Wario Land: Shake It!
Wario Land: Shake It! (known as Wario Land: The Shake Dimension in Europe and Australia, Wario Land Shake in Japan and Wario Land Shaking in South Korea) is a platformer game developed by Good-Feel for the Wii and is the sixth installment in the Wario Land series. It is the first game in the Wario Land series to be released since Wario Land 4 in 2001, making it the longest gap in the series so far. The game also features the return of Captain Syrup, who hosts the Pirate Shop. The animations for the cutscenes and gameplay were done by Japanese animation studio Production I.G.
One night, the greedy pirate Captain Syrup sneaks into a museum looking for treasure to steal, when an item known as the Ancient Globe catches her interest. Upon inspecting it, she sees there is another world within the globe called the Shake Dimension.
Within the Shake Dimension, dark clouds have set as the peace has been shattered by the marauding pirate known as the Shake King. The Shake King has stolen a legendary treasure known as the Bottomless Coin Sack. He also kidnapped and imprisoned all but one of the peaceful Merfle tribe, along with their queen, Merelda who was tied up. While the Shake King gloats, the one Merfle that managed to escaped imprisonment vows to find someone from the outside world who can help his people and leaves.
Seeing the events unfold, Captain Syrup decides that stealing the treasure for herself may prove too difficult, and so she steals the Ancient Globe from the museum.
The next morning, Wario is awakened from his slumber by the delivery of a very large gift, which, once unwrapped, reveals the Ancient Globe and a note from Captain Syrup explaining that there is treasure within the Globe. Misinterpreting the note, Wario drops it, and gets a hammer. Then, Wario prepares to smash the globe open with the hammer when suddenly smoke bursts from the top (causing Wario to miss and smack his head). The smoke forms a large telescope, which Merfle uses to reach Wario's world. Merfle then greets Wario, causing him to hit his head on the telescope when trying to look up. In a fit of anger, Wario grabs Merfle threateningly and was going to punch him in the face, when Merfle begins pleading for Wario's help.
Merfle explains to Wario (who shows very little interest in the story, even picking his nose as it is being told) about how the Shake King appeared, captured, and imprisoned his people and even stole the legendary treasure. At the mention of treasure, Wario immediately grabs Merfle and shakes him for more information. Merfle explains the properties of the Bottomless Coin Sack to Wario but warns him that if he doesn't rescue the other Merfles he would be stranded in the Shake Dimension. Wario decides that this quest will be worth his time, and prepares to enter the Shake Dimension.
After surviving all of the Shake King's traps and minions, Wario is able to battle the Shake King himself. It is a hard and long battle, since the Shake King also has some of Wario's moves; however, Wario is able to beat him, resulting in the Shake Dimension being saved at last from the Shake King's evil grip.
When Queen Merelda thanks Wario for saving her kingdom, Wario tosses her aside and takes the Bottomless Coin Sack. When returning to his world for the final time, he shakes the bag to collect all the coins he always wanted. However, the celebration doesn't last long. Catching Wario off guard, Captain Syrup takes the Bottomless Coin Sack and all the coins Wario shook out from it and makes a quick getaway. Wario is completely humiliated that he was double-crossed from the start.
Like all other Wario Land games, Wario Land: Shake It! is a 2D platformer. Players must hold the Wii Remote sideways to play this game. The is used for Jumping, while the is used to perform a Dash Attack. The is used for ducking, and entering a Warp Pipe. When using in midair, Wario performs a Ground Pound. However, there are also some changes according to the environment. When pressing on a hillside, Wario will slide down on his belly. Throwing an enemy or object is done by pressing the , but the player must tilt the Wii Remote in the desired direction, and then press again to make Wario throw in that direction.
There are also new features in gameplay, mostly implementing the motion-sensing abilities of the Wii Remote. Executing an Earthshake Punch uses the motion sensitivity. By shaking the Wii Remote when the Shake Meter at the top of the screen is full, Wario performs a powerful punch on the ground, causing an earthquake. It is needed to move objects in some levels, opening new paths, and it also stuns enemies. However, when used, the Shake Meter gets empty. The player can't use another Earthshake Punch when the Shake Meter is empty, so they must wait until the Shake Meter is full, which only takes a few seconds. Another frequently implemented action in the game is shaking an enemy or a Coin Bag. When Wario picks up an enemy or a Coin Bag, the player can shake the Wii Remote to let Wario shake it. Shaking a Bandinero may reveal a clove of Garlic, while a Coin Bag will lose all the Coins it contains.
When in contact with a bar, Wario can hang from the bar and then perform a Bar Spin by shaking the Wii Remote. Upon pressing the , Wario spins high into the air, and can also reach grab another bar if he comes into contact with one. Wario can also use Unibuckets to travel on cords - yet another action that uses motion sensitivity. When the player presses , Wario jumps into the Unibucket, and pressing will let Wario to pop out of the vehicle. Tilting the Wii Remote sideways moves it, with the angle of the remote affecting the speed at which the Unibucket moves. Pressing lets it jump. If a Unibucket lands on any surface that is not a Unibucket cord, it breaks instantly.
A flying counterpart to the Unibucket is the Rocket Bucket. By pressing , Wario will jump in. When in this vehicle, two rockets and a dome appears. Pressing accelerates it, and tilting the Wii Remote is used for steering. Colliding with spiky balls will break it. However, it can land on any piece of non-spiky ground. The game also introduces and underwater device; Wario's Subwarine. In underwater levels (of which there are 3), Wario must use this vehicle to proceed through the level. Tilting the Wii Remote will steer the Subwarine, and will move it back and forth. Pressing the makes the Subwarine shoot a torpedo in a straight line.
