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WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$! (Game Boy Advance) artwork

WarioWare, Inc: Mega Microgame$! (Game Boy Advance) review


"There is a moment in this game that will live in infamy. One of the 200+ games is called simply 'Pick', and has you timing a button press so as to insert a finger up a nose. You will probably fail the first time simply because you are laughing so much. But, you'll forgive the game, because about 5 seconds later you have to do something else equally insane. "



There is a moment in this game that will live in infamy. One of the 200+ games is called simply 'Pick', and has you timing a button press so as to insert a finger up a nose. You will probably fail the first time simply because you are laughing so much. But, you'll forgive the game, because about 5 seconds later you have to do something else equally insane.

Welcome to the world of Wario Ware. This is a twisted world where games last for 3 seconds, and are never more than 5 seconds away. A world where games have been stripped of everything that is non-essential to the enjoyment of the game. A world where sense and logic are total strangers. A world where stories, manuals, and high-concepts just don't exist. A world where, frankly, you simpy need to visit.

What Wario Ware brings to the table is something called micro-games. These are just mini-games, only .. um .... shorter. Like, no longer than 5 seconds kind of short. And, they come at you at a relentless pace. While this might not sound fun, you would be amazed at just how much can be crammed into such a short space of time.

No matter how many games you have played in your life, no matter how hardcore you are, no matter how well-versed in gaming culture - you have literally never seen anything quite like this before. When you switch the GBA on with this cartridge in, you simply can not know what is about to happen to you. No game has ever done this before, or at least certainly not to this degree. I kid you not, this is the most intense and non-stop attack of pure gameplay that has ever been conceived and thrown at you. Rarely have you been slapped in the face with a concept as refreshing as this one before.

There is a plot, of sorts. Basically, Wario wants to make games to make money, and so you have to test them. And so starts a tour of personalities that will have you playing 3 second versions of NES games at one character, engross you in some Game and Watch style sports games at another, and even have you flexing your mental muscles at still another character. This core of the game is fed in small chunks of 15-25 microgames, followed by a slightly deeper and more involved boss-battle. This is not the most challenging quest ever, and even the most reflex-free gamer out there will be seeing the end sequence well inside a day.

But, this is when Wario Ware just gets started. See, now you can go back and replay any of the sub-sections at your leisure, only this time you are just playing for score. And, the difficulty level gets ramped up as you improve. The hard mode, especially, has to be seen to be believed. Oh, and that's not to mention the extra mini-games (Yes, mini-games. Being, games that last considerably longer than 5 seconds, provided you are good enough) that open up. Oh, and a full version of Dr. Mario, except it is called Dr. Wario. And a few 2-player games that can be played on a single GBA.

There is nothing particularly substantial about the cart. This is far from being epic stuff. As I said, it is completable inside mere hours. But, what it does have in spades is a sense of sheer unadulterated JOY. I will cheer as loudly as you do when Master Chief can dual-wield. I will drool over the ultra-realism of Gran Turismo 4, and be as excited at the prospect of racing online as you are. But, these thrills can't hope to match up to the sheer rush I got when playing the super-concentrated hit of Super Mario Bros crammed into just 3 seconds.

This cart is a revelation. In a time when gaming is more and more about throwing millions inot development, Nintendo once more prove that all that matters is the gameplay. This whole package has been put together with the polish, and simple old-fashioned love for gaming that is increasingly rarely seen these days. And, it is a game that rewards your knowledge of gaimg, in much the same way that Super Smash Bros. Melee did, being littered with in-jokes and references to classics. There is even a Virtual Boy micro-game! The fact is that you will enjoy watching someone else play this game for the first time as much as you enjoyed it. This game sticks a huge V-sign up at every other game out there that takes itself far too seriously, and reminds you just how games were always supposed to be about FUN.

Now just watch as nobody buys it.

Rating: 8/10

cheekylee's avatar
Community review by cheekylee (September 17, 2003)

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