How a Wario World sequel should be done

ShyGuyXXL

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#1
Pardon the unneeded reference but Wario World is a game that... has met with a terrible fate.

Not only was the protagonist not exactly what you would call a fan favorite by most people but it was also...
...just "good".

It's not excellent like Wario Land 2, 3 and 4 but it's not "bleh" like Master of Disguise.

Therefore it has often been overlooked and underappreciated.
The game has flaws. And in this article I want to talk about these flaws and how Nintendo should correct them if they ever made a sequel.

BUT FIRST...

What Wario World does well


Music and Sound Effects:

The soundtrack of Wario World is really good and fits the game perfectly.

Songs like Greenhorn Ruins sound mischievous (just like Wario) and full of energy...


...while the ones for Mirror Mansion sound mysterious and creepy.


They're all very catchy and capture the mood of the stages well.

To this day the Greenhorn Forest music still sounds like the perfect theme for Wario.


And about the sound effects...
I don't know what it is but there's something about them that feels really great.
All the enemy noises and boss "voices"... they sound weird and cool and... weird. ^^
And the other sound effects are great too. They really pack a punch.




Controls:
The controls are what you would expect from a Wario game: simple but tight.

It only takes seconds to learn them and you always feel like you're in complete control of Wario.

The only complaint I have is that Wario sometimes does feel a bit slippery when you're trying to do precision platforming.



Satisfying combat:
Seriously! Beating up the hords of enemies the game throws at you feels so satisfying that
I just want to beat every last one even if it only gives me a few more coins.

Wario's punches alone already feel powerful but when you get to the mad moves, that's where the real destructiveness comes in. Smashing a whole group of enemies with the piledriver or clearing the field with the wild swing ding is guaranteed fun!

There's a real sense of power there but it never feels like you're overpowered. Sure, the smaller enemies don't stand a chance but there are plenty of more powerfull foes that can take you a while to beat. Not to mention the bosses and minibosses.



Collectables:
I think they are done pretty well.

Spritelings, treasures, Wario statue parts and red crystals.
Spritelings for hints and a better ending screen, treasures for Wario Ware microgames on your GBA, Wario statue parts for more health and red crystals to enter the boss rooms.

They all have a purpose besides getting 100% in the game and they are spread out nicely, forcing you to explore the levels thoroughly.



Number of Bosses:
I've heard people say the game has too many bosses but I think that's a good thing. The game is all about fighting after all and I like how every boss has to be fought a different way.

I also like their designs and how freaky some of them look (except...well, you'll see).



Gameplay variety:
There's exploration and fighting on the overworld and then puzzles and platforming inside the sub-rooms.

It switches things up every now and then.
That's good.



Story (concept-wise):
One of Wario's treasures is an evil demon that escapes and transforms Wario's treasure horde into thousands of monsters, destroys his castle and teleports himself and Wario to another World. Wario now has to literally beat the treasure back out of his enemies and destroy the villain in order to get back to his world.

That's a good concept. Easy to get behind and a good motivation for Wario to fuck shit up. Just one problem...
...but I'll get to that in a second.

To be continued below because character limit!
 
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ShyGuyXXL

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#2
What should be improved in Wario World 2



The Villain:

The story needed one thing: A more compelling villain. The black Jewel is boring. It just is. It's a purple gem with one expressionless eye and pink tentacles. It doesn't express any personality, emotions, or anything.

The thing is, you don't need dialog or a backstory to give a character personality. What you need in a game like this is visual personality.

A good visual design! That's what the Black Jewel lacks.

It's not that we don't know enough about the villain. We didn't know anything about the Golden Diva or Captain Syrup either but they had good visual design. Even Rudy the clown looked decent in his design. Freaky ...but in a good way.

Captain Syrup also displayed a lot of personality through her expressions and actions. The way she bosses around her underlings or how she freaks out when she sees the uncanny mansion.

The Black Jewel is only seen in the intro (for a split second) and then again during the boss fight....in which he doesn't do much other than shooting a bunch of lasers.

...

Alright, update time!

After I was done writing this part I found out that the final boss fight is actually much more complex and fast-paced in the japanese version!

See for yourself!


Halfway through the fight the formular gets switched up completely and the Jewel goes apeshit! He flies all over the place and does all sorts of crazy attacks.

That's MUCH better! He feels alive!
It's still not excellent but better than the one we got.



Enemy variety:

There's a set of 5 enemies that appear in every level with a different skin. That's a good idea I think. The only problem is, there aren't that many other enemies. Most of the unique ones serve a very specific purpose (like the flying magnets that you use to create plattforms).

