Review by NonSubwayJared

"This is a WarioWare review. Use it to review at WarioWares."

WarioWare. Even the name is enough to strike fear into the hearts of unpicked noses everywhere. And finally, the third game in the series gets its much-delayed US release. But were those seven months in waiting agony really worth it?

Obviously, since I gave the game a 10 and you already saw that on the reviews page. But this review needs to be 400 words, and I've only got 80 as of the end of this paragraph. So keep reading.

The WarioWare series is one that needs a little of explaining. The basic gameplay concept, as fleshed out in the original WarioWare Inc., is based on the concept of "microgames," which are challenges that take around four seconds to complete. The microgames themselves are quite simple tasks, really. But the challenge comes from the speed, surprise, and randomization found in each title, and Twisted follows the formula to a big ol' twisty T. Microgames show up in random order, with only one or two words of instruction before each one, and you have to figure out what's going on, figure out how to do it, and then do it, all within each microgame's time limit. Clear the challenge and you get a point. Fail the challenge and you lose a life. (Unlike previous WarioWare games, you don't get a point in Twisted even if you fail the microgame.) Lose four lives, and it's game over. Fortunately for you, the frantic action is occasionally broken by "boss microgames," of which each stage has its own. These microgames don't have the four-second-or-less time limitation of regular microgames, so they can provide a little breather in the middle of play, although they do speed up with the rest of the game. If you pass the boss microgame, you get an extra life and a little more breathing time.

So what's new in Twisted as compared to the original? Well, the major thing is the addition of a gyro sensor in the cartridge that detects rotation. Absolutely nowhere in the game do you use the D-pad; you rotate your GBA clockwise and counterclockwise to make menu selections or play the game itself. And boy, is it FUN. It's not something that can be easily explained, but for some reason, twisting your GBA back and forth just makes the game ridiculously enjoyable. Of course, the game still uses the A button in a bunch of microgames, and that brings me to the second big difference from the original, although those of you who played Touched are familiar with this: the division of the microgames themselves is (mostly) no longer by genre.

In the original WarioWare, games were divided by genre: Sports, Nature, Sci-Fi, Strange, etc. In Twisted, the games are divided a little differently -- rather than by theme, by either the controls used or a distinctive characteristic they all share. For example, in one stage you only use small rotations, while in another you use the A button, and another still uses all kinds of controls but has games which are twice as long, and yet another uses all kinds of controls but only contains microgames based on NES games (yep, 9-Volt is back!). While it certainly makes the earlier, "this-control-only" stages much easier in terms of "figure out what to do-ishness," it certainly doesn't detract from gameplay too much, although the A-button-only stage kind of leaves a little to be desired.

Additionally, there's a set of microgames which uses an entirely different gameplay mechanic -- in the WarioWatch stage, the games don't have individual time limits, but the game itself does have one, which is extended by different amounts for each microgame you clear. So you want to complete microgames as fast as possible to save time. It's great, especially in contrast to the rest of the game, but it's unfortunately only a small part of the whole package.

Of course, like every other WarioWare, you can pick any microgame you've played, and play it over and over again to clear it. This game calls that area the "Spindex," and that's where a lot of your replay value will come in, trying to unlock every single microgame and then trying to clear them all.

Every WarioWare to date has had unlockable stuff. And Twisted is no exception by any meaning of the word "exception," or even by any meaning of the words "is" or "no" either. The game is chock full of little bonus objects, which it calls Souvenirs, and which you get for clearing boss stages. There are quite literally dozens and dozens of these little things, which range from kaleidoscopes to player pianos to an SUV grater (I am not making this up!). There's a whole set of records with music from the game so you can listen to it (and scratch it if you like!). And there's a whole set for unlockable minigames. I won't give too much away, but suffice it to say there are almost twice as many bonus minigames as there were in the original WarioWare.

Basically, this game takes the original concept and gives it a twist, both in a literal and a figurative sense, and it's all good. Plus, the obscene amount of unlockables increases the replay value by quite a bit, and the new WarioWatch concept is great and is worth checking out.

The verdict: Buy it now, and make-a the Wario rich! Ha ha ha ha ha ha!


Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 05/31/05


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