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Owlboy photo

Owlboy creator proposes a new Wario Land
Nov 29
// Jonathan Holmes
D-Pad Studio has been working on Owlboy for a long time. When a game looks this good, expectations run high, and the pressure to deliver can be overwhelming. Like a lot of developers, it seems that they escape from the s...

Review: NES Remix 2

Apr 21 // Chris Carter
NES Remix 2 (Wii U)Developer: indieszeroPublisher: NintendoReleased: April 24, 2014MSRP: $14.99 Much like the first iteration, the premise for NES Remix 2 is extremely simple. You'll have access to a number of microgames selected from an array of NES hits developed by Nintendo (above), which grant you access to bits and pieces from said games. So rather than play through large portions, you're going to be playing, at maximum, one small level at a time in the form of a challenge. Each challenge can net you up to three stars (including a soft four-star rainbow rating), which can be used to unlock more games, stages, and even remix levels where modifying factors are at play, or characters are combined. Got it? Good. Where NES Remix 2 shines, quite simply, is the superior selection of games. Instead of starting off with a middling selection of mostly arcade titles, Remix 2 gives you the good stuff right away, with games like Mario 3 unlocked immediately. It also helps that there's a ton of variety this time around, since Dr. Mario and Wario's Woods (puzzle games), and Punch Out!! join the fray, in addition to sport-centric games like Ice Hockey and Mario Open Golf. Not all games are created equal, however. Punch Out!! fans in particular will be disappointed that there are only a scant few levels featured -- and remedial ones at that. But for the most part I was happy with the variety, and the challenge level is slightly superior to the original Remix -- Lost Levels and Kid Icarus in particular have a few really fun challenges that will definitely test your reflexes, and some of the Kirby minigames are clever with their use of singular powers. [embed]273431:53463:0[/embed] "Remix" levels return from the original, and they're more or less the same as they were before. As a mixture of singular game challenges with a twist and "insert game character into other game here" modifications, the Remixes are often the most fun part of the game. They'll range from things like "defeat Birdo in Mario 2 while it's invisible," or "get through an entire Mario 3 level in the dark," while mixed challenges might have you play a portion of a Mario 1 level as Kirby, or see boos invading Dream Land. But like the first time around, my chief complaint is that there simply aren't enough remix levels, and not enough of them combine characters. There's a concerted effort this time around to get to that concept rather early (such as Mario 2's Peach transplanted in Mario 3 or Toad in Zelda II), but really, Remixes should wholly consist of those dream team matchups. Despite what you might think at first glance these mash-ups actually work, and mainly serve as a tease while you go back to each game that only serves within the confines of its own retro rules. NES Remix 2 thankfully gives you a cherry on top in the form of Super Luigi Bros. The concept is as simple as it gets -- it's a full remix of the original classic Super Mario Bros., but with Luigi in tow (and his unique jump), and a pretty big caveat -- the entire game is backwards. While this is mostly just an official ROM hack, as an extra, it's greatly appreciated as part of the overall package. It's also technically the last celebration for the extended Year of Luigi in the US (for those who care -- and if you don't, you're a monster). If you bought the first game you'll have another extra included called Championship mode. It's modeled after the Nintendo World Championships event in the '90s, which tasked people with completing various challenges across a few select games, scoring them with an elaborate system. For the challenge, you're tasked with collecting 50 coins in Mario 1 as fast as you can, collecting 25 coins in Mario 3 (the original featured Rad Racer instead), and grabbing a high score in Dr. Mario (which was originally Tetris in the NWC) -- a final score is tallied using a formula similar to the original competition.  This is something that I'm going to be playing for quite some time with friends every so often, comparing scores until the cows come home. I wish this mode was a bit more fleshed out overall though (two Mario games is a bit much), and I'd love to see it as a standard in future iterations of this franchise (SNES Remix, perhaps?). In other words, I wouldn't buy it just to play Championship mode, but it's enjoyable all the same. NES Remix 2 is a solid follow-up with more "must have" games and a few extras to sweeten the deal. If you passed due to the ho-hum nature of some of the titles in the original offering, think about checking it out this time around.
NES Remix 2 reviewed photo
A better remix with stronger samples
NES Remix was able to scratch an itch for many retro enthusiasts out there, but it lacked a certain spark that made it a must-buy for the average gamer. It would be hard to really consider half of the selections "classic...

