Wario Land 3

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Suits
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Wario Land 3

Post by Suits » May 11th, 2019, 9:50 am

Hardly fresh off the back of - but since I played, 100%’d and put some thoughts down about Wario Land 2, I’ve done the same with the follow up game, appropriately named - Wario Land 3.

So, after the previous games adventures in retrieving your fortune from sassy Captain Syrup, you are flying around when your plane suddenly crashes and you become stranded in a mysterious forest. Upon some exploration Wario is captured by a mystery figure and transported to a different world.

You are tasked with collecting 5 musical instruments and upon safe return of these, you are promised to be returned to your world.


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Also, remember booklets, remember the thought, art and love that went into these, check this out…….


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This was a Gameboy Color game. Playing this on a GameBoy Color is the intended method obviously, although I’d suggest playing it on the GameBoy Advance, preferable on a SP so that you can actually see what you are doing with the built in illumination.

If you don’t have a cart and prefer the digital approach with the obvious benefits that that brings, it’s available on the 3DS eShop for about the cost of a coffee and a chocolate tiffin.

I played on a GBA AGS-101 console, which for me, is the best way to play this on original hardware.


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The game uses a battery back-up save system, which is great. It also, lets you save mid-level, effectively a mini sort of save state – although it’s hardly necessary as you don’t have any lives or any serious risk of losing anything other than a fiddley bit of platforming progress.

But it does mean you can quickly click save and close down your GameBoy should your destination or mother be beckoning.

I primarily played on the train, on the way into London, which would garnish me with about half an hour each morning and evening until I reached Liverpool Street or Chelmsford.

The game performs well, with the extra grunt that the GBC offered the difference in performance is clear - in what isn’t really too much of a step up in terms of performance hunger that the game has over its previous title.

The extra frames of animation and individual pixilation that the extra colour pallet brings, give Wario much more of his now distinguishable character. The puffs of ‘wind’ as he scales ladders and his paddling animation make me chuckle.

The added colour is fine but to be honest, I don’t feel it’s vivid enough to be a real game changer, instead it brings a level of detail to the sprites now that was hard to get across in the previous game’s artwork.


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WL3 is different to WL2 and more similar to the open world map approach of the first entry. The linear progress has been shelved, for a more traditional Mario Overworld Map style – which I prefer. I think it gives a better sense of progress and storytelling.

By pressing the select button on the map screen, it slightly drops the screen and reveals a fast travel system to get around the map easier as that can be a pain with the vast amount back-tracking involved. There’s also a Treasure list, which comes in handy as a percentage completed figure.

You begin the game like a Metroid game, you find yourself crashed in the woods and have seemingly forgotten all of the actions you had been using the day prior. Things like bum stomp, being able to pick up enemies, super jump have all been stripped away from you and all you are left with is the basic shoulder charge.

Then, as you progress through the game you re-learn you powers which allow you to reach to differing areas of the levels.

The enemy powerups remain. Certain enemies once they land an attack will change your appearance and characteristics, which can be used to over come obstacles and clear paths. This was in the previous game, where if you get hit by an angry bumble bee you will inflate float upwards, or if you get hit by a flame you will frantically sprit off in the direction you are facing then after a short period time be able to burn away certain blocks that are vulnerable to fire.

This is a welcome return and adds a unique flavour to the puzzle solving.

The game world is divided up, or referred to rather as parts of the compass, N, S, E & W. With what also seems to be some sort of night day cycle reflecting what stage of the overworld you are in.


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These are then numbered accordingly as you progress through that area, so N1, E4 etc….. I didn’t realise this until well into the game and often took a moment to try and understand what it all meant.

The world, in a similar way to the first Wario game (SML3) changes as you progress through it. This time it’s lent into much more than the first game, with landscapes on the overworld drastically changing and then sometimes making entire levels shift their layout. It’s pretty cool.

The day/night cycle also means that levels will be different, generally at night all the enemies are asleep. Later in the game, you find a treasure that allows you to change the time of day on the world map, allowing the collection of treasures you’ve missed to be less laborious.

Each area has four individually coloured chests hidden within it, grey, red, green and blue.

These are then opened via finding the corresponding keys hidden within that level.


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Very fun. This style of gameplay really leans into my personal taste and I find this style of gameplay extremely rewarding.

The actual levels themselves are best explained as mini Metroid-Vainia style areas, each requiring their own unique ability to progress past obstacles, creatures and unclock the next chest.

The chests themselves contain items, like mirrors, lamps, watches and other Wario nonsense that he appears to covert and you seemingly go about collecting up this loot.

Then, at what appears to be random intervals, two items will combine to affect the landscape and uncover more area levels or alter existing levels in a way that present different routes or make what were inaccessible keys and chests now accessible.

