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Wario Land 4

Reviewed by KasketDarkfyre Gameboy Advance. You have to wonder that with Nintendo going all out on their games and systems, just what could possibly come next. With this title, I was rather pleased to see that a decently well known character such as Wario {who was absent from Super Smash Brothers Melee} was given a chance to shine and this little gem of a handheld system. Continuing on with the bad boy persona, you're back in the saddle again with Mario's nemesis in a quest for fame, glory and plenty of money! If you're into the side scrolling platform jumpers, then you'll find this to be a rather standard game with some cool features thrown in for good measure. The story that you find here in Warioland 4 is something that is pretty much your basic adventure game with a myth of a Queen who is said to have untold riches. Now, Wario {who is a man of action} gets wind of this little adventure and decides that he will go off to find this tomb. The adventure begins when he finds himself in the middle of a rather large maze and his only goal is to solve the mystery of this rich Queen and maybe pocket some cash for himself in the process. With the addition of help from Mr. Game and Watch, you'll be running, smashing and morphing into a little bit of everything to end your quest! The game play is simply your side scrolling adventure that has you jumping, bopping and crushing whatever gets in your way through several stages of puzzle solving action. Through the game, you'll take on several different bosses and enemies with different powers. These small powers will take effect when something happens and can either impede progress or help you with it and in some places they are a valuable part of the puzzle solving. Money is also important, as are your health items, so you'll have to make it through the game on a limited supply of both, with the money helping you to play mini-games for items against the various bosses! None of this is easy after the first couple of stages, and timing is key in most respects in order to get through the different puzzles and stages. Now, this is where the control plays an integral part of the game play, simply because you have to learn how to finesse the directional pad with some of the different attacks that Wario has and not only that, but direct just where he is running. With most of the functions being jump and dash along with some tricky jumps onto moving platforms, you will probably only use the shoulder buttons for a longer running dash and even those are easy enough to pull off with some practice. Visually, the Gameboy Advance does some pretty good things with the way that Warioland is presented. Keeping with different themes for each of the main stages and the various sub-stages located within, you'll find that there is enough variation here for anyone to get into the game. The mini-games that are found here are also pretty impressive, with fully rotating portions and even a side scrolling game that speeds up more and more leaving little in the blur zone. With a handheld system, it's hard to keep the game on a consistent level, but this one does so with color, fine detail and plenty of variation! The audio that you find here is about as good as a handheld system can get with the limitations. Voices and music are done in a mannerly fashion, although it may become a little too blurred up if you have the volume up on full blast. To help with this little problem, you can plug in some headphones and do some playing with crystal clear sound effects that really put you into the game. However, some of the music just doesn't seem to fit in some of the differently themed stages, and there are times that the game seems to jump from one extreme to the next with little or no pause, giving it a forced sound. Warioland 4 is a good alternative to the Super Mario games because it features a different character with a different attitude. With most of the Super Mario games being rehashed versions of older games with a couple of bonuses thrown in for good measure, Warioland isn't the most revolutionary game, but it does offer up a plot and keeps on the series. Visually and game play withstanding, you have all of the makings of a good adventure game that gives you good control and decent audio to boot. Consider this one of the more worthwhile purchases that you can get with your Gameboy Advance!

Overall: 8 out of 10

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