WarioWare: Smooth MovesESRB:
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Developer - Nintendo
Publisher - Nintendo
Wii-mote and Nunchuk Compatible
Nintendo is well known for making not only great franchise games, but also some very quirky titles too. WarioWare has been a pretty quirky title since it was first launched on the GBA. Since that time we have seen different iterations of the game's concept on both handheld and home consoles. Well the latest version to hit the store shelve, WarioWare: Smooth Moves, takes ingenuity to a new level as it utilizes special abilities of the Nintendo Wii. I have to say after my extended playtime with this title that Nintendo managed to "hit the nail right on the head" this time around.
This title screams Nintendo all around, and the graphics are a definite sign of this. First of all I have to say that I was taken back by how bright and vibrant this title looked. Now many readers know that I use this term more often then any, but it so applies to WarioWare. The style that goes along with the graphics is top notch too. They have a strong comic book look to them, and the animations are simple, but when everything is mixed together it looks so darn good. The microgames themselves are a mix of simple 2D graphics to retro-polygonal (e.g. Super FX chip or N64) and they really are all over the map in terms of their style and quality. I fully believe that this is done on purpose as it really does keep the style and look of the game fresh and original. The game takes advantage of the Wii’s 480p for even further clarity and sharpness, but it does not take advantage of the 16x9 widescreen mode, but this is not a deal breaker. Overall anyone who plays WarioWare will be 100% happy with the onscreen visuals for the style alone, but the colors and crispness add even more oomph to it.
Like the rest of the game, the sound in WarioWare is pretty much a crazy experience. Quirky, funky, beaty (editor’s note: is that a darn word) and down right interesting is what comes to mind when thinking about it. Each level has specific types of music to it. I knew something was up with the soundtrack when I was playing at home and I took a look at my wife who was tapping her feet and bobbing her head to beat. The tempo of the music also picks up in perfect fashion as you get deeper into each level. This gives a sense of urgency as you lead up to the boss of each stage. As for the rest of the sound effects, they are pretty much context specific to each of the microgames you face, so these will range from simple beeps and boops to the sounds of lasers or a sword slicing a barrel. As with the graphics, the style is what is key here, and it all makes for a great package.
This time around the basic story has Wario discovering a temple that contains an item simply known as the form baton. This baton looks strikingly similar to the wii-mote, but alas in the game it is known as the baton. After discovering the baton, and escaping the temple by completing some of the microgames, you are then presented with an overworld where you select any one of the newly opened inhabitants of the city map. You are then treated to a wonderfully crafted intro for each character's residence you enter then are tasked to complete the level before venturing out into the city once again.
If you haven't played any of the previous WarioWare games in the past then I should sum up what you have to do for each level. If you have not heard the aforementioned term microgames in the past then get used to that term for any WarioWare game. Unlike mini-games found in other games on the Wii, the term microgame is exactly what they are, as each game only lasts around 3-5 seconds. With the time span being so quick, there are around 200 or so of these microgames in WarioWare: Smooth Moves and it makes for a really interesting experience.
The variety of the microgames is somewhat impressive. There are so many of them that you’ll find yourself wondering what is up next. The draw with the microgames is that the wii-mote is used to perfection. There are so many different ways that WarioWare gets you to use it that you’ll find yourself in many different poses when using the wii-mote to get through each level. From the “sketch artist” where you hold it like a pencil, the “waiter” where you hold in the palm of your hand like a tray, to “the elephant” where you hold it to your nose and it becomes like the trunk of an elephant, all the different methods (Forms as WarioWare calls them) are quite interesting to say the least. Of course each of the Forms allows you to do certain tasks. From flying a paper airplane, balancing a broom in the palm of your hand, picking up and answering a phone to just dropping your wii-mote (note: put the safety strap on), you’ll never know what to expect next. This game definitely keeps you on your toes.
Presentation is also what makes this game a star. From the style of the intros, the explanation of the Forms, to the theme of each level, everything seems to ooze quality. For those looking for a flashback there is a level that incorporates microgames based on past Nintendo franchises. From Mario to Metroid Prime, from Zelda to Animal Crossing, there are a lot of flashbacks to games of the past from all Nintendo Consoles. I felt that Nintendo was really rewarding the faithful, while exposing the relatively new to a taste of what they have in their stable of characters and games. Bottom-line with the presentation of WarioWare, without it the game would definitely not be as top notch as it is.
Multiplayer makes the obvious trip to the Wii. Interestingly enough the game can support anywhere up to 12 players. To do this you will find your crowd only using one wii-mote. This can get quite crazy as you need to try to get the controller to each person allowing them the time get the strap on for safety purposes. This can get somewhat harrowing as the time needed to do such isn’t enough. Regardless, once you get some time to pass of the wii-mote to your fellow gamer the multiplayer can be quite an enjoyable experience. I enjoyed my time with my friends playing some WarioWare and we had a great chuckle with some of the microgames.
You cant go wrong by adding WarioWare: Smooth Moves to your game collection. With very stylish graphics, funky sound and some very addictive gameplay, this game is great as is. The addition of multiplayer only adds for a better package. I can’t help but recommend this game any owner of Nintendo’s new console.