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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Platformer

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

July 2003

 

 

- Great colors, animation and style

- Good for the kids

- Easy control

- Straightforward action

 

 

- Short and too easy

 

 

Review: Warioware, Inc.: Mega Microgames (GBA)

Review: Super Mario Sunshine (GC)

Review: Luigi's Mansion (GC)

 

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Wario World

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Think back to the heady days of the early ‘90s.  If your memory stretches back that far think of all those games that could be rented and completed over a winter weekend.  Now, in a new century Wario World (WW) nods to those weekend rentals.

 

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When it comes to gaming hours WW is decidedly short and when it comes to challenge WW is decidedly easy.  The combination of these two aspects – hallmarks of the weekend rental – will be off-putting to those expecting something along the lines of Mario Sunshine or Wind Waker.  Although WW is short, it doesn’t lack an ounce of style.

 

WW could be defined as a 3D sidescroller.  The camera is fixed (except in specific instances) creating the flavor of a sidescrolling platform game from 10-years ago.  The characters and action is entirely 3D but for the most part Wario moves right to left (and left to right).

 

However, no platformer from 10-years ago can match WW’s splashy graphics and style.  Wario is out to recover his horde of gold (and other valuables) from an “evil black jewel” that is using the gold to churn out an army of baddies.  How Wario deals with the baddies is entirely fun to watch.  Spinning pile drivers, weed-whacking using an enemy to mow down the relentless onslaught, and just plain punching are executed in such a way that you’ll never get tired of dishing out punishment.  The animation is great – without slowdown no matter how many enemies are onscreen or how many coins are spilled like confetti.  I really enjoy WW’s style, especially with Wario’s trademark attitude coming through the audio. (“Have a terrible day!”)

 

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The actual enemy resistance isn’t all that frenzied.  Wiping out large numbers of attacking monsters isn’t hard.  There are parts of WW when Wario is locked in an area and given a set time to squash as many enemies as possible.  (This could have been a mini-game in itself.)  The only real challenges lie with defeating the bosses, who aren’t pushovers but they aren’t that difficult either.  No, the real challenge is acquiring all the hidden treasures, which, again, isn’t that difficult.  But it is fun!

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Making WW even easier is the ability to continue your game at the cost of the coins you’ve collected (the amount to continue varies from level to level).  As far as I can tell, Wario can hold as many coins as he can collect.  Basically, this means that if you’ve done even a half-hearted attempt at collecting coins as you go – Wario can literally inhale them – you’ll never run out of continues.  This goes for bosses as well.  When you continue you don’t start from the beginning of the encounter, you start from the moment you died.  This makes boss battles quite a bit easier than anything else you may have encountered in other platforms.

 

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Extending the play slightly is the connectivity with the GBA.  Once a level has been cleared of all treasure, you can get a taste of Warioware, Inc.: Mega Microgames by downloading demos to the GBA.  Once the demo has been downloaded, you can play until you turn off the GBA.  Neat little feature but unlikely to be used if you already own the GBA game. (See Related Links for the full review.)  However, it does spur the imagination as to what might be possible with other games.

 

When all is said and done, Wario World is a fun, splashy, albeit short and easy game with some great small touches and a hint of sidescrolling nostalgia.  Younger gamers will get more out of it, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.

 

- Omni

(July 27, 2003)

 

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