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Review Information
Game Reviewed Wario vs. Windows (2002), by supertoad2k
Review Author Q-Nova
Created Apr 10 2019, 10:30 PM

General Commentary and Game Overview
In an era where Game Maker is the most popular choice for making Mario fangames, said games often aiming to provide polished experiences that feel just like the official Mario games, Wario vs. Windows is like a time capsule. It lets us take a look back at how fangames are like back in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Clickteam products are everybody's picks and fangames are usually quirky and absurd.

Supertoad2k worked on this game back in 2002, but eventually scrapped it for being as buggy as a summer picnic. You could've said that Wario vs. Windows has joined the realm of fangames that are never likely to see the light of day, but luckily, Supertoad2k finished and released the game at 2013, making a surprise appearance at MFGG! He didn't stay for very long, but it was an event that should never be forgotten!

Wario vs. Windows is a sequel to Yoshi vs. Windows, a classic fangame that is known by everybody around here (and if you somehow haven't heard about it until now, you should go check it out!). Yoshi vs. Windows brought Yoshi (of course) into a computer, while poking fun at various aspects of Microsoft. It also had quite a few follow-ups from fans of the game (a fangame of a fangame; that's something you don't see everyday, eh?).

I didn't play Yoshi vs. Windows until a couple months ago, when I played the remake that actually came after this game, but I've played Wario vs. Windows multiple times ever since maybe a year or two ago! It is very fun and it, along with Birdo vs. Macintosh, even inspired me do a follow-up of it, although it isn't really a Mario fangame and is instead more of a mod of a classic DOS game.
 
Pros +Nostalgia indeed!
+You get to play as Wario!
+Great humor
+Each level is distinct
+Fun bosses
 
Cons -Could use some variety
-Clunky engine
-What the heck are those noises Wario makes!?
-Annoying audio glitch that sometimes occurs
 
Impressions
Gameplay
7 / 10
This is one of the few games on MFGG where you get to play as Wario for most of the time, who wants to get all of his money back after it all somehow got sent to Microsoft. Wario uses his brute strength to break through many blocks and must beat up all of the enemies* in order to reach the exit. While he cannot transform into weird forms through touching certain things, I find it rather fun to zip through the levels using Wario's trademark shoulder bash!

The enemies are all the same "move back and forth" type, and while there are a couple levels where they fire projectiles, they still don't do much damage. Wario can gain health from collecting coins (yeah, I don't know how, but hey), which there is a whole bunch of them throughout the game, so the enemies are more like moving targets. Every once in a while, you'll come across a gimmick, such as paintbrush platforms and purple blocks that make you walk backwards, but there is still a bit of repetition nonetheless.

You might think that Wario vs. Windows sounds like a boring game from what I've said so far, but it's not, and why is that so? Well, I say that's because of the levels. Each level is themed after a certain element of Microsoft, such as MS Paint and Windows XP. It's fun to see what each level has, and I like how each level has a distinct layout; there is even a couple levels where you have to go from right to left rather than the usual other way around! Wario vs. Windows also has a few bosses that, while simple, are very fun to fight against. The Clippy fight can be rather annoying, since he's one of the couple things that can kill you in one hit, but it's very satisfying once you've defeated that so-called-assistant!

I think the biggest issues in this game are the engine and bugs. Wario loses his speed when landing on platforms, but gets to keep it when changing directions (although I'd say that makes the game more fun), and sometimes he won't move left or right while jumping. There are some times where Wario will get stuck, but a shoulder bash or two is usually enough to get him unstuck. These bugs rarely get annoying, though, since it's not very focused on pixel-perfect platforming.

*If you're feeling lazy, you can actually forget about the enemies by playing on the appropriately-named "Lazy Mode"! A pretty cool addition, I must say!
 
Graphics
8 / 10
You can tell just from the screenshot alone that there's clashing to be found in the graphics, although it never feels like an eyesore to me. Besides, it would take a very long time to get all of the graphics in one style, wouldn't it? There are some areas in the game that looked very cool, such as the boss arenas, the Haxxor Horror level, and the Monitor Mountain level. Throughout the game, you can find many neat details, with one of my favorites being the green GameCube found inside Wario's house (after all, it was the latest and hottest Nintendo game console back at the time this game was made). I also like how there's a screenshot from a Super Mario Land 2 commercial for the title screen and level title cards, even if it looks a bit weird.

There are some graphical issues in Wario vs. Windows, even though, they aren't very bothersome. Some parts of the Downgrade Disaster level look like they were saved in the .JPEG format, you know, the format that likes to make pixel art look rather ugly? Some platforms in the Box Bashing level flicker whenever the screen scrolls, making them a bit hard on the eyes. Wario's ducking animation also looks strange.
 
Sound
7 / 10
Like other fangames made back at its time, Wario vs. Windows uses MIDIs for music. I don't think MIDIs are as bad as some people think, and there are some good songs that fit the levels nicely and are rather catchy. The songs used aren't ones you hear all the time, in fact, I only recognized three throughout the whole game (one of which happens to be the boss theme from one of the latest Mario games back then: Super Mario Sunshine).

Wario vs. Windows has a decent selection of sound effects. I love the fact that you can hear Clippy saying "It looks like you're fighting a boss!" before the fight against him starts. There are some sound effects that feel out of place and may affect the experience, though, like the noises Wario makes. Seriously, what on Earth are those!? It doesn't sound like Wario's voice (both old and new), and while I'd say that perhaps his voice is being digitized since he's inside a computer, he also makes those unworldly sounds when outside of his computer. Also, why does it sound like ice is getting broken whenever Wario gets zapped by electricity!? WHY!?

I'd like to note that there are some times where the game suddenly slows down very badly and constantly repeats the last sound that was played. It's annoying, but that glitch probably has to do with either my computer, the software used to make this game, or Wario's computer (I mean, it just took all of his money). When it does happen, though, I usually restart the game and enter a password that takes me back to the level I was at.
 
Replay
8 / 10
There isn't a lot of fangames that I've replayed as much as Wario vs. Windows, especially nowadays. It's rather short and has plenty of humorous stabs at Microsoft, making the game a nice choice for killing some time. After you beat the game, you can pick any level or boss fight, with a password provided. When you start the game, you can choose to do either "Lazy Mode" or "Classic Mode", although there aren't much differences between them (and if you have read the Gameplay section, you'll know the most noticeable difference). Given that Wario's movement is rather fast, I can see some speedrunners having fun with this game, although the bugs might drive some away (especially that audio glitch).
 
Final Words
7 / 10
Wario vs. Windows is a treasure that you wouldn't want to throw away through the window.

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