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Wario Land 2

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Released: 1998

Genre: Adventure

Format reviewed: Game Boy

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Submitted by: Damian Butt

Wario Land II starts from the end of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3. In this game, as in its sequel, Wario Land 3, Wario is indestructible. This necessitated the introduction of challenging and inventive puzzle elements to the game's levels. Enemy attacks can be both a help and a hindrance; on the one hand, they may change Wario's status (so that he is on fire or frozen, for example) or even transform him to access new areas – on the other such changes may actually prevent progress and need to be avoided. In addition, some enemy attacks simply stun Wario and make him drop some of the coins he is carrying. Bosses defeat Wario by forcing him out of the boss 'arena'. This resets the boss, and the player must try again. Coins are of vital importance for use in the game's two minigames – one, a memory game, unlocks the 'treasures' in each level, while the other is a guessing game that unlocks pieces of a treasure map. Both games require coins to play, and in both cases are easier the more coins the player has. In addition, these games must be completed in every level of the game to unlock a special, 'final' level ('The Really Final Chapter'). Wario Land II is not entirely linear in narrative, something that is unusual for a platform game. Reaching one of the game's end bosses will reveal a 'map' of the game after the first play-through, from which the levels with secret exits are revealed, and the player may choose which level they want to enter among the ones unlocked The game features the return of Wario's nemesis, Captain Syrup. Early one morning, she and a few of her soldiers, the Pirate Gooms sneak into Wario's Castle and cause havoc. They steal his precious treasure, set off his giant alarm clock, and leave the faucet running, flooding much of his castle.