Sunday, 7 November 2010

REVIEW: Warioware Inc.

Warioware Inc.  
[GBA] [Nintendo]
It's the game that started the madness. A madness so ridiculous it's a wonder it actually worked. That madness would be a case of Microgame mania, introduced in the original Warioware game for the Game Boy Advance. For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept of Microgames, they could be summed up as 5-second minigames involving tasks so simple, two or three words could be used to explain them. Anything from pressing a button at a certain time to dodging obstacles with the directional-pad would be the controls for a Microgame, as the ones on Warioware Inc. only involve the A button and the D-pad. Of course, it's oh so much deeper than that.

Here's some examples of the many Microgames packed into Warioware. Nope, no need to thank me!
Warioware Inc has a simple but fairly ridiculous story. Wario is lazily resting on his sofa, indulging in a spot of good old TV. He obviously couldn't be arsed to change channels, so the news is on. Suddenly, a reporter appears on screen outside of a game store, saying there's a boom in game sales (strangely, he's holding up a copy of Pyoro). Wario sees this as an opportunity to make a game of his own and rake in the cash, so he does just that. He creates his videogame stupidly fast, labelling it Warioware Inc. You, as a player of Wario's game, are tasked with completing it. It's a fairly crazy story to follow, but it works and acts as the setup for the brilliant game within. After passing the title screen, a menu comes up showing multiple empty squares, bar one. These squares are the actual levels in Warioware Inc, each involving a character and a stash of themed microgames for you to play. Each level is introduced by another ridiculous cutscene involving the character. Beat all the levels, and you beat the game. Simple, no? The introductory level keeps things simple and acts as a sort-of tutorial for what's to come. You are presented with several microgames, and a boss. The boss stages aren't timed like the regular microgames, instead asking you to figure out how to beat the game. The first boss, for example, involves Wario and a ball and chain hanging from the ceiling. Pressing the A-button will make Wario punch the ball, forcing it to swing back and forth. You need to time several punches correctly before Wario charges up for a final uppercut, breaking the ball and chain into pieces. It's pretty satisfying, and the boss stages are some of the most enjoyable parts of the game. Every main level has one boss, adding up to a good amount of these.

9-Volt's levels have always been the best, because you're almost always guarenteed retro-style minigames
So, Warioware Inc is jam packed with Microgames, but is there anything else in the package to mix things up? Certainly. When you beat a level with a high score, a Minigame is unlocked. Any DSi owners who are online will already be aware of Pyoro and Paper Plane, both of which feature in Warioware Inc as some of the unlockable Minigames, but there's plenty more in there. Despite not having as big a screen as the DSi or the XL, the Minigames still work well. It's pretty fun trying to beat your high scores in these modes and they're also a fun diversion from the main game. Heck, there's even a Dr. Mario clone in there called Dr. Wario, complete with slightly different sprites and sillier background music. There's also some 2-player Minigames, but I didn't have a chance to play these with anyone.

Even after you beat the game, Warioware Inc still begs you to take more. Even on your first playthrough you won't have unlocked every character's Microgames, so it's nice to go back and play past levels to beat your scores and unlock every Microgame. There's also a nice Boss Rush mode, which has you facing off against only Boss Microgames three times over, always increasing in difficulty. An 'Easy Mode' was also chucked in, but it seems they just did that for the sake of it. Aside from all this, there's still more Minigames that can be unlocked which is nice. Overall Warioware Inc has pretty good replay-value, which is great because it's definitely a more 'pick up and play' game. It'll take you no time at all to beat the main game, but there's still enough stuff to have you coming back for a few more sessions. If you've got a GBA, get this game! And hey, why not check out the other games in the series too?


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