So yeah, there should be more unique enemies alongside the normal reskinned ones.




Difficulty:

Ok, this is the big one.

The game is just too dang easy.
Mainly because of one fatal flaw:

There's NO WAY you will EVER get a game over if you have the LEAST bit of skill and intelligence!

If you ever die you can just buy a continue for a small amount of coins and continue exactly where you died. Of course, coins and health refills are everywhere.

That's a bad way to do it.

Instead they should do it like this:

You can only continue ONCE per stage. But first you have to find a special item (like a super garlic or something). Like the golden bone in Luigi's Mansion 2. That way the game encourages more exploration.

And if you die again, that's it! You're out! And you lose everything you've collected. Simple as that.


They should also add different difficuly modes like in Wario Land 4!



Find a new purpose for Coins:

Since there won't be any more "pay to continue"-BS, there needs to be another purpose for coins.

In Wario Land 1 they were for opening the level exits and activating checkpoints. Also for a better ending.
In Wario Land 2 and 3 you used them for playing minigames.
Wario Land 4 also had minigames but you also got rated on how much money you got in a level (with bronze, silver and gold crowns).

So let's say you can still buy garlic from those dispensers in Wario World 2. That still wouldn't be enough though. There should be a greater purpose.

Which brings me to the next point:




Ending screen:

In Wario World there are again different ending results like in the first Wario Land. Which one you get depends on how many spritelings you have rescued. Nothing else.

I don't like that. It's too easy. You should also be required to get all the treasures and Wario statues in order to get the best ending screen. Each collectable could give you another huge coin boost like the treasures in Wario Land 1.

That way you need to collect cash AND the items for the best ending.



Cash design:

This is only a minor issue but I thought the coins looked boring. You couldn't really tell the different types apart and they didn't look like they were worth getting.

I think they should just use the cash designs from Wario Land 4.

Tiny blue coins, small red coins, normal-sized silver coins and big gold coins. The blue and red gems and the giant diamonds from that game should also return. They looked so nice!
They should also all be really shiny. Like the treasure in Luigi's Mansion. That stuff really looks like something you want to get your hands on.



Length:

There should be more levels......that is all. Also, optional levels would be cool.



Wario's voice clips:

There should be more of them. After a while hearing him go "Excellente!" or "Wonderful!" all the time gets a bit annoying.



Level themes:

Let's face it, except for maybe Mirror Mansion the level themes were pretty generic.
Forest, ruins, haunted house, circus, snowy mountain, jungle, and desert.

The game needed some more cool level ideas. Like how Wario Land 4 had a giant landfill made 100% out of trash or a world that looks like it takes place in a giant pinball machine.

Or how Wario Land 2 had a chapter where you have to storm your own caste or a level where you are inside a sunken ship. Except it's the same ship you were just inside of during the previous level and you were the one who sunk it. That kinda stuff is neat.



No more design fuck-ups!

Wario World 2 needs solid character designs. So not another Mean Emcee, please.




The game goes for creepy or freaky designs pretty frequently. And that's not a bad direction for a Wario game. Wario Land 4 also had many freaky boss designs and it worked.

But if they were going for freaky or creepy in the case of the Mean Emcee...well, this is not the way to do it.

The Winter Windster is creepy. Goal achieved.
Dual Dragon is freaky. Goal achieved.
The Mean Emcee isn't creepy OR freaky. He's just badly designed. Goal not achieved.

The sad thing is, they were pretty close. I like how his body is designed. I like how he moves. I even like how he sounds. He just needed a different head. Then he would've been a great boss.

UPDATE:
Here's my rendition of what he could've looked like:

It's still not perfect but it's better.

About tutorials...

Okay....I'm not at all sure about this...

Wario World had close to no tutorials. The first few spritelings tell you the basic controls
and the rest you have to figure out yourself. I liked that. No handholding.

But...
After whatching the Game Grumps play Wario World (and getting hopelessly stuck) it got me thinking...

They basically skipped through all the dialog and then didn't know they could do special moves. And then they got pissed and ended the playthrough.

Does the game need a tutorial like the Hall of Hieroglyphs from Wario Land 4 where you HAVE to learn the moves in order to progress? Basically a fool-proof tutorial?

Or was it good the way it was?

Maybe they could do it like in Donkey Kong Country Returns and Tropical Freeze where a message pops up in the background when you need to perform a special move for the first time.




And that's it! So what do you think? Agree? Disagree? Any objections or suggestions?
Would this make it an awesome sequel?


I hope I didn't forget any important points...
 
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CM30

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#3
This is a pretty fantastic article I must say. You covered every good and bad point about the game perfectly, and I pretty much agree with all of it.

