WarioWare Gold Review
I’ve been playing video games for a few decades now, and I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve never played a WarioWare game in my life. When the game launched a few weeks ago, I began watching video from our good friend Abdallah Smash, and instantly thought, “That looks like a lot of fun.” Well, now I have played it; what did I think? Let’s dive in!
Nintendo at its Best
It could be argued that Nintendo is at its best, and perhaps even its worst, when they begin pumping out systems and games that don’t fit the traditional ‘Nintendo’ mold. The Wii is a great example of this on the hardware side of things, while something like WarioWare is the perfect example on the software side.
Simple Mechanics, Hours of Fun
WarioWare has traditionally tasked players with completing quick microgames that run under 5 seconds, without providing any briefing or ‘how to play’ section prior to the game beginning. These games are stacked on top of each other, and fans will be playing microgame upon microgame, until that that larger game/scenario is complete.
As each microgame only lasts 5 seconds or less – more often less – players need to quickly understand what the game is asking of them, or lose one of their precious lives. When playing through the story mode, there are only a few indicators that will identify what type of game you might play. Mash games will have you hitting buttons on your Nintendo 3DS in quick succession; Twist games have you moving your Nintendo 3DS from side to side or around and around, to quickly complete puzzles; and the finally Touch game, which obviously require the use of the Nintendo 3DS stylus.
The other indicator of what you are required to do, will be the one word that pops up prior to each microgame. The game may tell you ‘Dodge!’ or “Clip!” or “Block!” which at least indicates the objective you need to complete. Figuring it out within the first few seconds is entirely up to you!
Within the story mode, players will work through a series of harder and harder challengers as they attempt to go up against Wario himself in the final game showdown. With each character you fight, you will be given 4 lives; each time you mess up a minigame, one of those lives goes away. Miss 4 times, and you will be given the option to continue for 100 coins – currency earned when completing specific things in the game – or start over.
Games are never delivered to you in the same order you played them, which means you cannot just memorize and learn what each game will require of you. And with hundreds upon hundreds of microgames within this package, it will take a long time to memorize them all!
Lacking in Content? For Some Perhaps
Although hundreds of games sounds like a ton of content, the initial impressions of WarioWare Gold are not great. You are given the story mode which can be completed in 2-3 hours, and not much longer to unlock every microgame (done by playing them in the story mode). Once you get past this, however, things really open up. The Challenge Mode dumps new conditions on players, forcing them tackle previous levels and games, but with brand new conditions designed to make the experience much harder than the first time around.
My experience with the game was almost always positive, although longtime players might have a gripe with the mini games offered in this package. The majority of the games are lifted from previous WarioWare experiences, so there will be lots of repetition for those who have played past games.
From a fresh perspective, however, I thought the package was fantastic. The mix of Nintendo franchise microgrames with just regular generic games was fantastic, and the visuals were stunning, especially for those who enjoy off the wall artistic styles. Despite being an old franchise, there are plenty of modern things added to keep younger players entertained. Coins earned throughout the story and challenge modes can be used to unlock music, storyline videos, and even larger minigames, all done through a ‘blind bag’ process of cranking a handle on a kiddie toy machine.
WarioWare isn’t traditionally a game I would find myself enjoying, but yet it was an experience I couldn’t put down. The pacing for unlocking all the microgames is fantastic, and although getting the minigames out of the blind packs was a bit frustrating, I ultimately was able to obtain all of those as well. The fantastic artwork, quirky storytelling, and outstanding music made this journey even more memorable. Although I’m done with WarioWare Gold right now, it’s definitely something I could see picking up again in the future, and beginning from scratch!