So unbeknownst to myself and probably many others, Wagyan may actually be one of the longest running game franchises. They literally put out a spiritual successor for iOS this year! Before that you had a bunch of Super Famicom games, and NES games all about Wagyan. I’m sure your first question is “What the hell is a Wagyan?”
Well Wagyan is a robotic dinosaur/frog type thing, in Wagyan Land 2, he is running around through an action platformer. In actuality this Wagyan is the son of the original (which means we are playing the original at some point). The plot is a little vague here but there’s a doctor Evil type character that you have to confront. You bounce and jump through levels, and your only attack is a stun shout, that you can upgrade to stun for longer. There are other powerups that spin your tail making it easier to control jumping and a weapon power up that lets you blast enemies out of your way. If you manage to get full power (by collecting Wagyan icons in the stage) you can become invincible for a period of time.
At the end of the level you fight a random boss. Some of these sprites are absolutely hilarious. The boss fights are comprised of mini games. Sometimes it’s matching/memory, sometimes it’s find the number, sometimes it’s word play, sometimes it’s match the sound, sometimes it’s rock, paper, scissors. Each mini game you basically have to be near perfect because this AI is aggressive as hell. If you make a mistake in memory I can guarantee you the boss will capitalize. There are also choices you can make for each level. Sometimes allowing you to fight different bosses. This was also confusing to us because every time I expected one boss I ended up with another one. I really need to make a guide for this game.
The word puzzles are the real challenge because if you don’t know Japanese you’re basically left with blind guessing. I still can’t figure this out even after playing through it. Sometimes I think it might be color based or related in some way to the image but we often guessed wrong which made the game take forever. I’m honestly going to work on a guide to solve the word puzzles.
Music wise it’s OK, nothing special. Graphically you have a lot of hilarious sprites from all over. Each boss is very strange and unique and I loved all of them. Wagyan Land 2 reminds me a lot of a crappier Adventure Island, with the animation and gameplay style, but we felt the levels were very spartan. Maybe it’s my own Famicom bias but I always expect the screen to be flooded with enemies at all times.
In the end Wagyan Land 2 was an OK game I had some fun with. The puzzles while simple are actually a bit of a challenge and after playing through it on Retro Wednesdays I really want to give it another crack. Minus having to have some knowledge of Japanese I found the game kind of fun, and I think I’ll be tracking down some more games in the series soon.