And yeah, a more interesting villain and level themes would be pretty good in a sequel. Ideally someone actually humanoid looking for the former.
 

ShyGuyXXL

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#4
Thanks!
Oh, I forgot one thing!

It would be nice to have maybe one or two more moves!

Maybe another mad move?
Maybe something like the earthquake punch thing in WL: Shake it? (that stuns enemies around you)
Maybe something completely different? As long as the game is built around it of course. Not something shoe-horned in like the giant-egg thing from Yoshi's New Island.
 
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ShyGuyXXL

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#5
Another thing I forgot:

Level replayability:
Whenever I played a level for the second time they were all... just empty.
All the collectables are gone, the minibosses are gone, the sub rooms are pointless...
there's nothing to do than run through it and bash the occasional enemy.
There should still be stuff to do and get when you play a level the second and third time.
 

CM30

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#6
Another thing I forgot:

Level replayability:
Whenever I played a level for the second time they were all... just empty.
All the collectables are gone, the minibosses are gone, the sub rooms are pointless...
there's nothing to do than run through it and bash the occasional enemy.
There should still be stuff to do and get when you play a level the second and third time.
Really? They didn't bother to make stuff respawn when you entered the level again?

That's kind of lazy. I mean, okay, I see why enemies stayed 'dead' and things stayed 'collected' for the entirety of each level trip (Wario Land Shake It's respawning obstacles was extremely cheap game design), but having the level stay mostly quiet for the second trip is kind of sad really.

Like a lot of Zelda games if you try and revisit a dungeon.
 

ShyGuyXXL

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#7
Some of the collectables get replaced with boxes with coins or garlic in them but all of the buttons and their chests stay grayed out, the golden statue parts are gone from the overworld, the spriteling boxes are gone, but most notably the gate bosses (like the ice angler fish or the bone hand door) are gone forever, the crystal bosses are gone forever and the battle rings are deactivated forever.
 

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#8
Wow, that seems like a pretty dull way to retread the levels. Why the hell would Nintendo do that in a 3D platformer?
 

ShyGuyXXL

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#9
No idea. It's really better if you just play the whole game from the start.
 

CM30

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#10
Perhaps that's what Treasure was aiming for. Aren't a lot of their games rather arcade like in style, with there being few levels but them having a decent level of difficulty?

Maybe the idea was that you should replay the whole game every now and then instead of specific levels.

Doesn't really excuse letting you explore empty/dead areas though.
 

ChanceTime

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#11
Perhaps that's what Treasure was aiming for. Aren't a lot of their games rather arcade like in style, with there being few levels but them having a decent level of difficulty?
The difference is that Treasure's other games usually get a lot of variety and tread out of their mechanics. With games like Dynamite Headdy and Gunstar Heroes it's very unlikely you'll be spending more than one level doing the same thing, as even though the mechanics stay the same, the things you interact with by using them constantly change. It's the same sort of thing Wario Land 4 boasts, so the Wario series and Treasure should've been a match made in heaven. The game is alright, but it's nowhere near up to scratch with Treasure's other stuff, and it's especially disappointing given that they should've been able to work magic with Wario as an IP, given their usually design philosophy. I think the biggest gripe with Wario World for most people is that, one way or another, it's a disappointment.
 

ThAshleyChannel

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#12
Find a way to add Ashley into the story and I'm sold. Also a little confession to make~ I found Wario world very hard to beat, I did not understand what I was doing, I only ever made it up to the ice world.
 

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#17
I honestly disagree with most of the flaws you pointed out, except for the villain, voice clips, and replayability.

I think they should keep the "pay to continue", but not have you pick up where you left off. Plus, the fee should get higher and higher for each time you die.

I actually liked going through the levels in the game, never felt generic to me. A level where you go through Wario's house would be cool. Maybe even have a bonus Mushroom Kingdom level?

Also...
There's NO WAY you will EVER get a game over if you have the LEAST bit of skill and intelligence!
Really?! I'm pretty good at this game and even I die sometimes. (Though maybe you mean a Game Over as in not having enough coins) This is just blowing it out of proportion. I think the difficulty could be up a tiny bit, but a Wario game should never be really hard. The bosses and puzzle levels were harder than the main level. In my opinion, if the main level was hard it wouldn't be as fun to go through it. I want to kick ass, not get my ass kicked. That's why (like you said) there should be difficulty settings in the next Wario Land/World game. It's a win-win situation.

And those are my thoughts on your 4-year old post. Your ideas were solid, but I feel like they would make Wario World punishing and less fun. I say the game is fine the way it is. A sequel just needs to fix a few problems it could be even better.
 

