Review – Wario Land Shake It! (Wii)


Developer: Good Feel
Publisher: Nintendo
Year: 2008
Fun Fact: the 8th platformer/action game starring Wario (or 10th if you count Super Mario 64 DS and Yoshi’s Island DS).

Sometimes people grow up with a video game franchise and they defend it no matter how crappy the series becomes. Other people grow up with a series and overreact to any slip in quality. When it comes to the Wario Land series, I might fall into the latter group. I just could not get into Wario Land Shake It!. Unlike the wretched Wario: Master of Disguise, there aren’t any glaring mistakes but the level design can certainly be described as uninspired. Many of the situations and layouts reminded me of other games. For whatever reason, the original Yoshi’s Island often sprung to mind but always in a negative contrast sort of way. Continue reading

Reminder: Today is a huge day for platforming!

Just in case you have been living under a rock, here is what is being released today for platformer fans:

I myself am very much looking forward to de Blob, as according to the reviews it is shaping up to be one of the best Wii games out there. If you read just one review for de Blob, make sure it is the IGN one as it is actually very informative and well written. Wario Land is also getting some nice critical acclaim, and Kirby is a for sure buy for fans of the pink puff ball as many regard this entry in the series to be the very best one. To top it all off Mega Man 9 hits the Wii’s Virtual Console a bit earlier than its 360 and PS3 counterparts for 1,000 Wii points, I myself am waiting for the HD 360 version. Vectorman also makes it’s was onto the VC, experience one of the best technically impressive platformers the Genesis has to offer.

The biggest dissapointments for Platformer fans of E3 08

Sure we have a lot to look forward to with all of the new announcements at this years E3, but then again we have alot to be disappointed about as well. Certain un-spoken of games, little to no updates on others. There is still hope for certain franchises at upcoming events like the Tokyo Game Show, but here is just a list of a few no-shows that left us fans crying in the dark. 
 
No news on Kid Icarus Wii
 
While there was never any true confirmation by Nintendo and alot of it was based on speculation, there was some hope when some concept art appeared on the internet of some different designs for our beloved character. Come E3 Nintendo’s big “holiday blockbuster” ended up being the predictable Animal Crossing and the toddler toy “Wii Music”. Kid Icarus fans everywhere were very disappointed by this no show. Until now there is still no word on any  confirmed development of a Kid Icarus game.
 
Where are our Virtual Console games?
 
There is no denying that the Virtual Console has ended up being just what Nintendo first promised if not better. There is already a huge library of games across many platforms (Neo-Geo and TurboGrafx-16, who ever saw that coming?), the game catalog growing weekly. Sure Nintendo usually keeps the upcoming release of a game secret until the day before it’s release or on the day of for new Virtual Console games, but E3 was their chance to show off some more classic games to keep fans excited for their great service. We ended up with nothing. Sure the usual suspects are Earthbound and Super Mario RPG in terms of demand, but imagine if we knew of more platformers coming our way? maybe even remakes of old platformers for the WiiWare. Rocket Knight Adventures on Virtual Console? how about a remake of Gunstar Heroes on WiiWare? While we can all still have hope because we do know that every week new games will be arriving, it still would have been nice to know or have a hint at what we can be expecting in the future.
 
No new Mario details
 
Sure they might have told us that they are “already hard at work on a new Mario title” but anyone who knows Nintendo knows this is common sense, we KNOW they had one in the works since Mario is their biggest franchise, but we wanted details, nice juicy details and all we got was a stock photo like the one you see to the left. Give us a 15 second teaser trailer and satisfy a legion of fans, but instead they left us in the dust. The good news is we know it’s coming, the bad news is we have absolutely no information or date to even think of.
 
No news on Earthworm Jim 4
 
This one might be a bit early to complain about since the announcement only happened not even 3 months before E3. We really have no news on the games direction, so any new details would have been nice. Not to ruin anybody’s hopes, but there was a enhanced PSP version of Earthworm Jim planned for 2007 release but it eventually got canned. Let’s hope that is not repeated for his next adventure.
 
