Retro Metro #12: Wario Land 3

Hello, everyone. Today we’ll be dissecting the forever fun (well, not really, as it has practically no replay value) Wario Land 3, which, unlike most games I have reviewed, I have actually completed.

The plot of Wario Land 3 is pretty simple: Wario (Mario’s evil cousin) crashes in a forest, and picks up a music box, which he is immediately sucked into. Wario then meets a powerful being who used to rule the realm he got sucked into, until some bad guy took his powers and locked them in five music boxes (inception!). Wario thus heads off to find those boxes in return for that guy sending him home and letting him keep any treasure he finds.

The controls and whatnot for this game are pretty simple: left/right moves, down is crouch, A is jump, and B is run-forward-a-short-distance-and-punch. As you progress, you get powerups that let you do more stuff. Fortunately, in this game you have no health bar and are thus immortal, but in return for that, any hit will send you flying back (and boss hits always knock you off the boss screen and make you restart the fight). Another nicety is that you can save, after every level, anywhere on the world map (as long as you’re not traveling to a level), unlike certain other games (*cough*Monster Lab*cough*).

The levels are puzzle-platform, where you try to figure out the location of grey, red, green, and blue keys and their corresponding chests. When you get a key and unlock its chest (by pressing up) the level’s over. The thing is, these levels aren’t linear at all, i.e., you can’t just get all four chests in a row and then go to the next level. In fact, I’d highly recommend using a walkthrough to complete this game (this walkthrough is especially good and is what I used to beat the game). In these levels, there’s a variety of enemies and forms you can get turned into (i.e., Vampire Wario, Flat Wario, etc.), but most of these forms provide negative effects, and are either temporary or can be reversed.

In these levels, you also occasionally have to complete mini-games (all of which are basically the same), where you have to kick an enemy hard enough to get it into a hole in a certain number of kicks, kind of like a demented form of golf. Another interesting quirk of this game is that there is a day/night mode, toggled by beating a level. The time of day usually doesn’t affect gameplay (although there are exceptions), but simply makes the level backgrounds lighter/darker. On another, somewhat unrelated note, when you beat the game, you can go back and do Time Trials on all the levels.

The graphics of this game are actually noteworthy for once. They’re really good for a Game Boy Color (GBC), but the thing you’ll notice right away is that Wario is wearing white with black overalls, instead of his usual yellow with purple overalls. Why this is, I do not know. As for the music, I, as always with handheld games, haven’t heard too much of it, but what I have heard is “meh.”

Now, as for the purchasing of this game. If you happen to own a GBC (or a Gameboy Advance [GBA]), you can just buy and then play the cartridge. For those of us who don’t, Wario Land 3 is available on the 3DS Nintendo eShop. One of the advantages of the latter is the ability to use Restore Points (which I believe I discussed in the currently-inaccessible Retro Metro #2),which allows me to retry difficult timing-based parts of the game without having to walk back to the area, because if you miss a platform you invariably have to walk a ton of the level just to get back to where you started. At any rate, I hope you all consider buying and enjoying this great game, but just remember, if you manage to get every treasure on your first attempt (which you probably will if you use a walkthrough), there will be no replay value. Pacem vobis!

About Ben Buyer 8 Articles
I'm Ben Buyer, class of '19. I love writing about (and thus obviously playing) old video games, though as far as the playing I make occasional forays into the new by playing Mario Kart Wii (the best one), and Super Smash Bros. Brawl (the worst one, but the easiest to set up in my house) with my step-siblings. In fact, this isn't even my modern-est, since I'm currently working on Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for the Xbox 360 (in which I at level 20 have already killed Alduin, Ulfrich, Harkon, and Miraak, although I died a lot). So yeah, I know I've spent my bio taking about video games instead of my real life, but, hey, it's what I write about. Finally, in addition to the Shield, I am on Speech and Debate, Masterminds, Campus Ministry, and Music Ministry. Experientias laetas videoludis semper habeatis!

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