WarioWare, Inc. Mega Microgames

warioware

Wario is greedy. Always has been, always will be. But even he isn’t oblivious to the times; after several quests to get rich the old fashioned way (collecting coins and treasures while being transfigured by enemies), Wario has found a new way to make money: game design. After seeing a fictional (well, kind of, you’ll see what I mean) GBA game called Pyoro making big bucks, Wario decides to make his own video game. And it’s… indescribable. I am not exaggerating when I call this series the most bizarre that Nintendo has ever produced.

WarioWare is a collection of two hundred plus microgames. Microgames are ultra fast gameplay snippets lasting about five seconds each. In the normal gameplay mode, you are presented with one microgame after another, fired at you with just second in between. You have a set number of “misses” you are allowed, and if you use up all of them, the game ends. There are also “boss” games, although not all of them actually feature combat, that last longer then the normal microgames and restore a hitpoint if you successfully complete them. The microgames you get as you play are random, although they are divided into different themes, with each theme/stage having a different set of microgames that can appear as well as its unique boss. Most of the themes are cosmetic, such as space, reality, and even classic Nintendo, but they all have their own games.

When you first play the game, you go into story mode. Story mode has you progressing through each set of microgames, all of which have a specific character trying to do a task or deal with a problem, and you help them by completing microgames. After reaching and completing a boss game, that character’s stage is cleared. There are nine different stages as well as some compilation ones, but they can be easily beaten in a few minutes. Going through story mode is fun, but over extremely fast. Thankfully, story mode isn’t the meat of the game. The game is really a high score game, where you try to complete as many microgames in a row as you can. Trying to top your high scores is very addicting, and the gameplay is solid. Although the core gameplay of the microgames is similar in many, the fast pace makes graphical alterations and small gameplay changes affect the gameplay experience.

The graphics in WarioWare are what makes it so bizarre. Cutting roast beef, counting octopus aliens, and beating Mario in rock paper scissors are just a few of the bizarre scenarios for the microgames. The graphics are very good for GBA, covering a wide range of styles (several old NES games have their graphical style recreated completely for their microgames) and themes. The graphics are amusing in their surreal themes, and some have impressive 3D effects. The music is catchy and also has unique touches, such as voice samples to signify success or failure in certain microgames. Like the graphics, you can find snippets of classic Nintendo themes in the music at points.

WarioWare is very strong in replay value. You can replay any set of microgames whenever you want once you finish the story mode, and there are remixes (hard, easy, fast, boss only) of them that are unlockable. In addition to playing for high scores, which is the meat of the replay, you can play individual microgames over and over to reach a set goal. This isn’t nearly as fun as the normal random microgames, but it adds length to mastering the game and unlocks several secrets. The secret games are a much more enjoyable side to the microgames. You can unlock complete versions of retro Nintendo games modified to have Wario in them (not Mario or Zelda or anything, but high score based games/mini-games), as well as extended versions of some of the microgames.

WarioWare is a truly unique series, and the original is still my favorite. You can’t really get a feel for what WarioWare is like until you play it, but once you do you’ll be hooked. The game absolutely excels at replay value, and will keep you playing for a long time. There’s always something new to do, and even without the special control styles of its sequels, the original WarioWare is just as intriguing and special. A game perfectly suited for portable play sessions, anyone who doesn’t already own it should buy WarioWare and let the addiction set in.

-Originally Posted by KI Simpson

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