Lame and Wario

With the WiiU’s life being just over half a year old, owners of the system have patiently awaited the wave of WiiU games promised for the summer. The first of these releases is Game and Wario, which I’ve personally been very excited about.

Game and Wario is the latest iteration of the Wario Ware Inc games. The Wario Ware games consist of hundreds of three-second long micro-mini games that move by so quickly, you may think you’ve developed A.D.D. Wario Ware always seemed like a collection of brilliant tech demos that greatly demonstrated the technology of whatever console it was developed for. The first Game Boy Advance version had quick games for the go, which was perfect for handhelds.

The Gamecube version featured an emphasis on multiplayer gaming for the family. The DS version contained excellent games based around the touch screen and microphone of the handheld. The Wii version had gamers look silly but have a great time using the Wii-remote in hundreds of ridiculous ways. Finally, a second DS version released allowed players to get in touch with their inner game designer and create their very own micro-minigames. Game and Wario, which is a pun based on Nintendo’s Game and Watch games, has huge shoes to fill as it once again attempts to show players what designers can do with WiiU technology.

The Wario Ware series has always been a game more about replay value than length. Game and Wario is no different as you’ll see the credits roll before the second hour mark. The length isn’t important when the games are fun, right? Especially when the game retails at $40, twenty dollars less that the average new release, it should seem like a no brainer for Wario Ware fans and WiiU owners. The game contains 12 different single player games and a handful of multi-player games. However, sadly, players will likely only be choosing to replay three of its games.

The game’s opening mini game Arrow (you guessed it) has players shoot arrows from the gamepad’s touch screen and launch them onto the TV screen. The goal is to hit tiny enemies with your deadly arrows, but if you miss the minions appear on your game pad and can now only be eliminated if you tap their heads.
This second mini game  has the player take pictures of specified characters using the gamepad as the camera. The TV screen shows the entire city, while the gamepad works as a scope zooming into characters’ faces.

The mini game that steals the show, Gamer plays just like the original Wario Ware games. You play as the character 9-Volt who is up playing video games on his handheld rather than going to sleep. His mother constantly checks in on him and if she catches 9-Volt playing, well it’s game over. You must pay attention to 9-Volt’s mother patrolling around the house, while simultaneously play three-second long micro-mini games on the gamepad. Brilliant Stuff!

Every other game feels like tech demos for the WiiU that shouldn’t be released at $40 bucks. These other games attempt to utilize the controller’s tilt function and touch screen, but they’re used in such uninteresting and predictable ways that they almost feel like they can be sold on the mobile markets for a buck a piece. Ironically, I’ve played a lot of games on the mobile markets for a buck a piece that are actually better. Gamer is creative enough for me to invite people over to play it.

Sadly, Game and Wario as a package was still overall disappointing, even at a discounted price.

The rotten cherry on the top for me is that I played the earlier demos of this game at E3 2012 which contained calibration issues. A Nintendo rep told me that the problem was simple, easy to fix, and that players wouldn’t have to worry about calibrating their controllers every 20 seconds. Well, an entire year later, I found myself calibrating some of the games EVERY TWENTY SECONDS!!!!

I love Nintendo, and I’ve loved the entire Wario Ware series, but Game and Wario is a huge letdown. The game is a 6/10 for me, and that’s only because of the somewhat generous pricetag. WiiU owners, buy Super Luigi U instead.


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