Wario Land 4 eBook photo
Wario Land 4 eBook

Wario Land 4 to be critically analyzed in 600-page eBook

I'm jealous I didn't think of this first
Dec 17
// Brett Zeidler
Game Design Companion: A Critical Analysis of Wario Land 4 is a 600-page eBook that will analyze the entirety of Wario Land 4. I'll just give you a moment to let that sentence sink in. Seriously, Daniel Johnson has put togeth...

Review: Game & Wario

Jun 22 // Jonathan Holmes
[embed]255660:49298:0[/embed] Game & Wario (Wii U)Developer: Nintendo SPD, Intelligent SystemsPublisher: NintendoReleased: June 23, 2013 MSRP: $39.99 Game and Wario consists of 12 longform single-player-focused games, four multiplayer focused games, and 240 odd micro-games, electronic toys, and in-game trinkets. They range from games that seem designed to get you excited about the special features of the Wii U to those custom made to appeal to people that have little interest in fantasy or escapism, or any combination of the two. One second you'll be playing Taxi (which looks like Katamary Damacy, and thinks like a cross between Crazy Taxi and a tank-based free-roam level from the Star Fox series) and the next you'll be playing Sketch (which feels like a cross between Pictionary and... Pictionary). It's a collection that aims to please everyone at least a little, while helping players find common ground in genres they may not normally experiment with.  I'd advise any fan of the WarioWare games to try to block out any expectation of getting that feeling  from Game & Wario. Just as it wouldn't be wise to go into the Zelda Battle Quest portion of Nintendo Land expecting the next Ocarina of Time, you're setting yourself up for disappointment if you think of this as the next WarioWare. The art direction and music are fantastic, and fit perfectly inline with the established style. There are even a bunch of Rhythm Heaven cameos to further drive home the quirk for those familiar with that strange corner of the Nintendo universe. That said, the pacing, level of depth, and the humor are very different from WarioWare about 80% of the time. It's a slower-paced, deeper, and often drier experience than fans are likely used to. The only portions of Game & Wario that are paced and structured like WarioWare are the toy/micro-game/trinket collection bits and the single-player segment called Gamer. If Nintendo had just released Gamer as a stand alone $5 title on the Wii U eShop, it would have gotten a 10/10 from me. It takes the WarioWare concept and married it perfectly to the Wii U's specific strengths. It has you playing as 9-Volt, hiding his portable game console in bed, playing a title called 'Balloon Fighter' which is exactly like classic WarioWare. The Balloon Fighter games appear on the GamePad, while the TV shows 9-Volt in bed, trying not to get caught gaming past his bed time. Pressing ZR and ZL together causes 9-Volt to pause the game and lie down, which allows him to hide from his intrusive mother (who can enter the room by door, window, or even television). Get caught by mom and it's game over. Likewise, lie down for too long and you really will fall asleep, which also ends the game. Balancing the length of your lie downs, keeping an eye out for mom on the TV, and effectively playing the micro-games on the GamePad is about as smart and effective a gameplay expression of today's multitask-obsessed smart phone/laptop/TV/Tablet culture that I've seen yet. Sketch, Design, and Bowling could have also worked well as stand-alone releases. All three feature multiplayer. When I played them with a group of "non-gamers" (or as they call themselves, "not-nerds"), they were completely hooked. Sketch is Pictionary with music and a few added jokes, Design tasks you to draw lines and shapes of specific lengths and Bowling is bowling for your fingers. You kick the ball down the lane with your fingers, and can control where the ball rolls by tilting the Gamepad. I had a decent time with all three, but when played with people who really love them, it was hard to stop. My personal favorites are Fruit (an asymmetrical stealth multiplayer game where one player who's tasked to steal fruit using the GamePad while the other players have to guess which character on-screen are NPCs and which is the player), Shutter (use the GamePad to look around the screen on TV to find and photograph elusive NPCs), Taxi (a driving/shooting game that displays an overview of the arena on screen while the GamePad shows the action from first-person), Patchwork (90 stages of a simple shape combining game that ends in a felt object flying around the screen), Ashley (a gyro controlled shmup with a focus on NiGHTS-style loop-de-loops), Arrow (a stationary FPS with touch screen stomping and tower defense elements), and Pirate (a somewhat thoroughly charming rhythm action title that uses the Gamepad as a viewfinder and a shield). Some of these games are too short, or are a bit limited in scope, but they all felt fresh and polished enough to keep me coming back for more.  Sadly, a lot of the other games here felt a bit too familiar. Disco (mutliplayer) is just like the Rhythm Fighting game in Rhythm Heaven Fever. Islands is a whole heck of a lot like Monkey Target from the currently hibernating Super Monkey Ball series. Ski is almost identical to the F-Zero game from Nintendo Land. Kung-Fu is a whole heck of a lot like the under-appreciated iOs title Rocket Fox. Finally, Bird is just Birds and Beans from the original Warioware (also available as a stand alone title on DSiware) with a Game & Watch make over on the Gamepad and a beautiful, clay-mation style re-imagining on the TV screen. All these games are fun, but their comparative lack of freshness had me less tempted to replay them than the others. Most of the single player entries have 3-5 levels, with potential rewards for replaying. By pulling off high scores or other specific goals in single-player you unlock tokens. Tokens are used to buy in-game "Cluck-A-Pop" vending machine toys that unlock all sorts of stuff. You may get an additional micro-game, a new free-play level from Taxi or one of the other larger mini-games, a "toy" like a the Box o' Stink (which uses the GamePad camera to Wario-ifiy your face), a scroll that contains a real-life recipe for flavored ice shavings, or an in-game video phone call to the Shadow-Puppet Support Desk (which gets progressively funnier each time you call it). These unlockables are largely unpredictable and inspired, and kept me coming back to the game more than anything else. There over 240 in all, so it will be a while before you catch 'em all. There's also an in-game feature that allows you to share drawings and vote on new art categories called Miiverse Sketch. It wasn't active in time for this review, but if it adds a substantial element of fun to the package, we'll be back to update the score and text of the review to reflect that.  Game & Wario is the most "normal" game in the WarioWare series (assuming it's officially a part of the series) which is part of what makes it so weird. As a whole, it's all over the place, sometimes original, sometimes derivative, sometimes dry, sometimes funny, sometimes simple, sometimes complicated. It's clear that Nintendo just wasn't sure what to do with some of these games, so they threw them in the Game & Wario package whether they fit there or not. Regardless of originality, all these games are well polished and fun, though none of them are going to please everyone. Considering the budget price and the amount of content here, you could do a lot worse. Just don't go into it expect Nintendo Land-sized production values or that frantic WarioWare feeling.
Review: Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario is kind of like Nintendo Land in reverse. Where Nintendo Land takes the gameplay concepts of various Nintendo franchises and condenses them all into a Mii-sized caricature, Game & Wario takes the micro-ga...

