Review by Mercenary

"You'll Never Have-a Rotten Day With This In Your Game Boy"

Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 is the third title in Nintendo's classic Super Mario Land trilogy and the first title in the classic Wario Land series. Unlike the two previous titles, the character you control this time is not Mario, Brooklyn's favourite plumber. Instead you assume control of Wario (a charismatic anti-hero and portly creep whose idol appears to be Jack Nicholson's over the top Joker character from Batman), Mario's arch nemesis and evil alter-ego twin from Super Mario Land 2 6 Golden Coins.

One day this crazy bad guy, being madder than a pig in a goblet, was apparently practicing being mean and nasty in between re-enacting his favourite moments involving the Joker from Batman when he remembered the rumours going around that the tough and infamous Brown Sugar Pirates of Kitchen Island (yes, you guessed it, this title is full of toile…sorry, kitchen humour) had stolen the giant golden statue of the naturally vain Royal Highness Princess Toadstool from her vast royal grounds and that good old Mario was searching for it. Moved by neither compassion nor valour, the greedy egomaniac decided to depart for Kitchen Island at once to steal the statue from the pirates, led by the really rotten and ruthless Captain Syrup. A feat that would make him ridiculously hard to oppose, not to mention incredibly insane too! The coarse and deranged freak also intends to swipe the pirates' other treasures and coins before cashing them and the statue in for a palace that would make Mario's own castle look like a small and pathetic cardboard box.

This title borrows features from Nintendo's previous titles, such as the ability to pick up and throw enemies from Super Mario Bros. 2 while exploring the title's forty complex, distinctive and highly memorable Super Mario World-inspired landscaped levels for keys to open secret doors. This title also contains a hatful of new features with hat being the operative word. There are four different types of magic pots for the grumpy grouch to smash, each containing hats with different special abilities. A Garlic pot restores Wario to his normal size after shrinking into Small Wario. A Bull Pot or Garlic Pot while Wario's his normal size transforms him into Bull Wario, which enables him to attach himself to the ceiling mid-jump with his horns, increases the power of normal size Wario's patented body slam and make his enemies freeze for a short period of time. A Dragon Pot transforms Wario into Dragon Wario that gives him the ability to fry enemies into ashes. Finally, a Jet Pot transforms Wario into Jet Wario, which propels Wario through the air.

I'm-a gonna weeeeeen! Ga, ha, ha, ha…!
One of the first things you will notice when playing through this title is that it is far from being a subtle or easy experience. Even with the save feature, this title will keep you playing for months, especially with the plethora of difficult, obscenity-shouting courses containing dozens of secret rooms, bonus games, cunning enemies and special treasures for the foul tempered swine to get his grubby mitts on and loot that can be discovered with a bit of through exploring.

In this title, you spend most of your time dashing around back and forth in an extremely gung-ho manner, laying waste to everything, jumping gaps, trying to land on firm ground whilst having to contend with a new cast of creatures. Most of them will need more than just a bounce on the head to be stopped. Some must be nudged from below; others charged at with Wario's body slam, and a few with a well-aimed throw using an unconscious foe. If awards were to be handed out for varied and entertaining ways of exterminating unwanted pests, this title would win easily.

This title's graphics are distinctive, highly detailed and of the highest standard, ranking amongst the finest ever produced by the Game Boy. The animation on the adorably villainous and ever grinning Wario himself in particular is excellent, featuring some stylish touches such as winking and giving you the thumbs up when you make the correct decision on the fantastic bonus stages. The backdrops also include some great animation, with blocks blinking and water rippling convincingly. It is clear that a great effort has been poured into the visuals. This title also contains superb sound effects and some deep sounding, yet typically catchy Nintendo-style tunes; you will never feel irritated in the slightest by the acoustics.

Have-a Rotten Day!
Nintendo have taken every care to guarantee that this title is an extremely high quality piece of software. There is nothing really that can be said against this title other than it is yet another Game Boy platform title and some might actually be disturbed by the rampant capitalism on display. While most may revel in this title's ‘greed is good' Wall Street mantra regardless of what we may think of the 1980s, the socialists in our midst will no doubt continue to play Tetris in between their protests on the picket lines (probably against Nintendo itself due to this title's ideological content).

There are a few things that a number of Nintendo novices might find strange such as this title's scrupulous fairness, with no traps that kill you without any prior warning. This title's collision detection is pixel perfect throughout too, meaning that when you get hit, you are hit. There is no energy bar in this title (when something touches you, you're dead, unless you're normal size Wario or better), which can lead to an awful amount of frustration (but with yourself, rather than the title). Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 is also a slower paced title in comparison the previous two in the series. Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 is a steadfast capitalist inspired cavalcade of action, capital FUN and totally extreme madness. It is also a genuinely outstanding title that breaks through the boundaries of playability. This title simply oozes class from every conceivable area, presentation, playability and longevity. If you miss this essential classic, you have not been born.

Verdict
Wario Land Super Mario Land 3 is yet another really charming and utterly polished treat from Nintendo and one of the Game Boy's finest titles. This is a very highly commended choice for any player's collection.
95%

Did You Know?:
Wario's name is a play on both Mario's name and the Japanese word ‘waru' that translates into English as evil.


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/01/01, Updated 10/19/04


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