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

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


"Very rarely will a game have a big name license, such as Wario (okay, “big name” and “Wario” can be argued together, but he is a hell of a lot better and more credible than Frogger), and provide a new, fresh, and unique aspect of the gaming culture that around 70% have never seen since the “boom” period. This is the type of game that Atari enthusiast and Grand Theft Auto/Devil May Cry games can enjoy alike! Hey, we haven’t gotten soldiers and hippies to hug in a long time, and Wario Ware, Inc. M..."



Very rarely will a game have a big name license, such as Wario (okay, “big name” and “Wario” can be argued together, but he is a hell of a lot better and more credible than Frogger), and provide a new, fresh, and unique aspect of the gaming culture that around 70% have never seen since the “boom” period. This is the type of game that Atari enthusiast and Grand Theft Auto/Devil May Cry games can enjoy alike! Hey, we haven’t gotten soldiers and hippies to hug in a long time, and Wario Ware, Inc. Micro Minigame$ may be the game to prove that world peace IS an option.

The story is completely whacky, stupid, and deranged, all rolled into one. Basically, Wario has noticed from the comfort of his living room, that on the local news channel, there is a recent boom in video game sales (which may be a silent knock from the developers’ part), so he decides to take part in this success by creating video games, and has a slew of friends to help him, all of whom you will not know, except for the fact that Mona, is in fact, a hottie.

I, personally, believe that Wario Ware, Inc. Micro Minigame$ is one of the few games that withdraws everything that creates a complete genre within itself by the surroundings of a game, and leaves just the bare essentials to creating a wonderful pure-gaming experience. One of the best that has ever been created, in its own sense of style and flare. Of course, this is coming from the same guy that thought Kingdom Hearts was one of the least fun games of 2002, as well.

The gameplay, in general, is what takes Wario Ware, Inc. Micro Minigame$ above practically 90% of the gaming community in terms of actually having fun when you play a game. Who would have thought that a game, which consists of minigames that look as if they could have been easily produced on the NES (or dare I even say the Atari, in certain games?) could be one of the biggest (if not THE biggest) sleeper hit of 2003? This goes to show you that, regardless as to if the graphics are outstanding or lackluster, this industry was created upon enjoyment, and this is what Wario Ware, Inc. Micro Minigame$ brings to the table...

...And what a feast it truly is! There are not too many video games released nowadays that can captivate you for hours. When I played through Resident Evil 0, I had to take it through half hour sittings, because I became so bored with it in certain parts that it felt as if it were a chore to play. I was also like this (in different senses, so no flame mail) with Super Mario Sunshine, and Star Fox Adventures. To be quite honest, I had begun to give up hope for future gaming experiences, until this puppy opened my eyes again.

Senseless fun. That is what I would use in terms of the old “If you could put your thoughts of this game into a couple of words, what would they consist of?” question. In variety of modes, there are only two (three, if you include the whole unlockable minigames that you can open once you perform a certain task), so you would likely expect this game to be the dead last in terms of replay value. The funny part is, this game has more replay value than practically every platformer released in the past 7 years or so.

So, what exactly does this game truly consist of, in both gameplay and the variety of modes? Well, first and foremost, the variety of modes is both thin and lackluster in comparison to the rest of the game as a whole. But to be completely honest, the lack of different gameplay modes pales in comparison to the vast amount of minigames that the game presents to you. You have your standard mode, where you will face a “Genre Leader” of the minigames. Play the games, and unlock them in the Grid. Get a certain amount of victories out of four losses, and you will defeat the “Genre Leader.”

Which brings us to the Grid. The Grid is full of all of those ol’ minigames that you have been playing in the regular mode. In the regular mode, different minigame after different minigame is thrown at you, with increasing speeds (and eventually, difficulty). But in the Grid, YOU choose the minigame you wish to play (as long as you have played it in the regular mode), and you will be given three versions of difficulty: Easy, Moderate, and Hard. As you progress, the difficulties will remain the same, however, much faster. In other words, hold onto to your hat, folks, this is gonna be a bumpy ride.

As for the minigames themselves, and brief descriptions of some of the more memorable ones... Well, to be honest, it is like an acid dropper’s worst nightmare. Jumping off of ski slopes, stomping on Goombas, destroying Mother Brain as Samus Aran, avoiding crashing into buildings as you fly through the air, hitting invisible baseballs, grabbing a pole before it slips through your hand, sniffing in snot, frying eggs, catching a beer glass as the bartender slides it down the table, jumping over hot dogs on wheels, playing Punch-Out!!!!, deploying an air bag as a car crashes, bowling, playing Excite Bike-like antics with a scooter, pulling off combos with an anime Mario against an anime Bowser, and many, many more. How is THAT for diverse?