Wario's crowdfarter photo
Wario's crowdfarter

Nintendo apes Kickstarter with Wario's Crowdfarter

I'ma Wario and I'ma gonna win!
May 20
// Chris Carter
It's safe to say that Nintendo is in a comfortable spot when it comes to first party development and funding. But Wario is not content with Nintendo's handling of the situation, and has launched his own "Crowdfarter" parody s...
Yippe! photo

Game & Wario comes to Wii U on June 23 for $39.99

Europe release: June 28
May 02
// Allistair Pinsof
Game & Wario arrives in North America on June 23 and then Europe on June 28. It comes with a budget price of $39.99. I'll bite my tongue and hold back any Wii U gaming drought comments, because Game & Wario is finally...
Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario

There are five new gametypes in Game & Wario

All the same craziness with extras in tow
Apr 17
// Abel Girmay
For the fans of 2007's Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, it's been quite the dry spell in between console entries. Having recently seen release in Japan, Nintendo is now showing off localized versions of Game & Wario. Here's a rundown on some of the new modes.
Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario

'Pirate' and 'Gamer' revealed for Game & Wario

Use the GamePad in ridiculous ways
Apr 17
// Chris Carter
Nintendo revealed a bit more info for Game & Wario today, showing off the new minigames "Pirate" and "Gamer." Pirate has players moving to the rhythm to dodge cannon shots -- the TV only shows the ship in front of you, s...
Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario

Game & Wario video blow out

Final confirmation that this game is awesome
Mar 28
// Jonathan Holmes
The last time I posted about Game & Wario, there was much editorializing on how I found the game initially disappointing but was slowly becoming more hopeful that it would find excellence. These new videos from...
Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario

Tickle sleeping children's feet in Game & Wario

New vids remind us that, yeah, this game is weird
Mar 14
// Tony Ponce
Everbody's buddy "NintenDaan" Koopman directed us to these latest videos for the upcoming Game & Wario. Now, I must admit that I haven't been following the development of the Wii U party fest because the word "mini-game"...
Game and Wario photo
Game and Wario

