Wario Land: Shake It! didn’t appear in Nintendo’s press briefing and it wasn’t on the show floor. The game was tucked away in Nintendo’s appointment room where only a select few got to play it before it comes out in Japan. The game should have gotten more attention since it’s the kind of classic platforming experience Nintendo is known for.
The game feels like a lost sequel to Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. You can tackle enemies with a shoulder rush by pressing the 1 button, but not all of the creatures in Wario Land: Shake It! attack Wario. Some just mosey along waiting for Wario to shake items out of them by physically shaking the remote. The shaking motion is also used to make Wario do a ground pound. This can be used to stun enemies, but it’s more useful for puzzle solving. Punching the ground knocks blocks down and lifts the ground up to reveal underground passages. Throwing enemies into loose rocks with the tilt aiming system is another way to discovering alternate routes. Finding hidden rooms usually gives Wario access to more moneybags which he needs to shake to get coins. “Wario loves money,” a Nintendo representative emphasized. The coins Wario finds are used to purchase maps which open new levels.
He loves treasure too. Each level has optional treasures to discover. I found one of them, but there wasn’t much time to explore. Once I found a floating Merfle, a time limit popped on the top of the screen and it was a race to the end of the level. Well, it didn’t have to be a race since the time limit was overly generous. I didn’t know that at the time so I jumped into a pipe which made Wario run like the Road Runner until he crashed into a wall.
The animation felt inspired by the Looney Tunes character since a dust trail follows behind Wario while his legs turn into a motion blur. Production I.G. out did themselves with Wario Land: Shake It!. The sprites are top notch. You get a cartoon feel without any 2.5D cel-shading.
Wario Land: Shake It! also has a submarine level which I didn’t get to play, but looks awesome.
Images courtesy of Nintendo.