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

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

"200 mini-games? Wow that sounds… "

200 mini-games? Wow that sounds…

I mean it’s Nintendo, how could they go wro…

I really have to get…

Do those sentences look incomplete to you? Welcome to WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$. The most incomplete and empty game experience of all…

You may ask, how the hell could WarioWare feel incomplete? It has 200 freakin’ mini-games! In order to understand though, you must read the small print my friend, but quickly! WarioWare’s mini-games for the most part all last 5 seconds. That’s right 5 seconds. Talk about mini-games. The way these 5 seconds of nonsense work is simple. A one word command appears, let’s just say it is DODGE. A car comes at Wario, after pressing A to jump over the car, you have completed a mini-game. While you may think there are about 200 different varieties of games like this, that is where you are wrong. Nintendo may say that WarioWare has 200 mini-games, but in reality it isn’t even close to that amount.

This is because WarioWare constantly reuses its ideas for mini-games. Something like half of WarioWare’s games are all button timing games. First you are lining up a bottle to put an eye drop in someone’s eye. Then you are lining up a finger with a nostril (Nintendo’s “witty” humor at its best), from there you are trying to press A as soon as a firework thing gets in a box. You just keep getting the same game one after another thrown at you with different presentations. The other half of the mini-games are split up among some other categories, like “dodge the giant thing that will squash you for 5 seconds” or “mash the A button for 5 seconds”.

The biggest shame of these simple games is that some of them are actually kind of fun. But the party is over after 5 seconds, and you end up going right back to one of the other little mundane bundles of joy WarioWare offers. This does also mean that the boring games are done with quickly, but the sucky games in WarioWare are numerous, so you’ll just keep hopping from one bad thing to another.

And while it’s insulting enough for Nintendo to try and pass off what is essentially a bunch of the same thing as a bunch of different games, they make it even more obvious in quite a few situations. A few good examples of this are when at one point you play a mini-game where you must press A quickly to eat a banana. A little later you are pressing A as fast as you can to eat an apple. They consider these 2 different mini-games. This kind of stuff shows up all the time in WarioWare. I could safely say that each game has at least 1 “clone” game. When you add the fact that a lot of WarioWare’s games are similar, and that quite a few are carbon copies of one another, you have a game lacking variety. Something that was honestly, desperately needed for WarioWare to be any fun.

The best way to describe the tedious experience WarioWare offers is to think of playing a light gun game, like Time Crisis 2. Sometimes you are shooting different looking enemies, sometimes you are shooting in different environments. Others times the bastards come at you different ways, but in the end all you keep doing is shooting your opponents with that little light gun.

Horrible metaphors aside, Nintendo at least tried a little to keep you in the game. As you play a certain category of games or a specific game, the longer you go the faster it moves. To go back to the old DODGE! example, as you go on longer the car coming at you moves faster. Sometimes the car itself will jump, or it will do a little hesitation on you. While it seems like that would freshen up the gameplay considerably, it doesn’t. When these games keep moving faster, it just makes the games themselves shorter, adding more and more to the problems that plague WarioWare. And for the most part, these mini-games becoming tougher and faster doesn’t change the gameplay of each game all that much. To go back to our banana-eating example, you have to mash your button a few more times in order to eat it as the games get “tougher”. It all just gets shockingly devoid of originality.

The absence of creativity doesn’t just stop there. A lot of WarioWare’s games are taken from games of old. At one point you are playing the NES classic “Balloon Fight” for a few seconds, or you might end up playing a short burst of F-Zero. While this may sound cool, the fact these games end so quickly really ruins it. The fun of Balloon Fight was trying to avoid obstacles for a long time, F-Zero isn’t that great to play for 5 seconds. These short clips of old games will just have you yearning for the old classics, and not for more WarioWare.

At least WarioWare does have one thing working for it, and that is its presentation. The many mini-games are usually presented to you in cool ways. My personal favorite is when you are playing Dragon Warrior, and every step you encounter a “battle” (AKA a mini-game, joy!) after the battle you’d either lose one of your 4 HP, or get another EXP towards a level up. If as much effort was put into the actual mini-games of WarioWare as was put into the presentation, WarioWare could have been a really solid game.

“Could” being the key word there. WarioWare is not close to being fun. It is just a complete mess, and something that should be shoved aside and forgotten about as quickly as a WarioWare mini-game.

I’d like to offer you more information on this game, but it seems my time is up. I’m sure this could have been a really good review if it was longer and more effort had been put into it, but like Nintendo I guess I got lazy. Oh well, have a nice…

icehawk's avatar
Community review by icehawk (December 22, 2004)

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