Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
6

Gaming Blog

Retro Corner: 'Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3'

By
First Released: Game Boy (1993)
Now Available On: 3DS (Virtual Console)

Nintendo has long held a reputation as a purveyor of family-friendly software. The majority of its games call upon the player to rescue a princess or save the world, but there is one title in its library that wasn't so wholesome.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 on Game Boy was a game based on greed. Its ultimate goal was to get rich for nothing other than materialistic purposes, but what do you expect from a story where a dastardly villain takes centre stage?

For anyone not well versed in their Nintendo lore, Wario made his debut on Nintendo's handheld console in 1992, serving as the antagonist in Super Mario Land 2: Six Golden Coins. Looking like Mario might if he was possessed by the demon from The Exorcist, Wario was a far cry from your clean-cut hero, yet this was entirely appropriate given the themes on display.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

© Nintendo

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

© Nintendo



Wario Land had numerous things in common with the Super Mario Land games. For starters, it was a 2D platformer with a similar overworld map layout to its predecessor. Some of the enemies wouldn't have looked out of place in Mario's rogues gallery, plus there were coins, pipes and blocks concealing power-ups.

That was were the similarities ended, as Wario Land turned other aspects of the Super Mario formula inside-out. The series hallmark of stomping enemies took a back seat here. While it was possible to defeat some foes this way, your primary attack was a powerful shoulder barge. Picking up enemies and hurling them at one another could be equally effective.

In what was also a departure from its Mario roots, coins were not used as a means of gaining extra lives. Instead they functioned as currency, to gamble away in bonus games and pay the toll required to exit levels. Wario could even fling coins to take out certain enemies. Stars served the same purpose as ever, granting you temporary invincibility, though there were other power-ups that were unique to the title.

Wario's core power-ups came in the shape of caps which granted him various special abilities. The Bull Cap made him stronger, the Jet Cap helped him fly, and the Dragon Cap spouted fire. All of these are similar abilities to those found in the Mario series, but with their own unique spin.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

© Nintendo

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

© Nintendo



Wario Land was memorable and quirky. The game took place against the bizarre backdrop of Kitchen Island, where every region is named after a utensil or type of food. From Rice Beach to Stove Canyon, it was one strange location after another. The boss battles also stood out. Captain Syrup and her Brown Sugar Pirates were deemed popular enough to appear in the inevitable sequels, and who can forget the encounter with that genie at the end of the game?

There were treasures hidden throughout Kitchen Island, and the amount of those you collected had a direct impact on the ending you saw when you finished the game. Several outcomes were possible, all of which saw Wario rewarded for his plundering with a house of varying splendour.

Wario Land was up there with the very best the Game Boy had to offer, providing a twisted take on the Mario blueprint. Like most Nintendo properties, it spawned a series that has spilled over into the current generation with titles such as Wario: Master of Disguise, and Wario Land: The Shake Dimension. The character has also featured in other popular Nintendo series such as Mario Kart and Smash Bros.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 touched down on the Nintendo 3DS via Virtual Console last month, and we'd certainly recommend checking it out, if only to see Nintendo straying from its platforming conventions.

Do you have any fond memories of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3? Write a comment below.

You May Like

Comments

Loading...