ShyGuyXXL

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#18
I honestly disagree with most of the flaws you pointed out, except for the villain, voice clips, and replayability.

I think they should keep the "pay to continue", but not have you pick up where you left off. Plus, the fee should get higher and higher for each time you die.

I actually liked going through the levels in the game, never felt generic to me. A level where you go through Wario's house would be cool. Maybe even have a bonus Mushroom Kingdom level?

Also...


Really?! I'm pretty good at this game and even I die sometimes. (Though maybe you mean a Game Over as in not having enough coins) This is just blowing it out of proportion. I think the difficulty could be up a tiny bit, but a Wario game should never be really hard. The bosses and puzzle levels were harder than the main level. In my opinion, if the main level was hard it wouldn't be as fun to go through it. I want to kick ass, not get my ass kicked. That's why (like you said) there should be difficulty settings in the next Wario Land/World game. It's a win-win situation.

And those are my thoughts on your 4-year old post. Your ideas were solid, but I feel like they would make Wario World punishing and less fun. I say the game is fine the way it is. A sequel just needs to fix a few problems it could be even better.
You might get a regular game over if you're careless and haven't been collecting many heart containers, but even if you do, it doesn't mean anything since there are so many coins in the game and buying a continue costs so little.

I was never a fan of those games that let you build up a gigantic safety net throughout the entire game, that can't possibly be used up once you actually get to the difficult parts.
Same applies to the modern Mario games that still have 1-ups.
They are so extremely plentiful and you can carry up to 99, sometimes 999, sometimes even more, so that dying becomes absolutely trivial and game overs might as well not exist. Even the modern DKC games have that problem.

Compare that to Wario Land 4, for example. In that game, when you died, you lost everything. And hearts were finite. So there's a big incentive not to get hit. The punishment is very immediate.
And that punishment never changes.
A death in the first level carries the same danger as one in the last.
The only thing that ranks up is the game's difficulty. So your skills are expected to rank up with it.

In a "safety net hoarding game" like Wario World, the difficulty increases, your skill hopefully increases too, but your safety net ALSO increases.
And there's no limit. You can farm as many goddamn coins as you want if you're just messing around in the beginning of the game.
So in that way it's just like getting more and more 1-ups in the Mario games while only ever losing a couple here and there.
.
And making the Continues more and more expensive isn't really wise either.
Imagine you get to a point where the game is actually challenging, you keep dying and now the giant hoard of coins you've been collecting throughout the entire game gets used up exponentially, at an alarming rate.
Eventually you get to the point where one continue would cost as much as playing the entire first half of the game again.
Is that fun? Is that fair? Is that good design?
That basically just turns the game into Wario Land 4, if the difficulty spike is big enough.
And if you're saying "Don't worry, it won't get to that." Then we're at the same goddamn point we were before.

Failure needs to matter in a game like this.
It's a whole short term punishment VS long term punishment thing.
Since your health bar is so big and you can tank so many hits, the punishment is long-term, meaning it has to be a big punishment.
Short-term punishments are small, long-term punishments are big.

Wario Land 1 and VB had small, short-term punishments for dying and big, long-term punishments for game-over-ing.
Wario Land 2 and 3 had many tiny punishmets for many tiny losses.
Wario Land 4 had fairly big punishments for fairly big losses, but still has small punishments as well (losing money when getting hit, getting less money from enemies if your health bar thingy isn't full)
Wario World has extremely long-term punishmets that require you to fail a lot before you actually feel any of the repercussions.

I mean, yeah, if you're not as good at the game there might be a bigger risk at running out of coins, but the good thing about the previously mentioned games is that they still punished you right away when you messed up, no matter how good you were before that.

That's why I like the idea of getting only ONE chance to continue after dying, but having to earn it first, in EACH level.
That way, being good at the beginning doesn't make the later levels a cakewalk.

What they also could've done is seperate the money you earned in the current level from your money total. That way you have to collect coins in every level and can't just say "Eh, whatever, screw coins, I have enough already!" but instead it forces you to continously be on the look out for them. This method also could've ranked up the difficulty of getting continues, as getting enough in the first level might be much easier than in the last.

Wario World's levels are huge, especially towards the end, so losing everything would be a big punishment. So maybe the game should've had checkpoints and made you only lose the progress you made since the last checkpoint if you died.
Wario Wolrd 2 could also just have smaller levels and do what WL4 did instead.

There's a lot of ways to fix this.

