WarioWare: Get It Together! Review
There’s an old-school game design philosophy popularised by the space shooter-loving developers over at Bungie. They had a motto stating that to make a game good, you had to have 30 seconds of fun that could be repeated over and over. The WarioWare franchise has always epitomised this approach and taken it to the extreme, throwing five-second games at you in rapid succession. Whilst other entries in the series have revolved around the unique input methods offered by its host platform, Get It Together goes back to the series roots of simple controls but adds in a host of new characters to give you new ways to play, even if it adds a slight identity crisis along the way.
The story mode, which can be played entirely in co-op in Get It Together serves as your introduction to the latest serving of microgames. Wario is back developing his latest video game when it somehow becomes infected with a host of bugs that suck the entire development team into the game. It’s up to the crew to work through the games inside to defeat the bugs and escape. It’s a suitably goofy premise, but there are some chuckles to be found whilst you watch the great-looking cinematics.
Each of the game’s levels is based around a particular theme, and you face an onslaught of five-second d games that come at you at increasing speed. You’ve only got the briefest of moments to determine what it is you need to do, and then execute it successfully. One second you’re plucking arm hairs, the next you’re protecting sunflowers from an alien invasion. It’s a simple but compelling formula.
Instead of relying on unique controller inputs as in previous entries in the series, the hook this time around sees you unlocking the entire WarioWare crew, each equipped with their own move set. Wario himself can fly around and perform a shoulder barge, Ashley can fly around and shoot in any direction, Mike can fly around and shoot up, Red can fly around and drop bombs, Orbulon can fl- ok you see where I’m going with this.
Many of the characters are very similar with just some slight tweaks, but other characters that vary from this status quo generally suffer from mechanics that make them less desirable to use. Some characters such as 18-Volt need to aim and shoot at rings strewn across the levels to move. Others jump as you choose and some even never stop jumping. Regardless, the non-flying characters usually share an element with a flyer but also have some other drawbacks. If you’re like me, you’ll likely just fill your party with all flying characters once you’ve unlocked enough of them.
How you utilise each character – either by choice or by force – is key for how this game plays out. When it comes to story mode where you have the choice of characters (aside from the one character you’re unlocking that chapter), it’s difficult to see the benefit of the multitude of slightly different characters where some are just unequivocally worse than others. As you progress through the story, there’s little incentive to vary your character choices. With each microgame happening so fast, you’ll need to rely on quick thinking to succeed. Requiring that extra second to adjust your way of thinking to a new character can often be the difference between success and failure.
This is doubly so as due to the different character abilities this time around, the microgames need to be set up to be passable with every character. More so than in previous WarioWare games, where there was essentially only one input method that led to success, I’ve found some objectives or requirements to win here a tad obscure, or at least less immediately apparent, which is a problem when the game is only a few seconds long. I found myself just pressing buttons or moving as soon as a game started in hopes it would give me a head start on the path to victory Replaying levels improves your familiarity and chances of success, but if you do it with a wildly different character, you’ll need to relearn the game over again.
Things improve after you complete the 2-3 hour story for the first time. You have the option to replay each stage for high scores, and the games tend to be more enjoyable once that familiarity is there, even if some of the initial whacky charms are lost on repeated plays. There’s also the Wario Cup – a challenge mode that tasks you with completing a pre-determined set of games with a particular character, which creates a compelling reason to become familiar with the different characters. Nintendo plan on refreshing the challenges regularly, which adds some nice replayability.
Rounding off the single-player suite is a surprisingly meaty and compelling Crew Mode and achievement system. Everything you do in the game earns you coins to spend at the in-game shop, which will grant Gocha-style items that can be gifted to each of the crew. Doing so unlocks artwork, character customisation options, and gives a slight edge to that character in the Wario Cup. Combined with the achievements that encourage mastery of microgames, it’s a surprisingly compelling loop that can add some serious longevity for completionists and high score chasers.
It wouldn’t be a WarioWare title though without the multiplayer shenanigans. The aptly titled Variety Pack here offers just that. Each mode within is one of two flavours. Some are unique minigames such as keep-up, volleyball, a survival mode and even a Smash Brosstyle fighter. The rest offer unique setups for playing the microgames with your friends. My favourite of the bunch was Puck ‘er Up, which has you playing Air Hockey to decide who will attempt the microgame, and it’s then up to the other player to mess with the winner’s screen to try and stop them from succeeding.
Most of the multiplayer offers don’t allow you to pick your character, which is a blessing and a curse. I enjoyed that you had to be able to adapt and be proficient with every character. What could be tedious in the single-player when chasing scores becomes a randomly chaotic series of events that is perfectly suited to the rambunctious nature of the multiplayer. Not everyone will agree, so the ability to at least toggle whether your characters were chosen or random would have been nice. With that said, if we could only have it one way, I’m happy they went with the option as it is.
WarioWare: Get It Together! is another thoroughly entertaining entry into this wacky series. The introduction of multiple different playable characters has its pros and cons, but once over the initial adjustment period, their addition makes for plenty of replayability, refreshing challenges and the special blend of multiplayer chaos only Wario can provide. It’s not the strongest WarioWare game overall, but it’s another quality party option for your Switch collection.
+ Solid multiplayer suite
+ Surprising longevity from Crew mode and achievements
+ Large character roster adds replayability and keeps things fresh
- More variety in the different characters would have been nice
- Some microgame objectives or requirements can be initially unclear
- Choice in multiplayer to toggle random characters would be appreciated