It’s difficult to see Wario like this, his signature line of microgames reduced to ‘launch window’ proof of concepts. Game & Wario isn’t the abomination you’ve been lead to believe, but it certainly isn’t what we’ve come to expect out of the WarioWare series.
While I’m hardly qualified to point out where and what went wrong with the series, I’m more than comfortable in extolling the virtues of its finest installment. Yes, I’m talking about WarioWare Twisted!.
I’m sure there are those who are wringing their hat, spitting out obscenities as they grind their teeth, writing emails demanded I be fired from my own site for ‘overlooking’ the series’ first installment. Yes, Mega Microgame$! is awesome, I was even foolish enough to buy the GameCube version. But, even though it was a breath of fresh air, Twisted! is far breathier and even fresher.
What makes Twisted! superior is the controls match the hysteria of its content. For as unpredictable Mega Microgame$! was, using the D-Pad and A button was rather expected. I mean, that’s how we play games right? For an experience as manic as WarioWare, the motion controls provided by Twisted! suit the formula perfectly. As far as accuracy goes, there’s a nice level of cushioning. Failure isn’t guaranteed by being a fraction away from a microgames solution, each has a little bit of sway built in to prevent frustration. The cartridge’s built-in rumble helps too, ticking along with your movements, allowing you to better feel just what you’re doing.
As for the microgames, I don’t believe you’ll find a better selection among the series. As limiting as moving the GBA side to side seems, I found there to be more variety than even Mega Microgame$! managed to provide. It feels like more of a true sequel to the original than subsequent entries, with its microgame collections themed better than the original. One set deals with physics, while another are more complicated and allow more time to get through than the rest. Most importantly, Twisted!‘s Nintendo themed set is incredible, especially the ‘boss’ stage that turns levels from Super Mario Bros. into a circular disc that you turn and control Mario’s jumps on. It’s just…wow.
I hope you can or have already played WarioWare Twisted!. It released months into the life of the DS, even following that system’s own (and pretty average) entry, WarioWare Touched!. If you loved the original, prepare for a new favourite. And if your a more recent fan of the series, wear some protection, because you are going to get rocked. Hardcore.