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Wario Land: The Shake Dimension Review - Wii

5
Gameplay: 5 stars 5
Graphics: 3 stars 3
Audio: 5 stars 5
Innovation: 4 stars 4
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Introduction

Wario is one of Nintendo’s B-list characters. Initially conceived as another nemesis for Mario, he has evolved into a lazy character that’s always on the search for treasure. Hell, it took three Smash Bros. games before he made an appearance. His platforming solo career has been largely based in the handheld sphere, with the exception being Wario World for Gamecube, a terrible brawler by Treasure that really doesn’t deserve being mentioned. His second console platformer has also been handed off to another team, with developer Good-Feel at the helm. Does a return to Wario's 2D roots make for a better game?

Gameplay

This is a fairly standard platformer. You hold the Wii remote sideways, with the d-pad used for movement, the ‘2’ button for jumping and the ‘1’ button for a shoulder charge attack. By giving a quick shake of the controller, you activate a downward punch to the ground that shakes the environment and stuns enemies. Once stunned, an enemy can be picked up and thrown, with the angle of your toss altered by tilting the Wii remote up and down, though this can sometimes glitch out a bit. You can also shake the remote to shake loose coins and garlic, which restores your health.

The other main tweak to the Mario formula is the way the levels are structured. You make your way to the right, collecting coins and finding the three treasure chests scattered throughout the stage, until you reach the captive ‘Merfle’ pixie thing you’re trying to rescue. Once you break it free, the game goes ‘Legends of the Hidden Temple’ on you and makes you sprint back to the starting line with all your goodies. There is usually a booster you can reach that will shoot you on your way, and with this speed you can crash through barriers and make longer jumps to take a shorter route back home, so long as you don’t hit any walls.

The game follows the standard linear method of unlocking levels. There are five worlds in the game, each containing around four stages and boss battle. Complete one, and you unlock the next. Once you beat a boss, you have to pony up some cash (remember, you’ve been collecting coins in your treks through the stages) to buy the map of the next world. It’s not a massive amount overall; if you’re good at maths, you’d have worked out that there are roughly twenty-five in total, and that includes the boss battles, which are literally just the fight and no platforming. Given a completion time of maybe ten minutes per stage, you’re not looking at a long game.

Thankfully, the game includes missions for each stage, like returning to the beginning of a level in a certain time, not falling in the water, not taking damage, not destroying an enemy, or collecting a certain amount of coins. Some of these are definitely tough, and will keep dedicated fans playing long after they beat the final boss. There’s also the challenge of finding all ...

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