The really odd part about off of the above mentioned minigames is the fact that you will likely zoom through all of those in the amount of time that it took you to read that. Unless you are five years old. Or you have trouble reading. The minigames are over in roughly four seconds each to begin with, and as they increase, around a quarter of one second. And they keep on coming! It is absolutely insane, yet enjoyable in all areas, something that practically every game created in the past few years has failed to accomplish.

But sadly, every game must have some flaws, and this is no exception. Despite having one of the coolest instruction booklets known to man (or Jesus Christ himself, for that matter), there are a few instances when I felt the minigames got repetitive in a sense that one of the thoughts was brought to the table more than once, and it wasn’t even one of the better minigames, either. But, it was only used three times, so I guess I can let that one slide a bit, eh? The other bad thing is the fact that it is all over in a matter of hours. However, replay value exists in unlocking all of the movie sequences for a brief viewing, and let’s face it, everybody loves shooting the bad guys in Hogan’s Alley, or those pesky ducks in Duck Hunt.

One of the brighter points of the game is the fact that it is based on diverse ideas that HAVE to make you ponder, “Just what in the hell were the guys that developed this baby thinking when they brought THIS to the drawing board?” But it works, and it sells perfectly to use this sort of image in a positive way for future developers. It is a single player’s Mario Party, and I like that line so much that I will use it in the conclusion again!

Like O.J. Simpson getting off with first degree murder (or the fact that the Olsen twins are not pregnant yet), this game will surprise you, and leave you gasping for air. The intense gameplay will likely get the best of you by time you reach one victory under the goal number, and you will also likely be kicking yourself in the ass if you screw it up. And that is what video games are all about, when you get down to it: Entertainment through violence. Too bad this game is lacking a minigame where you blow up a midget dressed as a lawn gnome with a rocket launcher--but there’s always next time! So bring on the sequel, I say!

Graphics: 7.0
This is the obvious weak point to the game (the graphics themselves), however, the graphics as a whole will produce a fun gameplay experience that everybody can, and likely will, enjoy. The graphics range from early Nintendo, to late Nintendo, to early Super Nintendo, all the way back to the latter days of the Atari 2600. Needless to say, this is EXTREMELY unique to the gameplay on the platter. Eat it up, folks.

Sound: 8.0
Common and exactly basic to the core. Nothing very unique that stands out here, just your basic Wario-like music that can likely be found in titles such as Wario World and Wario Land 4 on the Game Boy Advance (in case you might have last track in which one belongs where). Hey, that reminds me of a video game for the future! Name which Wario games were on which systems! That one may be too tough for around 80% of the gaming audience, sadly.

Gameplay: 9.0
A pure variety of games to enjoy, and all of them are controlled by simply pressing the A button/moving the directional pad, or both. This game features everything from controlling little mini-people running from a gigantic cup that can trap them, to hitting baseballs from a baseball machine, to guiding Link from the Legend of Zeldas series through doorways. Completely diverse, and completely enrapturing. Very rarely will you find a minigame that you want to throw your Game Boy Advance (SP) to the ground and scream “I can’t do this one!”

Enjoyment: 9.0
No storylines to deal with, which may be a bad thing for most of you gamers out there, and just pure fun. Personally, I wish that there were MORE minigames in Wario Ware, Inc., but considering there are 200 different ones to unlock and play, as well as the bonus minigames that you can (actually) unlock by completing certain tasks, I will not bicker much. If you enjoyed Mario Party, but you are more of a party pooper rather than a party maker, this IS the game for you.

Overall (not an average): 9.0
A very satisfying experience as an overall package. Let’s face it, I don’t think ANYBODY could imagine having fun by avoiding bullets in an R-Type-like assault from spreading ground and ceiling stations, but it is possible, and Wario Ware, Inc. Micro Minigame$ takes COMPLETE advantage of it, to boot. This is one of the few games that will likely make you less intelligent by playing it, because it is all so pointless. But senseless fun is the best kind, isn’t it? It’s like having a really meaningless conversation with your best friend, where you are laughing so hard that you cannot see straight. It is a very worthy addition to your gaming collection. Enjoy it.

Rating: 9/10

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Community review by zoop (February 05, 2004)

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