Platform: Nintendo DS , DSI
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Wireless DS Multi-Card Play (2 Players0
Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection
Nintendo's WarioWare franchise has been quite popular since its initial release on the GBA. Since that time we have seen some great follow ups on the DS and Wii. The ability to play microgames at one's own pace is great, and the humour and original art style doesn't hurt either. Well it looks like Nintendo has taken a different approach with the newest version to hit store shelves. WarioWare D.I.Y. has put the creativity in the gamer's hands this time around as you are free to draw, script, and put the finishing touches on your own microgames.
Visually speaking, WarioWare games have always been quite stylish. Given the lighthearted and comical approach of the content, the graphics have never taken themselves too seriously, but they have really been akin to what the games style is about: FUN. Given that the major aspect of WarioWare D.I.Y. is about what you can do with the game's tools, the visuals will look as good as you can make them. Don't get me wrong, you won't be pushing the graphical prowess of the DS's hardware, but should you have some level of creativeness then you will be able to get some good looking microgames on the screen. That being said, don't expect to be able to pull off what other professional programmers have been able to do with the DS hardware, as the game does have limitations.
As with the graphics, the game's sound is totally reliant on what you can do. There are existing tracks on the game card, and they are very WarioWare-esque (editor's note: that is how we describe things here, we add '-esque' after some words). There is an 'auto'-generator for those that are not to skilled in this area too. Bottomline, the audio does the job here given the nature of all the microgames. If you can imagine it, you'll be given a good chance at creating it.
I find myself trying to find the best way to describe what is offered given that it is not your conventional game let alone a tradition WarioWare title. The biggest change this time around is that is not a game you just play as you are in charge of generating the content you'll eventually occupy yourself with.
For the uninitiated, past WarioWare games have pitted players against a series of microgames. These microgames are quick and short challenges that last anywhere from five to ten seconds. These are quick indeed, but what make these really fun is trying to figure out what you have to do in this short time period as you are only given a single clue. Past microgames ranged from cutting food to picking a nose to name two of hundreds. Along with the addictiveness of figuring out what to do, there were a large number of microgames to play in each WarioWare title as well. All in all the WarioWare series has provided a lot of innovation and fun on the GBA, DS and Wii.
This most recent release on the DS comes with one heck of a twist, you are now creating the games you play. You will draw, animate, script, and even add music to the microgames that you design. Right off the hop I have to let you know that you can only design games that take advantage of the touch screen, so they are 'tap' based. You won't be able to make any games that utilize dragging objects on screen, pressing buttons, or d-pad manipulation. Don't worry though, this should not stop one's creativity given that you can still do a lot.
So, how do you learn to make your own microgame? WarioWare D.I.Y. makes you go through a pretty thorough tutorial at the start of the game. For those that want to skip this tutorial, don't bother trying as the game creator will not be accessible until you have gone through at least the first lesson. Personally, I found the tutorial very useful as it was not just a boring "do this to get this" lesson, and it let me better understand the whole proposal of being in charge of everything that makes up a microgame. Such things how object switches are trigged to how to set up conditions for 'winning' or 'losing' become paramount to comprehend so that you can make a game that people can indeed play and not just look at.
There are some pre-existing games on the game cart that you can play. This single player play mode is akin to the previous games, but it is not as in depth or as long as past single player experiences. What is good about it though is it follows the same rules and uses the same tools that you will have available in the game as you make your own microgame, so you can see what is possible.
I am sure there are going to be lots of people out there who are like me, not the most creative. It seems that Nintendo has tried to address this segment of the gaming crowd as well. If you are not good programming or 'scripting' events, or you just don't want to, then you can just draw your own artwork in an effort to change the look at existing microgames on the game card. On the other hand, if you can't draw or create interesting visuals, or you just don't want too, but you want to try to just 'script' a game, then you can use existing art and focus on making the rules of your own game while using existing artwork. Finally, if none of this is your cup of tea, there is still the ability to make new music, or leave it as is. Bottomline you can take any combination of what you want to do and what you don't want to do, and combine it to make a microgame.
So you've finally made a game, what is next. Play it of course, but you can also share it to other DS systems wirelessly, or you can send it over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Network using friend codes. This has a benefit that some people may not initially see. Sure you can share your games for other to play, but if your friend(s) are better at one aspect of making a microgame then you are, they can get your creation, add their touch, and send it back. So if you are good at music, and a friend is good at art, send it to them for their visual skills. Finally, should you have a Nintendo Wii you can download the WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase that is available on the Wii Shopping Channel and you can send your microgame creations from your DS to your Wii for play on your own T.V.
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