Saturday, January 12, 2013

Review: Wario Ware: Touched!

As I pointed out before, Wario Ware: Mega MicroGames was more of a failed idea and less of a revolutionary step in game design. This being said, Nintendo R&D1 probably realised that this game was more of a prototype than anything as other companies copied the grandiose expansion of the mini-game collection sub-series because of how the series expanded. The game's first sequel was Mega Party Games which was also the most conventional as it reused all of the mini games form the original. The biggest innovation was that Mega Party Games struck upon one of the most unusual ideas for a multiplayer mode which would later be expanded in the Wii version to a much greater effect (I still have NO idea why multiplayer mode needs to be unlocked). After this all the subsequent Wario Ware games innovated not through mechanics but by methods of control. Twisted was the best of these by having a rotation sensor inside the game which contains some of the most genius use of the flash card since Drill Dozer's rumble pack. The Wii game was one of the first on the system and made good use of it and the same can be said for the  Wario Ware: Touched on the DS.

All Wario Ware games use same formula that has made the series so successful. The Touched installment is no different, having a large amount of mini-games broken down into randomised chunks. Unlike the previous entries in the series where the games were categorised thematically, they are also divided by the method of control, with Dr Crygor's missions involving spinning the stylus in a circle,  and Mike's games making use of the microphone, the DS's most underused feature.



This solves my biggest complaint with the original game, in which all the games' control schemes started to blend together. This wouldn't usually be a problem but in a game where figuring out how the controls work in a brief period of time is the main gimmick, it devolves into being shallow and repetitive. This happens in this game as well but the repetition  is confined to each character's stages, and is usually short enough that it doesn't really bother you.

The mini-games themselves are standard Wario Ware fare. The games contain all the zaniness of their predecessors and the 9-18 Bolt games are great nostalgia trips in their own right and have been the highlight of each entry into the series. The most surprising part of the game is the hub world. Unlike a clear map from the original this game gives an open field with each character and an array of toys to play with. These range from diversions such as a bubble blower you control with the DS's microphone to full mini-games like a paper plane simulator.
 
Add in an amusing story story that helps to gel all of the stages together and you have an enjoyable game. It's still a very flawed concept, one that has been since surpassed by the Rhythm Tengoku series but this game has more of a motivation to continue with it other than the prospect of new mini games. And that's all the series really needs, incentive. Considering how the series is heading there's probably going to be a Wii U version close to release but for now Touched remains the best in the series for exploiting new hardware.

Find Wario Ware: Touched on ebay | Amazon

Released: 2005-02-14
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo R&D1

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