WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania (Wii U Virtual Console) Review
It saddens me when I think of the WarioWare franchise; it was a bastion of fresh ideas and leveraging each new console it hit, a demonstration of what that console could do. Twisted showed off motion control before it was ever a thing, Touched brought us touch screen games before they were a thing. But then there’s the abuse and misuse of the games, the milking of them to be recycled again.
So how does going back to the original WarioWare, the game that started this silly little franchise? It holds up quite well.
For those unaware, WarioWare is a ‘micro game’ collection. They’re not mini games but instead 5-10 second long games with instructions just screamed at you and the more you play, the faster it gets. Most games rely on your brain to process an instruction, often leaving you with 1 or 2 seconds to figure out what button to press.
All of the games are loosely grouped into themes, each theme has a character. Wario has most of the game’s most simplest stages, Jimmy T has sports, Orbulon has longer more thought provoking games rather than pure reflexes. 9-Volt who is a budding Nintendo fan has all remixes of classic Nintendo games. Themes like strange, sci-fi, reality and nature also featured.
Like the characters hosting the games, the game themselves are eclectic. While remixes of classic Nintendo games are safe, there’s other games that pit you in dodging traffic, picking noses, hitting baseballs, deploying airbags, banging symbols, shooting apples off atop of heads. It’s the epitome of ‘Oh that crazy Japan’. The game’s graphics too are special, none of them look the same there’s multiple artstyles, they’re all simple – even basic but that’s the point. You’re here for a fun time, not for a long time.
After you’ve played through a round of games you’re to face off against the Boss of that character, these boss battles usually last a little longer and are more complex than a smashing a single button.
As you progress through the game you’ll unlock other standalone games. Paper Plane, Pyoro which were released separate as DSiWare games in 2009 got their start here. Even the Fly Swatter game which featured in Mario Paint on the SNES is here, sorry though – no mouse controls.
Technically since WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! never pushed the GBA at all there’s no problems here on the Wii U. The game looks nice and crisp both on the TV and the GamePad, however the sense of tension on some games is lost when everything is so big. The multiplayer titles benefit from the larger Wii U GamePad and that’s great.
WarioWare is a great collection of crazy and zany fun, these days they package each one of these games (or even the ideas) as a game on the App Store and sell it for 99c. If you’ve never played a WarioWare game before this is the purest example of it, sadly you’ve probably had its fun distilled already in the milking of the original in later games in the series.