GameCube focuses on Wario not Mario

Mama mia! Where's Mario? Nintendo has decided to give its flagship video game hero a well-deserved rest. After all, the virtual plumber has been hopping barrels and stomping turtles since making his initial debut in "Donkey Kong" 22 years ago.

But that doesn't mean the Mario franchise is going on hiatus. Its latest GameCube adventure stars Mario's archnemesis, Wario, a plump, burly and greedy little creature who cherishes his riches above all else. "Wario World" isn't the best platform game on the console, but it has its charm. The game's story line is typical Nintendo fare. Wario has finally built his dream castle but among his many stolen treasures lies a mysterious black jewel that begins to transform Wario's other jewels into monsters. Wario must recover his riches, piece by piece. He does so by fighting the jewels-turned-monsters in a number of alternate worlds buried below his castle.

"Wario World" is billed as a "3-D platformer" with arcade-like play that challenges gamers to jump from platform to platform while attacking bad guys, avoiding obstacles and collecting items. But "Wario" is more linear than recent games of this type. Instead of having the freedom to roam around huge environments as in the recent "Mario Sunshine," Wario must run from the left side of the screen to the right -- typical in classic platform games -- with limited freedom to move in other directions. Some players may find the limited freedom of movement and limited manual camera control a frustrating shortcoming.

News source: CNN

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