November 4th, 2006, 23:27 Posted By: wraggster
My two favorite games from Nintendo World weren't on the Wii! That's right, the DS took the honors with two absolute charmers, Kaitou Wario and Chibi Robo.
I first sampled Wario's latest DS outing, his first side-scroller for the system. Kaitou Wario puts you in control of Mario's rival as you solve puzzles and collect treasure chests.
This isn't strictly a platformer. You move Wario left and right and make him jump and duck all with the D-pad. Lefties can opt to use the A, B, X and Y buttons for this functionality. Everything else is done with the stylus. You open treasure chests by tapping on-screen icons. You attack enemies and perform special skills by pointing at your intended target.
To get through a stage, you have to make use of Wario's transformation abilities. The demo included, in addition to the standard Thief Wario, Space Wario, Graffiti Wario and Dinosaur Wario. You change into these new forms by drawing a shape around your character. Dinosaur Wario is a caret, Thief Wario is a check, Space Wario is a circle, and so-forth.
All Warios have different abilities. Thief Wario moves and jumps faster than the other Warios and he attacks by directly charging at enemies. Space Wario shoots lasers and has floaty jumps. Graffiti Wario can draw doors and crates, with the player being responsible for actually drawing the shape in the desired location. Dinosaur Wario breathes fire.
Progressing through the demo stage required full use of the various Warios. Space Wario's lasers were used to blast platforms down from the ceiling and to take out pesky birds who didn't appear to be too fond of Wario. Graffiti Wario's drawing abilities were used to create new platforms in order to leap over tall obstacles.
On top of the side-scrolling segments, Kaito Wario includes mini games, which you must clear in order to get the contents of treasure boxes. I was able to find just two in the demo, a simple picture puzzle game and a more action-oriented game where you tap with the stylus in order to exterminate incoming cockroaches.
The Nintendo World demo left me wanting to get cozy with the clever stages Nintendo will undoubtedly come up with for the final version. The wait will be long, sadly, as Kaitou Wario isn't expected to hit Japan until February of 2007.
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