Game and Wario fills out with Disco, Pirates, and Gamers

Four minutes of gameplay
Feb 28
// Jonathan Holmes
I was a little disappointed with Game and Wario when I played it at E3 2012. It came off as limp and uninspired compared to most prior WarioWare games. Arrow and Ski felt felt too much like similar mini-g...
Game Over, the poster photo
Game Over, the poster

Game heroes died so that you can have this poster

Hang brentalfloss' "The Game Over Tinies" up on your wall
Feb 26
// Tony Ponce
Did you guys get a chance to check out "The Game Over Tinies" in brentalfloss the comic? Once again, co-writers brentalfloss and Dan Roth and artist Andrew Dobson created an abecedarian comic of videogame character deaths -- ...
The Game Over Tinies photo
The Game Over Tinies

Even more 'Game Overs' in storybook rhyme

The remaining letters in brentalfloss the comic's "The Game Over Tinies"
Feb 22
// Tony Ponce
A couple weeks back, brentalfloss the comic began an arc parodying the dark comedy children's book The Gashlycrumb Tinies -- that book's author, Edward Gorey, is the subject of today's Google Doodle, by the by. Anyway, "The G...
Game & Wario photo
Game & Wario

Game & Wario is coming soon in Japan

I'ma Wario, I'ma gonna win!
Jan 24
// Chris Carter
After eons of radio silence, we now have some more concrete info on a Japanese release date for Game & Wario: March 28th, 2013, with a retail price of 4,935 Yen (4,700 digitally). I had a chance to play it at a Nintendo e...

Game & Wario will contain 16 minigames

New info has been revealed, finally
Dec 05
// Chris Carter
At yesterday's Nintendo Direct presentation in Japan, Nintendo revealed a bit more information about Game & Wario, stating that it'll have sixteen separate minigames to choose from. The game is said to have a mix of fully...

