Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Wario Master of Disguise DS

If you enjoy the antics of the Nintendo character we all love to hate, Wario like myself, then you would have got yourself a copy of his most recent adventure on the DS Master Of Disguise thinking that this would be another handheld classic. With memories of the infamous Wario Land series on the Gameboy, where Wario became the first playable hero who was actually a villain, there is always high hopes when the rotten thief gets another outing. However, since the Wario Land franchise has been transferred to home consoles, the DS outing for Wario is a massive disappoint in nearly every department.

The relatively unknown company in the West Sudak seemed to put a lot of effort into this title, creating an in-depth story and new enemies and gameplay features to bring a ‘new’ lease of life to the character. But in the grand scheme of things, I would have to give Sudak 100% for commitment but a mere 10% for execution.

This isn’t because I find the game so different to the other games that I hate it so much, it’s because there is very little going for Master Of Disguise that would make it anything more than the black sheep of the Wario series.

The main problem with this game is the story. My god it’s boring. The gist of the game is that Wario is watching TV in his grotty flat when a TV report on a thief and his disguises comes on. For some reason, Wario gets mad and creates the Telmet to help him transform into the TV. First of all, this is way too random, even to pass in a video game. We have not seen Wario have an magical powers in the past so why does he suddenly have them now. Then, Wario goes into the TV and steals the thief’s wand which gave him the power to change disguises. If Wario is suddenly got magical powers, why does he have to have a wand to make him change disguises? It just doesn’t make any sense and the dialogue between Wario and the other thief who we find out is called Count Cannoli of the Cannoli Clan is dire. I just wanted to get into the action and play the game but instead we were treated to some pointless story that doesn’t make any sense.

Then you have the gameplays delivery and the unique attributes the game possesses. The premise sees you needing to acquire different disguising in the various levels as well as updates in the costumes abilities. To get them, you need to find the green chests in each level and complete a colouring in challenge. Though all the mini games are quite simple and very repetitive, that is not the main bump in this annoying cycle. When you do get the disguise you need to draw a shape on Wario to transform in the costume you need. Some are simple to do like drawing a circle on Wario’s head to get the spaceman suit to use a laser but there are some which are tedious to do. This would be the dragon and the bat costumes. To get the dragon, you need to draw a triangle tail at the back of Wario and to get the bat you need to draw a wing. The problem is with the detection of the DS touchscreen and at times the speed your using the stylus, you are more often than not going to get the right one and in most cases, loose some life. This gets even more infuriating with the professor ability at the boss battle of Stuffy the Dolphin. Performing jumps in a tight room in a short space of time is one thing, but when you have to quickly draw a mirrored P on Wario to use his springing boxing glove technique at a precise moment, then bring your head round to the fact of doing this in three stages and that if you fall in the water, you have to repeat the process again, then you have one frighteningly tense, frustrating, annoying, over the top bosses I think I've ever come across.

I would say the instance where I literally thought 'what the fuck' was on the fourth stage and you had to answer random riddles to please the sphinx in the museum. You went around the museum and saw what should have been clues in the exhibitions but were placed next to other clues randomly so you didn't get the link right away. You're just asking yourself when thinking of the answers, 'what's the point?' The riddles are neither clever nor are they fun. I don't mind a game trying to be a bit educational but questions like, 'What animal pals around with cats on rainy days?' with the answer being dogs are not what children should be learning.

 I hate talking about one of my favourite characters in this light but I can't help it. Apart from a few clever platforming puzzles to solve, the game proves to be a disappointment and would not be featured on either the Virtual console or rehashed game collection anytime soon. My advice would be to only play this game if you are a Wario fanatic like myself and even then be wary. I am still hopeful of another Wario adventure classic on a handheld console, hopefully Nintendo can deliver on the 3DS with a renewal of the Wario Land saga of if not, something that resembles closer to that style rather than this drivel.

The verdict: Only get this game through a free gift on any purchase over a fiver. Very poor.

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