Wario: Master of Disguise (Hands-On) (Nintendo DS) Preview

By Adam Riley 07.03.2007 4

Ever since stealing the limelight in Super Mario Land 3 on the Game Boy, Wario has always been firmly routed in the platform genre. However, that was only until he became side-tracked in the business of highly successful money-making mini-games in the WarioWare series. Now, though, after a long sabbatical he is heading back to his roots on the DS in 'Master of Disguise', albeit developed by an outside Third Party in the form of Suzak, a team that has previously worked on GBA F-Zero games for Nintendo. Is it possible for the original magic of the WarioLand games to remain? Well, that is what we are here to find out...

The various WarioLand games from Nintendo have all been of a high level of quality, with the last handheld outing, WarioLand 4, still remaining one of the most enjoyable 2D platform adventures in recent years. Other than the Treasure-developed Wario World on the GameCube, though, the nefarious tubby-one has mainly been resigned to mini-games and sports appearances. So it is with great pleasure to find that not only has he come back to the platform fold, but the game plays extremely solidly as well. The game starts off with Wario deciding to steal the identity of a famous thief (Silver Zephyr), pinch his magic wand, become the Purple Wind and proceed to take control of his various different abilities in order to plunder more treasure than ever before. This time round, though, Wario does not have to hit icons or have specific enemies poke him to change; instead players simply have to draw trigger patterns on-screen to access them whenever they choose!

Screenshot for Wario: Master of Disguise (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

The main action takes place on the lower screen with a maze-like map taking residence on the top screen to help you guide yourself around the pleasingly detailed and highly treacherous locations. The only problem is that in all honesty it looks basically like a Game Boy Advance game, rather than something on a portable that has brought us the likes of Metroid Prime Hunters, Final Fantasy III and even New Super Mario Bros.! In fact, whilst there is more detail to the animation side, for all intents and purposes you could well be looking at WarioLand 4 itself. But since appearance is not everything, and thankfully the soundtrack has no problems, being suitably kooky and catchy, it the lacklustre visuals do not detract from the main adventure.

Screenshot for Wario: Master of Disguise (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

As stated earlier, the emphasis in Master of Disguise is that Wario can transform into various different costumes, such as a painter that can draw blocks to climb upon or an astronaut with a powerful laser-beam that can bounce around the screen at various angles. These guises and their subsequent powers are gradually built up as the game goes on and then used from thereon in on a rotational basis whenever called upon. But rather than merely travelling from A to B in a linear fashion, the map is broken up into numerous paths and there are also lots of puzzles to play along the way, which may be quite simplistic on the whole, but manage to add a nice extra element to proceedings.

Screenshot for Wario: Master of Disguise (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Having to draw different patterns on the touch-screen in quick succession can sometimes feel a bit awkward, but time is the key and after a few attempts you soon become accustomed to how it all handles. And when new abilities are indeed unlocked, it opens up the game even more as you will be able to back-track and access previously blocked areas in a rather Metroid-esque fashion. So far from this hands-on session it is quite clear that Wario is not quite hitting the highs of his internally-developed Nintendo predecessors, yet that does not mean that this game falls short of the level set by the TOSE-developed Super Princess Peach. It is a simple, fun platform game

Screenshot for Wario: Master of Disguise (Hands-On) on Nintendo DS

Final Thoughts

From what has been played so far, Wario: Master of Disguise has come along very nicely. It may feel quite different to previous Wario platform adventures due to the implementation of the touch-screen control, but the abilities, crazy fun and enjoyable adventuring remains on the whole. Out now in the US, us Europeans will most likely have to wait until the Summer of 2007 before we get our hands on this little DS gem.

Developer

Suzak

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

2D Platformer

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Coolios. Wish I had a fecking DS....

The US version came out a few days ago, so I'll be playing on it by the weekend.

I'm a major fan of the old Warioland games - however, this isn't looking so good. First, Nintendo have moved the development out of their dev teams to Suzak instead, a bad move IMHO =/ Plus, the whole 'change guises anytime you want' seems a litle tacky, and takes away some of the challenge from the old games.

True, but that's partly countered by the fact you don't have all the abilities until at least half-way through the game, rather like in Yoshi's Island DS and the Metroid games...

And Suzak did F-Zero: GP Legend and F-Zero: Climax, both great racing games on the GBA. I'm know I'm not with everyone on that point, but I enjoyed them anyway Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

The DS really is the king of platformers, and you can't beat a great platformer.

DK Country 4 Nintendo...... make it happen.


Mike Gee of iZINE said, "...The Verve, as he [Richard Ashcroft] promised, had become the greatest band in the world. Most of the critics agreed with him. Most paid due homage. The Verve were no longer the question mark or the clich. They were the statement and the definition."

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