Mario Collection: 5 lesser-known gems we’d love to see remastered

Nintendo /
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Nintendo /

Virtual Boy Wario Land (1995)

Listen, I am absolutely the person you want to ask about this. I still have my red vest with the bright words “ASK ME ABOUT VIRTUAL BOY” on the back from my first job as a game expert at Toys R Us so I got you on this info. I also still have a working one at my desk in my office.

I said in the last entry that I understand if you didn’t get to play Yoshi’s Island because of how rare Super Scopes were so I ABSOLUTELY understand if you never got to play on a Virtual Boy. But it’s also a shame you didn’t get a chance because Wario Land was actually really fun.

First off, the game had amazing sprite work. Characters, including the enemies, displayed an array of emotions and expressions.

Also, the game had an interesting setup. Instead of plowing through a stage, you’d search it for treasure. Once you found that treasure, you had to go. You had to find your way back through the stage as quickly as possible.

You also had some power-ups to help you in the way of hats. The Eagle hat allowed you to dash through the air, the Bull hat gave you horns and let you smash through many things, and the Dragon hat allowed you to breathe fire. There was also the rare King Dragon hat which gave you all three powers at once.

But that wasn’t all Wario could do. This being a Virtual Boy game, they really needed to show off that fake 3D world so Wario could do something that was later emulated in the Donkey Kong Country games, Rayman Legends and Mutant Mudds; Wario could jump to and fro into the background. Stages would sometimes have multiple layers and even boss fights relied on this.

Most of the bosses used this like crazy. The bosses would jump into the background to shoot at you or dive at you or to run away from you and it gave each battle a lot more room to stretch out. Which was nice because the game features some of the most fun boss designs I’ve ever seen in a platformer, like a little creature driving a tank that keeps falling out.

Just like I suggested that Super Mario Land have a Game Boy filter, I’d love to see this game have a red and black Virtual Boy filter option.