|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Good Feel||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sept. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Finishing a level within a time limit plays out differently than one might expect, that is unless you have played previous Wario Land titles. Players will traverse levels, making their way to a metal prison that holds an innocent denizen of the Shake Dimension captive. Once found, players will need to shake it until its captives are set free. Unfortunately, as soon as it breaks, an alarm sounds, giving players a limited amount of time to make it back to the beginning of the level. If you fail to make it in time, you will be unable to keep the treasure and coins you've managed to collect during that level. Fortunately, there is really no reason to fear this, as it is often incredibly easy to beat these generous countdowns. The only real challenge lies in trying to beat the time set by the missions. Successfully completing missions and finding treasure is not necessary to advance in the game but it definitely adds to the game's replayability.
Boss battles have always been a major part of every Wario Land game to date and Shake It! is no exception. One of the best is a floating face that needs to be fed enemies and eventually bombs to be defeated. Another has Wario piloting a rocket propelled unicycle, complete with an extending arm fashioned to a boxing glove. Players will need to tilt the Wii-mote left and right to speed up and slow down, all while punching incoming debris back at the car of your enemy. This redirected trash knocks out the vehicle's engines, allowing Wario's boxing glove to pummel the car and eventually its occupant into oblivion. These battles are as challenging as ever and will often test players' reflexes and patience.
Aside from the unfortunate incorporation of shaking everything you come across, the only other flaws in Shake It! came from its visuals and sound. The sound effects were great but the music didn't quite strike the funky chord that many fans of the series have come to expect. Wario himself and the various characters you'll come across during the game look like well animated cartoons. However, the backgrounds and platforms in the game criminally lack detail. Often backgrounds appear like water-colored paintings, consisting of little more than empty space with very few objects present. Most of the game's levels are also fairly bland-looking, leaving one wondering exactly why the Wii's hardware wasn't put to better use with this title.
Even with its minor faults, Wario Land: Shake It! still manages to be a great platforming experience. Shaking your controller gets old very quickly, but the tried and true platforming goodness that is Wario Land, thankfully, remains intact. With all the hidden levels and treasures to be found and each level's missions to complete, Shake It! will also provide players with many hours of enjoyment, even after completing the game. Hopefully, this will be the first of many Wii Wario Land sequels to come.
CCC Staff Contributor