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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (Game Boy)

83
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
4.0
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Bregalad (916)
Written on  :  Feb 13, 2010
Platform  :  Game Boy
Rating  :  4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars

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Summary

One of the best Gameboy games ever, hours of pure fun

The Good

Wario Land : Super Mario Land 3 is the game who started the Wario Land series. It is an action platformer similar to the Super Mario Bros series, but with additional features that makes it much funnier.

You take the control of Mario's evil rival, Wario, and you want to find treasures in order to become rich and build a castle. Ironically, playing as a bad guy makes the game funnier and more enjoyable, and add atmosphere to it. Wario's sprites with his large evil smile and his big nose are so fun that it becomes really nice to play him. As a plus, they managed to even get the music going PERFECTLY with this games, it feels somewhat evil and fun at the same time, which suits Wario perfectly. Some later levels have more scaring music tough.

Like in Super Mario Bros games, you start as small Wario, and can find coins and various upgrades that turn him into Super Wario, Dragon Wario, Jet Wario, Bull Wario, and maybe some other rare form I can't remember. All of these "warios" have different attacks, and some of them (like Jet) allow you to reach places you couldn't reach otherwise. If you get hit as them, you revert to small Wario, and if you get hit as small Wario you loose.

Unlike Super Mario Bros games however, Wario can be controlled very precisely as he don't accelerate and breaks slowly like Mario does. I know many people like how Mario was controlled, which is okay to run at really great speeds, but this game focuses more on exploration than running. I like the VERY wide variety of attacks available. Instead of "stomping" enemies, you can dash into enemies to confuse them, and then carry them and throw them to the next enemy, or dash in them again to defeat them.

The game features an overworld map in which you can walk from level to level. That way you can return to previously explored levels to collect items if you want to. It also features auto-battery saves which automatically saves your game when you beat a level.

In all levels you have to collect coins, and in some levels find a treasure. Your goal, is not only to beat the levels, but to find as many treasures as possible, in order to get a better castle at the end. To find a treasure you must first find a key, bring it to the treasure door while being alive, and use it to open the door that leads to the treasure. This triple challenge (find the key, stay alive, find the door) makes this game very interesting and almost addictive sometimes.

Each level has an exit which consist in a door, and you'll need to waste $10 to open it. Some levels also have an alternate door, that unlocks other levels. If you miss it, you'll miss levels, coins and treasures. This is another challenge that make the game very interesting.

Another thing I really liked is how the level are varied, despite the fact they are on the monochrome Gameboy. There is pirate ship levels, water levels, lava levels, ice levels, and more. All them are really inspired and fun to explore. The graphics are overall detailed while still being cartoonish, which suits well the game.

The Bad

I like the music of this game, but something that bothers me is that at least half of the songs seems to have the same theme for a melody. Not that it is a bad theme, but I would have liked to see more themes than just a generic Wario theme remixed in many forms.

Aside of that I can't possibly think of anything that could possibly be bad in this game.

The Bottom Line

Wario Land is without a doubt a classic. I like this games under all aspects of it. I find it ironic that the parody actually beats the original (that is the Super Mario series), but oh well. I recommend this game for anyone; without a doubt one of the best 2D platformers for the Gameboy. It also hasn't aged and is still as fun as it was back when it was released.