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Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 Now Available on Kindle, Discount Price Extended

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Get analytical

Late last year we told you about an eBook called Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4, which aims to take a thorough, academic approach to assess the popular Game Boy Advance title.

It's stated aim is to step beyond the normal boundaries of games criticism and to drill down into significant detail.

Author Daniel Johnson, in a radical departure from contemporary videogames discussion, examines Wario Land 4 in its totality—including mechanics, psychology, education, level design, and game feel—calling on evidence-based analysis to understand the player’s subjective reactions to videogames.

It's been available at a discount price of $4.99, a promotion originally due to expire at the end of the month for an updated price of $7.99. Daniel Johnson has been in touch to confirm that the eBook is now available on the Amazon Kindle store, and announced that it will now remain at $4.99 until 14th February. A purchase from the Amazon platform includes just the Kindle copy, but purchases through Stolen Projects are the same price and include the PDF and epub formats, as well as the Kindle (mobi) file. Unlike the Amazon purchases, those from the Stolen Projects link are also DRM (digital rights management) free.

We're planning to tackle this book and share some thoughts on it in the next couple of weeks; are you tempted to give it a try?

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User Comments (32)



DreamyViridi said:

If I could, I would've definitely given it a read. A book that focuses on one of my favourite childhood experiences? How can I say no?



Philip_J_Reed said:

Grabbing this tonight. I wasn't the biggest fan of the game, but a book like this is right up my alley. Very excited.



Gioku said:

This is one of the more bizarre video game related things I've ever seen... I like it!



Radbot42 said:

Why did this book even happen. It was a fun game, but is it really worth analyzing?



CanisWolfred said:

I know I've used the expression "I could write a book on this game..." - I never once thought to actually do it.



DerpSandwich said:

Still way too much money for something that's really just mildly amusing. If he wants to make any real money he should write a lot of them and make them a buck or two each.

I'm pretty surprised Nintendo hasn't come in and stopped this, by the way.



DerpSandwich said:

@Shadowflash Yes. When you're writing for an extremely small audience, you can't expect to shift a lot of copies at a high price; pricing low expands that audience. The ebook market is all about volume and competitive pricing.



10000mario said:

At first I thought nintendo put the game wario land 4 on kindle, I was like NINTENDO'S GOIN MOBILE! NOOOOO!
then I saw it was a book...



KeithTheGeek said:

@DerpSandwich Why would Nintendo bother stopping it? For one, Wario Land 4 isn't even available for sale right now, so no worries about any (however unlikely) brand damage occurring. Also, critical dissertations such as this one don't really infringe on copyright. It's all fair use, and it has to be that way for anyone to make a living off being a critic. Otherwise we wouldn't have film criticism and game reviews to look to.

Anyways, when this first came up, I was mildly interested. But $4.99 is a shockingly good price for this, and $7.99 wouldn't be that bad either, to be honest. I might have to catch this while it's still on sale. Should be an interesting read.



DerpSandwich said:

@KeithTheGeek Nintendo has just stopped some pretty regular stuff for dumb reasons before. Just surprising that they didn't do it this time.

I really don't see how that's a good price. I can buy a regular book by a real author for that price, or an MP3 album, or a game. It just seems like a lot for something that's normally offered online for free. It's a lot more substantial than usual, sure, but not by THAT much.

But I guess the real gauge of whether the price is good will be how many people actually buy it. If a lot of people do, then more power to the guy. Maybe most people won't agree with me.



ueI said:

Yes, I am tempted. I eagerly anticipate your review as I am not much of an ebook reader.



KeithTheGeek said:

Most stories you see about Nintendo shutting things down are related to Youtube. It's not necessarily because it's legal for them to do (although I believe it might be), but because of how Youtube's policies work. It's really easy for companies to send out copyright claims against channels and suffer no repercussions, aside from maybe bad PR, while the channel owners have to work hard to even get the claims removed- all the while this is hurting a proper source of income for some of these guys.

And I think the price is good for what it is. Sure, you can find some critical analysis online...but this is a full-length book, and $4.99 is a fairly good price for something that might be good to refer back to in the future. And I think it's a good idea to support these sorts of things, anyways, because game design as an art form is in its infancy...and you don't really see much, if at all, proper critical breakdown of games beyond the standard reviews and occasional retrospective. But that's just my take on it, at least.



ZurrrrBlattTron said:

Just got it about 30 minutes ago and was wondering if this would be up on Nintendo life from what I read so far it's really well written



Shadowflash said:

@DerpSandwich But writing a full length book takes a LOT of time and effort, so $5 is hardly overpriced. He put a lot of hard work into his book and I feel that he should at least get some reward out of it.



DerpSandwich said:

@Shadowflash I agree that it's a large undertaking to write a book. But a higher price does not equal a greater profit. A cheaper book sells more copies, potentially making more profit than a more expensive book, especially when you factor in the fact that more copies means more word of mouth, which leads to even more copies.

One of the biggest mistakes a writer can make is pricing their book at what they THINK it's value is, not realizing that a book is only worth as much as people are willing to pay for it. Even if you pour your entire life into a book, spend thousands of hours on it, make it the best thing in the world, it's not worth any amount if people don't buy it. You've got to factor in the size of your audience and their spending habits.

But don't mind me, I could go on and on about the ebook market. It's a subject of particular interest for me, so I'm likely to ramble, haha.



Kaze_Memaryu said:

If this piece of literature is sufficiently informative or entertaining, I might write and release "A critical Anlysis of 'A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4'". The next few days will tell...



MussakkuLaden said:

I'm not a big fan of the title, but for that low price – and because it includes a PDF too, which is of much more use to me – I just bought it on Stolen Projects. Waiting for the email to arrive...



Kid_A said:

Amazing. Wario Land 4 is one of my all time favorite games. Will definitely be looking into this.



Expa0 said:

Amazing game. Definetly on the top percentage of Nintendo made titles and by far the best platformer by them.



SquirrelNuts said:

I picked this up yesterday and got through the preface, introduction, and two chapters. Being a 3DS ambassador is really paying off on this one. The authors choice to write a detailed analysis is admittedly tongue in cheek, and a bit of a middle finger (or your' countries equivalent hand gesture) to game criticism. I really like his writing style, and the whole idea is so far well executed. I am going to be a lot more critical of game reviews from here on out.



WaveGhoul said:


Shake it! and Wario Land 1 are the cream of the crop imo. 4 i guess you could say is the beginners entry to the new formala thatWario took on with WL2. Except, WL4 is completely watered & stripped down with bare bones stage design, the difficulty is almost non existent and i found the soundtrack rather unfitting & annoying at times.

However, The visuals(transitioning from Wario Land 1,2 & 3's '8' bit to WL4's 16 bit is a real treat!), Bat sh** insane memorable bosses which are the greatest the franchise has ever seen and the super tight controls I'd say were the positives.

Overall, it's still better than Wario Land 3 which is easily one of the worst Nintendo sequels i've ever played! That one was pure torture to the senses.

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