By the way, I didn't talk about the challenge rooms since they have entirely different rules from the regular gameplay. The instant, but small punishment of having to restart the platforming challenge when you fall is good. But the rest of the game doesn't work like that.

(Wow, I wrote a lot on such a simple topic... better get back to work!)
 

RevampedSpider

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#19
You might get a regular game over if you're careless and haven't been collecting many heart containers, but even if you do, it doesn't mean anything since there are so many coins in the game and buying a continue costs so little.

I was never a fan of those games that let you build up a gigantic safety net throughout the entire game, that can't possibly be used up once you actually get to the difficult parts.
Same applies to the modern Mario games that still have 1-ups.
They are so extremely plentiful and you can carry up to 99, sometimes 999, sometimes even more, so that dying becomes absolutely trivial and game overs might as well not exist. Even the modern DKC games have that problem.

Compare that to Wario Land 4, for example. In that game, when you died, you lost everything. And hearts were finite. So there's a big incentive not to get hit. The punishment is very immediate.
And that punishment never changes.
A death in the first level carries the same danger as one in the last.
The only thing that ranks up is the game's difficulty. So your skills are expected to rank up with it.

In a "safety net hoarding game" like Wario World, the difficulty increases, your skill hopefully increases too, but your safety net ALSO increases.
And there's no limit. You can farm as many goddamn coins as you want if you're just messing around in the beginning of the game.
So in that way it's just like getting more and more 1-ups in the Mario games while only ever losing a couple here and there.
.
And making the Continues more and more expensive isn't really wise either.
Imagine you get to a point where the game is actually challenging, you keep dying and now the giant hoard of coins you've been collecting throughout the entire game gets used up exponentially, at an alarming rate.
Eventually you get to the point where one continue would cost as much as playing the entire first half of the game again.
Is that fun? Is that fair? Is that good design?
That basically just turns the game into Wario Land 4, if the difficulty spike is big enough.
And if you're saying "Don't worry, it won't get to that." Then we're at the same goddamn point we were before.

Failure needs to matter in a game like this.
It's a whole short term punishment VS long term punishment thing.
Since your health bar is so big and you can tank so many hits, the punishment is long-term, meaning it has to be a big punishment.
Short-term punishments are small, long-term punishments are big.

Wario Land 1 and VB had small, short-term punishments for dying and big, long-term punishments for game-over-ing.
Wario Land 2 and 3 had many tiny punishmets for many tiny losses.
Wario Land 4 had fairly big punishments for fairly big losses, but still has small punishments as well (losing money when getting hit, getting less money from enemies if your health bar thingy isn't full)
Wario World has extremely long-term punishmets that require you to fail a lot before you actually feel any of the repercussions.

I mean, yeah, if you're not as good at the game there might be a bigger risk at running out of coins, but the good thing about the previously mentioned games is that they still punished you right away when you messed up, no matter how good you were before that.

That's why I like the idea of getting only ONE chance to continue after dying, but having to earn it first, in EACH level.
That way, being good at the beginning doesn't make the later levels a cakewalk.

What they also could've done is seperate the money you earned in the current level from your money total. That way you have to collect coins in every level and can't just say "Eh, whatever, screw coins, I have enough already!" but instead it forces you to continously be on the look out for them. This method also could've ranked up the difficulty of getting continues, as getting enough in the first level might be much easier than in the last.

Wario World's levels are huge, especially towards the end, so losing everything would be a big punishment. So maybe the game should've had checkpoints and made you only lose the progress you made since the last checkpoint if you died.
Wario Wolrd 2 could also just have smaller levels and do what WL4 did instead.

There's a lot of ways to fix this.

By the way, I didn't talk about the challenge rooms since they have entirely different rules from the regular gameplay. The instant, but small punishment of having to restart the platforming challenge when you fall is good. But the rest of the game doesn't work like that.

(Wow, I wrote a lot on such a simple topic... better get back to work!)
I feel like the changes like removing the pay-to-continue would work better if they changed the direction of the game a bit. I think there could be a Coin Bank that holds coins you got in previous levels so that you wouldn't lose them. Having a lot of coins in a Wario game just feels great.
 

ShyGuyXXL

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#20
I feel like the changes like removing the pay-to-continue would work better if they changed the direction of the game a bit. I think there could be a Coin Bank that holds coins you got in previous levels so that you wouldn't lose them. Having a lot of coins in a Wario game just feels great.
Sure, your money could get collected after you beat a level, like in basically every Wario Land.
But then you'd need a purpose for the money in your total. It could give you a better ending like in WL1 or let you buy things like in Wario Land 4 or Shake it.
If you can't spend it on anything or save it FOR anything, what's the point?
 
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