Playing this game again and it only gets better with age, in my opinion. It lacks the tedious backtracking of Wario Land 3 (a game I do love) in favor of a faster, more traditional side scrolling platformer.
But despite being the 4th game in the series the creativity of the level design is off the charts. There's one where you play a board game to unlock hidden areas and find secret goodies, and the responsiveness of the controls makes it a perfect level. Another has you rolling down slopes like a pinball just to make it to the exit in time, in addition to throwing pinballs into feeders to progress through the level.
The best part is every level is completely different, has its own stage design, background, and its own musical theme, so you'll never encounter the same environment twice!
While there's only 16 levels in the game, completing each requires a decent amount of time. But there's plenty of secrets to explore, including fun bonus rooms with hilarious puzzles, and incredibly, the backtracking in this game is actually a lot of fun, as new rooms will open allowing you to make a quicker escape to the portal at the beginning of the level.
The game is weird, bizarre, and a lot of fun to play. It's a surreal experience that I personally prefer to the first three Wario Land games. The level design is amazing and this is one of the best 2D platformers I've ever played. Honestly, one of the best platformers period.
I know I've said this a million times but I think this is a game the Critic would love. It's that good.
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One thing I forgot to mention is you can also play this game for score, so trying to get every coin, get to the end of the level without losing your hearts and finding all the secrets increases your score and is a lot of fun. Boss fights can even be made easier by purchasing items that take away a large amount of the boss' HP before you even fight them.