Author Topic: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)  (Read 22497 times)

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Offline Jonnyboy117

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RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« on: July 14, 2012, 07:21:51 PM »
Please use this thread to discuss Wario Land 4! Remember, posts in this thread may be sampled and read on the podcast when it's time for us to record the feature discussion.


Looking for a copy? Check the used section at your local game stores. Also, it's available as a free download to 3DS Ambassadors.
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Offline Halbred

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2012, 09:36:20 PM »
Just beat this game a few weeks ago. Very good stuff--you can definitely see where Shake It! came from. The level design is a little uneven, though.
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Offline xcwarrior

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 12:25:48 AM »
Also beat the game recently thanks to the 3DS Ambassador program.

I was surprised by how challenging a few of the bosses were, though the actual levels were quite simple. I did like the different layout, and the challenge of getting back to the start before time runs out.

I didn't go after all the bonus item/secret stuff, but I tend not to anymore because of my crazy backlog.

Not being a big fan of the Wario Ware series, I like this game a lot better than any of those. I know these aren't the same genre, but WarioWare has soured me on the Wario character. This helped his case a lot.
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Offline oohhboy

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 01:10:16 AM »
Looks like mystery solved.

I actually played this back on the GBA, but had forgotten all about it until I opened it up for this.

I don't think the levels were that simple. What is happening is that the level designer is communicating to the player very effectively what he expects the player to do. Once you understand the basic gameplay and the overall design, you can methodically move through the levels and 100% the secrets on your first run a lot of the time. The life hearts allow you to take damage and experiment with the levels since some enemies inflict special status that allow you to explore the level more.

Wario despite being a platformer isn't really a platfomer like Mario is. None of the jumps are hard or lethal. Wario is about the puzzles and exploration, not unlike that professor you keep abusing in game. I have a sneaking suspicion that the new 2d Mario "Golden showers" was originally a Wario game only to be replaced since he doesn't have the selling power of Mario. It was only in the Wario games did you run around looting everything insight and have a score to go with it. The new Mario game isn't going to feel like a Mario game. It's going to be a Wario game at heart, minus the obvious extra surrealism that Wario brings.

That said, Wario 4 is not that big or long of a game. There are a whole bunch of unlockable minigames and "Soundtracks" to mess around with. It's surreal and happily trolls the player with it. It is as difficult as you want to make it. If you go straight from A to B, it's a really short game. The difficulty comes from the extra puzzles, looting and having the player poke a level until you find a secret. The lack of moral constraints allow Wario to use gameplay and visual elements that Mario can't. This is why Mario Golden Showers got the backlash that it has, it isn't Mario.
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Offline Hey Einstein!

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 07:55:13 AM »
This is why Mario Golden Showers got the backlash that it has, it isn't Mario.


I dunno, it looks at LOT like NSMB to me.


So far I'm not crazy about Wario Land 4, I've played it a bit but the system of exploring the levels that has been described here hasn't clicked with me yet. To the point where I've had to consult an FAQ ("Oh, I have to jump off a platform and do a SUPER butt stomp - I didn't know those existed").


The game design coupled with the current restrictions of GBA games on the 3DS don't suit my life style. Since this started I have rarely had the time to sit down and play through a whole level, short as they are. Not being able to enter sleep mode or use a quick save function means restarting the level from scratch every time I need to stop playing. This puts me off picking the game up when I do have some time of play games.


Hopefully I'll get a few more uninterrupted gaming sessions with it this week.

Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 04:02:27 PM »
Well, this is my first Wario Land, I just played it for a bit, and I think it's a good game. Not great. Just a decent, almost run of the mill, puzzle-platformer. I kind of wish the levels were a bit more linear, so it was a little harder to get lost, but generally it seems to be just about the right difficulty. By far my favorite parts of the game occur after you jump on the frog statue's head, as the races against the clock back to the start are really fun. As for getting to the frog? Eh, those parts are alright, but it doesn't really play like a Nintendo game to me, for whatever reason. It looks like one, what with the wacky powers and all, but it's just not as tight and enjoyable as other comparable Nintendo games. I'll post more thoughts after I play some more.

(As far as what has been said above me goes, I'm with Einstein on this one -- the "feel" definitely hasn't clicked with me yet. Hopefully it will. Also, for anyone who hasn't started yet, I HIGHLY recommend starting with the chamber directly to the right of the intro chamber. It's by far the easiest.)
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:09:00 PM by Glad0s »
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2012, 02:10:37 AM »
Well, this is my first Wario Land, I just played it for a bit, and I think it's a good game. Not great. Just a decent, almost run of the mill, puzzle-platformer.

