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Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3

スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド

Developer / Publisher: Nintendo
21 January 1994
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 [スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
3.41 / 5.0
0.5
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308 Ratings / 2 Reviews
#1,530 All-time
#45 for 1994
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1994 Nintendo  
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JP 4 902370 501889 DMG-WJA
1994 Nintendo  
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US 0 45496 73032 1 DMG-WJ-USA
1996 Nintendo  
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XNA 0 45496 73032 1 DMG-WJ-USA-1
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Title
Despite the fact that the title of this says "Mario Land 3", I'd argue that it'd be reductive and miss a lot of the point to treat Wario Land as just a sequel to the previous Super Mario Land games instead of its own beast. This game is really cool in the way it ends up taking so many gameplay ideas that would be considered generally bad and ends up twisting them into something that feels truly unique and fun, with a lot of ideas played around with seeming pretty bad in a vacuum but working excellently when playing off one another to make for an early 2d platforming experience that feels radically different to what one might typically expect. A lot of this comes down to the persona of Wario himself and the way that it's clear that ample time was dedicated to making him a completely distinct entity rather than essentially feeling like a reskinned version of the beloved Italian plumber.

The biggest way this is represented is with the overall movement of Wario, being far, far slower and more lumbering, feeling as if you're just casually strolling through a lot of these levels as opposed to the faster paced nature of most platformers. While this typically would be a bad thing, limiting options in how platforming challenges could be designed thanks to working around a more limited set of mobility options, this ends up being a really clever way at getting around a problem that occurred with practically every other Gameboy platformer, figuring out how to to deal with severe screen crunch without making everything too small to properly see. By slowing down the pacing of the game, Wario Land manages to have considerably less instances of the zoomed in camera becoming problematic, since there's almost always enough time to react to something.

This is made even more elegant with the other big way in which Wario himself is made to feel very different, that being the way he's a practically unstoppable tank with basically all enemies being tremendously outmatched by him, making it less likely for there to be a serious threat even if you do get caught off guard. This decision redefines enemy interaction as a whole as well, as rather than with Mario, where the solution is always to just jump on the head, in this, you can approach the enemies from any direction that doesn't look hazardous. Not only does this make for some pretty creative enemy design, seeing how they can craft obstacles that both naturally inform the player of how to approach a situation without feeling artificial, but it also adds the potential for a lot of unique encounters that make the player think on their toes a bit more about how to handle what's presented to them. All of this leads to a game that not only manages to sufficiently distance itself from the identity of Mario, but also is just, a great time.

The intentionally slow way in which the player moves also complements the level design rather well, focusing less on just getting from point A to point B, and emphasising exploration to a much larger degree, not just with hiding secret treasures in the area, but having entirely different alternate paths, levels that activate things that completely recontextualise past levels, and even making coins feel like something closer to a collectible rather than a means of getting bonus lives, which funnily enough makes them even more appealing to collect, even knowing that all they do is affect the ending. It's a cool system that is combined with quite a few levels that are a bit less linear and more complex than you'd expect them to be. Game's also decently long for the system it's on, having over 40 levels that each feel relatively different to one another and will likely take a couple tries to get through, so it's a decent amount of time spent messing around with the ideas here. Even the powerups serve to further increase your mobility options in ways that allow you to access new areas as opposed to being able to pass through obstacles easier, ensuring that there's a strong sense of value to be gained from them that's tailor made to fit the experience the game attempts to craft.

Overall I'm just super impressed with this game, as while it may be a bit simplistic and unfavourably janky at points, the ways in which it rises above the inherent limitations with the hardware it's on and uses it to craft an entirely unique feeling game is admirable to say the least. Everything feels slightly offbeat and eerie, yet still inviting, your slow movement lends itself to a feeling of power to balance it out along with fixing the problem of wanting big sprites and enough screen space, everything's just this perfect storm of awesome design decisions that make it feel as if the system is being used to its fully capabilities without sacrificing much in terms of gameplay, and really, it just manages to be more engaging to me than almost every mainline Mario game that came out before it.
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Kempokid 2022-05-23T05:44:35Z
2022-05-23T05:44:35Z
3.5
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Title
Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 has got to be one of the coolest ideas of all time. It's a breath of fresh air and a cool way to carry the series forward.

After the success of Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Nintendo got to work on Super Mario Land 3. After seeing the popularity of the main antagonist of the previous game, Wario, Nintendo decided to center this game on Wario. He's the main character in this game. This would put an end to the Mario Land series and start the Wario Land franchise.

