Wario Ware Smooth Moves Review
It’s no secret that Nintendo is a fan of using their first-party characters in a variety of ways outside of their original games. You’ve got Mario Kart, Mario Party, Super Smash Brothers and a variety of other games where Mario, Zelda and friends make appearances. Another one that came about in recent years is the Wario Ware series. You see, Wario is a ‘bad’ Mario, complete with a W on his hat and similar outfit to our beloved red-overalls clad hero. The Wario Ware games have traditionally been what are called microgames – literally just a few seconds of action with only a couple of words of instruction.
The first one of these appeared on the GameCube a few years ago and, since then, each new game in the series has showed off a new system or peripheral. Twisted on the GBA showed off the tilt-pack, letting you turn the GBA from side to side for a lot of the games. Touched on the DS put the unique features of Nintendo’s new dual-screen system to use – a stylus and microphone paved the way for a few unique microgames. And now, Nintendo’s Wii has Wario Ware Smooth Moves – and the Wiimote is definitely put to good use.
Wario Ware Smooth Moves takes place in Diamond City shortly after our good friend Wario stumbles across the form baton in a temple. As you get a bit of story, he’ll make an escape while being chased by an Indiana Jones style boulder. Here’s where gamers familiar with the style of Wario Ware will feel at home. For the uninitiated, the single player game puts you into some sort of cheesy situation and gives you a chance to fail as many as four microgames. After a set amount of games (success or failure), you’ll move on to a boss stage which is often longer and more involved than the regular microgames. If you fail this one, you’ll get to try again if you have lives left. Beat this one and you’ll conclude that stage, opening it up for a sort of endless play mode where you can just try to get through as many microgames as possible.
However, before each game starts, you’ll be told which ‘form’ to use. The different forms are actually various ways to hold the Wiimote. You’ll start off simple – point it at the screen like a remote control or hold it like an umbrella for example. However, things start to get silly really fast, with you holding the Wiimote on your nose like an elephant trunk or at your side like a samurai would hold his sword. The first time you are introduced to a new form, there’ll be a description of the way to hold the Wiimote. These are all absolutely hilarious, too. The voiceover is serene and soothing while also being totally entertaining. This game is definitely not for people that don’t like to be laughed at as they play the game, though – my girlfriend would often chuckle as I played through some of the microgames. In all, there are over 200 different microgames with multiple difficulty levels. They’ll still be easy and quick to beat, sure, but they’re still fun for the time they last.
The real reason to pick this game up is the multiplayer. Getting a few non-gamer friends together into one room to play Smooth Moves is an absolute blast. While I’m still not too excited about quickly passing around an expensive Wiimote (especially when things start to get fast and you have just a couple of seconds to pass before the game starts), the multiplayer was still great. One loss spells elimination here, making this great to play during halftime of that football game your buddies are over for or good for a quick matchup between TV shows. A neat touch is that each player will be represented by an angel on the screen with a Mii-head. As players lose, the angels fall away until only one is left.
Miis are used quite often in Smooth Moves. Of course, they’re used in the already-mentioned multiplayer – you’ll also see them appear throughout various microgames too. One of them involved finding the “weirdo” while other microgames just put the Mii heads on bodies of characters in the game. Sure, it’s a small touch, but I’m really glad to see the created and mingled Miis from my system being used in the game.
Wario Ware Smooth Moves is definitely an ideal party game. If you’re buying this Wii for a parent, grandparent or other non-gamer in your life, grab this game with it – they’ll definitely get a kick out of it. Sure, some of the games are hard at first until you figure out what to do, but most of the actions you take are common sense type ones. After a couple of tries, most of the stuff you do will be memorized and you’ll be able to have some quick and frantic fun with Smooth Moves. And, after you’ve gone through the game, you can have some friends over to play. Smooth Moves is a game that should be in every Wii owner’s library – while it is simplistic and easily finished for a single player, the multiplayer will last a lot longer.