Review by ZokeThe2nd

"Strange, but enjoyable. Like Pocky!"

Wario Ware is a game that finally humanizes Wario. The difference between Wario and Mario as people are fairly obvious, but subtle at the same time. It's simple, really. Mario is a man and Wario is a guy. Take a look at Mario. He's got a neatly trimmed moustache, he's neat, and he's got a nice girlfriend whom he'd do anything for. Mario does selfless deeds just because he likes to do good things for good people. Mario's like the first man on the moon. Wario, however, is like the first guy to try and play golf on the moon. Wario is a lot messier; his moustache, like his house, is in disarray. He can't hold on to a girlfriend because he's greedy and he has an endless supply of immature ''there once was a man from Nantucket..'' jokes at his disposal. Wario Ware reminds us that Wario is just a guy by opening up on a rather common scene.

Wario is laying on the couch, flipping through the TV channels using his remote with one hand and picking his nose with the other (he's multi-tasking). It's a day off for our hero. He's just relaxing, taking time off from swindling people out of money and/or trying to kill his more successful brother Mario. Suddenly, Wario stumbles across a news report that strikes his interest. The reporter on screen yammers on about how popular video games are, and that video game sales are on the rise. Wario sits upright. He has an idea! If he had his own video game company, he'd be raking in those fat stacks of cash! Never one to sit around when profit is immanent, Wario dons his helmet and hops on his over-sized, gas-guzzling chopper and sets off for Diamond City. He quickly turns his home into the headquarters for his new company and purchases himself a laptop computer. You've got to spend money to make money, it seems. Soon after he's got everything all set up Wario re-learns a fact that every guy already knows;

Work sucks. The pudgy villain starts to nod off in front of his new computer, and like any true guy would, he calls his friends and asks them to make some games for him. Why work when you can get someone else to do it, right? I'm not only surprised Wario has this many friends, I'm also surprised they'd trust Wario for a cut of the profits. I'd trust him about as far as I can throw him.

This is where you come in. You'll be playing the games that Wario and his friends have come up with. The controls are as simple as it comes with only the ''A'' button and the D-pad in use. Most games only use one or the other. Each section of the game is opened and closed with a little mini-story about the character's games that you're playing. The Ninja Girl's are trying to rescue a prince, Mona's trying to get to work on time, Spitz and Dribble are driving a passenger to the docks in their cab, and so on. Nothing to get excited about, but they begin and end the sections nicely.

Once the games begin things start to get hectic. Each game is only about five or so seconds long, and are simple to the point of being absurd. The trick is that these games come at you quite fast and you're only given so much time to figure out what you have to do. Little instructional blurbs like ''Defend!'', ''Pick!'', and ''Catch!'' come up on screen. You've got precious little time to respond and if you fail enough times it's game over. As you progress things get faster and more difficult until you come up to the extra-long, extra-tough (sometimes annoying) boss game. These are more full games like a Punch Out! clone and a scrolling shooter with a boss at the end. Some of the games are a little weird, some of them are far too easy and some of them are hilarious but they're all rather fun. Everyone will find a few favorites they'd like to play over and over again. Thankfully that's possible. Once you've played a game it appears on a grid showcasing all the available games for that character. You can select the game and keep playing it again and again, the speed picking up with each round. Pass enough times and you'll be awarded a medal for the game. Unlock all the games, and get a medal on them and you'll unlock, guess what? More games. There are even a few for two players to be found here, and best of all you can play them on one GBA, using the ''L'' and ''R'' buttons.

There are a few stinkers in Wario Ware, but most of the games are good and a few are downright superb. The perviously mentioned Punch Out! clone is fun, as are most of the boss battles. My personal favorite set of games are the IQ set under space alien character. Coming in a close second are the old Nintendo games playable when you come across Nintendofan 9-Volt. In his set of games you'll play choice titles like Zelda where you guide link into a cave without being hit. There's also a nice bit of F-Zero, where you've got to dodge the other vehicles for a short amount of time, and a part from the end of the origional Metroid where you play as that femme fatale Samus and must finish off the Mother Brain in the short amount of time you're given. Most of the characters have thier own game sets but one character, Jimmy, consistantly returns and hits you with ''remixes'' of games offered by the previous set of characters. These must be cleared before you can advance to the next set and face off against Wario (seems he did eventually get up off his backside, after all). Wario Ware features a huge number of games to play, and there are naturally a few repeats here and there. It's a shame, too. With a few more origional games Wario Ware could have been the perfect time waster. As it stands there are a couple of games that make multiple appearances, only dressed up different. In one instance you've got to manuver an object under another bouncing object in order to keep it a bouncin'. This type of game appears at least three times, and I was sort of tired of it after the first.

You also really can't say much about the sound and music in Wario Ware, or the graphics. Wario Ware presents itself in a neat cartoony style, with each character having a different theme to it, such as the disco freak Jimmy and his cell phone games. Everything is pretty bright and colorful, and attractive to the eye. A few of the games may be recycled, but at least they're dressed up differently. Sound is a different matter, however. You only catch a few seconds of each music clip as you move between games or play one of them. You never really get to hear a lot of everything, but at least a few of the music tracks deserve a listen in the options screen. It all really comes down to two main faults; Wario Ware is fun, but it needs more games and it needs less recycled games.

All in all, Wario Ware is a simple and addictive game that'll keep you entertained during thong long boring moments that seem to drag on. Even if you've got only a few seconds to spare, that's enough for a few games.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/18/04


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