It's Wario's Land: We All Just Live In It.
One of the more favorite characters in the Mario universe is Wario. He wasn't always so loved. A series of handheld titles under the Wario Land moniker helped bolster his reputation among gamers. The games held their own compared to other Nintendo platformers, sure, but they also distanced themselves from the formula Mario and friends built, especially in later Wario Land titles. Wario was not content enough with stealing Mario's castle in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. No, no. He upped and took the entire Super Mario Land series from the heroic plumber! Nevertheless, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 remains one of the better Game Boy titles on the platform. Its treasure-hunting, booty-plundering brilliance remains golden to this day.
Super Mario Land 3 is a typical 2D platformer. There are seven areas in total of Wario Land's Kitchen Island, one of which is hidden. Most levels are straightforward left-to-right affairs while some are vertical in appearance and design. The design of each level creates a terrific sense of variety, and not just because each area has its own trope. For instance, Parsley Woods is a mainly forested set of levels, but at the same time there are non-trope related train levels to enjoy and endure. Meanwhile, Stove Canyon has a course where the majority of the time Wario is running from a wall of fast-moving fire. Levels are relatively short. The longest ones take about five minutes to go through, but even those have checkpoint totems (turned on by Wario by spending a specific amount of coins) in a room mid-level.
|The time limits of each course are very generous.|
|A face only a mother could love.|
Bashing baddies and conquering Kitchen Island is only half of the entertainment found in Wario Land. The other half comes from collecting coins and treasure. There are fifteen treasures in the forty courses (the levels of the game) of Kitchen Island. Each is hidden behind a locked skull door that Wario needs to retrieve the key of. Some of these are placed in exceptionally devious locations. I'm alluding to ones where you have to walk through an invisible wall to reach them. Pretty sneaky, sis. After beating the final boss of the game in Syrup Castle, the final area of Kitchen Island, the game tallies up the total of the treasures and tally of coins that you possess. Depending on how much you have acquired (up to 99,999), Wario will receive a different home. From owning a log cabin to having his own face on a moon, Wario's work will most definitely not be for naught.
|Competent platforming is key in Wario Land.|
|Make your opposition see stars.|
|This level is a series of slow-moving carts.|
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 was the start of something splendid. It turned Wario from villain to antihero, and launched a series of games with a cult following. Wario Land may never be as popular or have as many games developed for it than the Mario franchise, but it is yet another 2D platforming franchise from Nintendo that gamers around the world have accepted with open arms. The length of the game might bother some players who are used to 10+ hour adventures, but for the small asking price on the Nintendo eShop, Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 is one treasure certainly worth taking.
[SuperPhillip Says: 8.75/10]