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Wario Land: The Shake Dimension Review

We're all shook up by Wario's latest

When it comes to its most famous mascot Nintendo likes to play things safe, with Mario used to front sure-fire platformers, sports titles and party games. But if Nintendo has a slightly riskier idea, it calls on Wario. The WarioWare series is perfectly matched to its host character - funny, strange and convention-breaking - and The Shake Dimension is another example of the cantankerous fattie turning genre conventions on their head.

While on the face of it, Wario's new game might not seem like such an unusual proposition, particularly given his well-documented 2D platforming past, the idea of a full-price title venturing into a genre long since abandoned by most home console developers seems very risky indeed. Especially as, to casual observers at least, it might seem to fall victim to the sort of laziness we regularly accuse other games of, with just the occasional use of the Wii's motion controls to liven up a pretty standard set-up. Yet while some will probably unfairly dismiss it as yet another pointless waggle-fest, playing The Shake Dimension really makes you wish that Nintendo would go 2D a little more often.

Click to view larger image

Pompous Pirate

The game's story isn't much more than an excuse for Wario to go treasure hunting, and takes a back seat to the action after a glorious opening cartoon from Japanese animators Production IG, the team behind the anime sequences in the equally lovely DS puzzler Professor Layton And The Mysterious Village (due out here soon).

Wario receives a gift from long-time rival Captain Maple Syrup (who you may remember from the first Wario Land game) of an antique globe and telescope, which allow him to teleport to the titular Shake Dimension. But all is not well in this world, thanks to a fearsome pirate named the Shake King. He's kidnapped the queen of the dimension's inhabitants, the Merfles, and one escapee asks Wario to help rescue her, with the promise of a bottomless coin sack if he duly succeeds. Naturally, our anti-hero soon perks up at the idea of an infinite supply of money and dives in to help out.

There are five continents in the Shake Dimension, each with four stages and a boss level to get through before you can move on to the next. Though just completing the stages might not be enough to progress, as you'll need to collect plenty of money to purchase the maps from Captain Syrup's shop. She's not just in this for the ride, clearly. Her ship acts as the game's tutorial level, showing you the ropes both in terms of controls and the various gameplay mechanics.

Click to view larger image

Tilt And Tumble

While the basic platforming controls are pretty much exactly what you'd expect - Wario's power-dashes and butt-stomps joining the usual waddling and jumping - it's the Wii Remote's unique abilities that add a few neat twists. Firstly, if you jerk the controller downwards, Wario will slam his chubby fist into the ground, which is useful both for stunning enemies and activating various environment-sensitive features. Bomb blocks will explode, barriers will raise and you'll occasionally knock a precariously balanced rock down to your level, allowing you to clamber up to a previously unreachable area.

Shaking the Wii Remote while you've grabbed a stunned enemy often releases a giant clove of health-giving garlic, and you'll also be able to relieve various money sacks scattered about the stages of their valuable contents - though be sure to collect all of the coins as they spray everywhere otherwise they won't be added

to your wallet.

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Comments

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  1. Lost Rider Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 14:08

    Hmmm, the price tag will justify whether I get this one. While im sure it will be a great platforming game, I'd rather have the main game be longer. Even if it does have lots of replay value...I dunno, it just doesn't feel the same. I don't want too fork out 40 quid for some im not going to be entirely satisfied with.

  2. vamperik Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 14:52

    I'll probally get this when the price drops ... seems like theres not enough of it to warrent the full price tag.

  3. ploiper Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 16:09

    im not put off by the price tag at all, i think it will be well worth the purchase

  4. fanboy Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 18:23

    Id buy a 2d platformer on DS or on Wiiware but not as a full price Wii game, it just doesnt seem right somehow.

    Plus this is another case of a review with a significantly higher score than Ive read elsewhere.

    I wouldnt mind a go on this though, it looks like it might have that nintendo magic about it.

  5. wazlon Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 20:25

    I would rather buy this when the price has gone down a bit. I know it will be a really good game and I really enjoyed the Gameboy versions of Wario but when you can get Super Mario Galaxy for the same price, I don't think it's worth it.

  6. Mama Luigi Thursday 25th Sep 2008 at 21:20

    £40 is a bit too steep for a 2D platformer with 5 worlds. I'll buy it though because I loove the Wario Land series.

  7. nicktendo Friday 26th Sep 2008 at 18:18

    Hi, i got wario land the shake dimension today for £35 from GAME and its fantastic, i cant comment on the length as i haven't finished it but it does seem a bit easy. although i also got mega man 9 and thats NOT EASY! so if i find wario too easy ill play mega man for a bit and if i find mega man too hard i'll play wario for a bit!
    :-)
    horray for 2D!

  8. YAYFORNINTENDO Friday 26th Sep 2008 at 19:03

    I was going to get this today, but was out of stock in asda, hopefully i will get it tommorow.

  9. Mama Luigi Friday 26th Sep 2008 at 20:35

    I was reading the review or this in the Daily Mirror and they gave it 3 stars saying it'd be good for small children. They also said the price is £49.99. Last time I checked, Nintendo games weren't that expensive since the N64 days. There were other reviews in there too, one of which scored higher than Wario Land. Strangely enough, that game was G1 Jockey for Wii which was rated four stars. The Daily Mirror really needs to get some real gamers in to do it's reviews because they've just gone and recommended a pile of filth over a truly great game.

