Review by Bach_741

"Just holding your SP wasn't nerdy enough - now it's time to move it too!"

I was first exposed to the ‘Wario Ware experience' after having purchased the Mega Party Game$ title for the Gamecube. The rapid-fire, mini-game bonanza was exactly what a hungry gamer like myself had been waiting for. I salivated at the thought of a cerebral marathon in which the true talent of the video game master – reflexes – would be placed to the test. The glorious thing about Wario Ware is, to both the master and amateur alike, the control scheme is intuitive, natural, and easy to pick up. There isn't a thing about many of the microgames that a 5 year-old couldn't grasp, and yet still enough to challenge even the most seasoned gamer. This is simplicity defining stellar product development – a concept that doesn't come along very often, and even then only in the form of stand-alone ingenious titles like Tetris, Lemmings, and other priceless gems.

Could Nintendo pull off a repeat performance? Yes. Could they possibly make it better than before? You bet.

How? Pick up Twisted, and you'll find out in no time. If you're not privy to the lowdown, the control scheme for this title is movement based. There is no actual d-pad usage, but rather, a turning, or “twisting” if you will, of the SP unit, with all motion picked up by a sensor located in the actual game cartridge itself. In turn, the SP serves as a sort of ‘paddle' controller (think Atari 2600) for the mini-games. Much the same principle…each tiny twist of the unit is akin to progressing along the cogs of a gear. The mini-games that incorporate the movement control (a few are button-based only) can only be mastered by manipulating certain aspects of the ‘twist'. For example, some games demand a steady, constant turn of the SP, while others require you to hold the unit perfectly still. Some games require you to simply identify or follow certain items (the old ‘which hand is the coin in' trick), and some even have you rotating the unit a full 360 degrees, and beyond.

One of my gripes would be the ‘shake em' mini-games, and by that I mean anything requiring you to do nothing more than rock the SP back and forth as fast as possible to succeed. When thrown into the fray of other games, they're not so hard to stomach. However, when you're cruising through the Spindex, and checking out the mini-games on an individual basis, sitting there and shaking the holy bejeezus out of your SP for 15 rounds straight does start to become a little tedious.

My only other gripe would be (and it's completely possible this is an issue with my copy of the game) every once in a while the ‘compass', or sensor, inside the cartridge, appears to have a mind of its own. Twice so far, since I purchased the title, I've suddenly been ‘stuck' in the ‘tilted right' position. So, when I retreat or advance in the menu screens, my cursor is constantly moving to the right. In other words, I've had to tilt the SP to the left just to make the thing stop moving! A simple power-down and back up again resolved the issue, and fortunately the game is quick to save (and should be, being a cartridge), so this is but a minor flaw… still a smidge annoying, though.

Beyond those two small complaints, this title is a gem that shines like a star. The number of mini-games will boggle your mind, while the innocent and charming quirkiness of many of them will keep you smiling and laughing over and over again. If only the game had multi-player capabilities, via the link, I'd consider giving it a perfect score.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 07/26/05

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