When Nintendo released their latest console back in November the first game that popped into many gamers minds was Wario Ware. The possibilities of this franchise meshed with the dynamic control presented with the Wii-mote had fans chomping at the bit to see what Nintendo would come up with. Now with the holiday season over and the usual drought of software plaguing the new console Wario brings his wacky collection of micro games to the Wii with glorious results. Not only does this game deliver on almost every single aspect that Nintendo promised with their new console it also happens to be one of the most enjoyable titles to come along in a while.
The premise of Wario Ware has always been the same; work your way through section of micro games (yes these are much shorter than mini-games) which usually consist of one basic motion or button press. Incorporating this into the Wii-mote feels like a natural fit and really challenges the gamer to think outside the box. Whether you are simply sticking a virtual finger into a polygonal nostril or placing the remote on top of your head to perform squats the randomness of each game is what makes it so much fun.
Just like previous version Smooth Moves uses animated sequences to introduce each new set of micro games. Each set is accompanied by a short story that involves new characters that basically set the background for the insanity. The game refers to the Wii-mote as the form baton and with each new form you are presented with a quick overview complete with a hilarious description of how to hold the baton.
You begin the game with the most basic of forms, the remote control. As you can imagine this is simply holding the Wii-mote normal. As you progress through the game you will encounter several different forms ranging from holding the remote sideways like steering a car to even placing it on your nose, which is properly titled “The Elephant”. It’s the dynamic range of these forms that keeps the game feeling fresh while at the same time keeping you on your toes. Before each micro game you are given a quick image of the desired form, but exactly what you will be doing is half of the fun.
The main single-player game is rather quick; just under two hours including all the cut scenes and will give you a good sense of how the game works. The real meat is of course playing with friends and Wario Ware fills that bill rather nicely. Once you complete the main story you unlock a multi-player mode that can support up to 12 players. Unfortunately this mode can become rather frantic as passing the remote between players while trying to keep the strap on your arm can prove nigh impossible, and trust me keeping the strap on is imperative to some of these insane micro games.
Thankfully just playing certain sequences with your friends around is enjoyment enough. Watching people try to figure out what to do in some cases is half the fun and of course seeing people dance, jump, and hula-hoop from the comfort of your own couch is priceless. The downside is that this is definitely not a game you will find yourself playing alone as the fun seems to deteriorate when flying solo.
Aside from the main set of games there are also a plethora of side games and activities that really round out this already stellar package. There is a Tetris style block game that has you balancing different shaped pieces with the remote and even a vertical ping pong game that has you progressing through obstacles very reminiscent of arcade titles such as Arkanoid. You can also venture back to any previous story arc and play an endless stream of games with a set number of lives for endless amounts of fun and diversity. Seeing as how each section is completely random I can see myself playing this game for a long time to come.
Visually the game doesn’t stray from the formula that has made it so successful. There is no fancy tech here, but the art direction is so well done you can’t help but appreciate its subtle nuances. If you have the HD cables hooked up it really makes quite a difference as the colors are brighter and the resolution in 480p mode really makes the game appealing to the eyes. Some of the micro games look like they were designed using MS Paint, but the inclusion of old school titles such as Mario and Punch Out really give the game that Nintendo shine and the inclusion of your Miis really rounds out the personal touch.
When all is said and done Wario Ware Smooth Moves couldn’t have come at a better time. While this still fits into the stereotype of game that the Wii is already infamous for it is far and away the best of the bunch. The diversity of the control styles is incredible and it opens up the doors to what the system is really capable of. Not only that but you will be hard pressed to find a game chock full of more fun during the cold months of winter. If you own a Wii this is a definite must have title and certainly a great addition to small library of games on the console.