Wario Land 3

released on Mar 21, 2000

Trapped inside a magical music box, the invincible Wario is on a dangerous quest to help a mysterious figure recover its lost powers! Smash, bash and crash your way through more than two dozen gigantic levels in search of hidden keys, valuable treasures and mystical music boxes. Test your wits on puzzle after intricate puzzle and flex your muscles in action-packed boss fights! Be wary of Wanderin' Gooms, Hammer-bots, Mad Scienstein and more as you plunge into one of the largest, most dazzling adventures ever to hit Game Boy Color!

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I played this after playing Pizza Tower which made it an interesting look back at the mechanics of that game midway through their evolution. For instance, Wario has no health bar and cannot be killed. Enemies either bonk Wario and knock him back, or else effect some sort of drastic transformation that affects how he moves. When set on fire he runs uncontrollably, when stung by a bee his face bloats up and he floats up until he hits the ceiling, etc. etc. It's a very cool idea, but in this game it means all the bosses will punish mistakes by booting you out of the arena and resetting the fight which just eats time and patience. It's a very fun idea, but this is not the perfect execution of it.
The other aspect of this I find interesting is that it's a sort of Metroidvania, but with its own weird spin on it. Each level has 4 treasures in it, usually only one is accessible at first. New treasures will either open up new levels, give Wario a powerup to access a new treasure in an old level or, most often, apply some unpredictable change to an existing level that opens up new routes. For instance a giant stone foot causes an earthquake, lowering the water level in one level, or a magic music box activates a suspension bridge. There's no real rhyme or reason, but it's fun to see the overworld and the maps themselves evolve, it feels a bit like eyemaze's GROW game where it's fun to see just how a seed or a magic trident will interact and modify the world.
Definitely worth playing if you're a Gameboy Colour fan, I love the dedicated titles for this system but I think there are only about six or seven of them around.

Tut mir echt leid für alle Wario Land 3 Fans, aber ich werde einfach nicht warm mit diesem Spiel...

Wario being unable to be killed in this game is the most and least surprising news I have ever heard.

Three Wario games in but this one is an absolute banger!
It almost plays like a metroidvania of sorts with the way you keep returning to previous levels with new powerups and its such a fun way to experience the series.
Controls feel more polished than ever and the different movement and traversal with powerups keep it fresh the entire run time of the game.
Only played it recently but it zipped up to the top tiers of my Mario ranking.

I really struggled to get into Wario Land 3 because of how his abilities are progressively unlocked throughout the game. I think going straight into this game after beating Wario Land 2 was quite jarring since you begin with barely any abilities at all, which just put me off playing for ages.
However, once I did start unlocking more abilities, I found the game a lot more enjoyable and started to appreciate the level design and how they introduced new ways to approach each level once you unlock new abilities and power-ups. Although I feel like this concept just isn't really for me, I love the feeling of realising a power-up I got will allow me to reach something I noticed on a previous level, but I think I prefer when that's used for secrets as opposed to required level progression. Also playing the same level 4 times just feels a bit repetitive sometimes, even though the level is slightly different each time.
The boss fights were pretty hit or miss, I especially disliked the ones where it only took 1 hit for you to get thrown out of the fight, then have to climb all the way back up just to try again, those were very annoying, but there were definitely some stand-out ones that I really liked, like the football match against the rabbit which was very reminiscent of the basketball boss in Wario Land 2.
Overall, I appreciate and respect what Wario Land 3 is and how the series is constantly trying new things resulting in there never being a stale moment, but it just wasn't really for me.

I very much enjoyed this entry, funny usage of enemies (they give Wario "powers"), and the gimmick of going back to a level once you get a new power is very Metroidvania, which is awesome