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Wario World GameCube

Published by Nintendo
Released - Out Now
Price : £39.99

Life hasn't been easy for Wario. He's had to stand by and watch his nemesis Mario get all the attention, it's just not fair. Actually when Wario has had a game of his own it has usually been good stuff. Until now though he's been confined to starring in Game Boy based games and has only played a bit part in Cube games such as Mario Party 4 and Super Smash Bros. Melee. A few days ago we looked at the short, but oh so sweet Wario Ware Inc. and today we are going to take a look at Wario World.

The game begins with Wario sitting on his thrown in his recently completed castle. Wario is feeling very pleased with himself and especially with the hoards of treasure he has amassed. However one of the jewels he owns, a black jewel, is altogether evil. This black jewel had previously brought chaos into the world but thanks to the Spritelings of the Sacred Forest it was captured and hid within their ancient ruins. Of course that was all years ago and our greedy treasure hunter stole it when he was treasure hunting in the old ruins. Released from its prison the black jewel decides to wreak havoc once more and turns all of Wario's jewels into evil spirits. Wario is not pleased at all about this and is determined to get even with the black jewel.

Wario must get back all his jewels, his castle and give the evil black jewel what for. To do this he'll have to jump and fight his way through four different stages. Each of these stages has 3 areas each, so in total there are 12 areas for you to conquer. In each of the levels you have to rescue Spritelings, collect gold Wario statues, coins and red diamonds that enable you to unlock the battle with the boss for each area. Because of the nature of the game's camera, which we'll mention later, it feels like a traditional 2D platformer and in addition to fighting you'll also have to solve small puzzles with the various type of blocks that are in the game, as well as drop yourself through the various trap doors in order to find all the objects.

Wario will come up against enemies such as Magons, Cractyl, Ankirons and the humorously named Red - Brief J to name just a few. Wario has been given a nice range of attacks to help him defeat such enemies. Wario can punch, throw, perform a corkscrew conk (which is a dash quickly followed with a punch) and unleash piledrivers which are similar to ground pounds that you find in the Mario games. Wario can also perform a wild swing-ding on enemies that have been dazed by one of his punches. Wario can also pick up stone heads and columns to throw at his enemies. Of course you'll have to keep an eye on Wario's health (which is measured in hearts) but you can replenish these by purchasing garlic from the various garlic machines that are scattered around the level. Initially the garlic will only cost 20 coins but as you buy more the price increases.

Whilst Wario World is a 3D platformer at heart it's difficult to see it that way because of the virtually fixed camera view. The game is viewed from a side on angle that resembles a traditional 2D platformer. As a result you can't see the enemies that are more than half a screen in front of you. This doesn't matter though as the enemies don't trouble you until you're upon them.The C stick allows you to move the screen a little to the left and right but you won't find yourself using it much. In certain locations you can rotate the screen in 90 degree increments to enable you to see what you have to do. When this is possible an icon appears onscreen to inform you.

The graphics in Wario can best be described as adequate. Whilst nothing looks particularly spectacular you get the feeling that the cube is capable of so much more. The areas and enemies all look OK but nothing more. The bosses do look quite good though. The colour palette is bright and cheerful, like you would expect from a Nintendo title but the main problem with the game, visually speaking, is that the textures are a little bland and could have used a lot more detail.

There are no problems at all for deaf gamers with Wario World. All information is given via text. There aren't any subtitles for the speech but there is only a minimal amount here so it isn't of any concern. Most of the speech is simply taunts from Wario and they can get a bit repetitive at times. Tutorial messages are delivered in text by the Spritelings as you rescue them. The game manual is actually very useful and explains everything you could wish to know about the game including some useful hints on how to beat some of the enemies you'll encounter.

Several Cube games have been attacked for their shortness and Wario World definitely falls in the category of good and enjoyable but could have been a whole lot longer. Side by side with Super Mario Sunshine, Wario World seems very short but in actual fact it's good for around 8 hours of gameplay, which isn't that bad. Nintendo have also included some Wario Ware Inc. minigames too that you can download to your GBA. I hope there is a sequel to Wario World and the length of the game could be increased to around 20 hours that would make it so much more enjoyable.

Overall Game Rating: 7.4/10
Wario World is a good platformer that Nintendo fans will be pleased with. However it's a bit too short and lacks the depth of other Nintendo titles such as Super Mario Sunshine.

Deaf Gamers comment:
Wario World is very deaf gamer friendly.