(Wii)

Game Review

Wario Land: Shake It! Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stuart Reddick

Shake, shake, shake!

Over the past decade, Wario’s platforming adventures have been drastically reduced in order to make way for his journey into the party genre with the much-loved WarioWare franchise. Though many enjoyed these party games, they never came close to achieving the same feeling created by the Wario platform games. When Wario Land: Shake It! was announced, many gamers grew ecstatic at the thought of Wario returning to his home turf. Unlike his last platforming adventure on a console (the Treasure-coded GameCube outing Wario World), Wario Land: Shake It! brings the series back to 2D. Was that change worth the risk?

On display at a museum is an ancient globe, housing another world called Yuretopia. The once peaceful land was invaded by the greedy Shake King. The queen of the Yuretopia, Queen Merelda, is imprisoned and so are her subjects. To top it all off, the Shake King steals their valued treasure: the Bottomless Coin Sack.

In the ‘real’ world, pirate Captain Syrup observes the crisis and sends everyone’s favorite antagonist, Wario, to the ancient globe. Wario ventures to Yuretopia to restore peace but fails to see how he is benefitting from all this and refuses to save Yuretopia. But then he finds out about the Bottomless Coin Sack, changing his mind in a heartbeat.

The world of Yuretopia is split into five continents, each consisting of four standard stages, two hidden stages, and a boss battle. Shake It! doesn’t allow you to just progress from world to world as you please, you have to earn it. After successfully clearing each level and defeating the world’s boss, Wario must purchase an area map to progress to the next level. If you don’t have enough coins to buy it, you will have to return and gather some more.

Judging from Wario’s size, one could easily assume that he isn’t very fast and can’t jump very high. Ironically, Wario actually is a fast runner and he can jump fairly high. In Shake It!, the main goal of each level is to make your way to the end and rescue a pixy-like being and then dash back to the beginning before the timer runs out. You may not always be taking the same route back but you will always find yourself dashing back at high speeds.

The best way to progress through the game is to acquire as much treasure and coins as possible. This is generally done by finding coins scattered throughout the game, shaking sacks to find coins, and by ramming into treasure chests to acquire treasure. Each level has three treasure chests to locate, and for a heads-up, the chests aren’t always the most evident to locate and to reach.

Shake It! is played in a similar fashion to Super Paper Mario: turn the Wii Remote on its side and press 2 to jump and 1 to perform a dash attack. By shaking the Wii Remote, players can execute the Earthshake Punch and shake objects and enemies. While attached to a bar, a quick shake of the Wii Remote will build power so that Wario can jump to higher areas.

The great thing about Shake It! is that there is just enough shake to keep the game feel balanced. Some players may feel that they sometimes have to shake the Wii Remote too often but the majority of the game feels rather balanced.

Controlling Wario isn’t the only thing that the game does a good job of executing. Some of the levels in the game put Wario in the cockpit of a submarine, requiring him to get from point A to point B. Along the way though, there is treasure to be found, coins to be collected, and enemies waiting to be shot down. Controlling the submarine, just like controlling any other vehicle in Shake It!, is simple – tilt the Wii Remote to steer and click 2 to fire torpedoes.

Perhaps the best part about Shake It! is the variety in levels. One minute you are in the depths of the water shooting down enemy submarines and the next you are admiring the sights in a sky palace. Each level has its own unique feel, and accompanying that are unique twists that each level boasts. One level for instance might put a strong emphasis on swinging on bars, whereas another focuses on controlling a particular type of vehicle.

Speaking of the Shake Dimension, Shake It! is one of the best looking games on Nintendo’s Wii, period. Everything in the game is hand-drawn, right down to the backdrops. No polygons are to be found in Shake It!. If you have been a gamer since the NES or SNES was released and still have a strong passion for high-quality 2D gaming, Shake It! will be right up your alley.

That, however, doesn’t mean that the game deserves a perfect score in the graphics department. For those widescreen users, you will be pretty disappointed to hear that Shake It! only supports 4:3. Instead widescreen users will be greeted by a nice border on the outside of the screen.

The game’s upbeat, cheery soundtrack sets the right tone for a Wario platformer. A more orchestral direction might have been even better but the soundtrack is nevertheless amazing. Even Wario’s grunts and the other random sound effects in the game are worthy of a nod.

