WarioWare: Smooth Moves
key review info
- Game: WarioWare: Smooth Moves
- Platform: Wii
- Gamepad support: N/a
- Reviewed on:
- Show system requirements
It's tempting to discard the games that don't have the eye candy we're all hunting for nowadays. However, being a bit of an open-minded gamer I quit fantasizing about Gears of War graphics and tried to embrace WarioWare: Smooth Moves for what it really is: a party game. After a few seconds of gameplay I was on the verge of quitting and giving it a 4 or a 5. I had second thoughts, so I decided to take it easy and play the game with the sole purpose of having fun. It worked wonders and one can get really decent laughs with such a title. If you thought that Rayman Raving Rabbids was a huge collection of minigames, wait till you see this! However these aren't exactly minigames, but rather "microgames", a term invented specifically for this title. Such challenges will not take longer than 5 seconds to complete and you'll be doing dozens of them as time goes by. Like the other WarioWare titles, this is a collection of microgames, that will test your agility, attention and eventually the intelligence.
Believe it or not this game has a storyline! Don't expect anything similar or related to the Zelda universe, because that's not the case. Instead, you should know that, even from the early days of the Neanderthal, human beings have known....the Wiimote! It was called the "form baton" and everyone had one, or that's how the story goes in WarioWare: Smooth Moves. The first form baton to ever be discovered was kept in a temple till now, but Wario has just set his greedy eyes on the treasured item. As the centuries passed, people evolved and there's now a town, called Diamond City, built near the temple of the original form baton. Wario has learned that the magical item can grant him great powers, depending on how he holds it. Does this story sound confusing? It doesn't really matter anyway, unless you're into Bomberman-like plots.
Concept & Gameplay
Fasten your...Wiimote strap and get ready to rumble! This must the best party game I have ever played, although there are not so many titles that fit in this genre. Forget the countless minigames that Rayman Raving Rabbids had, because you'll be facing more than 200 microgames in WarioWare: Smooth Moves. With all that entertainment at hand, who's to get out and have a social life? Not us, when we're dealing with such a fine example of interactive gaming. The characters from the other WarioWare titles are back and you might recognize folks like Wario (doh!), Mona (she's a cute one), Jimmy, 9-Volt, Orbulon or Doctor Crygor.
There are also a couple of newcomers, like Master Mantis or the young kung-fu trainee called...Young Cricket. You'll find them all on the map of Diamond City, available as collections of challenges, each with their emotional (yeah right) stories. Unlike the minigames in the latest installment of Rayman, these are some fast microgames, each taking up to 5 seconds to complete. No wonder, you'll be having fun with 200 of them, since they take so little time to finish. Also, the player will be obliged to use a different "form" each time, because every new game requires a different position of the controller in the gamer's hand. The Wiimote will be the main thing to use while playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves, but the Nunchuck can be pretty useful as well, specially in the multiplayer games.
As you progress through the game, you'll unlock more and more stages, with tougher challenges to complete. Nintendo fans will be pleased to see that 9-Volt has levels that are based on famous Nintendo games and gaming consoles. One of them allowed you to insert a cartridge inside an old-school GameBoy before the 5 seconds time limit ended.
Don't expect to twist an arm (or break a leg) while holding the Wiimote in strange forms. Thing are pretty basic as, for example in the umbrella form, you'll hold the remote vertically, like the original umbrella. In the elephant's trunk form, you'll have to hold the Wiimote against your nose, making it act like a real trunk. Of course, you can always cheat, but it would spoil the fun of this neat party game.
If you thought that "form baton" was a weird name for the Wiimote, wait till you hear then nickname that the producers picked for the Nunchuck: "the balance stone". Such legendary names will make us feel like Arthur when he picked up Excalibur from the stone, but we're only picking up the controllers off the table. Each stage has its own main character that will tell its story and that can create a pretty arcadish atmosphere. In case you were wondering, there are boss stages in the game as well and they'll in fact be more complex microgames, than those that you've just played.
Gamers must remember to create a profile before beginning to play, since that's going to be extremely important in the multiplayer mode. The game supports up to 12 profiles, and each player will have his or her own Mii avatar. 12 is the max number of players that can compete in the multiplayer mode.
