Review: Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$ (Game Boy Advance)


Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$

System: Game Boy Advance
Genre: Compilation
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: 5/22/03

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve been in the middle of several games at once, but never found the time to finish them all? I know I have. At the moment, I’m in the middle of about 4 or 5 RPGs alone. (It used to be somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 or 9). Unfortunately, with a somewhat short attention span, I can’t stay with a single game for too long. I gotta play another, then go back to the first one, find a third one, ignore the second one for a while, and so on, and so on…

Thankfully, there’s a game like Wario Ware that caters to those with short attention spans. Over 200 minigames that take only 5 seconds each to play is perfect for someone like me. But is it perfect for someone like YOU? Read on…

GAMEPLAY

Backstory: Wario is sitting on his rear watching the TV, bored out of his skull, when all of the sudden, he catches a news report on the financial success of the (fictional) GBA game “Pyoro”. Wario then thinks to himself that if others can make big bucks in the gaming industry, why can’t he? So he goes out and buys a computer in order to program games. He lasts about five minutes before falling asleep. So, he gathers a bunch of his friends to help him out. And thus, the game…er…games begin.

You start out playing against Wario and his set of “interesting” games. These range from Catching a sliding mug, to jumping over odd vehicles, to avoiding cars on a highway, and other interesting ideas for games. But you better be quick about it, because game is over in five seconds. Yep, you have five minutes to complete each objective, and you won’t even know the objectives until each game starts! (They are chosen randomly.) After each attempt, you move on to the next one immediately. If you fail, you lose a life. Lose four lives, game over.

Assuming you progress, the games will speed up. Yes, I said speed up. Everything moves faster, and you’ll have LESS time to complete each game. After a set number of stages, (In this case, 10. In others, much more) you’ll be able to play a “Boss Stage”. A Boss Stage is a mini-game that lasts longer, and is usually tougher than the games preceding it. Beat the boss, beat the stage. After you beat a stage, you can go back into it and see how many games you can go through before you lose. You’ll need to do this to get all of the games for each stage, considering that you WON’T play them all the first time around.

There are 11 stages total set up like this, each with a different character, and a different theme. Themes range from Sports, to Realistic, to Science Fiction, to IQ, and even “Strange” games. (Trust me, nearly EVERY game here is strange.) These games are very diverse, ranging from putting eye drops in someone’s eyes, to trapping aliens in boxes, to matching shapes, to insulting yourself and others, to squirting ketchup on various food items, to weighing turtles, to jumping rope, to running hurdles, to…well, you get the idea. LOTS of diversity. For you Nintendo buffs out there, there’s even a set of mini games based on past Nintendo games. Yes, you’ll have 5 seconds to stomp the Goombas, blow up Mother Brain, and grab onto the giant bird. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you will.

Controls are hard to call here. Each mini-game has it’s own controls, but all of them use the D-pad and the A button only. With each game given a different control scheme, it’s hard to rate. I can say, however, that the controls are very responsive 90% of the time. Each one of the games is easy to pick-up and play once you figure out how to control them.

GRAPHICS

Here’s another area of the game that’s hard to call. Each game has a different style of graphics. Some are stick figures, some are outlandish sprites, some are in black & white, some are completely 8-bit, and there are lots of other styles. Some games look incredibly beautiful, and some look incredibly ugly. I believe it was the intention of the developers to give each game (all 200+ of them) their own distinct feel. The fact that they succeeded in this task makes the game that much more enjoyable.


The game also has its share of cut scenes before and after each of the main stages. Each of the cut scenes is done in the same fashion, and are done very well. Those are some of the best graphics I’ve seen on a BA game yet. You’ll also be able to view the Epilogues for each character in the Options menu in case you missed something before. Good stuff.

SOUND

Sound effect wise, each game has it’s own specific sounds. Some games share their effects, though, which isn’t too uncommon. What is common is that in each stage, you’ll hear the voices of either Wario or the character the stage belongs to. They’re similar to the voices in Wario Land 4, which means they could get very annoying, very quick. Musically, the game shines. With so many games, there are plenty of tunes (and tune snippets) to listen to, including some Japanese vocal tracks. (I find it impressive for that fact alone.)

FUN FACTOR

This game has the most replay value of any GBA cart in recent memory. Where do I begin…Well, for starters, you’ll be able to play EVERY game you unlocked individually. Each game has three difficulty settings to cycle through. Once you complete the three, the game will speed up slightly. This progresses until you loose four lives. Also, each game will have a medal to earn. If you pass a certain number of stages (different for each game), you’ll earn a medal. Earn enough medals, and you’ll unlock secret full-version mini-games. They’re expanded versions of certain previous mini-games you’ve played.

Also, if you meet certain requirements in the Main Game stages, you’ll unlock other classic games that are modified with Wario sprites. There’s Dr. Wario, Wario Sheriff, and a hidden mini-game from Mario Paint.

Plus, as you play, you are bound to have flashbacks to other games you’ve played during the course of your gaming career (and not just the Nintendo games). There’s so much variety here, and so much this cart blatantly rips off, that you will feel nostalgic at some point. And while most games seem to lose their novelty after a while, you WILL find the certain bunch of games that you are good at, and will like to play.

Ratings

Gameplay – 9.5
Graphics – 9.5
Sound – 8.0
Fun Factor — 10