Conclusion

Without a doubt, Wario Land: Shake It! is the pinnacle of 2D gaming on Wii. The game is so well thought-out and executed that the $49.99 price tag is a steal. If you are an old-school gamer wanting in on some 2D action, Shake It! won’t disappoint. The only downside is the length of the game that to some will be a slap in the face. Four to five hours of gameplay simply isn’t very long. Still, Shake It! brings platforming on the Nintendo Wii to new heights offering an enjoyable mix of motion control and standard gameplay.

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User Comments (23)

cr00mz

#1

cr00mz said:

i' ve played it for over 6h and i still have world 4-5 + secret levels on each world so isay there is plenty of length in this game if you go for it all

Moai_Head

#2

Moai_Head said:

I agree - the game's only short if all you plan to do is play through to the end. For the completist there's a ton of hidden levels, treasures and objectives to find.

Supermarioman

#3

Supermarioman said:

Great game and worthy of an 8. Really the art is beautiful, but it is too short and too easy in a lot of places.

Nintendophile

#4

Nintendophile said:

This is one of the prettiest games on the Wii. We need to see this style implemented to an actual, honest-to-goodness Mario game. Or even a Metroid game!

accc

#5

accc said:

4 to 5 hours? Try 20 to 30 for finding all treasures and missions.

Incognito_D

#8

Incognito_D said:

This game is brilliant. One of my favourites on the Wii for sure.

The music and graphics are tremendous, and if you want to go for 100% completion it will take a long time.

El_Piantissimo

#9

El_Piantissimo said:

I have to disagree. This game was pretty mediocre. I'm amazed how overrated this title is. I give it a 6. The hand-drawn graphics are great, but they aren't THAT amazing. The music is dull, and the gameplay is too slow and clunky. It doesn't even feel like a Wario Land game. The previous games were refreshing each level, but on this one it was very repetitive.

WaLzgiStaff

#10

WaLzgi said:

I loved Wario's many facial expressions and the variety of stages.

rhythmheavenfan

#11

rhythmheavenfan said:

This is my favorite Wii game. Just look at my profile picture. And the game is not short at all. I completed the game 100% because it was just so addictive and it took me at least 35 hours to complete the game. And also the graphics on this game are absolutely gorgeous. The best on Wii in my opinion. Even better than Galaxy because these are hand drawn. The music is catchy also and the game is overall extremely creative. Easily a 10 out of 10 in my opinion and not just one of the best 2D platformers I have ever played but one of the best overall platformers ever, 2D or 3D. Better than Super Mario World, Super Mario 64, and all the other critically acclaimed platformers. I have played all of those titles and Shake It surpasses all of them quite easily in my opinion. Shake It rules!! Go Wario!!!

WaveyChristmas

#12

WaveyChristmas said:

an 8? no way...this game is a 10!
One of the most brilliant, most fun and gorgeous games i've played on the Wii. It does have the leangth if you're try and complete all of the objectives, which opens up new hidden levels as well ect.

And when going for 100 percent, it had to of been thee' most difficult and most challenging game i've ever played in my life. It was so damn good. this game has fantastic motion controls, boss battles, the levels are soooo well thaught out and clever and brilliantly designed, it's such an amazing experience. I enjoyed it more than Super mario galaxy at times.
Anyways Wario Land Shake it! and Klonoa are 2 SideScroller Gems you cant be withought for the Wii!

WaveyChristmas

#13

WaveyChristmas said:

And yes, I thaught it was better than Galaxy. As a matter of fact it's my favorite Wii game along with Metroid Prime 3, Mega Man 9 and Klonoa.

Wario Land Shake it! > Super Mario Galaxy....you'll see ;p

Deviant_Mugen

#16

Deviant_Mugen said:

Hmm, and here I thought Wario's games were all of the party-game genre. Great review, I might have to check this one out; I do love me some platforming...

WhiteTrashGuy

#18

WhiteTrashGuy said:

Found it for $10 on sale at BEST BUY here in the States. Snatched it up immediately. Solid 8.5/10 - GoodFeel went on to top themselves with KIRBY'S EPIC YARN!

SparkOfSpirit

#21

SparkOfSpirit said:

This is NOT a five hour game. Like Yoshi's Island, the difficulty comes from 100% which takes a LOT of time.

Dr_Corndog

#22

Dr_Corndog said:

Excellent game. If you only spend 5 hours on it, you're probably not very much into video games. I've spent far more time on it than that, and I still haven't completed everything.

MagicEmperor

#23

MagicEmperor said:

The first game I played after my appendix ruptured. It quickly made me forget my pain! An underrated gem.

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