100% Series Retrospective: Wario

Nov 14 // Chris Carter
If you haven't joined me on my Quests before, the way they work is pretty simple. It's kind of like a retrospective, but rather than just give you an overview of a franchise, I'll generally let you know what I thought of the game when it was released, and what I think of it now. If I didn't provide a complete vision of what the game is like before I replay it, I'll provide an "extended thoughts" section below each applicable entry. I'll update my progress in real time through my blog, and after I finish the entire Quest, I'll share it with you guys on the front page. Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 - Game Boy, 3DS eShop [Owned] COMPLETED Wario actually got his start in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins as the villain in 1992, but he wasn't playable. For the time, I can't tell you how amazing this was, getting a break from fighting Bowser for the 1000th time (Wart and Tatanga didn't really leave a lasting impression on me). Wario's existence is fairly simple: he is the antithesis -- the polar opposite of Mario. He's the Bizarro-Superman to Clark Kent's Superman. Wario quite literally is an amalgamation of Mario and the word "warui," which is roughly translated to "evil" in Japanese. Combine warui with Mario and BAM, you have Wario -- the evil Mario. To be honest though, I didn't think the character would continue, as he seemed more like a "one-off" kind of deal -- thankfully, I was wrong. So how was his first game? Well, I'm a bit rusty on my memory of it, so I can't wait to finish it and share my thoughts below. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: The first Wario Land game plays incredibly well, even if the controls feel like a carbon copy of Mario Land. Thankfully, the game's actual mechanics are where you get your unique Wario charm. Coins play a deeper role in the Wario series than Mario was ever used to. Coins not only open up the chance to play minigames, but you can also "pay a toll" to unlock checkpoints, and in some levels, you have to pay to complete. This all reinforces the recurring theme that Wario is obsessed with coins, which makes it all the more insane that New Super Mario Bros. 2 was not Wario themed. It also introduces the antagonist Captain Syrup, who doesn't overstay her welcome, and only shows up in Wario Land II before taking a ten-year hiatus, making a late appearance in the Nintendo Wii's Shake It! Multiple endings based on your performance is also an awesome addition that would show up in later games, and something that the Mario series hardly ever replicates. Wario Blast: Featuring Bomberman! - Game Boy [Owned] COMPLETED This game was freaking bizarre. It was also one of the first partnerships between Nintendo and Hudson -- one that would last well through the Mario Party games, among others. What's even more odd about it is that it's actually a Bomberman game with Wario shoehorned into it. In fact, the Japanese version didn't even have Wario in it! When it came out here though, it came with a fair amount of bells and whistles -- Super Game Boy support with enhanced functions, and a password system, which put it above previous Bomberman titles. I do remember playing this when it came out but I'll need to replay it in this Quest to give you a clear picture. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: So this is totally a Bomberman game with Wario copy/pasted into it and nothing more. I probably shouldn't have even picked this up as it would have better fit a Bomberman Quest, but I did it, or something. Wario's Woods - NES, SNES, Satellaview, Wii Virtual Console [Owned] COMPLETED I think I played Wario's Woods more than I slept in 1994. Oddly enough, the game was released for both the NES and SNES in America in late 1994 -- I opted for the SNES version. You have to understand that at the time, Wario's Woods was unique. Before the thousands of iOS puzzle games, endless iterations of Puzzle Quest, Bust a Move and similar games, Wario's Woods was a gem amongst Tetris-likes. In fact, I still get guff for liking it better than Dr. Mario. The objective was fairly simple on the surface: you just create lines of colored monsters and destroy them with colored bombs -- but the execution was flawless, and the game had a ton of charm. The cool thing about the game is that it's essentially a platformer -- you can walk up lines to get to the other side of the screen, or walk up walls to grab items preemptively. You could also pick up entire stacks, just one part of the stack, or climb to the top of the stacks with separate buttons. Gameplay was very nuanced, making it one of the most complex, yet enjoyable puzzle games ever made. It helps that all of these things are taught to you from an incredibly fleshed-out tutorial that teaches you comprehensively how to play the game button by button. It's also one of the only games in Nintendo history with a playable and heroic Toad that wasn't just an ancillary character. So there's that. If you're a fan of puzzle games, watch this video then decide whether or not to pick it up on WiiWare. Virtual Boy Wario Land - Virtual Boy [Owned] COMPLETED Yep, that's right -- I actually bought Virtual Boy Wario Land and procured a Virtual Boy for this Quest. In fact, it was the first game I didn't own that I ran out and purchased. This is also one of my favorite Wario games because it's just so bizarre -- mostly because it's on a failed system. It fits his personality perfectly! I have to be honest, I'm a little bit worried about my eyes, as I plan on playing extended sessions with this. I remember one day (the night Virtual Boy launched actually), I played the VB literally all night long. I don't think I slept for two days after that. BRING ON THE BURN, BABY. Wario Land II - Game Boy, Game Boy Color [Owned], 3DS eShop COMPLETED Wario was starting to hit his stride. For the time, Wario Land II was an incredibly fresh take on platforming, and truly brought the Wario series into its own, without looking like just a Mario Land "spinoff." Overall, it wasn't game-changing, but it brought Wario to the forefront and allowed him to be taken seriously, which is an awesome accomplishment. Also, yep -- the roman numeral is correct -- the official naming convention here is "II," before the Big N got back to basics with Wario Land 3 and 4. