(GBC / Game Boy Color)

Wario Land 3 (GBC / Game Boy Color)

Game Review

Wario Land 3 Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn


Nintendo loves to experiment with the Wario Land series. The second game diverted from the first in that it was more of a puzzler than a platformer, as Wario was invincible, and the third game continues that trend by offering yet another twist: an almost Metroid-like exploration system.

This time, Wario finds a mysterious music box in the forest after crash landing his plane, and is magically transported inside of it. A strange figure in the box tells him that to get back out, he'll need to find five magical music boxes.

Most of the gameplay mechanics are still the same as they were in Wario Land II. Wario is still invincible, has his iconic ramming and butt stomp moves, and will transform into special forms if hit by certain enemies or attacks, allowing him to reach new areas. The game around it is a bit different, however.

Perhaps most importantly, once you start the game, you're no longer on a straight road to the finish with no way back. Instead, you have a world map on which you can select any level you've opened up right off the bat, to revisit any time you want. Each level in this instalment has not one or two, but a whopping four different exits, each of which comes in the shape of differently coloured treasure chests. Every level also has four keys matching the colours of the chests, so the objective is simple - find a key, and find the matching chest!

But this is where the Metroid-like twist comes in - not every chest and/or key is accessible right away. Each one has a treasure inside, and while a bunch of them do nothing, others can do one of several things, such as give you new abilities (including some from the previous game, which are not available right away this time around), change specific levels to open up new paths or even unlock a special mini-game.

This means that you'll frequently be revisiting completed levels to explore new paths with new abilities in order to find a new treasure, and unlock something else in yet another level. It also means that the game is pretty open-ended, as you can either just get all the required treasures (provided you know which chests have them) and finish quick, or stick around and collect them all.

On top of that, one of the chests in each level is guarded by a boss, meaning there are quite a few bad guys to fight as well. As in Wario Land II, these boss fights usually require you to not get hit - getting hit once will knock you out of the arena and force you to restart the fight from the beginning.

With 25 levels in the game, that means there's a grand total of 100 treasures to find. But the game is even bigger in scope than that - it also includes a day and night system, with the game switching from one to the other every time you open a treasure chest. This has a major effect on some levels (generally outside ones), changing the level's enemies and making the stages themselves either easier or harder. There are also 8 special big coins to find in every stage, which will open up a special level in the unlockable mini-game, should you find every single one of them.

Just like Wario Land II was one of the last original Game Boy games, Wario Land 3 was one of the last Game Boy Color games - and it shows, with impressive graphics and nicely detailed levels and sprites. Some consider the soundtrack to be a bit worse than the one found in its predecessor, but there are still plenty of catchy songs in the mix.


Like Wario Land II before it, Wario Land 3 is essentially more of a puzzle game than an action game. The concept has been refined even more, with a ton of stages and different paths, making it easily the biggest Wario Land in terms of scope. If you enjoyed the previous adventure then this generously expanded outing is likely to please you even more.

From the web

User Comments (42)



goldbricks23 said:

I loved this as a child. Never owned it, had to keep borrowing it off a friend. Ive played the other Wario Land on my 3DS so I'm really looking forward to this. Also I'm getting Wario Land Shake Dimension, for Christmas, because I missed it first time round. I'm going to be a pretty happy gamer this Christmas.



tsm7 said:

This game is fantastic. I hope it comes to NA eshop soon. We still don't even have Wario Land 2...




Wario Land 3 is a game I played the heck out of back in the day on my old Kiwi Green GAME BOY COLOR. I will say one thing about the game, it keeps you thinking and on your toes almost the whole game. And that's a good thing mind you. It's like everything you like about Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 , but doubled this time. The one thing I don't like about this game is that to me, some of the secret exits can be a dang pain in the neck to find when you're trying to get to a different level. But for now, I just can't wait to get my hands on Wario Land II for when it comes out on 12/20/2012 in the eShop , seeing as how that's the only Wario Land game out of the whole series I haven't played before. All in all, I give Wario Land 3 myself a 9.5 out of 10.



Ai64 said:

I used to play this game when I was a kid. I knew it would arrive on eshop.
Highly recommanded too!



NintyMan said:

We haven't even gotten Wario Land II yet in North America, so I'm afraid it'll be a while for this to come here. Still, being a Wario fan, I'm looking forward to trying it out for the first time, and what music I heard such as the Above the Clouds night theme sounded very good.



Aqueous said:

I wonder since you didn't mention it. Did you get the treasure to change between day and night on the map?



Morpheel said:

Best gbc game ever ~
I don't even like platformers, but this game is just so awesome.... I want to play it again D: come on NoA, give me the best chrismast present ever and release this before the new year.