  10. Zarnak Saturday 27th Sep 2008 at 10:52

    Hmm... 88%. I guess it's a fair score, but Wario Land 4 seems a lot shorter than this (I haven't got it yet but I'm just guessing from the review)but it's got a higher score. Oh well - I'm gonna get this when the price drops or trade some stuff in. Looks awesome, I just hope it gets the sales it deserves.

  11. nicktendo Saturday 27th Sep 2008 at 13:49

    ITS NOT £40 or £49.99.....
    ITS £35.

  12. hulkbuster Saturday 27th Sep 2008 at 22:42

    LOVE IT :!: ,LOVE IT :!: ,LOVE IT :!: :D :D :D Ok it may be 2D and £34.99 but i still....LOVE IT :!: WELL DONE NINTENDO.

  13. Reject Head Saturday 27th Sep 2008 at 23:27

    Production IG.

    Please give them credit for the incredible animation in this game, not Nintendo.

  14. gamingprincess Sunday 28th Sep 2008 at 15:46

    Im not a big fan of Wario but this game looks good i might buy it when the price goes down :o

  15. Wario-Man Sunday 28th Sep 2008 at 19:26

    C'mon guys can't you work out a price for a Wii game? A reasonably priced Wii game is £30, yet on one's release it's about £35, like nicktendo said. Now it's £30 from most places. Yet, I haven't always bought Wii games for £30.

    When Mario Kart Wii came out I got it for £35, which was OK as I had store credit and it came with the Wii Wheel and a pull-back Mario Kart toy.

    Yet Gamestation betrayed me. I got SSBB for £38; they had put up the price! They were out of gifts so WHEN I ASKED I got a poster. I preferred it to a little toy but they should have had 'em in stock. I also used store credit, which was a bonus.

  16. Lost Rider Monday 29th Sep 2008 at 07:49

    C'mon guys can't you work out a price for a Wii game? A reasonably priced Wii game is £30, yet on one's release it's about £35, like nicktendo said. Now it's £30 from most places. Yet, I haven't always bought Wii games for £30.

    When Mario Kart Wii came out I got it for £35, which was OK as I had store credit and it came with the Wii Wheel and a pull-back Mario Kart toy.

    Yet Gamestation betrayed me. I got SSBB for £38; they had put up the price! They were out of gifts so WHEN I ASKED I got a poster. I preferred it to a little toy but they should have had 'em in stock. I also used store credit, which was a bonus.

    I don't think it was just Gamestation. In fact, I got SSBB for £39.99 at GAME, so you could say Gamestation was being reasonable to a degree.

    I guess its true, the higher the hype, the more expensive the game. Which was also why I was under the impression Wario land would be pretty expensive...

    And, uh, whats this about a gift?

  17. hulkbuster Monday 29th Sep 2008 at 12:58

    Why is the price such a problem :?: look if you want a wario game on DS most retailers want £29.99 so take your pick and if you can find them cheaper then....GOOD FOR YOU :wink: :wink: .

  18. Lost Rider Monday 29th Sep 2008 at 16:57

    Why is the price such a problem :?: look if you want a wario game on DS most retailers want £29.99 so take your pick and if you can find them cheaper then....GOOD FOR YOU :wink: :wink: .

    Remember, not all of us have a ton of money on our hands, which can be a problem if you want multiple games (like I do). Im having difficultly choosing what I want more...

  19. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 14:34

    This game looks awsome, i can't wait to get it. It's been a while since i played a platformer, the last time being Mario Galaxy. Also its good to see the fat chap get the spotlight for a change.

  20. lminett Saturday 4th Oct 2008 at 20:11

    THIS GAME SHOULD BE AT LEAST 90% ONM!!!!!.

    Got the game love it and i want more 2d platform games, there aint enough!

  21. mattsponge Thursday 9th Oct 2008 at 15:56

    :D its really good i got the game in tesco for 35.00 quid this game rocks keep making more wario games nintendo

  22. bowser boy Saturday 11th Oct 2008 at 19:21

    Got this today it's great

  23. Super_Sonic96 Sunday 12th Oct 2008 at 12:07

    This game looks SOOOO COOLLLLL!!!!

    I can't wait to get it! And yes, we want more 2D glory NINNTY!!!

  24. DBZFan355 Sunday 8th Feb 2009 at 14:58

    See, 2D platformers are long from dead!

  25. mariofanatic128 Friday 17th Apr 2009 at 17:05

    This is the most underrated game ever. It needs 90-94%

  26. niallswand Sunday 20th Dec 2009 at 11:31

    How does £3.99 sound?!?! HMV!

  27. Waldy565 Thursday 2nd Dec 2010 at 17:22

    just ordered for xmas. so thats this, goldeneye, resi evil, ranger 3 and layton 3 to be getting busy with :D

  28. Emperor Evil Sunday 12th Dec 2010 at 15:28

    tbh I didn't enjoy playing this.....at all.

    Sure it looks nice, but the gameplay itself just felt flat to me, and the level design and music weren't very impressive.

    So for me it has to be 55%
    (Runs away very quickly)

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