villain. All he cares about is accumulating wealth. It’s interesting he looks a little like a jewish stereotype (actually more like the evil Italian stereotype but whatever). It’s quite fitting that when you get hit and he goes into his smaller form, he pretty much looks like a leprechaun or a gnome and these creatures are also related to amassing gold like Wario.

If you played any Mario game, you know how levels work, how the platforming works and how the enemies and bosses work. The thing is, Wario plays very differently and more interestingly than Mario does. He’s much more violent and his main attack is slamming into enemies who will fly off the screen. Several levels also allows you to sacrifice enemies to gather more coins (for example if you throw an enemy into a lighting bolt you’ll get a decimal coin. You can also feed enemies to chickens and they will also drop decimal coins for your efforts).

Graphics are tight for a Gameboy title and it’s quite interesting to see the differences between how the environment and objects react to Wario contrasted to how it reacts to Mario. In Mario the blocks don’t seem to care when you hit them. In Wario they get this angry face afterwards like they don’t want to give you any money. In Mario there’s a small party when you reach the end of a level and you get the chance get more coins by jumping into a pole or ringing a bell. In Wario they make you pay to finish the stage. All these little things really come together to give you a sense of this character. It really works and you’ll come to consider this a genuine game with a genuine character more so than just a spinoff from the Mario series.

It’s not a difficult game and it’s very forgiving in its platforming and boss fights. There’s a lot of rewards to have for thoroughly exploring the levels though. There are secret levels and a lot of treasure for those willing to look for it, which is always nice.

Music is good and the only technical problem I got is when there’s too much happening on the screen the sprites go a little hectic. It’s not really a problem though and it’s a rare occurrence. The last boss was a nice surprise.

One interesting thing about the cover art. The Us version is actually better this time. The Japanese box really chopped the art and I don’t understand why they would do this. Chopped and framed in cold grey. Also, an interesting thing about his hat. You can see how originally he had this round explorer hat which I really like. Nowadays he wears a cap like Mario and I feel this wasn’t a good decision. Hopefully they will bring the old hat again some day.

Overall I really enjoyed and I’m definitely going for the sequels now. If you care about these types of games I really recommend giving it a chance to this one (in case you haven’t, I think most people who owned a Gameboy have played this at one point).

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