Guest Author - Lisa Shea
I have really loved some Wario games in the past. I thought Twisted and Smooth Moves were simply brilliant. I have to say I felt a bit let down by Master of Disguise for several reasons.
First, the basic concept. You are Wario, a bored couch potato. Suddenly you learn about a super-thief and want to be like him. In no time at all you've stolen the thief's secret wand and have begun thieving. The wand lets you instantly don any disguise, as long as you draw the correct symbol with your stylus. Each disguise gives you different abilities - firing a laser, leaping high, etc.
This is problem number one. For some reason, the game just doesn't understand what you're drawing half the time. So you're in the middle of an intricate sequence of movements, and need to switch disguises, and the game simply refuses to understand what you're asking for. If you know what the disguise sequence is to solve the puzzle, the challenge shouldn't be making that circle or check or whatever exactly right so the wand does what you want it to do.
Next, as you go left and right on your little side scrolling screen, sometimes there are places that it seems you should be able to go to - but the game won't let you. Then there are other places that look impossible to get to - but you're allowed to go there. It adds a bit of frustration as you randomly try directions until you find one that works.
I do really like the mini-games in the chest, and how they can challenge you. Some of them are a bit on the gross side - guide the poop pile so it lands in the toilet? I mean, Wario games in the past had a "stick the finger in the nose" puzzle - but handling poop is a whole 'nother level of disgusting.
To go with this, I found some of Wario's incessant (and unskippable) dialogue to be over the line obnoxious. I know Wario is a bad guy and I don't mind at all "playing as him" in some of the other games. But in this one, I really just didn't like being him. I didn't like having to sit through the long cut scenes. I play games to relax and have fun - and the cut scenes were the opposite of fun.
I really appreciate the idea behind this game, and think it's a great setup in general. If a new version came out with the same basic idea but with many tweaks in the stylus recognition and the cut-scene area, I would really love it. This release just doesn't quite make it.
Buy Wario Master of Disguise from Amazon.com