I have to be honest, I never thought I'd hear Warioland 4 being described as 'run of the mill'. True, it is just a puzzle-platformer, but one which in my opinion is completely bonkers. What other series would have you turn into a zombie so that when you fall and hit grating below your body turns to pulp and slides through? Everything from being stung to get an inflated head and float to deliberately lighting yourself on fire so that you run at high speeds but with limited control. For me this game was anything but run of the mill.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 08:03:33 AM by Pixelated Pixies »
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Offline Hey Einstein!

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #7 on: July 17, 2012, 04:39:26 AM »
Managed to get through 2 whole levels yesterday, so things are looking up! Mind you, I would be half way towards a third level if GBA roms had a sleep mode on the 3DS. GRUMBLE GRUMBLE.


By far my favorite parts of the game occur after you jump on the frog statue's head, as the races against the clock back to the start are really fun. As for getting to the frog? Eh, those parts are alright,


Spot on sir! Exactly how I feel. The puzzle/exploration is very hit and miss.

Offline oohhboy

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 05:39:45 AM »
That's the Sonic part of the levels. They play better than Sonic since Wario doesn't quite move as fast therefore even on your first playthrough you have time to respond. The problem I always had with Sonic games was that he was too fast for his own good. Sure it's pretty badass to zip through a level like a motherfucker, but you pretty much had to know the level off by heart and it really detracts from the enjoyment when you have to crawl your way through a level.
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Offline Hey Einstein!

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2012, 08:15:35 AM »
Sure it's pretty badass to zip through a level like a motherfucker, but you pretty much had to know the level off by heart and it really detracts from the enjoyment when you have to crawl your way through a level.


Sonic is as much about noob traps as it is about rings and terrible voice acting.
Spikes follow slides/loops/rails/other speed inducing stuff like night follows day.


Which was just about acceptable when I was at school and had the time to learn the levels and didn't have unplayed games on my shelf mocking me. But now it's a deal breaker.

Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2012, 10:38:31 AM »
Well, this is my first Wario Land, I just played it for a bit, and I think it's a good game. Not great. Just a decent, almost run of the mill, puzzle-platformer.

I have to be honest, I never thought I'd hear Warioland 4 being described as 'run of the mill'. True, it is just a puzzle-platformer, but one which in my opinion is completely bonkers. What other series would have you turn into a zombie so that when you fall and hit grating below your body turns to pulp and slides through? Everything from being stung to get an inflated head and float to deliberately lighting yourself on fire so that you run at high speeds but with limited control. For me this game was anything but run of the mill.


Yeah, I kinda worded that wrong. No, the art style and certain gameplay elements are certainly not run of the mill. And heck, even the "strange" powers are essentially normal gameplay elements dressed up in crazy costumes. Floating upwards, falling through platforms, jumping high distances -- they've been used before. However, this game just decides to spruce those, dare I say it again, run of the mill elements up. But yes, the way the game looks is certainly unlike no other, I'll give you that.


I'm about two-thirds of the way done with the game now, and my opinion is virtually the same as before. However, one particular level stood out to me as being the absolute pinnacle of what this kind of game could be. And that level is......The Big Board. That level's flow, its concept, the puzzles -- everything about it was pretty much as good as Wario Land 4 could possibly get. It introduced a completely new, one time only gameplay concept (the board), and it also had a great level surrounding the new concept. By far the best level I've played so far.


But y'know, I still can't shake the feeling that this just isn't that fantastic of a game. I mean, if I was rating it, I'd probably give it a 7.5 or so. It's still worth playing, but for my money most of the other GBA Ambassador games are better. Just my two cents.


Sure it's pretty badass to zip through a level like a motherfucker, but you pretty much had to know the level off by heart and it really detracts from the enjoyment when you have to crawl your way through a level.




Sonic is as much about noob traps as it is about rings and terrible voice acting.
Spikes follow slides/loops/rails/other speed inducing stuff like night follows day.




That is probably the perfect way to describe Sonic games, if you ask me. Although if you count the Dreamcast and beyond stuff, you have to add horrible glitches and even worse mini-games to the list of what Sonic's about.
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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2012, 08:22:41 PM »
@ Glad0s
 
That's fair I suppose. I should probably say that I'm not suggesting that it's a breakthrough in game design, but it doesn't need to be. Often style and humour combined with fun game design are enough to make a game stand out from run-of-the-mill titles.
 
