Nostalgia and Innovation

One of the games I remember as a child, and one of my first “Git Gud” games where I remember progressing from “clunking around” to “no-hit runs”[1], was Wario Land 4. The game itself is a solid, effective platformer with the typically “quirky” (to put it mildly) Wario style.

But one thing I thought was interesting about it was how it was a step forward in shaking off the anachronistic arcade holdover of “extra lives”. There’s no “game over”, and dying simply fails the individual level. (It’s one that the proper Mario games have noticeably been considerably slower at going for, simply because of a “why mess with what works” attitude). Plus the score system, another arcade holdover, actually has some value in WL4. It’s interesting to look back on in hindsight.

[1]And deliberately doing poorly so I could see all the bad endings.

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