Wario Land for the Game Boy (and now for the 3DS Virtual Console) was unsurpassable platforming bliss. This we know to be a fact.
So the idea that this perfection could be improved on is surely fanciful. And yet here we are, watching Wario Land II trample all over its predecessor.
If you didn't play Wario Land II the first time around, this is a great opportunity to fill in the blanks in your retro gaming knowledge. It's deep, it's edgy, and it's just that little bit cheeky.Treasure this
Baddies have infiltrated Wario's mansion, stolen his gold, and flooded his basement, leaving him no recourse but to set off after them, battling his way through a variety of different environments.
Wario is completely invincible and can smash through enemies and obstacles easily. Rather than focusing on energy and lives, the game revolves around collecting treasure and using that to unlock special items at the end of each level.
From the starts it's obvious that there's far more to Wario Land II than simple platforming. You can barge into certain walls to find heaps of coins hidden behind them. You can take out enemies an then throw them through special barriers to unlock new areas. You can discover secret paths to new levels that are separate from the main game.
Wario Land II is so deep that you'll need to play it through several times to experience everything it has to offer. From secret game endings to treasure collecting to an entire secret world, this is the kind of title that you could play for an entire long-haul flight.This means War
None of this even takes into account the core gameplay mechanics - Wario's 'special powers'.
Get hit by a fire-breathing enemy and Wario will rush around on fire, destroying any flammable surfaces in the process. Get squashed by a crusher and - rather than splat to death - Wario will turn into a pancake and slide under low obstacles.
This is all accomplished through hilarious animations and sound effects. Wario Land II is humourous throughout, especially when it comes to the cut-scenes, which are funny despite lacking any dialogue whatsoever.
The game can be a little fiddly at times - especially when you're dealing with later enemies - but it's still well worth blasting your way through. One of the best Game Boy games of the '90s is now one of the best Virtual Console games for your Nintendo 3DS.