Afterall, there are so very few wholly original game concepts. Even those concepts that I enjoy so much about Warioland 4 have their roots in previous Warioland titles (Warioland 3 comes out in the Europe this weeks so I'll be interested to see the similarities). Warioland as a series, however, has enough uncommon elements (racing back to the beginning of the level for instance) along with some interesting twists on more common ideas like power-ups and transformations (which in Warioland 4 take on a Cronenberg's 'The Fly' level of insanity) that I think it's deserving of more credit that it's often given.
 
For me Warioland 4 is not run-of-the-mill for the same reason that Super Mario Bros. 3 isn't. Neither game did anything particularly original, but both were better more amped versions of previous instalments in the series.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2012, 08:25:02 PM by Pixelated Pixies »
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Offline noname2200

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 02:37:04 PM »
I tried the game for the first time shortly after it came out as an Ambassador title. I really liked the first and second Wario Land games, even though those two games were very different from each other, but I put this one down after about an hour. Something about it just didn't feel fun. It's pretty enough, but it's just not clicking with me. Maybe it's just got too much of an emphasis on exploration (which I generally don't care for in 2D platformers) and not enough of an emphasis on puzzles (like Wario Land II did)?

Do things change up later? I plan on starting anew and seeing if my impressions hold up, but I'm not feeling super eager about that.

Offline Hey Einstein!

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2012, 05:02:42 AM »
Been playing on and off this week, not really feeling it. I like Vizor man though!
Graphics and sound are all lovely but it just doesn't gel with me some how. I'll stick with it at least until the end of retro active though.

Offline xcwarrior

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2012, 10:03:56 PM »
T
I tried the game for the first time shortly after it came out as an Ambassador title. I really liked the first and second Wario Land games, even though those two games were very different from each other, but I put this one down after about an hour. Something about it just didn't feel fun. It's pretty enough, but it's just not clicking with me. Maybe it's just got too much of an emphasis on exploration (which I generally don't care for in 2D platformers) and not enough of an emphasis on puzzles (like Wario Land II did)?

Do things change up later? I plan on starting anew and seeing if my impressions hold up, but I'm not feeling super eager about that.

There isn't much in the way of puzzles, but I would hardly consider the game exploration. I guess you have to find those 4 pieces to move on to the end, but they are hardly out of the way with a few exceptions.

I found the game very unique in terms of a platformer, I just didn't like how easy it was. But the levels are unique all the time, the bosses are different, and there isn't fart references which is a huge plus.

I'm kind of amazed this one retro active, yet hardly anyone is saying anything nice about the game.
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Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2012, 12:39:39 AM »
Ok, I've finished the game with the exception of one level and three bosses. And now, to defend my statement:

@PixelatedPixies

True, not every game has to be a revolution. Heck, some of my favorite games (such as Mario Sunshine and Portal 2, thus my username) are downright derivative. However, the difference there is that the games that those two are imitating (Mario 64 and the original Portal) are absolutely fantastic, and the tweaks made on the original formula (Fludd and the gels, respectively) are very effective. The same goes for SMB3. It was a perfected version of an already amazing formula. This game is nowhere near "amazing". It's a pleasant, decent puzzle-platformer. End of story. I know I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I STILL can't see why people voted for this as the RetroActive game. The discussion should be....erm....interesting, to say the least.


(Also, does anyone know if the segment will be this week or after the big 3-0-0?
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Offline lolmonade

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2012, 01:09:50 AM »
Well, I have played through a few levels (made it to a point where bees sting you and make your giant head float in the air), and it hasn't quite clicked with me.  Warioland 1 was a game I adored as a kid, and i'm not sure exactly what it is that isn't connecting with me on this game.  The graphics and levels are very colorful, but they seem bare so far (as early as I am in the game, this may change).  The puzzles aren't very challenging. 

One thing I miss the most (and maybe it's hidden in here and I haven't found it) is the treasure items in the original game that you collected in hopes that the genie would give you a bigger mansion. (Added spoiler in case anyone would actually care about this).  Another aspect I miss is that although there was emphasis on exploration for the aforementioned treasure in the original, the levels were still fairly linear start/end point.  Wario Land 4 seems like there is a path you're supposed to take, but it's in this large level with no clear indication as to where it is. 

