The sequel to the successful Warioland was released on the Gameboy in March 1998. On its initial release the game was well received and praised for some inventive gameplay elements which led to a Gameboy Colour version being released 12 months later.
23rd January 2014 KingofMetal79,
Early one morning Wario's nemesis Captain Syrup, along with a few of her soldiers, the Pirate Gooms, sneak into Wario's Castle and steal his precious treasure. After Wario wakes up and figures out what's happened, he gives chase across the surrounding lands.
Similar to Super Mario Bros, the game is a platformer where the aim is to find the exit to the level. Unlike the previous game in the series, Wario does not collect power ups via hats but can be inflicated with various ailments (i.e You become 'Puffy Wario' when you are stung by a bee. This results in you inflating and floating up the screen out of control. However this does mean you may be able to access some addiional platforms. Eating pies turns you into 'Fat Wario' that makes you move slower but you are heavier and can destroy some blocks or when you are set on fire you become 'Hot Wario' which allows you to burn through certain walls) that impedes his progression through the level.
The Mario similarities continue with there being a huge focus on collecting coins. However, unlike Mario, as you cannot be killed in Warioland 2 (more on this later) the mechanic of collecting coins to exchange for additional lives is redundent. Therefore, at the end of each level the player is presented with a mini game where the player must guess the number that is hidden behind a series of panels. The player, for a cost of 50 coins, can remove randomly selected tiles and make a guess at which number is being consealed. Therefore the more coins you collectthe more guesses you can make. If the player is correct then a piece of a puzzle is unlocked with the goal to unlock the all the pieces of the puzzle/picture top reveal the location of the pirate treasure.
As mentioned previously the game also introduces several original gameplay mechanics that were not commonplace in platformers at the time such as puzzle solving and the requirement of the player to revisit sections of levels following the completion of certain tasks. Furthermore, it came apparent once I finished the game that there were many worlds/levels still left undiscovered (in fact 50% of them were apparently untouched during my play through). The game employs a multi route branching method and throughout the levels, the player can discover many secret exits which lead to five additional worlds and potentially five different endings. Once you complete the game you can revisit any of these levels and attempt to reach 100% completion!
Not only is the game satisfyingly different and poses a nice challenge it has a lovely look and charm to it,the sprites are nice and large and full of character.
The music has some recurring motives and riffs that are relatively catchy. However, the music lacks the variety of its more famous predecessor (Super Mario Bros) and does become repetitive. Its a shame that the music is not a tad more engaging or varied as it is could be seen as the one weak link in what is a very good and entertaining game.
Warioland 2 is unique in that the player cannot die. If the player touches and enemy he is pushed back and his or her coin total is reduced. Therefore the incentive to the player to avoid any peril is not the risk of death and returning to the last check point, but the loss of coins and ultimately not having enough to play the end of level mini games. Overall the game is not a massive challenge in terms of precision placement and timing a la Mario and Donkey Kong Country and therefore in turn you won't want to pull your hair out. That said you will have to use your brain a bit more if you are to complete some of the little puzzles and progress through the levels.
Following the introduction of the character of Wario in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Nintendo went onto publish 8 Warioland titles - Warioland: Super Mario Land 3, Virtual Boy Wario Land, Warioland 2, 3 and 4 (GBA), Wario World (GC), Wario: Master of Disguise (DS) and most recently Warioland: Shake It! which was released on the Wii in 2008, all of which scored well with reviewers. On the back of these titles Wario became one of the most loved figures within an already rich roster of Nintendo heroes and villians, so much so that he would appear in large titles such as Super Smash Bros, MarioKart and the legendary, mini game spinoff, Wario Ware. However if it wasn't for strength and quality of the initial titles, the character and franchise may not have survived or be around today.