Note: I’m in deep shit with my editor right now because I’m an inconsistent asshole. Just so everyone knows, if you don’t see my reviews and columns EVERY SINGLE MONTH, it’s because I missed a month and my ass is fired. Thanks. On with the review!
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Does anybody realize how fucking difficult it is to set up a Virtual Boy? I have to dig out the console, find the controller (in a different drawer), the AC adapter (also in a different drawer) and the stand. And that’s not even to mention the games, which are in a box in the closet thanks to my “Mission: Organization” cult-follower wife. Then, the power cord—one of those huge block ones—plugs into the wall and into the controller itself. The controller has a separate, hard-wired cord that plugs into the right side of the console. So, after approximately twenty minutes of screwing around, I finally get this “portable” system set up.
Folks, I own pretty much every VB game released in the US, and there’s a reason that, in my three years with GameCola, I’ve only reviewed one game for it: It makes you go mother-fucking blind. However, I’ll give it this: It’s got the most comfortable controller you will ever hold in your lifetime. Forget PS2 and Xbox 360—this thing is like holding heaven’s puppies in your hands. There’s two D-pads on either side, two face buttons on the right, two face buttons on the left, and two triggers. It is pillow-soft to grasp, and I swear there is no sarcasm here. Since you can’t see it because you’re directly facing hell, I guess it has to be that good.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get on to the review. Wario Land. Oh Nintendo, you tricksters! You just took Mario and inverted the “M”! How witty! And he’s your arch-nemesis as well! See, his mustache is all zig-zaggy, so he couldn’t possible be Mario! Ho-ho, let’s see where this wackiness gets us!
First off is the 3D effect of the VB. On some games, like this one, it’s goddamn awesome. I don’t care how bad your retinas are bleeding—this is a very hard-to-put-down game. The opening cinema goes something like this:
Wario is sleeping on a cot by a beautiful lake with a waterfall cascading down behind him. Cute little duckies are swimming. Fish are jumping. The background seems to stretch on forever, and believe me when I tell you this, faithful readers: The effect is fucking awesome. It looks so sweet and sounds so good with the stereo speakers in each ear that you forget Wario has apparently been sentenced to the seventh ring of Hell. If only the game was in color, I would probably orgasm all over my wondrous Virtual Boy.
Anyway, what looks like a bear pops its head up out of the water and, for some asshole reason, shoots Wario’s deck-chair our from under him and then steals a shit-load of treasure.
Let’s examine this for a minute. I mean, I know Wario is Mario’s main adversary, but c’mon here; the dude was just chilling in his chair when this dick bear comes up out of the water and basically does a giant “fuck you!” to Wario and blows it away from under him. I’d be pissed too. Whew. After reviewing all that, I’m done. I pull my face out as the title screen pops up with a great 3D Wario in an airplane zooming directly at you. And then I immediately head for the emergency room, as I need some new eyes.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
Time to actually play this bad boy. I delete a save file from approximately eight years ago and start a new one. See, if this portable system was easier to set up than it is for NASA to land a colony of people on Mars, I would’ve played the game more often.
Wario Land plays a hell of a lot like Mario. As a matter of fact, it’s a lot like New Super Mario Bros., which I reviewed a while back. You get big and small, you smash bricks, you jump on heads, blah, blah, blah. One big difference is the hats. The first one you find is a “bull-hat”, which not only makes you big but also gives you horns. Now you can crush blocks under your feet and ram shit and ground-smash enemies. You can also jump on them once to knock ’em out, and then pick them up and throw them at other baddies.
The real twist, though, is when you find blocks marked with a “^” symbol. Stand on them and press up (Wario Land is all about pushing up to get to things. Push up to choose your save, push up to jump into the background, etc.), and you’ll turn your back to the camera and spring into the background, your Wario sprite getting smaller and smaller as it scales down. Then your tiny Wario waaaayyyyy back there will be playable, and you’ll get extra shit.
Basically, the goal is to run around the levels collecting hearts and coins, finding the treasure rooms and finally the key to get to the elevator to get to the next level (of which there are 14). Your incentive to go back is if you miss the one treasure per stage, which starts off easy but becomes fucking impossible to find by the seventh level or so.
GAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!! I just pulled my face out of the world of red and black and faced a world with color. The Virtual Boy is great, but the transition sucks. I need a decompression chamber to adjust. I’m done for today. Level two down.
Thursday March 8, 2007
A fucking water level. Seriously?! Ah, holy shit. Now I gotta go on another rant. The water levels in Mario and Wario games SUCK. I have no idea why, but they really, really suck. I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around how the rest of a Mario or Wario game could be so cool and playable, and then Nintendo throws a water level at you. Was it Bring Your Kid to Work Day? Is that what happened? Because that would make more sense than the geniuses at Nintendo saying:
GOON #1: Hey, you know what’d be really great? If we put in a level that every person on the planet hates. But let’s put it in the middle of the game. They’ll just be bopping along, loving every second of it and then WHAM-O! We give them the suck level.
GOON’S BOSS: Bob, you’re a mother-fucking genius. Give this man a raise and a new office.
Seriously, the only way to beat this level is if you have the “dragon-hat”, which spits fire. If you get hit by the swordfish with the chainsaw blade for a nose, you’re toast and have to restart. How does he keep that thing gassed up in the middle of the ocean, anyway? It’s a rhetorical question. The water level made me so mad that I don’t even care. I’m not even going to try and pass it, so nyah nyah nyah. I’m done, you selfish fucks.
Sunday, March 10, 2007
I’ve played through most of this game. I’m missing a ton of treasures, but I guess I don’t care. Better than any other game, Wario Land uses the capabilities of the Virtual Boy to its fullest extent. Things are constantly going from the background into the foreground, and the effect is stunning. The boss battles, while infrequent, are also worth noting. I know none of you have played it, but the effects is reminiscent Three Dirty Dwarves on the Sega Saturn. The screen rotates and things are thrown into and away from your perspective.
I like to bitch a lot and play games that suck for your amusement, but, honestly, Wario Land for the VB is pretty damn good. It plays well, it has that rockin’ controller and its only downfall is that less than 17 people actually bought the stupid system it was made for. I promise, while the VB is still out and hooked up, that my next month’s review will be a shitty VB game. Hmmm, how do I choose? Virtual League Baseball, Golf, Waterworld, Teleroboxer, Red Alarm, Jack Bros…they just all suck so bad. Until then…