Virtual Boy Wario Land

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Virtual Boy Wario Land
Virtual Boy Wario Land Coverart.png
North American box art
Developer(s) Nintendo R&D1
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Director(s) Hiroji Kiyotake
Hirofumi Matsuoka
Producer(s) Gunpei Yokoi
Designer(s) Masahiro Mashimo
Tomoyoshi Yamane
Takehiko Hosokawa
Masani Ueda
Takashi Ono
Composer(s) Kazumi Totaka
Series Wario Land
Platform(s) Virtual Boy
Release
  • NA: November 27, 1995
  • JP: December 1, 1995
Genre(s) Platformer
Mode(s) Single-player

Virtual Boy Wario Land (Japanese: バーチャルボーイワリオランド アワゾンの秘宝, Hepburn: Bācharu Bōi Wario Rando: Awazon no Hihō) is a platforming video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Virtual Boy game system in 1995. It stars Wario in a platforming adventure quite similar to most of his other starring roles.

Gameplay[edit]

Gameplay of Virtual Boy Wario Land.

Virtual Boy Wario Land for the Virtual Boy is very similar to other Wario platforming games. Similarly to the original Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3, Wario can collect different hats to give himself new abilities. The Dragon Hat allows Wario to use a flamethrower against his enemies, but must recharge (he also cannot barge). The Bull Helmet makes his barge attack faster and a lot more powerful along with the ability to do a ground pound, which can be used to crush his enemies and break blocks below. The Eagle Hat allows Wario to fly as well as barge while in mid-air. By combining the Eagle Hat with the Dragon Hat, Wario earns the King Dragon Hat with the powers of all three caps (except barging). In each stage, Wario must collect treasure and find a key to unlock the elevator to the next stage. Also, as in other Wario games, the player has an opportunity to find different treasures hidden around the stages to increase his or her overall score. There are also a few mini-games located between stages, in which Wario can gamble with the loot he has collected so far.

The developers of the game tried to incorporate the technology of the Virtual Boy into it. For example, many stages have three dimensional areas in their backgrounds, accessible by Wario by using special blocks. Another example is in boss fights, where attacks sometimes appear move closer to the screen, stopping inches from the player's eyes.

Development[edit]

Virtual Boy Wario Land was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo. The game was originally named Wario Cruise, appearing with the name on the Virtual Boy system's box and in a Nintendo Power magazine.[1] Like all other Virtual Boy games, Virtual Boy Wario Land uses a red-and-black color scheme and uses parallax; an optical trick that is used to simulate a 3D effect.[2]

Reception[edit]

Upon release, the game received mixed reviews. A reviewer for Next Generation deemed it "innocuous enough." He said that while the game would appeal to hardcore Mario fans, it offers no significant advancements over the old Mario platform jumping games, since the different player character and 3D mechanics have no real impact on the gameplay. He scored it two out of five stars.[3] Los Angeles Times's Aaron Curtiss enjoyed the game, but felt that the red-and-black visuals were not ideal.[4] Rocky Mountain News's Joel Easley praised its 3D visuals and felt that they demonstrated the Virtual Boy's possibilities.[5] GamePro praised it for its sound effects and character sprite quality, calling it the best of the platform.[6]

Retrospective criticism for Virtual Boy Wario Land has been more universally favorable. It has been named as one of the best games on the Virtual Boy by Nintendo Power, GamesRadar, and Retronauts.[7][8][9] An editor for the N64 Magazine commented that it was an example of Nintendo's excellence and that it should have sold the Virtual Boy "by the million."[10] IGN's Craig Harris credited this game for bringing the Wario Land series to fruition and suggested that it should be remade for the Nintendo 3DS.[11] Mikel Reparaz of GamesRadar considered it one of the console's best and a "legitimately awesome platformer", but suggested that it was so involved that being "on a system completely unsuited to long bouts of play" was "unfortunate."[12] Play Magazine's Dave Halverson commented that he returned to play Virtual Boy Wario Land often. He praised its background music and felt that it never got old.[13] Tim Stevens for Engadget called it the Virtual Boy's "premiere title" and considered it a "more aggro version of your average side-scroller platformer."[14] Dave Frear for Nintendo Life felt that some Virtual Boy games got undue attention due to the small library, but that Virtual Boy Wario Land was legitimately good. His only major issue with the game was its length, but felt that it had good replay value.[15] Writers for ABC Good Game claimed that the visuals failed to take advantage of the console's features despite being the console's best game.[2] Retrogamer's Damien McFarren felt that while it played like a traditional platformer, the 3D effects made the gameplay feel unique.[16] GameZone felt that the cavernous setting helped the Virtual Boy emphasize subtle details in the visuals, and considered the game good enough that people should own a Virtual Boy for this game by itself.[17] 1UP.com's Neal Ronaghan felt that it was a quality game that helped show off what a more traditional game can do with 3D.[18]

The ability for Wario to go into and out of the background was an inspiration for multiple developers. Retro Studios studied this game's mechanic during the development of the 2010 Wii game Donkey Kong Country Returns, while Mutant Mudds developer Jools Watsham added the mechanic in because he enjoyed Virtual Boy Wario Land. Watsham felt that the game did not go far enough with its 3D, and tried to push it further.[19][20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Staff (September 1995). "Release Forecast". Nintendo Power (76): 113. 
  2. ^ a b "Backwards Compatible: The Virtual Boy". ABC Good Game. 2009-06-01. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  3. ^ "Wario Land". Next Generation. No. 19. Imagine Media. July 1996. p. 83. 
  4. ^ Curtiss, Aaron (1996-02-08). "VALLEY WEEKEND; Wario Good for a Hoot and a Headache; The Virtual Boy adventure has some fun features, but the 3-D, red and black display can be a pain". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  5. ^ Easley, Joel (1996-03-01). "Book a Trip to 'Wario Land'". Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  6. ^ "ProReview Portable Systems". GamePro. March 1996. p. 69. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  7. ^ "Nintendo Power - The 20th Anniversary Issue!". Nintendo Power. 231 (231). San Francisco, California: Future US. August 2008: 72. 
  8. ^ "8-Bit Cafe: Born on Game Boy". 1UP.com. 2009-05-19. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  9. ^ "The 10 worst consoles ever". GamesRadar. 2008-02-23. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  10. ^ "Wario Land (Virtual Boy)". N64 Magazine. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  11. ^ Harris, Craig (2010-07-15). "Legacy Games for Nintendo 3DS". IGN. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  12. ^ Reparaz, Mikel (2011-03-21). "The 5 best Virtual Boy games". GamesRadar. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  13. ^ "Wario Land". Play. May 2005. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  14. ^ Stevens, Tim (2011-03-21). "Nintendo Virtual Boy review". Engadget. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  15. ^ Frear, Dave (2009-05-05). "Virtual Boy Wario Land Review". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  16. ^ "Retroinspection Virtual Boy". Retro Gamer (64). p. 59. Retrieved 2010-10-23. 
  17. ^ kombo. "The Chronicles of Wario: A Retrospect". GameZone. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  18. ^ Ronaghan, Neal. "A Virtual Boy Retrospective". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  19. ^ "GDC: 10 Things You Didn't Know About Donkey Kong Country Returns and Retro Studios". IGN. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 
  20. ^ Dillard, Corbie (2012-01-06). "Interview: Mutant Mudds Reader Questions". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 2015-04-13. 

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