Review by Saikyo Ki

"An extrordinary action/adventure game, only slightly less fun than SML2."

This installment of the Super Mario Land series introduces us to a new main character with a different personality and a different way of taking care of business. It also offers very fun gameplay and a good amount of reasons to play the game more than once.

Story: 8
After being defeated by Mario, Wario was sad that he no longer had a castle of his own. To compensate, he went on a journey to find treasure so he could buy a castle. His journey led him to a pirate inhabited island with many treasures on it, including a huge statue of Princess Toadstool, which is being searched for by Mario. That statue alone would be enough to make Wario's dream a reality, but he has to get to it first!

Gameplay: 9
The style of the world map is very much like SML2/SMW. You walk on the map and select which level you want to enter. Although the SML3 game world is pretty linear (you conquer the worlds in a straight line), there are plenty of secret levels in the worlds, not to mention a WHOLE WORLD that's completely optional!

Wario walks around, jumps and stomps like Mario, but because of his size and strength he can also charge at enemies and hurt them. He can break some blocks like this as well. He has his own set of power ups now in the form of hats. The Bull Hat is probably the most versatile, since it increases his strength and makes him able to do more types of attacks. The Jet Hat makes him fly and the Dragon Hat lets him breathe fire.

Coins don't provide extra lives like they do in SML1. You pick up hearts instead. You save your coins when you win a level; they all go towards the ''Buy Wario a Castle'' fund. You can also use coins to enter special doors with coin slots next to them and even use them as projectiles. There are even more uses for coins, but I'll let you find the rest. Be creative!

Throughout the island, there are rare treasures behind locked doors. Find the keys for the doors and you can help yourself to them. Some treasures are very hard to get, but the more treasure you get the better the castle you'll be able to buy.

Just like in all the SML games, the bosses are different and you'll have to beat them all in a different way.

Just like SML2, this game saves your progress, good or bad, automatically. Watch out that you don't get a Game Over; you'll lose some treasures (or half your coins if you haven't found any treasures yet).

Graphics: 9
The thing I like most about the graphics is that there is never any slowdown even when there are a lot of sprites on screen. Wario is also big and well animated, as are bosses. The world map graphics are the same quality as SML2.

Sound/Music: 8
The sound effects are fine. Things sound like they're supposed to sound, like the sound of collecting a coin and the sound of blocks breaking. The music is actually enjoyable to listen to and the songs fit the adventure mood (and other moods) very well. I like how the songs are kinda laid back yet still sound adventurous. After all, Wario's quest isn't a life or death struggle to save the world or something. You'll see what I mean.

Control: 10
The same Mario controls with extra attacks. No biggie.

Replay Value: 7
Getting to the end of the game isn't that hard due to Wario's great strength, but finding all the treasures is much harder. The amount of treasure you have at the end effects your ending. There are good and bad ones. Also, the secret levels/secret world are fun to discover and explore. After you've found everything and seen all the endings, however, there isn't anything else. Nonetheless, you'll play it for a very good amount of time.

Bottom Line?
Yet another great Action/Adventure game. Nintendo has always been good at making games like this and this one is no exception. Pummeling enemies is very fun and finding all the secrets only adds to the enjoyment of this game, which is why I give it a 9.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/12/01, Updated 07/12/01

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