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E308: Wii Fanboy hands-on with Wario Land: Shake It!


Hands down, Wario Land: Shake It! is the best game I've played so far here at E3. And, thanks to my persistence and rudeness, I was able to enjoy the game a lot longer than most others who've been fortunate enough to play it, not only enjoying some of the game's normal levels, but also taking part in an underwater excursion in Wario's badass sub.

So, I started out on the tutorial level, which shows you all of the in-game actions Wario can perform through some handy billboards sprinkled throughout the level. I was dashing through blocks, scurrying down pipes and doing butt stomps with ease, and once I got to the end of the level, I discovered its end creature, the Murpel (odds are, that isn't spelled right).


Once you discover this caged critter, a timer will start and Wario is then forced to rush through the level backwards, to the beginning, where there is a portal that will safely whisk him and the little thing away. But, the catch is that you have to run back through the level quickly, as a timer starts counting down the second you grab the Murpel's cage. And just so you don't get bored seeing the same stuff again and navigating the same obstacles for a second time, you pretty much go back through the level on a whole different path.

Click to enlarge.

By now, you should all know just how the motion controls work in the game. The waggle isn't taxing in the least and the motion-based stuff (shaking the controller up and down to pry loose coins from hefty bags, flicking the Wiimote down while standing on the ground to do a ground smash, etc.) is used pretty effectively. In the 6 levels or so I was able to enjoy, the motion stuff was really only used once, with the exception being the underwater level (more on that in a sec). So I wasn't getting tired or winded from overuse of motion controls.

About that underwater level: it was awesome. You navigate in Wario's submarine, which has a large pink nose and mustache much like the garlic-eating protagonist of this title. You control the direction the submarine is facing with motion-based controls, as angling the Wiimote will then cause the sub to mimic that angle. Using the 1 button, you can fire torpedoes, and using the d-pad will allow you to speed up or slow down. It was a nice change of pace to the basic flow of the title.

"I'm pretty convinced that Wario Land: Shake It! was the best game I've played so far here at E3."

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that the animation in this game is fan-freaking-tastic. Not since Street FIghter III have I seen such fluid sprite animation, but, you should know that Wario Land: Shake It! looks ten times better. Seriously, it's not only smooth, but the animations are just downright funny. Wario's patented personality has been captured quite well in these animations.

Controlwise, the game also shines. It only uses two buttons, but with these two buttons, you can perform a variety of different actions. I found that butt-stomping, dashing through concrete walls and taking out fleets of underwater baddies was a snap, keeping the flow of the game consistent and fun. Wario is so easy to move around and interacting with the environment is utilizing his skill set is loads of fun.

I'm pretty convinced that Wario Land: Shake It! was the best game I've played so far here at E3. And that's counting Wii Sports Resort, Animal Crossing: City Folk and even Retro Game Challenge out. Those are some pretty impressive titles, so believe me, it's an impressive title. Frankly, we can't wait to get ahold of it when it releases in late September.

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