Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!

Everybody say hello to my first GameBoy game review! Everybody loves GameBoy, regardless of whether they side with the GameCube, Playstation 2, or(God save their souls) X-Box. Why? Nobody really knows. It might be because it has the biggest library of games ever(probably over 1000 by now), or maybe because it’s portable. Personally, most of the franchises I love the most are on the GB. These include MegaMan Battle Network, the Legend of Zelda, Golden Sun, the Wario Land series, and a couple others.

Now, Nintendo has just released a new Wario game upon the public. The only thing that separates it from the other Wario games is, well, everything. Until now, Wario has only starred in adventure games and Wario’s Woods. Now the Wario Land games, I adore. Especially Wario Land 2. They all host huge worlds for Wario to adventure through on his never-ending quest for riches and treasure. Wario’s Woods was a bit different… actually, it was a lot different. It was somewhere in between Tetris, Puyo Pop, and Dr. Mario. Strangely enough, though, Toad was the main character…

Wario Ware Inc. takes gaming to a level that nobody had ever dreamed of until now. It redefines the term “mini-game” and will either suck you in immediately or give you that ‘Get it away. I feel dirty’ feeling. There is no middle ground. You will not say ‘It’s an OK game’. You will love it or hate it. I originally downloaded the ROM because a)I couldn’t grasp what the big N was trying to do, b)I can’t rent GB games, and c)I don’t like to take risks when it comes to buying video games. But, had I just went all-out and bought it, my sacrifice would not have been in vain. I LOVE THIS GAME. So without further adieu, I’ll get to the revieu.

Wario Ware Inc., like I said, is a very innovative game. At the heart of the little black pak is a barrel full of 5-second mini-games. Yeah, I thought it sounded weird too, but oh, I was wrong. When you start, the games lets you sign in your name, and then shows you a little cutscene of the game’s story. Then you start. One after another, these 5-second mini-games are thrown at you, providing you barely enough time to think about what you’re doing. Luckily, before the game starts, your objective flashes on the screen. These objectives consist of things like ‘cook’, ‘stomp’, ‘sniff’, ‘dodge’, and ’tilt’. Basically, if you have slow reflexes, you’re going to fail.

Now there are several levels in the game, each consisting of a bunch of the mini-games. Every level is hosted by Wario or one of his friends. I find this confuzzleing because Wario seems like the type that wouldn’t care to have friends. Maybe he does have a sensitive side under that greed and mean after all. After you beat a number of games, you’re treated to a “Boss Stage”. These stages have no set time limit, only limited by your skill, which is mostly just good timing. Did I mention that any and every mini-game utilizes the Control Pad and/or the A button. Simple, but strangely entrancing.

The story, or what I get of it, goes a little like this. Wario is just watching TV when he sees a commercial that shows how well GameBoy games are selling. Wario, never one to turn down possible profit, immediately throws on his biker outfit, jumps on his hog, and heads out to get a computer. He gets home with his new laptop and starts to make games after a quick renovation to his hilltop home. Only, he falls asleep as soon as he starts. He realizes that he’s gonna need a little help to do this, and he decides to call up his closest buddies to help him. That’s about it. So now I’ll give you a quick overview of the first couple levels.

We start our “adventure” at Wario Ware Inc. Wario has got a bunch of beginner games for the player to practice with. So, he jumps on his trampoline, and into his… radio? Now it starts. Oh, I should also say that you get 4 lives for each level. If you fail to complete your objective you lose a life. So we get to play a few games. 10 if it’s your first time. The games include a Spy Hunter parody, a Super Mario Bros parody, a Pac-Man parody, and several ‘catching’ games. The boss stage is simple. You’re Wario, you punch a small disc-like thing-on-a-string until it goes over the bar and you finish it off. Beat this and you can move to the next level. If you come back to the level later, you can keep playing until you lose.

The next level is the town’s local disco, Club Sugar. In this level, your host is Jimmy, who looks like a cross between Wario, Disco Stu, and a clown. Or maybe just a clown in polyester. Anyway, Jimmy’s level lasts for 15 mini-games. They’re a bit tougher here, with games like ski jumping, karate chopping, and lots of other sports-oriented stuff. It’s also home to the best boss game that I’ve seen so far. It’s a very simple spoof of Punch-Out!!, probably for all of us Animal Crossers who can’t get the the real game yet. It’s prettey simple, dodge and jab. Eventually the enemies will do one-hit kills, so practicing is a must. As I said, you can return to level after you’ve beaten them and play as long as you want, but I warn you, the games all have varying difficulty levels, and some of them can get extremely tough.

