More Reviews
REVIEWS Far Cry 4 Review
The open world of Far Cry 4 is wondrous, but is the beauty of Kyrat only skin-deep?

World of Warcraft: Warlords of D Review
Does Blizzard's latest expansion breathe new life into the 10 year-old franchise, or is this MMO finally starting to show its age?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Silence: The Whispered World II Preview
With its absolutely gorgeous sequel, Daedalic aims to create a mid-range difficulty adventure title that will expand the genre to a larger audiences.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Release date: 11/25/14

Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD Remix
Release date: 12/02/14

Guilty Gear Xrd -SIGN-
Release date: 12/16/14

Kalimba
Release date: 12/17/14


LATEST FEATURES With Two Paths to Walk This Fall, I Recommend Assassins Play AC Unity Over AC Rogue
For fans of this series, it'll be a decision based on hardware. For enthusiasts, returning to the brand's roots will prove enticing.

Nintendo Download November 2014 - Updating Each Week
If you've got credit on Nintendo's digital eShop service or expect to receive a gift card this holiday season, start making your list with our weekly updates.
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Xbox Downloads October 2014 - Updating Each Week
Microsoft's Xbox One console continues an Xbox Live revolution started over a decade ago. Here's hoping Summer of Arcade makes it to the platform next year.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Master_Craig
Welcome Home - PAX AUS 2014
By Master_Craig
Posted on 11/18/14
Last night I returned home from PAX AUS 2014. Long story short, it wasn't perfect, but it was quite possibly the best weekend I've had this year. It was a lot of fun. If you'd like to continue reading, the long story is just below. Buckle up. This is gonna be...

Wario Land: Shake It! Review

Blake_Morse By:
Blake_Morse
10/21/08
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Platformer 
PLAYERS 1- 1 
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER Good Feel 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence

What do these ratings mean?

Shake your money maker.


When you think of salvation, it’s not often you think of the anti-Christ. In this case, though, the Wii’s redemption has come in the form of the fatter, hairier anti-Mario. Wario Land: Shake It! is a rare gem on the Wii - a glistening oasis of traditional, old-school gaming fun in a desert of mini-game collections and rehashes of popular Nintendo franchises.

click to enlargeIt's refreshing to play as the bad guy in a Nintendo game. You don’t get any of the sticky sweetness of the giant pink omnivourous marshmellow that you found in previous  games. Wario is a selfish, pudgy little jerk with nothing on his mind but gold coins. But in this instance that happens to make him the perfect hero.

In a magical land that exists in a globe, a pirate king has captured a race of effeminate bird-elf people, a princess, and a bottomless bag of gold coins. The bag is the important thing to remember here, because there’s no way Wario would go on this adventure if there wasn’t something to gain for himself. With the help of his red-headed pirate girlfriend (what's with fat dudes and hot redhead chicks anyways), he's off to restore order to this once peaceful land.

Although most of the game is played using the traditional old-school style D-pad and 2-button controls, you will have to do some bashing and tilting to progress through the game. And the best part is that the gestures actually work pretty well, especially compared to just about every other experience I’ve had with the Wii-mote. That is not to say that the motion controls are without flaws, but things go off without a hitch 4 out of 5 times.
The only time it is really an issue is with the aiming of cannons and throwing of baddies. Other than that, the levels where you control a submarine or maneuver a rocket ship by tilting were actually fun. I know, I can’t believe it either, but the blasted game actually had me enjoying the incorporation of tilt controls.

Variation is another wonderful aspect to this game. While it is a platformer with a limited number of actions available to you, the developers have done a great job of making sure no two levels play quite the same. Gimmicks are rarely, if ever, repeated and each level has its own theme. From pirate ships to jungles to icy tundras, no two levels look the same. And it all looks wonderful, like a glorious, playable cartoon. I’ve seen my share of poorly rendered Wii titles and I found it refreshing to play a game that looked so polished on the system.

click to enlargeBeyond the looks, there is a ton of replay value in each level. Each one has three hidden treasure chests that start off fairly easy to find in the early levels but then have you scratching your head trying to figure out how to reach them later on. Each treasure is unique and odd in its own way but seems to serve no greater purpose beyond giving the completionist another reason to play through a level again.

More enticing are the included sub-missions, challenges that are thrown in on top of your regular goals that add a some spice to the jambalaya. They could be anything, like get 'x' amount of coins or take no damage or kill no enemies (or some combination thereof). They are a great excuse to go back and play through levels you’ve already beaten and can be aggravatingly challenging sometimes.

There’s also a bunch of secret maps hidden throughout the game that unlock even more levels. Finding these ancient scrolls is just about the most difficult part of the game. It gets easier once you’ve played through story mode, but that’s no excuse for not hunting them down along the way.

At the end of each stage, you will face a boss in an epic, no-holds-barred match to the death. Each battle is unique, requires you to destroy the boss in certain way. My particular favorite is the race car fight. It all leads up to a rough final battle with the pirate king who has just the right amount of toughness to be beatable but not feel like your going for a walk in the park.

click to enlargeIf you own a Wii and you enjoyed The New Super Mario Bros. for DS or the classic Super Mario World, then I can guarantee that you will vibe with Wario Land: Shake It!. It has the retro appeal of traditional platform adventure games mixed well (for once) with the unique sensor controls of the Wii. I found it to be innovative in the sense that it used the Wii-mote in a way that worked in tandem with the game instead of the game trying to work around the control scheme.

If I had one major complaint about the game, beyond the sometimes daunting tilt functions of the controls, it would be that that Wario is a man without hats. Plural. He does have the one hat after all, but items or headwear that give you odd abilities is a mainstay of Nintendo Mario-world based franchises and was something I more or less expected. I realize that this may be a superficial complaint as there are times when Wario is lit on fire or turned into a snowball, but it just seems like such a no-brainer.

Beyond my tirade of tradition, though, I seriously found Wario Land: Shake It! to be one of the best experiences I’ve had with a Wii game since Super Mario Galaxy. If you enjoy platform games, then this is a must-have for your collection. I find it rare that I play anything on the Wii that I really get into, and this game happens to be it for me. Now if I could just stop my hands from shaking.
B+ Revolution report card
  • Classic platform action with a twist
  • Great cartoony graphics
  • Lots of replay value
  • Nice to be a bad guy in a Nintendo game
  • Good use of sensor-driven and classic NES-style controls
  • . . .with the exception of a few instances.
  • Power-ups, please?
    Reviews by other members
    No member reviews for the game.


More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Wario Land: Shake It!