The Wario Land
series stands as one of the most innovative on the Game Boy Color, and with each new release we are left wondering how Nintendo is going to top its performance with subsequent releases. Somehow they have managed to improve on the game's magical formula once again with Wario Land 3
, which is not only the best Wario
game ever released, but also one of the best Game Boy Color games, full stop.
Most games require cheat codes before players get unlimited lives, but the gameplay of Wario Land 3 revolves around the concept of invincibility. Wario can't die, but the various creatures in the game can transform him temporarily into an alternate form. Get hit by a zombie, and you turn into a zombie until you are healed by light from a street lamp. Let the mad professor hit you with his potion and you become invisible, meaning security cameras can't see you, but you also can't see yourself to make precision jumps. Each alternate form has a specific strength and weakness, and figuring out how to use the transformations to solve puzzles is half of the game's fun. It may seem counterintuitive, but to succeed at this game you will need to deliberately try to get hit by certain enemies at various points in the game. Is this the anti-Mario, or what?
The graphics are clear and colourful, and the animation for both Wario and the other denizens of the land he's trapped in are very fluid. The sound effects are so-so, but the strange soundtracks that play on each level are catchy. Considering the limitations of the Game Boy Color, it's nice to have a game that combines some of the best graphics the system can output with some of the most phenomenal gameplay ever developed for any title. --T. Byrl Baker
Wario (not to be confused with the related, though much less evil Mario) leaps back onto the Game Boy Color in a new side-scrolling, run-n-jumping adventure that'll keep gamers collecting coins and dealing with foes until the wee hours. This time around, Wario's fallen into a magic music box and needs to perform a few tasks to return home (clicking his heels three times won't help). Hidden throughout 25 levels are four treasure chests and five music boxes--once he's found them, he's free. Naturally, Wario must contend with plenty of obstacles, puzzles and truly bizarre foes before settling into his favourite chair back home. In a cool twist, certain foes and power-ups transform Wario into the oddest of configurations that help or hinder his progress through the levels. Fire-loving critters, for instance, will set Wario's pants on fire, sending him on a mad dash to some remote part of the level. A specific power-up flattens Wario like an unlucky Looney Tunes character. In Wario Land 3
, though, a flat Wario is a lucky Wario, as he can squeeze into new areas. The Japanese import version of this game released to much acclaim, so consider this release a good bet as a very replayable addition to your Game Boy pak library.