Wario Land: The Shake Dimension

Well, it came out today and after some shouting at Zavvi and running around town by my other half, I finally had Wario Land to share my sick day with. I must confess that thus far I haven’t trialed the game in any exceptional depth as extended periods of sitting in an upright position are today causing my digestive regions to rebel and the loud birds and spiders in my head to run about.

So, I have just completed the first of five areas and just done the first boss battle.

First off, Wario Land (for Wii and only Wii of course) is beautiful:

It looks like a hand-drawn cartoon which you can play; more games should look like this. And its a 2-D platformer! Thank the lord I was beginning to think they’d all gone for good. This just shows that it is still a relevant and exciting style of game in a world full of World War 2 sims and fancy pants graphics all striving to make real life look just that little bit less real.

In classic Ninty-of-late-style many of the moves that Wario can carry out are made by waggling, tilting and as the name might suggest, shaking the wii-mote. My favourite move so far involves violently slamming the wii-mote through the air, making Wario pound the ground with his fist causing pretty much everything on-screen to shake about.

Sounds good right? There are some buts though.

I like my games to have a good back-story so I can really get involved. Also, it tends to be your first impression of a game, so it really should be good. Wario Land Shake doesn’t so much tell a story as shove a load of images and super fast subtitles your way hoping that you’ll get some sort of meaning out of them. I’m a fast reader and I found that by the time I had read the caption, looked at the image and generally enjoyed the scene, something else entirely had happened. Not one for children methinks. Not that they’ll miss anything though. As far as I can gather a slutty pirate asks Wario to get inside her big telescope (don’t they all) and then he gets transported inside a big gold globe. Then some things happen, and you’ve got to rescue some really annoying creatures called Merlees.

I’ve given up with following the story and have decided to just enjoy the game from what I’m getting from it there and then. And it is fun. The first boss fight is just stunningly gorgeous and little touches like the Uni-Bucket (you’ll see!) is very fun.

I’m not in love yet though. There is only room to improve, and this is a very good game by normal standards, but this is Nintendo we’re talking about and I expect great things. Every time.

So, stay tuned as I complete the rest of it and I’m sure Mr Blackett will let you all know what he thinks.

Bottom line: Recommended but don’t expect Super Mario Galaxy greatness.

(Thanks to NWiiZone for the images)

EDIT: The creatures we’re looking to save are called Merflee, not Merlee as I originally said. Merlee is from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Its all far too close for me in my state.

About the Author


Claire is a twenty-something year old lady writer and marketing whiz. She is yet to find her proper vocation in life and every day brings a new idea. Today? Firewoman. Tomorrow? Who knows. Claire LOVES Doctor Who, Buffy and novels and dislikes untidiness and un-sanded wood. Stalk her on Twitter @Blakeborough or email [email protected].

2 Responses to “ Wario Land: The Shake Dimension ”

  1. I love it!

    With out the absolutely stunning animation however I think this would be just an average game.

    But I dont care its a treat to play just to watch Wario crawl in and out of warp pipes that his cousing normally slides in and out of with the greatest of ease, or slide down slopes and the tons of little touches which give this game so much character.

    You were right about the first boss battle, now I really want Sega to see this and realise that maybe its a 2D kick in the ass that Sonic needs to make him hip to the groove again.

  2. Making wario do a summersault around a pole and land like a gymnast is probably one of my favourite game moments ever.

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