Growing up without an SNES meant that I had to stick with games released on the Game Boy to get my Mario fix (or go over a friend’s house). I also didn’t own Super Mario Land or Super Mario Land 2, however, I did have this gem.
Super Mario Land 3, which is also called Wario Land, is the first game in the series. It’s also the only good game in the series. Why? Because it’s the only game where Wario can die. Wario Land is a great platformer. I recommend that you play it if you haven’t. But playing a platformer game (like the later games in the series) where you can’t die is pretty pointless. Like all genres, a game has to balance the difficulty. Shift it all one way, and it’s unplayable. If a game is way too easy, it eliminates the challenge of completing it. On the flipside, if it’s too difficult, you probably won’t bother with trying to get through it because you’re ready to punch a wall all the time. Supposedly the later games in the series have other challenges that even out the games difficulty. But let’s talk Wario Land I.
It’s your typical platformer, very much in the Mario vein. Unlike Mario, where your goal is to save the Princess, Wario is adventuring to collect money to build his own castle and make Mario jealous. As you can see, his motives are a little selfish. So how does Wario choose to accomplish this? By stealing from a pirate by the name of Captain Syrup. Which was a nice change, in all honesty. Similar to Mario, you can jump on enemies to kill them, but Wario can ram them with the ‘B’ button. With different helmets you can obtain, Wario will have different powers. Bull Helmet makes his ram attack go farther, Jet Helmet lets him glide across the map, and the Dragon Helmet lets him shoot fire from his head. Each helmet has their advantages and disadvantages, but everyone I’ve talked to seems to prefer the Jet Helmet. At the end of the level you have to use your coins to open the exit. It costs 10 of them to open the exit, so if you’re like me, the first time you played the game you got stuck because you didn’t know how to do that. At the end of the level, the treasure you collect will deposit into your “safe” and at the end of the game, depending on the amount of treasure you have, determines what kind of house you get. It can range anywhere from a birdhouse to Wario’s own planet. In the other games in the series Captain Syrup tries to get her revenge against Wario. I guess I’ll have to review them one day, and see if my views on them have changed.
In summation, I love this game. It’s just different enough from Mario to stand on it’s own, but similar enough to evoke that old school feel. If you haven’t played it yet, it’s not very expensive on Amazon or eBay. As always, happy gaming!
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