It’s fun and adds a large level of unpredictability to the game’s progression. Early on it can be a bit jarring and muddled as to a point you are constantly wondering what on earth is going on but once you get its angle it’s a welcome evolution of the game.

The challenge primarily comes from locating the chests, finding the keys, unlocking powers and beating 5 bosses to collect a set of musical instruments.

The bosses are fun and unique. There’s even a returning boss from the second game in the Factory Zone, who you have to beat at a game of basketball – this time around is similarly sport themed and again, did make me laugh.

The final boss is brilliant, his design is cool and if you’re never going to play this game I’d suggest looking him up as he’s a great piece design and pixel art.

Like the previous game you have no lives, no heath and the coins you collect are what are used to clear mini games within levels that will clear a path forward.

Also hidden within the levels are a number of giant golden coins.

The platforming can be challenging, often requiring a sequence of jumps, or combination of power ups and jumps to clear a path forward.

Interestingly, the pause screen holds an option to view a move list, that also shows you the associated action and uses of said skill. It’s very helpful, as players who are not perhaps familiar with the series and how it has introduced moves and skills over the games can instantly be brought up to speed. Making this a great jumping in point to Wario’s unique and satisfying skill set.


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The puzzles are often very simple but it’s the level of joy that solving them brings with the instant wonder of whether it’s going to cause another landscape shift or unlock a new part of the world.

The ability to move freely between different levels, in different areas, all with objectives that are clear but not yet accessible to the player - can be overwhelming.

To add some sort of guidance to the to what otherwise may seem like a bit of a wild goose chase, with no obvious set path forward, there is a temple that will offer some direction l help in terms what level to explore to progress the story. This is as crude and simple as saying – “Go to the lost woods” and I wonder if this was added after game to add some direction.

There is an amount of annoyance with the AI sometimes and the unpredictability of some of the bosses which can become tiresome but after all, all this does is set up the euphoria of victory upon beating it. Something which tastes so much sweeter on older games from a more punishing/unfair period.


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Most levels have an odd little mini game in them, that involve kicking a creature into a cup, similar to golf. It’s rather misplaced I feel and could have been something better or left out entirely.

You see the coins you collect throughout the game are used to buy credits for this mini game, but never do you feel as if you’ll be short of coins.

Once you’ve beaten the game a block within the level (which is quite literally an empty rectangle with “beat mini game to clear” typed onto it) will raise up to clear a path forward.

The progression of the Wario games so far seem to experiment with different ideas, this one, begins to merge the ideas together into something that is becoming more unique with its own identity.

Towards the end of this, I felt like I wanted to ramp up the pace in terms of getting the last pieces of the musical puzzle and started playing it of an evening.

I’ve beaten the game and am somewhat tempted to go back and collect all the necessary treasures. Once I’d stumbled into the final boss and defeated him, I was more than tempted, and even began going back and mopping up the remain treasures, but I think I’ll leave it this time.

I did this with the second game, although due to the structure and the way that that game was built there was so much more to see by doing so.

The way that Wario Land 3 is built doesn’t offer that same experience, other than a few hidden rooms that I’ve perhaps not seen yet.

I also get the feeling that going back in and really grinding out the final pieces of treasure may somewhat sour my overall experience with the game.

Something I tried last year with God of War was that once I’d naturally beaten the game and followed my nose so to speak, I stopped playing it. I didn’t want to totally rinse the game in fear of seeing the seams of the world or become too frustrated with certain aspects that are associated with 100%’ing a game.

I’d played the game, consumed the best bits and didn’t feel need to suck the bones dry. Wario Land 3 feels the same in that sense.

So with that in mind, I’m going to put Wario Land 3 down with the lasting feeling that I enjoyed it very much.

It’s also fascinating to see how the games are developing as the hardware improves. The next game in the series I’m expecting big changes, especially visually as Wario Land 4 is on the beloved GameBoy Advance. More sprites, more buttons, a different aspect ratio – this will be interesting !

So, has anyone else played Wario Land 3 ???


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KSubzero1000
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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by KSubzero1000 » May 11th, 2019, 10:07 am

Haven't played the game (that I remember, at least!), but great thread as usual. :)

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Stanshall
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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Stanshall » May 11th, 2019, 2:02 pm

I feel like I got ASMR just from reading that post. Something very warm and chilled about the tone. Lovely stuff. I've never played any Wario Land games, but this gives me a great sense of what they're all about.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Alex79uk » May 11th, 2019, 4:09 pm

Great post! Although it's really made me wish GB games were available on the eshop. And SNES. And GBA.

I hope Nintendo get a move on with adding more consoles to the Online collection!

