Wario Land: Shake It! [Buy Now]

Nintento Wii, $50

In this era of Halos and Metal Gear Solids, Wario Land: Shake It! may be overlooked.

Please, for the love of great classic gaming, do not let this happen.

The Wario Land franchise is a familiar one, finding its home on Nintendo’s handheld consoles like the Game Boy and the Nintendo DS, but Wario’s latest coin-collecting, pirate-fighting adventure is now finally coming to the Wii.

Initially, it seems like a strange decision.

The Wario games have always been divided into short, handheld-friendly levels, trading mind-blowing visuals for classic 2-D platforming, and Shake It! is no exception.

The game is divided into short levels, and it never ventures into 3-D. The graphics will not impress you with their realism, but they are absolutely worth noting.

Every character, enemy, and hero alike has the same level of animation as a high-quality Disney cartoon. The characters look and move great, and because of the high quality of animation, the controls are perfect.

As a game designed for the Wii, it includes some obligatory motion controls. You can tilt the controller to aim for throws, or shake the controller to perform a number of different actions.

The motion controls are nifty, but some of them grow tiresome quickly. I’d have preferred to push a button to perform the shake move as opposed to physically shaking the controller, but that’s because I’m lazy.

Besides, if you could push a button, they’d have probably called the game Wario Land Push It!, which might have unintended innuendo.

Most fans of classic Nintendo games feel they have been forsaken in favor of Nintendo’s newly found casual gaming demographic.

The mothers and grandmothers buying up Wiis don’t care about the 100th iteration of Wario or Zelda; they just want to go virtual bowling.

Shake It! may prove that Nintendo still holds a special place in its heart for fans. It shows Nintendo is still making games for us, because it’s clear the company is not bothering to sell it to everyone else.

So don’t be surprised if you see little marketing for this one. Nintendo expects you to find this gem on your own.

And even if you did buy a Wii just to go virtual bowling, you should pick up Shake It! anyway.

It has that ingredient that all Nintendo games share — fun.


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