Mario may be an immortal icon, but he doesn't fare so well in the flesh. No such fear for invincible Wario, who again turns enemy-inflicted ailments to his advantage. Having taught us the value of a superficial wound in Wario Land 2, this sequel applies the twisted logic to a wider canvas.
Every level hides four treasure chests, each containing an ability or topography-altering item needed to discover new routes in others.
It's like Nintendo buttered Wario up and squeezed him into Samus' power suit, mixing her love of backtracking with his greedy appetite for content. Along with 100 chests to find, Wario has eight hidden coins to sniff out, a golfing mini-game to master, not to mention a neat day/night system that sees stages populated with different enemies at different times.
Playing it now reminds you how good Nintendo R&D1 was when it pursued Mario's spotlight in the late-90s. We yearn for the days of Wario's platforming ambitions - for all his microgame delights, his star seems dimmed - and would love to see this passion merged with modern tech.
As advanced as they were, GBC visuals hardly set the pulse racing in 2012. Wario can't die, but we'd love to see him live a little.