Nintendo fails to hype Wario Land
 
Anyone notice a trend yet? Nintendo failed to deliver on a lot of things this year, but one thing they are really not known for is ignoring one of their very own titles which is shaping up to be one of the best titles available on the Wii. No mention of the game whatsoever at their press conference, let alone much talk about it from Nintendo in general. This is the type of game that should have had a press conference demo, a TV commercial, and full page ads in magazines. Wario Land: Shake It! is not getting the exposure it deserves, and come this holiday the game will get lost in the flood of shovelware and big releases coming out. Nintendo will take it’s low sales numbers as a sign that maybe beautiful 2D games should be left for their WiiWare service and not retail games (well, good retail games that is). We must buy and support this one people, it will help protect our genre’s future!
 
Did we miss anything?
 
Leave us a comment and tell us your most dissapointing platformer moments of E3 2008! 

More Wario Land: Shake It! gameplay than you can shake a stick at, get it?

The website WiiFolder.com has uploaded tons of Gameplay footage of the Japanese import version of Wario Land: Shake It!, basically footage from every world in the game so you get a snese of all the different locations. The best part is the epic near 20 minute video tour of one of the levels in the game where the gameplay mechanics are all explained, overall it is a very well done tour of what to expect. Something to note for those that decide not to watch the videos, the game runs in widescreen but there are letter-boxed item screens and such on the sides, better than nothing for us widescreen TV owners. To view the individual levels click here and to view the 20 minute video tour click here.

Wario Land: Shake It! Updates

There are several updates on the upcoming, handrawn, 2D Wii Platformer Wario Land: Shake It!

First off, Nintendo has unloaded their official press release:

SHAKE, RATTLE & ROLL YOUR WAY TO RICHES!

Wario’s Back And After Treasure Once Again As Wario Land: The Shake Dimension Arrives In Europe

Get ready for a wave of nostalgia as Wario heads to Wii for his first dedicated adventure on the console! Prepare yourself for some classic Wario action as Wario Land: The Shake Dimension takes you on an epic and lush 2D platform adventure to seek out treasure, complete missions and, in a traditional Wario way, obtain as much money as you can! Prepare to defeat all the bandana-wearing pirates standing between you and your potential haul as this puzzle-filled adventure hits European shores on the 26th September 2008.

Presenting an entirely new cast of characters around Wario, get ready to embark upon an all-new, swash-buckling adventure where Wario explores various continents in search of treasure. The notorious pirate leader, Shake King, has kidnapped Queen Merelda and it’s up to Wario to get her back. But is he really out to do a good deed? Or it is the ‘Bottomless Coin Sack, a sack containing a never-ending flow of gold coins, which has really caught Wario’s attention?

Featuring five different maps full of action-packed stages to complete, Wario Land: The Shake Dimension, is packed with exciting missions and challenges. Complete Missions, which are challenges, set out at the beginning of each stage, such as finishing a stage within a specified time limit or collecting a special number of coins. Also seek out the hidden Treasure in each stage to obtain the special items held within them, then progress through the game and unlock further stages.

The Wii’s innovative controller, the Wii Remote, is held sideways in a traditional retro fashion when playing, and is shaken to activate Wario’s special moves throughout the game. Shaking the controller whilst on solid ground will see Wario unleash his ‘Ground Punch’ move that will stun all enemies on the screen. This move can also be used to manipulate surroundings and grant Wario access to new areas in the game. But use of the motion sensitive controller doesn’t stop there! Shaking the Wii Remote whilst holding an enemy or money bag will make them spill their precious contents, whereas tilting the controller when Wario is at the wheel will see players steer their various vehicles through the stage.

During the adventure, be sure to visit the Pirate Shop to spend those hard-earned coins. Make regular trips to purchase exciting items, new maps and videos, as new items and features will become available as progression is made through Wario Land: The Shake Dimension.

Be first to the treasure when Wario Land: The Shake Dimension launches across Europe on 26th September.

Next, the official site of the E3 media expo has provided us with a new gameplay trailer and screenshots:

Gameplay video!

Finally, IGN has previewed the title:

IGN Preview

This title seems to be shaking up to be great. Oops, I meant shaping!

Wario's Adventure Looks Great!

Wario's Adventure Looks Great!

Wario Land: Shake It! is looking great

Platformer fans must be happy to see a rivival of a great series, and better yet it is going to retain a traditional 2D gameplay style along with hand drawn graphics. Sure the game will have plenty on remote shaking action, if that wasn’t apparent from the title already, but since it is being made exclusive to the Wii by Nintendo I have a feeling it will turn out just fine. Wario Land: Shake It! is currently set to be released September 29th in the US. For some screen shots check out the high-res gallery over at Jeux-France.com