Been a while since I played any game on the Wii and since there was still a while before Trauma Center New Blood is out, I decided to pick up Wario Land: The Shake Dimension. I liked the first Game Boy game so I thought this should be interesting too.
Right away, the WLTSD greets with a Anime introduction scene by Production IG (Ghost in the Shell) where it shows the evil Shake King taking over the Shake Dimension and has captured the queen there. One of her servants escape and tries to get Wario's help. Of course, he doesn't show any interest until he hears about the Bottomless Money Sack where coins appear as soon as one shakes it. So it's quite the typical story so far with no great complex plot.
Unlike Mario Galaxy, you have to play stages in order. You'll also find yourself having to collect a certain amount of coins before you can buy a map to unlock access to the next area. Perhaps this is to encourage players to take their time to explore levels but, this feels kind of pointless when the choice of levels are so linear. Fortunately for the most part of the game you don't have to repeat levels to collect enough even if don't explore.
Once you're at the end of a level, you must free a Merfle from their cage then make your way back to the warp as quickly as possible before the timer runs out. Usually this means use of the Dasherator to propel Wario through the levels and it's fun trying to get the jumps and ducks right so that his sprint isn't interrupted.
Other than that, it's pretty much your basic platform game but with some Wiimote action added in. Using only the Wiimote just like in Super Paper Mario, you help Wario navigate the different levels of the Shake Dimension shoulder slaming and jumping on enemies. With the motion sensor, you can grab sacks and literally shake them for coins, tilt the Wiimote to control vehicles, throw enemies and do a ground pound.
I bought the Wii for new ways of enjoying games but unfortunately, the use of the Wiimote here feels very gimmicky unlike in say a simple game like Wii Sports itself. It doesn't increase the immersion and I wish there was an option to turn it off completely.
That said, the boss fights are fairly interesting. Also, besides the new Wiimote actions, there are a number of optional "missions" for every level such as not getting hurt and three hidden treasures to find, adding a good amount of replayability for anyone who likes to collect game items.
The 2D graphics are smooth and vividly coloured. Environments look great such as the outdoor jungle sunsets and the animations are smooth. However, I really don't like the borders along the sides of the screen, which appears only if you're using wide screen mode, because it feels like I'm using the Super Game Boy cartridge for the SNES that Nintendo released long ago. It acts as an aid to show what you have managed to find but, the brown colours and asymmetrical symbols just doesn't blend in very well with the game itself.
Wario land The Shake Dimension is pretty much your classic platformer with a bunch of Wiimote actions thrown in and to be frank, it really feels gimmicky because of the way they're used. Should satisfy anyone who wants some good old platforming action although, I think it would have been more fun giving Wario those abilities he could get back in his first outing wearing different hats.
Time Played: 8 Hours
- Some good humour.
- Smooth animation and vividly coloured graphics.
- Optional challenge missions for each level.
- Some fun boss fights.
- Good music.
- Forced Wiimote motions.
- Wiimote motions feel very gimmicky.
- Needs an option to skip that warp animation.
- Coin collecting to buy maps pointless?