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WarioWare: Touched! (DS) artwork

WarioWare: Touched! (DS) review

"Wario Ware Touched! "

Wario Ware Touched!

Why do 5 second mini micro games have such a lasting appeal? When pondered upon, one would think of the concept as a trite excuse for a game, but Nintendo is trying to make believers out of newcomers and keep faithful the devout fans of it's previous entries. If any other company were to try a formula like this as a game, they would most definitely be burned at the stake for it in the media, but Nintendo's ambitious foray into otherwise uncharted territory has a little juice in it's step, inviting gamers to participate in the zany humor and overall wackiness that is Wario Ware Touched!

To begin the game, Wario is walking along the street, happily carrying two trusty Gameboy Advance systems when he slips and they plummet to their apparent demise. But out pops an old man with a halo over his head holding the two GBA's and a Nintendo DS. He kindly asks if Wario dropped them, and naturally he says he dropped all three of them. With a new, bizarre item in his hand, Wario wonders what the heck a game system is doing with two screens on it. He tries it out and doesn't quite understand it, but discovers a stylus that pops out of it. After finding out the use of the two screens and realizing that it's fun, Wario now has avaricious thoughts of money bumbling through his mind. With two screens he can make micro games and rake in double the money.

That's pretty much all the introduction given before being thrown into the numerous micro games found within. Various people will be introduced throughout, but Wario is the first one to tout their micro games created. Normally each one has a theme to it; for example 9 and 18 Volt's micro games are based on strictly old-school Nintendo. Stabbing a fairy in Zelda II: The Adventures of Link and catching drops in a bucket with Mr. Game and Watch are a few of the admittedly sweet ones. While their are some downright inexplicably questionable games, the majority present a voluptuously great time and will elicit a few laughs here and there. Although only a few, there are some games that require the use of the built in microphone. Blowing bubbles and wisping away the girls that are draped all over a guy provide a nice change of pace from the predominantly touch oriented games that are disseminated throughout most of the game.

The touch screen is extremely responsive to the constant jabs it's receiving, and no problems occur in that area. Controls, as mentioned before, are mostly touching and the directional pad is not even used at all. Therefore, the controls of Wario Ware Touched! are determined solely by the player. There are no hindrances with the microphone, as they most all simply require mindless blowing. Everything is simple in design, and difficulty is kept to a minimum. This can be a problem, however, since the main game can be conquered by a mere 5-6 hours of playing. Thankfully there is a high score system integrated into all the games, and accomplishing certain feats unlock various.....oddities. There's really no other word to describe them. A toy room is accessible from the main menu, storing all of these. Break a high score on a certain individual's games and you might unlock a pet parrot that mimics your every word in a high pitched, sped up squeal. If that's not weird enough, you might unlock an imperturbable elder that just so happens to be Link's grandma in Zelda: Wind Waker, that offers you words of wisdom to live by.

As one may already see, the concept behind this game is very odd, but the entertainment found is rather quaint as a whole. Adding to the atmosphere is the cartoony visuals. Photo realistic graphics are not needed in a game like this because the sole purpose is to simply amuse the gamer with short lived thrills. With that said, the graphics aren't necessarily bad; rather, they seem somewhat insipid when considering what the DS is capable of. Cutscenes consist of stills and use very little actual movements. A lack of effort is pretty evident in this category, as the presentation just looks sloppily thrown together. Don't expect an exhilarating rush of eye candy when firing this one up.

Similarly, the audio isn't a strong point of the game. While the tunes from classics of yesteryear nostalgically emit fond memories from me, the music is rather uninspiring. Check that, annoying. Constant songs that are sped up incrementally over time sound very irritant when all you want to do is tickle that guy's underarms before the timer runs out. On a more positive note, the sound effects are often times pretty humorous. Some of the effects Nintendo comes up with are utterly hilarious. Drag that kiwi across the screen and put it in it's cage and the reason for saying this will be humorously evident.

For the most part this is a pretty formidable effort on this game. It's a perfect game for stashing away in handbag when on a road trip. While it doesn't have a story of epic proportions like an RPG, highly realistic graphics that leave jaws hanging, or even a soundtrack that will leave one breathless in stupor, it does have addicting qualities that will simply leave gamers smiling.

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Community review by Linkamoto (March 16, 2005)

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