Once again, I must think the future in-laws for the chance to play this game.  I remember reading about it when it first came out, and have always wanted to give it a shot.  Nintendo usually does a pretty good job with their own properties, so I expected to have a good time.

The game is a 2-D platformer in which you, playing as Wario, have to travel through 5 different worlds to obtain Boss Emblems, which will show you where a pirate ship is.  Why find the pirate ship?  Do we really need a reason?  Okay, fine.  On this pirate ship is a bad guy (I forget his name) who has taken a queen hostage, and you must rescue her.  Wario wouldn't do that, would he?  You're right, he wouldn't, unless there was something in it for him.  That something is a magical bag that will always dispense coins, no matter how long you shake it.  I know, I thought it was a little crazy, too.

So the game takes place in levels about twice the size of your normal Super Mario 2-D level, I'd say.  It plays basically the same, in that there are enemies, platforms, and you usually are going to the right to progress through the level.  It is a little different, though, in that jumping on their heads only stuns enemies, while ramming them or picking them up and throwing them will destroy them.  There are also obstacles that you can break by ramming, sliding, or running through, which will open up new sections of the levels.  Along the way, there are treasure chests to be found in secret areas, which apparently are required for a Nintendo platformer.

The gameplay so far is okay, at best.  You never really get hurt.  If you run into most enemies, it only bumps you backwards instead of actually causing damage.  You start off with 5 hearts, and the health system works kinda like Zelda.  You usually lose half a heart when you're damaged.  I only played through the first level, but I never died.  Landing on spikes was the only time I got hurt.  The result is that the game seems far too easy.  While there are extra challenges to earn stars, these seem to be a little too challenging at times.  I might be a wussy gamer, but there seemed to be no middle ground.  You could easily breeze through the game, or you could sit and play every level five times to get all the stars.  I think something in the middle would be a little bit better.

After completing the first section of the map, I must say that I was kinda bored.  I like for my games to have me intrigued and wanting to play more after an hour, but this left me wanting to stop and go do something else like... I dunno, read.  While it definitely wouldn't be bad for a kid that's just starting out on platformers, I think that there are other options that are much better.  Maybe I was just spoiled by New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but that game is much better at everything it does, in my opinion.  I probably won't get to finish this game before I leave, but I'm not sure I really wanted to in the first place.