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WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii) artwork

WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii) review

"Videogames, when you get right down to it, are all essentially the same. There is movement, and conflict, towards an end. The methods of movement may alter, the conflicts may be disguised, and the ends are many and varied. However, even with all these variables, there is ultimately little difference between Pong and World of Warcraft. The two games are merely at opposite ends of the same definition. "

Videogames, when you get right down to it, are all essentially the same. There is movement, and conflict, towards an end. The methods of movement may alter, the conflicts may be disguised, and the ends are many and varied. However, even with all these variables, there is ultimately little difference between Pong and World of Warcraft. The two games are merely at opposite ends of the same definition.

All videogames have goals. It is the way in which goals are achieved that makes for the variety of games that exist today. With differing levels of complexity, and multiple strategies required to reach the goal, videogames are increasingly stretching out along different paths, seeking new avenues to explore, in order to introduce new methods with which to challenge players in the same fundamental ways they always have done. Motorstorm = Destruction Derby = Super Sprint!

Increasingly, games are too complex, with goals that are hidden, or needlessly frustrating. You know you are meant to defuse that bomb, but you can hardly manage that if you don't know where the bomb is, can you? Would that a developer were to realise this, and tell you in simple language exactly what you were supposed to do to complete the game! Sure, like anyone would do that...

Owait. Nintendo did! Enter Wario, stage right.

With Wiimote in hand, you stand ready. The drawling voiceover man tells you how to hold the controller. Then, you get informed just what to do, in the most simple terms imaginable. "Find him!", "Shake!", "Count!", "Hula!" New ways to hold the controller are introduced, and the things you are asked to do with it increase tenfold. One second you are inflating a balloon, the next you are plucking bananas from somebodys nose, the next you are slapping Wario across the face to wake him up. The surreality of it all never feels out of place, because this is the very essence of Wario Ware, which is in turn the very essence of videogames. The world of Wario Ware is the world of microgames ; 3 second vignettes of pure gameplay, with anything resembling complexity taken away. A world where anything goes, just as long as a command and a simple action can be ascribed to it.

The array of microgames presented is simply dazzling. The designers have clearly been given license to throw anything at the wall, to see what will stick. And, the reality is that almost all of it sticks, some of it extremely well.

You WILL be confused. You WILL blame the controller for not doing what you told it to. You WILL feel silly if anyone is watching. But, all this can be forgotten, because you also WILL laugh out loud! The Wiimote has been taken full advantage of, and you will find yourself shaking, twisting, pushing, pointing, and even smacking your ass. Smooth Moves is the best game in the world to watch somebody else playing, and should only be approached by those prepared to let go of all their inhibitions. Real men are equally at home dancing as they are piloting an Arwing.

The final boss stage is one of the greatest moments of all-videogaming-time. Nintendo obviously wanted the whole world to see it, as a single playthrough lasting no more than a couple of hours is enough to get you there. If you are the kind of person who considers seeing the credits as completing the game, you would probably not be too happy with that. But, the real fun in Wario Ware : Smooth Moves comes, like in all the previous games in the series, after the credits. The credits themselves are a game, and then the multiplayer mode opens up. Furthermore, new minigames are unlocked, taking some of the microgame concepts and stretching a full game out of them. Continue to play, and more wonders reveal themselves. From co-operative games, to microgames without revealing what way to hold the Wiimote, to steroid-pumped turbo versions ; repeated plays are rewarded with new treats. Just like always.

The sole fly in the ointment is the lack of any way to play a single microgame for a high score. You are still allowed to choose a single game, but you can only play it through 3 levels. Whilst far from being a game-breaker, it does limit the life of the title in this reviewers opinion. It is quite baffling, as I can see no good reason for not including it. Some of the more physical microgames would truly be incredible in this mode, and I can only imagine how much fun would be had during after-pub sessions. Oh well, we can't have it all. Perhaps Nintendo were worried that stupid Americans would sue them for any injuries that the game caused...

Let us not complain about this oversight. Let us instead rejoice that this title even exists! For a Wii without Wario is simply not fulfilling its' potential. The Wiimote is utilised in more ways than you ever imagined possible, and the integration with the Mii channel is extremely welcome. You'll see, when you arm wrestle your brother/girlfriend/friend/Mr. T. This is gaming with a full beam smile, and if you can't get down with it then you are just in the wrong hobby. Stop taking things so seriously, and enjoy the most fun you can legally have whilst shaking your wrist in public.

cheekylee's avatar
Community review by cheekylee (April 27, 2007)

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