|I played this for the first time today... got through the first 2 stages in about 1.5 hours..|
The gameplay itself isn't bad... but holy shit this game has WAY too much talking. I just want to explore and move on, but the game keeps on interrupting me with lengthy dialog scenes... and it's not like in a Paper Mario game where the dialog is actually entertaining. here it's just a really mediocre story about Wario creating a device that lets him go into a TV show and steal the spotlight from a thief character.. he steals the thief's magic wand that lets him transform, and then uses it to look for treasure. also the wand is a character who accompanies Wario and gives you tutorials on pretty much everything.
It's basically just a Metroidvania style puzzle platformer, with the world divided into several stages where you explore and collect treasure while finding your way to the main objective... Each treasure chest has a random minigame that you have to complete in order to open it. These are kinda like Mario Party minigames that use the touch screen, and they only take 30 seconds or so to complete. Some of the treasures you find will give you a new disguise power. You have to switch between disguises by drawing a shape ontop of Wario, which seems really pointless, it could've just been done with a pause menu.
Each disguise has its own ability that lets you get to places you couldn't before. The main thief disguise lets you jump high and tackle. The astronaut disguise lets you shoot lasers and have low floaty jumps... I hate the artist disguise, it makes Wario stand still in front of a canvas and lets you draw a block anywhere on the screen to use as a stepping stone. This ability is used a lot in stage 2 and it gets REALLY tedious when you are backtracking trying to find out where to go. There are also upgrades for each disguise that you supposedly unlock by collecting enough gems, but I haven't gotten that far yet.
Even ignoring the annoying boring cutscenes, this game is nowhere near as good as the Wario Land games. The puzzles are very simple and just more of a time sink than an actual challenge. There are all sorts of enemies and other obstacles but they can all be dealt with very easily and I've never come close to dying yet. I think the enemies are just there to allow you to collect gems for upgrading your disguises.
Stopped playing for now after collecting the first of 5 tablet pieces. That character who Wario stole the wand from is also after this tablet, he wants it even more than he wants the wand back, as it's supposedly some kind of wish-granting item. Oh and this rival also fights you at the end of each stage. The boss battles are technically puzzle bosses, but the game shows you the icon for which disguise you are supposed to use at each phase of the boss, so it's not really much of a puzzle at all.