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The Most Underrated Wario Game Ever.
I used to think that the above title applied most to Wario World, Wario's beat-em-up style Gamecube adventure. But that at least gets some representation in other games (if only through the music) and was generally well-received. Then comes this game. Barely anyone seems to have heard of it and most people that have seem to hate it. But after playing it myself, I can't say I understand why.

First of all, it has a great story, at least by Mario standards. Wario of all people actually gets a bit of Character Development and plenty of hilarious dialogue. The other characters are very memorable too, almost to the level of your typical Mario RPG game. Carpaccio may seriously be one of my favorite Mario villains ever.

The thing that I've seen people complain about the most is the controls, but I honestly don't think they're that bad. Sure, you'll occasionally transform into one disguise when you were aiming for another, and trying to heal by drawing hearts for yourself is a true test of patience, but it's a very creative and fun system overall. Wario Land veterans would probably take issue with the fact that almost everything is touch-screen controlled, but it's not like they really had any other choice. It wouldn't work with all regular controls, since it would get incredibly tedious to toggle through a menu to change disguises, and it wouldn't work half-and-half, since that would make the player have to whip out the stylus and put it away again every time they want to transform. So this was really the best option.

That said, were those damn treasure chest minigames really necessary? No other Wario game makes you go through so much hassle just to collect a treasure, and it gets old very fast considering how many there are. Okay, you know how to make the touch screen work. We get it. Thankfully, up until the last two levels or so. these games are ridiculously easy, so at least you shouldn't have to do them more than once.

Overall, this game has its flaws, but it's way better than a lot of people would tell you. If you can get past the controls, you shouldn't have any problem enjoying yourself.
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Not the Revival I Expected
When this game first came out, I wanted to play it, for I enjoyed the Wario Land games when I was younger, and was pleased to learn that our favorite greedy fat man returned to platforming. Upon actually playing it, however, I was disappointed.

Now, the game didn't start bad, even though it was different, but I didn't like how it would force touch-screen controls on you. Apparently, Suzak (the game's developer) thought that button controls were too practical for it, so of course it was a brilliant idea to put touch screen controls in their place. I could understand the touch screen being used for transformations, but attacks like punching (which the Wario Land series did not do, due to a lack of a touch screen) and breathing fire (in dragon form)? Really, Suzak? If I recall correctly, the artist transformation would have been perfect for that sort of thing... had it actually been polished up a bit more. Sadly, it wasn't, and it wound up being irritating just to try to draw a heart (or even write a letter in certain puzzles) at times. The not-so-stellar controls made what could have been understandably difficult parts (such as some puzzles and boss battles) into (for me) a bizarre combination of Fake Difficulty and honest Nintendo Hard difficulty. I remember getting rid of it by selling it to a Game Stop and being thankful I wouldn't see that game again in the house.

But as you see here, Suzak gets primary blame: Why did you make the game this way? Why couldn't you refrain from forcing us to use the touch screen too much? However, Nintendo also gets partial blame for allowing this in the first place. Were they desperate or something?

The next Wario platformer, Wario Land: Shake It! (The Shake Dimension in other areas) appears to be more of a return to form, but I've never had the pleasure to play it any more than a few seconds, so I can't speak for that one.

All in all, it was a disappointment. I think we deserved better after all these years of waiting. Shame on you, Suzak, for making this mockery of the Wario Land games! And shame on you, Nintendo, for not checking the game thoroughly enough!

It gets a 1 out of 5!

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