Review by Abomstarrunner

Reviewed: 06/02/05

Quality and quantity. Handheld gaming doesn't get much better than this!

Wario Ware Twisted is the fourth installment in the consistently awesome Wario Ware series. Everytime a new Wario Ware game comes out I'm thoroughly amazed, and it settles itself in my handheld for quite some time. This one is no exception, and I'm happy to announce that it's the best one so far, by far.

In case you didn't know, the game is played almost exclusively with the built in gyro sensor and can be played on the GBA, SP, or DS with ease. The cartridge also has a built in rumble feature which drains the batteries extra, but it's best to leave it on as it gives the game a distinct feel to it.

Gameplay 10/10

The gameplay remains the same: you have four lives and must complete rapid-fire microgames. If you lose the game, you lose a life. Complete a boss game and get an extra life. Lose all of your lives and it's game over. Your adrenaline will really start flowing once the speed picks up, as will the difficulty of the games you must complete. This time around, completing the main game is actually a challenge unlike the others. You'll find yourself replaying certain characters a number of times as you get used to the gyro sensor, but it soon becomes second nature. You might even find yourself trying to twist other games as the addiction settles in. Another subtle, yet important improvement is that there is more variation between the easy, normal, and hard versions of each microgame, which keeps the action constantly fresh.

This game never skimps out on craziness, as you'll be shaving, cracking safes, digesting food, picking noses, sewing, assembling robots, pulling teeth, and putting Mario in his SMB3 Tanooki Suit one after another. You can even "Do a barrel roll!". Sometimes you'll be playing and come across something so spontaneous that you can't help but laugh (or at least give a "WTF?"). This is the funniest game in the series so far.

Graphics 9/10

The game rarely misses a beat in the graphics department. What makes them so great is that just about every game has a different art style. You'll see black and white sketches, claymation-esque 3D effects, both Japanese and American inspired cartoons, pixelated 8-bit characters, and everything inbetween.

I can't give it a perfect 10 in this category though, because a few games try to overachieve and end up looking pretty crappy. One game involving shooting bananas on people's heads is the worst offender in my opinion. It looks like a low quality JPEG, and you'll be asking yourself "Wait, those are people?!" Another one is Jimmy's boss game, which tries to go for a 3D effect as you go up spiral steps, but it ends up looking very grainy and it's hard to tell what the hell you're even playing as. Of course, these are minor complaints and don't hold back the game's target of randomness. In fact, like a B-horror movie, an unlockable minigame (Mewtroid) has an intro picture which is so bad it's worth a chuckle.

Music 10/10

A myriad of wonderful sounds are inside this cartridge. Just about every microgame has a little ditty that's likely to get stuck in your head. There's a great mix of new and old sounds. You'll hear a lot of tunes ripped straight from NES games, and some remixes. One game involving contact lenses has a guy humming the Mario theme in the background which is a cool touch. When you pick Mona in story mode, there's actually a full song complete with catchy lyrics which is basically an advert for her pizzeria. It's not great, but it's better than Ashley's theme from Touched!. Dribble and Spitz's stage actually has three different "radio stations" for background music picked at random. You'll either be listening to a great techno style beat, a classical score, or an announcer reporting on a baseball game in progress which is pretty funny. And finally, I can't leave out a certain character's boss stage music in this category. You'll be playing a DDR style rhythm game set to mambo music. Numerous studies show that it's physically impossible not to dance while playing this game.

Story 6/10

While this game is not story based by any means, I find that it's the one major problem with the game. As you play through the game for the first time you'll be forced to watch a cutscene giving a little intro to why you're playing the games in the first place. They're more or less pointless and slow down the pacing of the game. The worst thing is you can't skip them. Fortunately once you complete the main game you never have to watch them again on your quest for high scores.

Replay Value 10/10 (Higher if it were possible)

This is where the game truly shines. You've got the essence of handheld gaming right here. Easy to pick up and play for a few minutes, or you could easily spend hours, days, or years at a time playing. Not only is replaying each character's story mode set of games again and again for high scores an absolute blast, but the game goes far and beyond the call of duty in the extras department. There hundreds of unlockables that you get periodically while playing. You get 18 records so you can listen to the best songs from the game, and even scratch them up DJ style. There's also 21 games to unlock, some better than others. There are a few that are likely to last you 10 minutes, but most of them can pull you in for hours if you're like me and try to get high scores. The rest of the souvenirs are just little diversions with no real value, but you'll still get a kick out of most of them. There are a number of instruments that you can compose short melodies on, and you can also put an SUV through a cheese grater or make a bald guy/fetus do somersalts. Not to mention each of the 200+ microgames can be played separately for high scores.

Overall 10/10

They've crammed so much into this gyro cartridge that you'll be occupied for a LONG time. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up fast.

Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

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