WaveBoy said:

This has got to be one of my most hated Nintendo sequals around. If you've already played Wario Land 2(which was a good sequal btw to the brilliant original) then this is going to feel a little all too familar....But It's frustrating, incredibly tedious, the bosses and enemy design are far less appealing, and the entire experience feels like a complete mind numbing chore. The rest of the 2D Wario Land games are fantastic(especially Shake it! & 1 imo), but this one?....No way. To those who missed out on 2 and are jumping into this, it will most likely fare better, But I'd say 2 was easily the better game.

Shake it! > 1 > 2+4 >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 3



Hokori said:

I just wanna finish up the Wario Land series for 3DS already... We need 2 and 3 here! Then it'll be complete



MorriganIsHot said:

Nice Nintendo don't release Kirby Dreamland 2, Wario Land 2 and Wario Land 3 here but everywhere else get them. That's just how Nintendo of America roll.



TheRavingTimes said:

This was my main childhood favourite. Other then Pokemon this was the only other Nintendo game I played on my GameBoy Color. I guess being a dimwitted 6 year old had it's cons, considering that I used the Pokemon anime as my guide for the game. To think I was that obsessed with the Wario Land series. After that I finally began diverting my attention to the Super Mario and Kirby series. Sigh, I really wish I didn't misplace everything over the years.



SparkOfSpirit said:

Yeah, this is also my least favorite Wario Land game. I enjoy the other 4 (haven't played the VB one) immensely, but this one really bores me.



Hokori said:

Wait? I just noticed in the screen shoots.... IS THAT A VIRUS? From Dr. Mario!





In a way you can say that. It was the end of the Super Mario Land trilogy, but also marked the beginning of the Wario Land games.



Nekketsu3D said:

this kind of reviews more disappointment cause I know that many games like these have not been released and who knows when they reach in Eshop USA ... another reason to keep loving the Japanese store...




StarDust4Ever said:

Please hurry up and release this game in the US. I got a Game Boy Color when it first came out in 1998 when I was a senior in high school. WarioLand III was my all time favorite GBC game, ever!!! I played this game religiously, abusing save states and what not (yes, the game featured a built-in save state feature, but you couldn't use it in boss fights), eventually wearing the sticker off the cart with my sweaty hands. Sadly, I wore the battery out after about a year and a half, right after unlocking the final boss...



DerpSandwich said:

Never really been interested in these titles, but this one's got my attention. Maybe I'll give it a try.



TromaDogg said:

Downloaded this, now have all the Wario Land games on my 3DS, as well as all the original carts for them on GB/GBC/GBA too Wonder if it's possible for the 3DS to emulate the Virtual Boy so that we might get Wario Land VB also? I've never had a chance to play that as the VB wasn't released here



Bass_X0 said:

I would like for Wario Land VB to get remade for the eShop. It would play identical to the Virtual Boy game but would have completely new modern graphics in full colour.



ScreenSplitter said:

Is this better than Wario Land 4? Got that through the Ambassador program and didn't really enjoy it.



sweetiepiejonus said:

So like 3 people have said they didn't enjoy this game. Sounds about right. I remember killing so much time on this title. Probably my second most played game behind Link's Awakening. So fun, and I would definitely download it and play it again.



gamerkev said:

One of my favorite childhood games and just downloaded it last night. Amazing game with spot-on control and clever levels and memorable characters. Definitely worth picking up, you won't regret it.



Marakuto said:

I still have a fond memory of playing this as a kid, one of my favourite titles on my Gameboy.



Yanni said:

The first "Wario Land" on the original GameBoy is my favorite one. And I think it's one of the best looking on the system. 2 and 3 are OK, but I find them not so addictive as the black & white "Super Mario Land 3" Man I love this game!



alvieao said:

It’s about time Wario Land 3 finally came to the 3DS eShop in North America! Wario’s third adventure continues the gameplay mechanics seen in Wario Land II, with our greedy anti-hero still invincible and can transform into special forms inflicted by certain enemies, which help him discover new areas.

However, this entry takes a more Metroid approach. Not only does each level have four different exits (each with its own set of keys and treasure chests), but they also change between day and night; some enemies are replaced while different paths may open up. Also, Wario must regain his trademark moves like the ground pound, while also acquiring new ones along the way. Some treasures can’t be obtained without completing the golf minigame... which I really HATE since it's frustratingly randomized.

As Wario Land II was of the last Game Boy titles, Wario Land 3 was one of the last Game Boy Color games; the impressive visuals, detailed sprites and stages showed Nintendo R&D1's mastery of the GBC hardware. While the game is considered by many Nintendo fans as the pinnacle of the series, I still prefer Wario Land II over 3. That being said, Wario Land 3 is a Game Boy Color masterpiece worth playing on 3DS Virtual Console!

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...