It seems that this is the summer of WARIO, as Nintendo has recently released WARIOWARE MEGA MICROGAME$ for the Game Boy Advance, and now WARIO WORLD for the GameCube. Both games can be summed up as one word: short. While WARIOWARE was intended to be short (a collection of 2-4 second minigames) WARIOWORLD could use some more depth to shore it up a bit.
Basically, all of Wario's money gets turned into monsters, so now he has to go kick ass and take back what his rightfully his. What ensues is a very classic-style beat 'em up, that has gamers making their way through several weird worlds while trying to defeat bosses. The game reminds me of everything that you used to play on the Super Nintendo, and there is a warm fuzzy feeling of nostalgia as you play through the levels.
The levels itself are fairly uncomplicated, tons of enemies to beat up, you have to find some jewels that are hidden underground by completing fairly simple puzzles. Collecting enough of these jewels allows you to fight the boss.
Boss fights are probably the most entertaining aspect of the game. Going back to the age-old theory that bosses should be monstrous and have some sort of trick or pattern to defeat them works very well. These are the most exciting moments in the game, as fighting the many enemies repeatedly does grow stale. There's nothing done to reward you for becoming better at fighting.
There is a classic system that allows you to buy continues (at an ever increasing cost) with the money you suck up from beating enemies. To regain health you'll have to find a garlic vending machine somewhere in the level and then purchase some. The health and continue system works well, as the game is fairly simple and you can get through it without too much of a problem.
Yet that itself is the biggest problem. WARIO WORLD is about 5 hours long, which is probably too short to drop money on. If the fighting had more depth, you might be willing to play through it again, or play it for a longer period of time, but it doesn't. The only aspect you might want to try again is the boss fights. There is a connectivity feature that allows you to play some WARIOWARE mini-games on your GBA, but if you have WARIOWARE already, this will mean nothing to you.
While the game doesn't look fabulous, there are a lot of nice effects that give it a nice touch. There's also some excellent animation that helps give the game a very cool look and feel.
The sound is perfect for a Wario game. Nothing really stands out except for all of the commentary/sound that Wario makes throughout the course of the title.
WARIO WORLD is a rental at best. It's too short, and too repetitive to be a purchase. But you should rent it at least to fight the bosses, besides, you've got five hours to burn, right?