It's time for us to have an important discussion. I know how much you're planning to be swept away by games such as Dead Space, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, and even, um, Wii Music, but you're about to let a shining gem of a game go by without so much as a first look because it's not high-def or 3D enough, and frankly, that'd be a terrible shame. Wario Land: Shake It! for the Nintendo Wii walks among us and it's the best game you're probably not playing right now. It's a 2D platformer, it's heavily animated, and it's packed with classic greedy Wario fun and adventure. But don't just take my word for it. Listen to the developers responsible for bringing Wario back to his non-microgaming roots in this three-part interview. Topics include the challenges of bringing 2D back to the mainstream, composing the music, refining the shaking gimmick, bringing Wario's nemesis Captain Syrup back into the fold, and toning down Wario's disgusting habits.
NOM: Since this game is an extension of the Wario Land series, how did you make it feel like Wario Land?
Madoka Yamauchi, director: Primarily, the intense action. We took great care to include showy and rambunctious elements in the game. That’s the reason we decided to have shaking the remote actually shake the screen.
Harada: Wario just tries to take what he wants. He isn’t trying to do anything wrong. The results of his actions can be either bad or good. He sure can stir up trouble, though.
Tsukawaki: After I’d played a bunch of the games in the series, I thought Wario was pretty manly. He’s so uncool that he ends up being extremely cool. Depending on the game, he can be coarse—farting and doing stuff like that, but I didn’t want to show that side of him. As much as possible, I wanted to show a macho Wario, one who is masculine and tough. I asked the animators to emphasize strongly his manly characteristics. We built up this image step-by-step during the animation process.
Alright, I can see that it's going to take more than this to convince you to take on this adventure. Maybe this will appeal to you: you can plow through the game's basic structure in just a few days, but once you defeat the final boss, new stages with new treasures and new missions open up for your exploration and frustrated wailings. Consider this romp through Gurgle Gulch by PTB reader and occasional contributor Guy Perfect. Check out what the game expects of master Wario Land players.