Wario will find metal boxes throughout almost every level, with a screen and a red entrance atop it. These machines are named Max Fastosity Dasherators; they let Wario run very fast when entered. Wario can still jump while dashing. Pressing the opposite direction of the direction Wario is running causes him to skid to a halt and quickly turn to that direction. Moving is automatic and Wario can also run over water. Another thing that Wario can do is break blocks and defeat enemies in this state. Wario will cease dashing if he collides with any solid object or wall.
Blast-O-Cannons are cannons where Wario can jump in, by pressing . The player can then tilt the Wii Remote to choose a direction. Pressing will let the cannon prepare to shoot, and releasing will let the cannon shoot. When touching another Blast-O-Cannon after being blasted from another one, Wario will automatically enter it. Wario can't enter a Blast-O-Cannon on a wall in a normal way. He should use another Blast-O-Cannon to enter a Blast-O-Cannon on a wall. Some Blast-O-Cannons move automatically.
The main goal of a level is to guide Wario to the cage where a Merfle has been caught. Such cages are called Merfle Barrels. Near to it is a Checkpoint Block. If Wario picks up the cage, an intruder alert is triggered. Then the player must shake the Wii Remote to break open the cage to free the Merfle. A timer then appears, and a different, faster song plays. With the Merfle holding an arrow that shows the direction to go, Wario must go back the beginning of the level before the timer reaches zero. Blue Shake King Blocks also will appear, while Red Shake King Blocks disappear, which changes some paths and opens new places, often allowing different Treasures to be found. If the countdown reaches fifteen seconds, another tune will be played, and the Merfle is panicking. If the timer runs out, the Shake King's shadow appears, takes Wario, shakes him, so Wario loses all his collected money, and the King then throws him back to the start. If the player used a Checkpoint Block, the Shake King will throw him to the Checkpoint instead.
The old transformations that were in previous Wario Land games were reduced to three. These were Flaming Wario, Snowman Wario and Frozen Wario. They weren't changed in the games. Wario can turn into Flaming Wario by touching a flame, and Wario runs with his bottom on fire until he becomes engulfed in fire that can burn Bonfire Blocks. Wario can turn into Snowman Wario if he touches a falling pile of snow. He turns into a snowball when standing on a slope, and can break Snowman Blocks. Turning into Frozen Wario is still a hazard. There is a new transformation called Mini Wario (which has the same goal as Tiny Wario, but is much different in appearance). This transformation can be used by entering a Mini-Barrel and will allow Wario to fit through small openings.
Also, Wario will come across Bomb Blocks, which have a certain number on them. Touching one in any way causes it to count down to zero and explode. Certainty Switches are block switches that turn Uncertain Blocks touchable and untouchable, depending on the color of the switch and the corresponding blocks.
Areas and Levels
There are five continents with five levels each; four normal levels and one boss level. Additionally, secret levels can be unlocked by finding a Secret Map in certain levels. After beating a boss, Wario must return to Captain Syrup to buy a map of the next continent. Depending on the amount of money the player has, they can go in any order they choose.
Every stage in the game, apart from boss stages, contains 3 treasures. They are always contained within treasure chests. Each treasure chest looks identical, with the only variation existing in underwater levels; where they are much smaller, and are blue rather than red. To obtain a treasure, Wario must simply attack the treasure chest and it will open. In order to 100% complete the game, the player must collect all 99 treasures as well as completing every stage's Missions.
The only time when a different method is required to obtain treasures is in the stage Boogie Mansion, where all three treasure chests are living creatures. They can fool the player because they look normal until Wario comes into contact with them. If this happens, the chest's eyes appear and it opens up, swallowing Wario in a similar way that Venus Guy-Traps can. To obtain the treasures from these living chests, Wario must throw a bomb into them, causing them to eat it and explode open.
The creation of Wario Land: Shake It! began when Nintendo producer Takahiro Harada was inspired to do a new Wario Land sequel after playing Ganbare Goemon: Tōkai Dōchū Ōedo Tengurikaeshi no Maki, a Konami platformer released on the Nintendo DS. Having enjoyed the Goemon game greatly, he contacted its producer, Etsunobu Ebisu, who had subsequently left Konami to make his own video game development company, Good-Feel. While Ebisu initially envisioned a Wild Western-style shooter for the game, Harada convinced him that sticking to what they know with a platformer would be better. Picturing Wario as a reckless yet manly brute who relies on his strength to smash though obstacles and knock things down, they eventually came up with the idea of using the Wii's motion controls for shaking things around, with other uses of tilting and aiming to compensate for the lack of buttons on the WiiMote.
After some discussion, Harada and Ebisu decided to make Wario Land: Shake It! "the ultimate 2D game" by having everything hand-drawn, from the characters to the backgrounds. Knowing the massive amount of work this would entail, they considered simply using 3D polygons, but decided to take advantage of the fact that technology had finally advanced enough to support such a lofty undertaking (for example, according to program director Koichi Yagi, "the scenery alone would have filled up the Nintendo GameCube"). A single action taken by a character amounted to about 30 animation frames, resulting in 6000 enemy patterns, with 2000 more for Wario alone, in order to animate the roughly 200 actions he can perform. The backgrounds were non-repeating and hand-drawn, and just as any change to a character's design required all the frames to be adjusted, "even a small change [to the background] meant everything had to be changed", according to design director Tadanori Tsukawaki. The end result was worth the "hard labour", however, as even in the early builds that only had basic line drawings, Tsukawaki could tell that the game "has impact". Knowing that they would benefit from the involvement of more experienced anime companies, Good-Feel brought in Production I.G. to help with character animation and the opening and ending cutscenes, while Kusanagi assisted with the background art.