The story is simple as always. After losing the castle he took over in Mario Land 2, Wario, desiring to replace the castle he lost, sets off to steal the Golden Statue of Princess Peach from the Brown Sugar Pirates and Captain Syrup to ransom for a castle

Wario Land has really cool gameplay. He is slower than Mario but is very strong. He can ram into enemies and blocks to collect coins. Power-Ups like Bull Wario make him stronger, Dragon Wario which lets him shoot fire, and Jet Wario which allows him to fly.

The game has a neat system as well. You can get different endings based on the number of coins you collected. You can be rewarded a Bird House to a whole Moon based on meeting certain requirements. This really encourages exploration to find all the treasure and coins you can. It's great.

Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 may not be as good as Mario Land 2, but it's well executed and the start of a really cool series. Fitting how Wario basically stole this franchise. I won't be looking at any other Wario Land games. This is a Mario retrospective after all. But seeing how this is the end of the trilogy, I felt like I had to. Amazing time with this game
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Wario has been plaguing Mario since the early 90s as sort of an anti-hero, he appeared first as the main villain in Mario Land 2 and is sort of seen as Mario's arch rival. Seeing as Mario was at its peak in the early 90s, Nintendo decided to use the Handheld games to give attention to Wario, considering Mario and Luigi were busy stealing the attention in the console games. Wario Land is the first game you play as Wario, and it essentially is similar to Mario Land 2. The problem with Wario Land is mainly that Wario controls kind of awkward, he feels super slow and bulky like you are controlling a tank. The other thing is enemies in this game are kind of annoying and its similar to Mario Bros 2 where you can pick up and throw enemies.

The core of every Mario game is good platforming, and the Platforming in this one is a bit clunky. Plus you can just get the jet hat ability and fly through most of the obstacles in the levels. Wario Land is a pretty good length and longer than the first 2 Mario Land games, but the design, bosses, and enemies in this game just aren't as memorable as those in the main Mario games. Wario Land didn't really start improving or finding its identity until the 3rd game. This isn't a bad game though, and I did enjoy it more than Wario Land 2 and the first Mario Land game, but it hasn't aged very well and its a bit too frustrating and forgettable.
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jweber14 2019-01-19T05:04:20Z
2019-01-19T05:04:20Z
3.5
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Catalog

DissonantTimpani Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 2024-05-15T08:01:15Z
GB • US
2024-05-15T08:01:15Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cityofleeches スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-05-10T01:13:04Z
2024-05-10T01:13:04Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
leftdevices スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-05-07T14:22:50Z
2024-05-07T14:22:50Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
kaaisu Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 2024-05-07T08:32:59Z
GB • XNA
2024-05-07T08:32:59Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
bing_bong_barl スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-04-30T18:08:32Z
2024-04-30T18:08:32Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
polland Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 2024-04-16T20:15:39Z
GB • US
2024-04-16T20:15:39Z
3.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
jesseleefoster スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-04-07T22:58:10Z
2024-04-07T22:58:10Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
h4x1 スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-03-16T11:48:35Z
2024-03-16T11:48:35Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
eliottstaten スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-03-14T07:40:54Z
2024-03-14T07:40:54Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Ullur スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-03-12T23:23:51Z
2024-03-12T23:23:51Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
RavenGenevore Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 2024-03-11T18:28:02Z
GB • US
2024-03-11T18:28:02Z
3.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
emulated
Gibbous スーパーマリオランド3 ワリオランド 2024-03-06T17:12:49Z
2024-03-06T17:12:49Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Cartridge
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  • Robbo_229 2021-08-29 22:00:06.609003+00
    Underrated af
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  • MisTurHappy 2022-05-04 07:35:59.391995+00
    A great concept and a decent game, but this one in particular feels largely like an awkward middle point between traditional Mario gameplay and the unique flavor that Wario Land would establish for itself later. In terms of raw level design and platforming it's weaker than Mario Land 2, and while the treasure-hunting elements, enemy-centric gameplay and abundance of clever secrets are present, I don't feel like they're quite strong enough yet to carry the rest of the weight. Still, the fact that this game was even made to begin with makes me happy. Imagine present-day Nintendo making a game that actively encourages you to just be a selfish, greedy bastard. It'd never happen.
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  • 666LILGILGAMESH666 2022-07-18 05:15:45.611953+00
    found the cartridge at karate class
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  • CrystinaZ 2023-08-22 19:56:56.30134+00
    It certainly had some fun aspects and was good enough to get through, but after 40 levels I was pretty ready for it to end.
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  • figurehead 2024-01-20 02:57:56.422247+00
    not bad but it feels like a step back after Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins [スーパーマリオランド2 6つの金貨]
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  • Sharked98 2024-01-21 23:36:01.950927+00
    Happy 30th!
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