The third and last level I’ll sum up is the Gelateria. At this point, you can choose one of three levels to move on, and I chose this one, because the host is Mona, and well… you know how it is. Mona has a little sub-story. It seems that she’s once again late for work and now she’s on the lam because she was speeding. Oh, and she was attacking police cars with eggs, snot and banana peels. The genre of this level is “Strange games” and strange they are. Some of the objectives include flying a paper plane, catching toast, sniffing up a booger, picking a nose, and brushing teeth. The boss level is pretty stupid here. You have to hammer a nail in, and if you miss even once, you lose. Luckily, the other games aren’t too hard and you should still have 4 lives by the time you get this far.

Now that I’ve helped you get to know what the game is all about, I’ll gt to the real review. The graphics are a good point to start at, I think. Now, with this game, as you can see from the shots, it’s hard to say if the graphics are “good” or not. It’s a very mixed bag. There are cartoony full-color animations, stick figure mini-games, outline games, and even some portrait-esque backgrounds. I’d say that overall they work very well with the way the game is presented. It’s like the wind Waker, the graphics wouldn’t work any other way. If course in WWI you could give all the mini-games Golden Sun quality, but it would take away from the charm. Trust me.

But how is the sound? Well, once again, it’s a mixed bag. There are a lot of voices and sound effects, which all sound very good and fit right where they belong. OK, so the voices are a littlebit grainy. But you can’t expect perfection from the GameBoy. Even with the little grain, they sound just fine. There is music, but it changes so rapidly you really don’t take the time to notice it. And if it does annoy you, simply turn it off. It’s that simple. Not a whole lot else to say about this category.

Gameplay seems to be a big issue these days. Since it’s a Nintendo game, the controls are perfect. Of course, it would be hard to screw up since it only uses the Control Pad and the A button. Like I said earlier, the game itself is very fast paced, and I think it’s really fun. Again, this game is definitely NOT for everyone. If you like to take things slow, don’t play it. If you have a slow reaction time, don’t play it. If you have an X-Box, don’t play that. I’m not sure why, but I find Wario Ware Inc. pretty funny. To be truthful, there isn’t anything really funny in it at all, but I find myself laughing a lot when I play it.

Replay value? Length? It’s all about “how many hours is it?” these days. Why don’t people ask “is it fun?” any more? I’ll tell you this, It will not take you long to finish this game start to finish. But if you want to unlock every game and earn a flower (beat a set score) for every one of them, it’s gonna take some time. As for replayability, you could play this forever. Like Space Invaders and Frogger, it’s a never-ending quest for a high score. If Nintendo put this in an arcade machine, they could stand to make a LOT of money. But they put it in cartridge form instead. I’m kind of confused why they didn’t put the Nintendo Puzzle Collection on the GB instead of the GCN. It would have worked a lot better, I think.

Well, that’s about all I have to say about Wario Ware. I urge you to try it out as soon as you can. Not that I’m encouraging piracy or anything, but o should play the ROM first to see if you like it before you consider a purchase. $50 is a lot for a shot in the dark. I must say though, that I’m strongly considering dropping my paycheck on this game. Now if only Aria of Sorrow hadn’t come out recently. I’m really torn between a few different games right now, and my budget only has room for one. Not only that, but next month, at least 4 must-haves are coming out. I need a new job! Somebody pay me to do this!

Yeah, like I said, somebody pay me for this! It sure would help motivate me to write more often. Oh well. I guess I’m doomed to live the life of an unemployed leech. No fricikn way I’m going back to Xentel. I don’t care how well they pay, it’s just not worth it. I need a job where I’m actually doing something. But enough about that.

Sorry I still haven’t completed the MM4 article. I guess the moment just passed and I lost interest. So I guess I’ve learned something from doing this. I shall pass that lesson onto you, in case you have some kind of aspiration in the future. Always do something while you want to do it! Don’t put it off! Just look at what happened to Quest for the Cube. That could have gone somewhere. No it wouldn’t. Who an I kidding? Well, that’s all for today, have a good week and don’t get SARS!

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