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WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$

by Mike Sklens - June 22, 2003, 11:56 am PDT

9.5

Racing, sports, action, adventure, platforming, puzzle, RPG...Wario Ware has it all! Don't let the hottest game of the summer pass you by.

Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgames is a game that defies just about every convention ever established in video games. It’s a short title, and most people probably won’t find it difficult. But it is the title’s simplicity that makes it so enjoyable. It’s the world’s most accessible game, and is a total blast.

The premise behind Wario Ware finds the title character, Wario, wanting to cash in on the oh-so-lucrative video game market. His ambition, combined with his laziness and extreme greed, has caused him to create Wario Ware, his own video game development company. Along with friends from around Diamond City, Wario has created a collection of over 200 “microgames”. Almost all of these microgames, excluding the boss and bonus games, last only about 5 seconds each. The challenge comes in the fact that you never know which microgame is going to pop up next, so you must constantly be ready to identify and complete your goal. The challenge is further upped by an ever-increasing speed and unpredictable variations of each game.

The microgames are divided into categories, each created by a member of Wario’s development team. For example, Jimmy’s games are themed after sports, and 9-Volt’s games are all based off of classic Nintendo products. Some games are fairly normal. You might have to hit an incoming baseball with a bat or dodge a bunch of cars in F-Zero. Other games make you wonder what exactly the developers were thinking. A good example of this is a microgame where you must time a button press in order to stick a finger up a nose. It’s hard to really hate any of the games, because they are over so quickly and the game is so fast paced that there just isn’t the time. You will, on the other hand, find yourself going back to your favorites again and again to see how many times you can complete them.

In each character’s stage you are given 4 lives, which are represented by various objects such as dashboard toys, little aliens, and rolls of toilet paper among other things. You must complete a set amount of random microgames in order to advance to the boss game. Beating the boss game gives you clearance to move on to the next developer. You can also go back and play any single character’s games over again until you run out of lives. You will encounter the boss game more than once (every time you reach the set interval) and beating the boss game grants you a 1-Up. Plus, you can go back and play any single microgame over and over again, to try for a high score.

The joy in Wario Ware comes from a multitude of things. First and foremost is the wackiness of the title. No game has ever, and no game probably will ever have you doing so many insanely random tasks in one sitting. The microgames would be pretty boring on their own, but when they fire off in rapid succession, their fun is revealed. High-score junkies will be in heaven with Wario Ware. The absurd style of the game further adds to the fun. There are many moments that will put a “What the hell!?” look on your face or cause you to break out in laughter.

Each character has a unique style, and the graphics help emphasize that style. 9-Volt’s games all look like their classic counterparts, and all of Crygor’s games are themed after “reality” where you will smack claymation puppets or shake a dog’s hand. The main mode of the game is spiced up with cut-scenes between characters, some of which are very good looking (especially Mona’s).

The audio also fits with the game’s style. There is a gratuitous amount of voice sampling at work here. You’ll hear a voice every single time you complete a game, and there are multiple phrases for each character. The music is upbeat and catchy and will probably end up sticking in your head after repeated play, particularly the short fanfare played in between microgames.

Wario Ware features some of the simplest controls in any videogame ever. In the microgames, only the D-pad and A button are used. While controls for each game are never explained, it is easy to figure out what to do. Each microgame starts with a one word command, and it’s up to the player to figure out what to do and do it. The B button is only used in the menus and the shoulder buttons are only used in the game’s wacky 2-player modes (in which 2 players play on one Game Boy).

Wario Ware is not the kind of game that will see prolonged playing sessions. It’s designed as a pick up and play time killer. It’s the best game ever while you’re waiting in line for a movie, or taking the train into work. You will be amazed at how quickly time can pass while playing this game. It’s loaded with a ton of unlockables too. The main screen starts with 9 icons for each character (3 for Jimmy) and will expand to a total of 28 icons once everything is unlocked. There are 4 multiplayer games, 3 expanded microgames, 5 Nintendo classics, 4 bonus modes, and the credits to unlock in total. All of this adds up to an impressive amount of play time. The longevity of the title is furthered by the fact that one of those classic Nintendo titles is a full version of Dr. Mario (Dr. Wario in this case).

Wario Ware is the quintessential handheld game. It’s perfect for almost any situation. Its absurd style and addicting gameplay will keep you coming back for more. It’s not long, and it’s not really hard, but it is an absolute blast. If there is one game that you absolutely must own for your Game Boy Advance, it’s Wario Ware.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
8.5 9 10 10 10 9.5
Graphics
8.5

The style is off the charts, but the game isn’t really pushing the system very much here.

Sound
9

The music is catchy and will stick in your head; the repetitive nature of the game ensures this. The voice samples are numerous and amusing.

Control
10

The controls are extremely simple, as they should be. It will take no more than 2 plays through any microgame to figure out how it works.

Gameplay
10

Wario Ware is the ultimate handheld game. You can pick it up and play it any time, and it is ideal for car trips or waiting in lines. It’s a blast to play, and it’s completely addicting.

Lastability
10

There are 19 different things to unlock, including full versions of several classic Nintendo titles. Unless they make a sequel, you will still be playing this game in a doctor’s waiting room two years from now.

Final
9.5

The bottom line is, if you like video games you will like Wario Ware. The game has something for everybody. Players who like simple games will enjoy it, and players who like games they can play forever will find what they are looking for. It’s not the most engrossing gaming experience, but it is an amazingly fun game to play and is the best time killer on the planet.

Summary

Pros
  • Full version of Dr. Mario
  • Insane style
  • The manual is full of stickers!
  • Tons of unlockables
Cons
  • Doesn't take long to "beat"
  • Manual eventually runs out of stickers
  • Not very difficult
Review Page 2: Conclusion

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WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ Box Art

Genre Puzzle
Developer Nintendo
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$
Release May 21, 2003
PublisherNintendo
RatingEveryone
jpn: Made in Wario
Release Mar 21, 2003
PublisherNintendo
eu: Wario Ware, Inc: Minigame Mania
Release May 23, 2003
PublisherNintendo
Rating3+
aus: Wario Ware, Inc: Minigame Mania
Release Jun 06, 2003
PublisherNintendo
RatingGeneral
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