Wario Land

Virtual Boy

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 8

Sound: 8

Gameplay: 9

Overall: 8

The Virtual Boy was never the lucky recipient of a true Super Mario adventure. Instead, Virtual Boy owners were treated to a game starring one of Mario's arch enemies, Wario. Surprisingly, the game is not only one of the best entries in the Wario line of games, it's also amongst the best games available for the system.

Unlike the vast majority of Virtual Boy games, Wario Land actually uses the 3-D capabilities of the system the way their were intended and not just as a gimmick. The gameplay really does require the use of the 3-D as enemies constantly come from the background to the foreground to challenge Wario's progress. The hearts bonus stage has Wario jumping from the foreground to the background collecting power-ups that are moving across the center. The boss battles all use the 3-D effect to it's fullest and create some truly memorable moments. These are completely unique to the hardware.

Each individual stage has a key that is required to be found in order to exit. Sometimes these keys are well hidden, other times their right out in the open. Adventurous players are rewarded for their curiosity by the numerous hidden rooms in each stage. There are also hidden artifacts that are buried DEEP within the game that only the most determined players will find. While the overall game is on the short side, finding everything it has to offer extends the game long enough to make it feel like an accomplishment.

The stereo effect of the Virtual Boy is really an under appreciated feature, and Wario Land shows gamers why. The sounds are always specific to which side of the screen the action is occurring giving players a nice sound field while their heads are crammed into the VB. The music is typical of Nintendo with catchy songs prevalent all the way through. The sound effects will seem familiar to the millions who have played a Mario game previously.

This is really one of the few Virtual Boy games to have that "Nintendo" feel. You know, when you're playing a game you know is a true immsersive experience, time is flying by, and everything is crafted to perfection. While their may not be a traditional Mario game on the console, Wario Land fills this gap nicely. This one comes highly recommended.


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Last updated: Friday, June 15, 2007 09:44 PM