Wario Land: Shake It! is a high-res, 2D sequel to Wario Land 4, which was one of Nintendo’s early releases for Game Boy Advance, and it continued as one of the top games throughout console’s production. Shake It! mixes things up a bit with new motion-controlled features. The game is controlled entirely with the Wii-mote, mostly with the sideways NES-style position. In essence, it is your typical 2D platformer; Wario runs, charges and jumps, just like in previous Wario games.
Motion controls come down to a few specific functions. First, there’s the shaking: When Wario grabs anything, whether it is an enemy or a sack of loot, rapidly shaking the remote will cause things in the game to be dislodged. Cash in the case of a loot sack, health from numerous enemies, and a captured fairy from the goal markers. The more you shake the Wii-mote, the more you are able to shake free. It’s not all violence, however; the game also allows Wario to wind up and throw objects, with the pointing of the remote determining his aim. It works somewhat like Yoshi’s Island’s egg-tossing, except where Yoshi aimed by firing at an automated crosshair, Wario has control over the direction of his aim. Finally, giving the remote a quick shake while Wario’s not holding anything will cause him to do a “ground pound”, dazing enemies and revealing hidden secrets.
The game is divided into a number of worlds, each with several stages each. The main levels, aren’t particularly difficult, at least not in our experience with the game so far. The action tends to be slower than in a Mario game, with a more emphasis on both exploring and exploiting enemies.
So, the bottom line is…does anyone really want to play a sequel to a Game Boy Advance title? In this case, they our answer is yes– Wario Land: Shake It! is fun stuff and is a clear sign that the company still remembers how to make the kind of game that put it on the map to begin with.