All the included microgames are extremely intuitive, but as time goes by, the action gets faster and faster and so will the tempo of the tune played in the background. Since I'm talking about a 200 game collection, I won't describe them all, but I can say that you'll have to chance to drive a bicycle, play an arm wrestling microgame, extinguish a fire, shake a cat's tail, play a darts game or ignite an oven. And that's not even 0.1% of the game. Having read other people's opinions on this title I was surprised to see that there's no multiplayer game. Then I realized: you have to work a bit if you want to party! After beating the Tiny Wario stage and unlocking 10 characters, the multiplayer will be finally unlocked. You'd better start improving those reflexes, because you'll have to get 19 forms in rapid succession if you want to end a certain stage. During the challenges, if you fail four times it's game over and you'll have to start all over again.
Nintendo gained millions of fans even before the 3D era and WarioWare: Smooth Moves takes the old WarioWare 2D-style to the next-gen universe. Don't expect Twilight Princess graphics yet, but at least we know that Wii can do it. In such party game, the graphics are not important at all, because what matters most is the fun you'll have while playing the game with a bunch of friends. The visuals are quite cartoonish and childish, though very interactive and right from the start, the player can annoy good old Wario by pushing his nose in the main menu or pulling his mustache. Some may think that this game's for children only, I say that it's for the child inside each one of us, no matter the age. So, you should leave the pixeled looks aside and go out and play, enjoying the cool gameplay features.
The game sound like a classic arcade title coming straight from warmth of Nintendo's heart. However, if you play WarioWare: Smooth Moves, for a long time, you'll notice that this sort of music manages to get you in the groove and start playing faster as you advance through the levels. Starting with a slow tune in the first level, the soundtrack can get infernal in the fifteenth consecutive challlenge, having a tempo that would make any rave DJ jealous.
The game's clearly designed with the multiplayer functions in mind and I bet that none of you gamers out there played this in the single player mode more than a couple of minutes. If you don't have friends, make them, because you're about to start one hell of a party thanks to the new WarioWare's multiplayer features. The Max number of players that can join a multiplayer session is 12, which is quite enough for a teenager's living room. There are a couple of modes, that you'll choose from and I should explain you what they're all about:
It's not going to be a deathmatch, but rather a sudden death competition that involves all the 12 players. The Miis are shaped like angels and they're floating gracefully in the sky, while the CPU picks a player at random. Then, the player will have to pick a random microgame and he'll start playing it till he loses. After that it's another gamer's turn and so on, till there's only one left: the Wiinner.
Aside from the one in the palm of your hand, this is just another multiplayer mode in WarioWare: Smooth Moves. This time, only 5 players can join in and their Miis will look like racers that have to do their rounds of microgames. The difficulty and number of points will increase, as you get past more challenges and in the end your characters will be hung on ropes in the jungle. After that you'll all have to cut the ropes, not knowing which of them belong to a certain player. So I guess that the one that falls first can blame it on the random system again, but in the end, there's going to be only one winner.
This multiplayer mode allows 5 players to join the competition and this will be played on a TV with a balloon on top of it. You'll have to blow as much air into it as you can and then the microgames will start. While you're trying to win them all, the other player must fill the balloon with air. Switching turns all the time, you should know that if the balloon bursts while you're playing, you're the loser.
Yet again 5 players is the max number and this time the Wiimote is transformed into a bomb that explodes if you fail or run out of time. Now there's 3 second time limit set while selectin microgames and player, so you'd better watch out, because the bomb's ticking.
4 people can play the Darts multiplayer game, that will allow you to...throw darts. Didn't see that coming, did you? Like in the real game, the first player that reaches 301 points wins.
This mode is strictly a 2-player game, that requires the use of the Nunchuck. One gamer will hold the Wiimote, while the other's handling the Nunchuck, in an attempt to guide a nose-like shape to its destination. You'll collect three fruits on the road or make your opponent crash if you want to win this challenge.
Like the previous mode, this one allows only 2 players to compete and uses the Nunchuck, too. Each holding their controller, the opponents will have to jump over obstacles and get as far up the board as the can. The faster one wins!
What's to say more than "finally a game where I can pick my nose!". And I'm not joking, as there's a challenging that will ask you to pick the on-screen nose to get the points. WarioWare: Smooth Moves is the definition of party games and it's equally fun to play and watch, considering that there's so much stuff you can do thanks to the two controllers. Nintedo struck gold again, without delivering eye candy, a great story or a brilliant soundtrack. Pure gameplay and loads of fun that keep you glued to the TV screen are enough to make this a class A title.