Wario: Master of DisguiseESRB:
Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Developer – Suzak
Publisher - Nintendo
Touch Screen Compatible
Wario has managed to step out of Mario’s shadow through a series of games well known to Nintendo fans. The WarioWare series has catapulted Mario’s evil brother to stardom. But many people forget that Wario has his roots in platform games. The latest Wario title for the DS takes Wario out of his party game comfort zone and puts him back where he got his start, a platform based game. Wario: Master of Disguise is only published by Nintendo as they have given the reigns of developing the game to Suzak, a third party publisher. How does this game fare? Read on my fellow fans.
The visuals in Wario: Master of Disguise are pretty good, but although they have that Nintendo look to them but something is missing. I know that people are going to ask what it is I mean, but I just can’t put my finger on it. Don’t get me wrong, the visuals are pretty good but there seems to be some charm missing. The DS really does excel as a 2D machine, and this latest Wario title falls well within its limitations. The colors are bright and the use of the DS Lite’s screens show off the vibrancy of the palette used. There is nothing wrong wit the look of this game as the DS just plugs along showing off the all the on-screen action. I wish I could say that this game does something really special with the visuals, but it does not. The game does what it is supposed to visually as everything is clear and there are no anomalies to be found anywhere.
The sound is somewhat like the graphics, in that it does what it is supposed to and does a solid job of it. I found the music very suitable to the game’s atmosphere. This time around Wario has a very active role sound wise, including some great one liners during gameplay. Overall Suzak does a great job of utilizing a good all around sound package in this game and it does not disappoint.
The story in Wario: Master of Disguise has the evil plumber spending a lot of time in a fictional television series. While there he runs into the show’s main character who goes by the name of the Silver Zephyr. Did I mention that he is also a master thief? Well Wario steals the Silver Zephyr’s magic wand in an effort to become a rival thief and he aptly names himself the Purple Wind. With his new found abilities, Wario will traverse across various levels in search of gold and other various items to make his own.
A lot of Nintendo based platform games manage to have some sort of feature to make it somewhat special. In Wario: Master of Disguise you can change into different forms to access different sections of each level. You will find yourself transforming into such characters as Dragon Wario, Cosmic Wario, Genius Wario, Sparky Wario, Wicked Wario, Arty Wario, Captain Wario or Thief Wario. Each different form has a special ability to allow you to reach specific areas and advance in the game. For example, if you want to shoot enemies or fire at itesm down screen you can use a laser to do so when you turn into Cosmic Wario. Or if you want to use a stone block to weigh down a remote switch then you will have to turn into Arty Wario to make said block. You won’t have all these abilities from the get-go so once you finally collect all these abilities you may find yourself backtracking to reach certain areas you could not access earlier in the game.
The whole idea of transforming into different forms of Wario is great in concept, and it does work really well, however what I did find somewhat frustrating was how you transform. You draw certain symbols on the touch screen to activate (or morph) your special Wario form. This becomes a challenge as to draw the specific icons associated with later forms of Wario becomes a little more complicated on the touch screen and you will find that the game will not always recognize what you have drawn. Sure, redrawing is not that hard, but when you have to change forms in a very quick fashion it becomes somewhat frustrating when the game doesn’t recognize your drawing and the result is a transformation into a Wario you did not want. In all honesty, this is the only major flaw I found that really affected my enjoyment of the game.
As you make your way through the various levels of the game you collect various items you come across. This includes a large number of treasure chests that are scattered throughout. Once you come across a treasure chest you are tasked with a random ‘test’. These are somewhat puzzle based tasks from sliding tile puzzles to tracing designs on the touch screen. Most of these are somewhat generic, and although they could have been injected with some originality they were a nice addition nonetheless into this platform game.
Wario: Master of Disguise in not a bad game, it is just not a great game. With good visuals, good sound and average gameplay, this title’s overall score is hurt by some poor implementation of the touch screen functionality, which just did not do as good as a job as it could have. There is no doubt that if you play this game you won’t hate it, but you wont swoon over it either like you may have over other Nintendo character based titles in the past.