To me, Warioland 4 seems a bit bloated, whereas the original seemed more streamlined.


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Offline Pixelated Pixies

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2012, 02:12:25 AM »
Wario Land 4 seems like there is a path you're supposed to take, but it's in this large level with no clear indication as to where it is. 

To me, Warioland 4 seems a bit bloated, whereas the original seemed more streamlined.

I can of course only speak from my own experience with the game, but apart from one level which was structured like a mansion I always had a very  clear idea of where I was going. I was actually surprised by how smooth the rush back to the start was throughout the game as I had on a few occasions messed up horribly in Warioland: Shake It. In Warioland 4 I always felt like I might not find that last treasure or might not make it back to the start in time but invariably did. Maybe it was just luck, but I always seemed to get everything (with the exception of some CDs) on my first try without feeling lost.
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Offline TJ Spyke

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2012, 07:00:27 AM »
(Also, does anyone know if the segment will be this week or after the big 3-0-0?

I think they mentioned on RFN that it will be after episode 300.
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Offline noname2200

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2012, 12:23:20 AM »

There isn't much in the way of puzzles, but I would hardly consider the game exploration. I guess you have to find those 4 pieces to move on to the end, but they are hardly out of the way with a few exceptions.

I found the game very unique in terms of a platformer, I just didn't like how easy it was. But the levels are unique all the time, the bosses are different, and there isn't fart references which is a huge plus.

I'm kind of amazed this one retro active, yet hardly anyone is saying anything nice about the game.

When I said exploration, I meant it in the Super Mario World vein. True, most of the required objects are in a straight shot (so far, barely on the fifth level or so), but finding all the big jewels/heart chests etc. require looking through a bunch of nooks and crannies. Admittedly, said nooks/crannies routinely require some mild puzzle solving as well, so it's not purely exploration based.

I dunno, I'm still just not feeling it so far. There's no challenge presented by actual platforming (so far), and little challenge from enemies (so far). So stages for me mostly devolve into poking around, looking for gems, and solving the (so far) rudimentary puzzles needed to reach them. I suppose I could skip the treasures and just try to beat the levels, but I get the feeling doing so defeats the point of the game, especially since the main paths have all been cake walks (so far! :P).

Offline oohhboy

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2012, 12:41:13 AM »
The main point of the game is looting the levels clean and running away before the univers implodes.
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Offline syn4aptik

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2012, 12:52:57 PM »
That's the Sonic part of the levels. They play better than Sonic since Wario doesn't quite move as fast therefore even on your first playthrough you have time to respond. The problem I always had with Sonic games was that he was too fast for his own good. Sure it's pretty badass to zip through a level like a motherfucker, but you pretty much had to know the level off by heart and it really detracts from the enjoyment when you have to crawl your way through a level.


Came here to second this. The game feels a lot like a Sonic game in a weird way. Like the levels just have too much stuff while at the same time moving you through a little too quickly. It makes me feel like I am either missing a lot of the level, or spending too much time memorizing level layouts.


That said, I think the mechanics of this game are very solid, and the frantic run back to the start can be a lot of fun. I like better platforming physics out of my platformers, but this is a pretty fun puzzle-y platformer.
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Offline syn4aptik

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2012, 12:57:01 PM »
I know I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I STILL can't see why people voted for this as the RetroActive game.


Well look, 20, 30, 40+ hour strategy RPGs are horrible for Retroactive...it is damn refreshing to have one that my job-and-social-life-having ass can actually participate in!
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Offline Glad0s

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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2012, 09:58:51 PM »
I know I'm sounding like a broken record at this point, but I STILL can't see why people voted for this as the RetroActive game.


Well look, 20, 30, 40+ hour strategy RPGs are horrible for Retroactive...it is damn refreshing to have one that my job-and-social-life-having ass can actually participate in!


Haha, point taken. ;)
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Re: RetroActive #23: Wario Land 4 (Official Discussion)
« Reply #24 on: July 27, 2012, 03:57:00 AM »
Whenever I revisit Wario Land 4, I enjoy the music and most of the levels, but always feel like the game doesn't make as good use of Wario's transformations as the prior two entries for the Game Boy [Color]. A few levels, like the level with the rain, have lots of secret nooks and crannies that require you to observe and make use of Wario's transformations. But most of the level designs seem to ignore this staple of the series.
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