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Wario Ware

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CB007
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Wario Ware

Post by CB007 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:38 pm

Okay if I post this? It's the most recent review I finished.

Wario Ware
Game Boy Advance
Mini-Game Collection


Wario Ware is one of the more unusual games I've seen lately. In fact, the only thing that seems to come close to it in terms of strangeness is Feel the Magic, which was released a bit later and probably was inspired by this game in the first place.

What we have here is a collection of a whole lot of mini-games, alongside some bonus unlockable content. And not only that, but each mini-game only averages out to be about 5 seconds in length. How effective is this? More than you might expect.

The story seems a pretty simple one, but a perfect setup to these mini-games. Wario determines that selling games is a good way to make money, so he gets started on making a game collection. Some games of his own apparently, and some that his friends helped him create.

These friends of Wario, and eventually Wario himself, represent stages you have to clear in the game. Each one tends to focus on a specific genre. 9-Volt, for example, focuses on classic Nintendo games, while Mona focuses on strange games. You have to clear between one and three of these individual stages before you can move on other groups of stages. There are also a couple of remixes to clear, which combine all genres of games together.

How much gameplay can you get out of 5 seconds at a time? Enough to have a lot of fun, certainly. Just to give the gamer who hasn't really researched Wario Ware an idea of what to expect, here are some mini games that immediately come to mind for me: Catching a slice of bread as it pops out of the toaster, jumping on some goombas in a SMB1 game, counting how many frogs appear on the screen, sawing a log in half, dropping a cartridge into the slot on a Game Boy, jumping rope, and dressing Wario. In other words, it's some frequently strange, sometimes funny stuff. Since you're only given one or two words to explain the game to you before it starts, the controls have to be simple enough to prevent frustration. And so during the main game, you'll only be using two things: the D-pad and the A button.

The controls do work wonderfully. If you have trouble beating a particular mini-game, it's clear that you need to practice, and that it's not a problem with the game registering button presses correctly, or cheating you out of time. Even if you succeed in a game's goal at the very last possible instant, you get credit for it.

To clear each stage and move onto the next, you'll have to clear between 15 and 25 randomly selected games, culminating in a boss battle. At certain points, the action will speed up, and you'll see more difficult variations of the games. For example, there's one game that has you controlling Link and entering a door. On the easiest variation, that's all you need to do. But harder variations add in monsters, and speed everything up. On the game where you grab the toast, there's a big bite taken out on the harder variations, so it requires more precise timing.

Even at base difficulty, there's a very wide range in both challenge and fun factor between the mini-games. The worst are those that have you doing a simple repetitive pattern of button presses, like pressing A as fast as you can, or left, right, left, right on the D-pad to perform a simple action like brushing teeth. The best games require much more skill from the player, especially as they get faster and more complex.

Still, possibly the biggest challenge you'll get from the game is the speed at which the games come at you. You'll only have about a second to see what game is coming up next, and then prepare you for it. The random nature of it does a nice job of keeping you off balance.

In addition to these standard 5 second games, there are several boss battles to be found, one for each of the stages. These don't have any time limits and are generally more complex than the average mini-game. One boss battle has you in what closely resembles the NES game Punch Out, while another has you carefully hammering a nail while being sure to avoid the hand that's holding it.

Unfortunately, while there are a lot of games to play through, at least 150 to 200, the main game can be completed in just one to two days of light to moderate playing. You do not need to clear every mini-game that's here in order to see the end credits. Fortunately, there are still several things you can work on after you've seen the end credits, which will allow you to see the rest of the games..

In order to unlock a mini-game to play whenever you want, you have to encounter it during one of the game's stages. So you'll have to play a few of these stages repeatedly until you get every game unlocked. Personally, I think it would've worked better if all the games opened up once you got to the end credits. In any case, after you've unlocked a mini-game by playing through it in the main game, you can go back and play it again whenever you wish, for practice or to get a high score. On this mode, the one game you select will repeat indefinitely until you run out of lives, constantly increasing in speed until it becomes extremely difficult. If this was all you could do, that mode would get old really quick.

But you may notice that you're provided with a target score for each game... beat that score, and you'll get a small flower icon next to that game on the menu. The goal would be to get the flower for every game to unlock something. The problem here is that even with a goal, this gets boring pretty fast. The games are fun when you're always doing something different and don't know what's coming next... but playing the same mini-game again and again is terribly repetitive, and in some games, almost intolerably boring. Since some games, like the log sawing, consist of only a simple motion on the d-pad, you can keep winning until your hand gives out from pain.

There are some nice unlockables, including different game modes where the games run really fast from the start, or where you only have one life, one mode that's all bosses, etc. It's a little something to do for those who've pretty much mastered all the games.

There's also some other games to open up, including a variation of Dr. Mario called Dr. Wario that's basically the complete game with graphics alterations, as well as other "full" games that you can play for as long as you'd like. There are also some simple but interesting 2-player games that have both players using the same GBA to play. I haven't tried any of these, but it seems that they could be interesting in small quantities.

The graphics aren't offensive in any way, but I don't think there's anything that'll wow you, either. The focus is definitely on the gameplay in a big way. The vast majority of the games here could run fine on classic game systems almost unchanged, and in fact, many of them are variations of NES and Arcade titles. NES games tended to have better color and design than most of the original ones here do, however. Some of the games do have a bit of style to them despite their simplistic nature, but others are just plain boring looking.

The story scenes, and the screens you see before and after each mini game are much nicer looking, as well as having some amusing character designs. This is definitely the most visually impressive aspect of the title, but there's not a lot of it.

Many interesting sound effects here, including the unusual voices of Wario and his friends. There's also some decent regular music, but not a lot of it. But since the music often changes from game to game, and each only lasts for a few seconds, you won't be getting tired of any particular song for a while. The one exception is Wario's annoying boombox that plays before and after each session of each game, while you're going for the high scores.

To rent or buy? While I think there's enough unlockable content and replay value for some people to want to buy the game, most people would probably do better to rent. With the main game having a clear time of a day or two, and the unlockables a few more days on top of that, you could probably see and do everything the game has to offer in about a week.


Final Score: 3.5/5
<i>\"I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment.\" - Raistlin</i>

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Viceroy Nute Gunray
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Post by Viceroy Nute Gunray » Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:48 pm

Bah. I disagree with you. I think this game deserves a higher score, and I would definetly recommend this game for someone to buy. It's almost 2 years later and I'm still playing this game regularly, competing with my brother to beat eachother's high scores.

Btw, there is at least one Boss game with a time limit: The nail hammering one. If you don't hit the nail for awhile you'll see the man on the side count "3, 2, 1..." and you'll lose a life.
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CB007
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Post by CB007 » Wed Mar 23, 2005 12:07 am

Yeah, I guess competing for high scores would give added incentive to keep playing. Still, I was having great fun until I finished the main game.

But I just reached the point when trying to get the flower icons where I was only playing for the satisfaction of finishing it.

I'm still interested in playing both Twisted and Touched in the future, though.
<i>\"I will do this. Nothing in my life matters except this. No moment in my life exists except this moment. I am born in this moment, and if I fail, I will die in this moment.\" - Raistlin</i>

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Codiekitty
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Post by Codiekitty » Wed Mar 23, 2005 11:33 am

After I unlocked everything, I think I played Pyoro 2 a couple of times, put it away, and found no reason to pick it up again for a long time.

Although I do have a respect for it, being the game that finally got me off Pokemon Ruby and all...

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