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

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


"WarioWare Inc. is a drug. Don't mess with it, kids, or it'll mess with you. It might seem 'cool' or 'hip,' but you'll enjoy the pretty pictures and catchy sounds at the expense of your sanity, dignity, and smug sense of moral superiority. It's like a white-frocked mind doctor, dangling rudimentary aptitude tests in front of your gaping eyes and rewarding you with funny pictures whenever you respond as hypothesised. And you'll obey, giggling and drooling like the witless goonchild that you..."



WarioWare Inc. is a drug. Don't mess with it, kids, or it'll mess with you. It might seem 'cool' or 'hip,' but you'll enjoy the pretty pictures and catchy sounds at the expense of your sanity, dignity, and smug sense of moral superiority. It's like a white-frocked mind doctor, dangling rudimentary aptitude tests in front of your gaping eyes and rewarding you with funny pictures whenever you respond as hypothesised. And you'll obey, giggling and drooling like the witless goonchild that you are.

Well. They would call it a GBA compendium of 200 'microgames.' A microgame, as defined by the cackling brain-alchemists at Nintendo, is a tiny task that only uses the D-Pad and A button, that only lasts about 3 seconds, and that only comes with a verb or two of instruction. That's the technical outline, but then the South Africans call cocaine a plant extract. They're liars, basically.

In truth, you could use this thing for date rape. Fire it up, select the stage appropriate to the genre your victim might enjoy, then thrust it into her hands and watch the quickfire stream of so-called microgames reduce her to a gurgling imbecile. You're now cleared for entry, as long as you mimic the game by donning an appropriate costume (gregarious cartoon, adorable animal, or beloved Nintendo sprite) and direct your lover with acute one-word commands ('KNEEL!' for starters). She'll play your game and love every second of it.

Oh, but that would be quite wrong. I don't want to encourage that.

Here's a tip just in case you do, though: your victim must be a gamer. It's a shame - it certainly limits your potential pickings! - but the lion's share of these debilitating microgames are built for the mind and fingers of the seasoned fan. While some recall common human activities that few could fail to understand - slicing through a juicy steak by moving the knife left and right, picking your nose by hitting 'A' when the pinky is lined up - more draw on esoteric gaming archetypes and more still are so abstract that only a gamer's tolerance for absurdity could see you through. You may be able to figure out a few humpback whales' worth of platforming, a boss round of Punch-Out!, and a four-wheeled potato with relative ease, but a normal person will just snort in derision and leave you standing alone, at an empty table, clutching your stupid toy to your crushed heart and mumbling something about 'trial-and-error.'

There's always Rohypnol for those bitches, but in the meantime, lavish your harrowing attentions on a fellow player. WarioWare Inc. will render her putty in your hairy hands. Each stage is opened by a sketch featuring original characters and stories; the game's farcical canon manages to take in everything from disco nightlife to pizza-girl police chases to epic samurai drama, each performed with the utmost sincerity and backed by sumptuous music and rich vocals. These sketches are the perfect mental bait to draw your curious gamer prey within range of the microgames themselves. And once she's under that hyperactive machine-gun collage - be it charting a stickman hurdler's heroic efforts against a glorious sunset, shit-toothed cad Wario stomping goombas to a sarcastic refrain of the Mario theme, or even the mere presence of R.O.B - she'll be spluttering and cooing in no time at all.

But if it's the unstoppable combined forces of humour and nostalgia that'll keep your beautiful stalkee jolly and mollified, then it's the game's unique structure itself that will grip her mind like an iron vice. This is why she absolutely must be a gamer: gamers care when games judge them, and WarioWare Inc.'s microgame rush means it your performance judged about 20 times a minute. When you come to your own moment of truth, after buying the drinks but before visiting the boot of your car, look deep into your lady's eyes; behind the excited child-like glee, you'll see genuine desperation. She's past the point of no return, in the WW zone, that gamers-only mindspace where every single button press makes the difference between eternal glorious success and crushing worthless failure.

Every part of her body - that delicate figure that you could once only gaze at in impotent longing - is now under the will of the game. Her slender fingers are dancing over the buttons. Her lovely toes are tapping to the game's unmistakable rhythm. Her wonderful mind is seized by performance anxiety. Her precious heart is gripped by the charming, adorable presentation. Her tits are incredible. She's absolutely helpless to the game, and absolutely helpless to you.

Savour that incredible rush of power, that dizzying high of control. She can't ignore you anymore. Soon she'll know, soon she'll understand everything. She'll know the love she's been missing. You'll have a wonderful life together. It begins today. She's all yours now. Take her. Good God, take her.

So anyway, as I was saying... that would be quite wrong!
I don't want to encourage that at all.

Oh, but I'm sure the thought never crossed your mind. To an upstanding character like yourself, WarioWare Inc. is nothing but a hideous drug, a vile cancer on our fine society. Avoid it. Tell your friends to avoid it. It may seem like an innocent videogame, a unique and modern masterpiece even, but it's a dangerous game to play. It's a gateway. You might enjoy it for a while, but soon you'll get bored of it (after about a week or so, I find), and will end up seeking further stimulation. Will you look to the soothing exuberance fostered by marijuana, or the physical euphoria offered by ecstasy? Do you really want to find out? Do you want to get caught up in that junk? Do you want to risk sliding down that slippery slope?

Of course you don't. Don't toy with WarioWare, kids, or it'll make a happy fool out of you.

Rating: 8/10

autorock's avatar
Community review by autorock (October 11, 2005)

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