Tag Archives: frustrating learning curve

Wario World

514DEMK6TTLSo, part of the problem with reviewing video games is that my system requires me to be finished consuming the item in question. Having quit definitely counts, but it’s harder to tell when I won’t really be playing a game anymore, as opposed to if I get sick of a movie or a book.

Sadly, this excuse will fit a lot better on the following review, because I knew I didn’t like Wario World within the first fifteen minutes. I was playing it back in mid-October, at my parents’ house. I expected it to be pretty good, what with finding Wario to be a fairly amusing character in the Mario Bros./Donkey Kong Nintendoverse, and especially due to the brilliant WarioWare, released at the same time for the Gameboy. Alas, sheer lameness lay ahead.

I got off to a great start by not realizing that the initial area was mostly just the menu of places to go, not actually part of the real game. So, poor introduction, check. Then, after I finally did work out where to go to play the game, it turned out not to be 3D after all. I mean, I like sidescrollers just fine, but it’s not what I saw coming here. (Technically, there are three dimensions, but while right/left and up/down are fully articulated, forward/backward is about ten feet wide.)

And the gameplay itself just really wasn’t much of a much. The puzzles were somewhat interesting, but I found one of them to be unsolvable during the first world, and the first world is supposed to be about getting up to speed, not about not being able to do stuff. I bought it used, so no instruction book. This could indicate that some special move I wasn’t aware of could have helped me, but frankly, that’s still bad design. Games these days are supposed to tell you how to use the buttons as you go, because there are too damned many of them to learn all at the start.

The long and short of it is that the problems I encountered were mostly due to missing info and poorly managed expectations. Still, though, most games I expected to like going in would hold my interest long enough to get through the rough patches, or at least make me want to explore online for whatever info I needed to be able to play. This one did not, and when googling isn’t worth the effort, that’s just a flat-out failure.