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Magical_Isopod » May 11th, 2019, 4:15 pm

If you haven't played it, I really recommend the Virtual Boy Wario game. I watched a Let's Play on a greyscale emulator, and it's completely playable in 2D - and it looks fun as hell. I'm REALLY hit-and-miss when it comes to Nintendo games, but this one seems like a big winner.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Suits » May 12th, 2019, 7:26 am

Cheers lads.

I booted up, just to see the difference, Wario Land 4 to the other previous entries and it's vast, it's so vivid and bursting with sprites due to the larger aspect ratio and resolution, it's even got a cool Japanese vocals over some of the BGM's !!

I've quickly found myself a few hours in but I think I'm going to give it a while before I get back into another one. I fear it's too easy to just start going through the motions as it were.

I might play some Zero Mission in between.

Yeah, I've played Wario Land on the Virtual Boy, only the first level though and it's exactly what you'd expect. I'm really keen to play it further and I'm trying to get myself one of the Furrtek RGB conversion kits for my Virtual Boy but the lad doesn't make them anymore so it's tricky to get hold of.
Alex79uk wrote:
May 11th, 2019, 4:09 pm
Although it's really made me wish GB games were available on the eshop. And SNES. And GBA.
There's plenty still available on the eShop on the 3DS Alex, in fact, there's more that you'd expect of GB and GBA games - well worth a few quid and look at.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Alex79uk » May 12th, 2019, 7:31 am

Yeah I don't have a 3DS though :)

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Suits
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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Suits » May 12th, 2019, 7:40 am

Alex79uk wrote:
May 12th, 2019, 7:31 am
Yeah I don't have a 3DS though :)
I see your predicament then :lol: .

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Magical_Isopod » May 12th, 2019, 8:51 pm

Wouldn't it be neat if Nintendo's Virtual Console purchases actually transferred between consoles and buying games didn't require a fucking spreadsheet?

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Michiel K » May 13th, 2019, 8:20 pm

Another joy to read and look at.

I remember a friend bringing his Game Boy Color when he visited me in Nepal, with this game on it, and we were mightily impressed with how it looked and played. Here's a pic of 2000 Michiel playing the game on said GBC on a rooftop restaurant in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, with my then-future wife, having a shared laugh at the funny animations of the main character.

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I've got the game myself now, downloaded on 3DS.

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Suits
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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Suits » May 14th, 2019, 8:35 am

Man, that’s an awesome photo, you both look so natural and joyful. Old photos are the best at capturing moments like that.

If you ever pick up Wario Land 3 again, I’d love to know what you think of it and it’s odd little bits and pieces.

I’ve left my piece as spoiler free as I could while still trying to get across my point, so there’s loads of cool little things to laugh at in that game.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Stanshall » May 14th, 2019, 9:44 am

That's a lovely photo. A heartwarming thread.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by clippa » May 14th, 2019, 3:13 pm

Is this the one where you fall in a pile of broken tellies at the start?
I quite like the wario games, I remember not being sure at first, they're more "lite puzzle" focused aren't they? I can remember some really fun moments where you had to shoulder barge your way across entire levels. Yeah, they're good, due a new one, I'd say.

I can remember getting this horrible panicky feeling when I couldn't understand something in maths class when I was dead little and I sometimes get that playing puzzle games so I effed them off, I just decided I don't need them in my life. Anything where you've got to think too much. I hate getting stuck, but I think I've missed out on playing games like this because of it. Puzzle really isn't the right word, is it? It's more like a common sense gear check, I'm fine with those.

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Re: Wario Land 3

Post by Suits » May 15th, 2019, 4:24 pm

clippa wrote:
May 14th, 2019, 3:13 pm
Is this the one where you fall in a pile of broken tellies at the start?
I quite like the wario games, I remember not being sure at first, they're more "lite puzzle" focused aren't they? I can remember some really fun moments where you had to shoulder barge your way across entire levels. Yeah, they're good, due a new one, I'd say.
Errmmm, no, not that I remember - although I may be mis-remembering the intro I suppose.

I've been working my through the Wario Land games, as I adore the first two Mario Land games but similar to you I stopped at Wario Land as it wasn't what I was expecting after Six Golden Coins. The stubbornness of youth hey.

I started with Wario Land, then went onto 2 and as above just finished 3.

I've also had a quick peak 4 on the GBA - which is a massive step forward in terms of graphical work and sound, I'm yet to play anything other than the first few levels though.

I don't quite remember broken tellies, or shoulder charging through entire levels, perhaps they are in 4, or one of the later platform games like World, Master of Disguise, or Shake Dimension.

Or perhaps it's from a Wario Ware game.

But yes, they are lite puzzle factor games, I liken them to the sort of pace of a Lost Vikings game which is nice in handheld form, while they are hardly that taxing, the sense of joy in reward for completing the simple tasks lovely.

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