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Wario Land II makes a decided effort to attempt to create a brand new gameplay experience that is completely foreign to the Mario series. Similar to Sonic, Wario now loses coins when he takes damage. Additionally, the controls feel utterly different from the first game in the franchise -- unfortunately, they are a bit clunkier. But despite some control issues, the team really steps it up in terms of level design. Every single world in Wario Land II feels unique to the Wario universe, right down to the first set stages that involve Wario's bizzare castle/mansion. The multiple ending scheme is back, but it's more fleshed out and even harder to obtain. Finally, there's one major addition that this game and its direct sequel share. Wario cannot die! That's right, Wario is literally impervious to damage when he gets hit. While it may seem like this cheapens the game, the series makes strides to focus more on puzzles and platforming than action, so no matter how invincible you might seem, if you can't make a certain jump, you aren't beating the level. Wario Land 3 - Game Boy Color [Owned] COMPLETED In Japan, Wario Land 3 is known as the "Wario Land 3: The Mysterious Music Box," because, well, the game featured a music box. I'll take the time here to trumpet the Game Boy Color. I think that portable didn't get nearly enough respect, and the advent of color (especially if used correctly) was an amazing addition to the portable market, even if other systems did it nearly a decade before (ye old Game Gear). With that said, Wario Land 3 might be the best game in the entire Wario series. It's just that good, and an example of a pure platformer through and through. The game isn't out yet on the 3DS eShop in the US, but if necessary, I'll just buy the Game Boy Color version. EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Yep, Wario Land 3 is just as good as I remembered. Bringing back the multiple ending and invincibility shticks from the second game, "3" basically expands on everything further, and cements Wario as a legitimate franchise. Considering Wario Land 3 abandons the "primary" antagonist Syrup after just two games, it's obvious Nintendo wanted to make it clear that this franchise was going to defy conventions. While I absolutely love the Mario series and may do a Quest for it in the future, there's something to be said about the teams that work on Wario, who strive for originality in their games. Wario Land 4 - Game Boy Advance, 3DS eShop Ambassador Program [Owned] COMPLETED I obtained Wario Land 4 through Nintendo's 3DS Ambassador program, which was quite an amazing pickup, as the game is a gem. The graphics are crisp, the controls are tight, and the quasi-open ended nature of the game lends itself very well to multiple playthroughs. Level design wise, it was also one of the most uniquely designed games in the franchise -- the ghost, forests, toy, and technology worlds were all memorable. It was also one of the first games that eased out of the "impossibly hard Game Boy and Game Boy Color" retro era, meaning that the game doesn't feel dated if you were to play it today. If you enjoy platformers, this is a fairly easy recommendation. WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! - Game Boy Advance [Owned], 3DS eShop Ambassador Program [Owned], GameCube COMPLETED I remember the first time I played the very first WarioWare game -- it was glorious. My best friend and his little brother and I just played it all day long. The "five-second" mini-game gimmick was intoxicating. It was also one of the best games ever to just whip out when hanging out with friends on the GameCube, as you only need a few minutes to get a full experience in. This first iteration sets up the formula for pretty much every other game after it. After learning the ropes from Wario's tutorial level, you'll tackle increasingly difficult stages one after another featuring brand new original characters. Crazy franchise characters like Jimmy T. and Mona may not be as iconic as Nintendo staples, but they get the job done and have lasted over a decade's worth of WarioWare games. It helps that 9-Volt's video game themed stages are among my favorites of any minigame collection ever. Although it has since been eclipsed by its predecessors in many ways, the first game is by no means a bad pickup, even today. In case you're wondering, the GameCube version is basically the same as the GBA version -- it just has multiplayer. Wario World - GameCube [Owned] COMPLETED I'm a firm believer that a few Nintendo franchises had their low point on the GameCube. Although I will defend Super Smash Bros. Melee, Metroid Prime, and Mario Sunshine to the death, there were games that faded a bit in terms of franchise power on Nintendo's blue box -- Wario World was one of them. I'll say this outright: I barely remember this game, so maybe I'm misremembering. ONWARD into the unknown! EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Wario World is an odd game that could have been great, but falls short in many respects. It's kind of like a bizarre love child of Banjo Kazooie and a 3D Mario game, with wonky controls, and one of the worst cameras known to man. It has some neat ideas, like semi-open world exploration within stages, and a ton of variety to boot, but the game feels extremely unpolished, and it's hard to endure some of the game's convoluted later stages. I have to admit though, despite the faults, the game isn't a lost cause, and I still enjoyed it. The best way I can describe Wario World is by calling it a worse Tomba. If the prospect of that excites you, maybe you should look into it on the cheap. WarioWare: Twisted! - Game Boy Advance [Owned] COMPLETED WarioWare Twisted was a neat concept indeed. Like the various pinball games on the Game Boy that would use that awesome rumble-pak built-into the cartridge, Twisted had a similar gimmick -- a gyro sensor (with rumble too!). Using the gyro sensor, you could tilt, dip, dive, and spin your way to success on your Game Boy Advance. The results were so successful, that it was one of the highest rated Game Boy Advance games of all time. Oddly enough, the game was supposedly banned in Europe because the gyro sensor had mercury in it: even though this was never proven. That's so Wario! EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Oh man, Twisted is so much fun, and potentially the best game in the WarioWare series. Like every other game in the sub-series, it's super easy to pick up and put down at any given time. Due to the nature of twisting the device around, there are some pretty clever uses of the screen here. For instance, one boss fight has you tilt the screen to the side and play a mini-shmup with the system held sideways. It's kind of like the "vertical mode" that's found in a scant few PSP shmups (Neo Geo Heroes - Ultimate Shooting). At the end of the day, most of the WarioWare games are good in their own way. WarioWare: Touched! - Nintendo DS [Owned] COMPLETED Yet another WarioWare game! Phew! We're nearly halfway done here so bear with me. WarioWare Touched was a DS game, and as you can imagine, it heavily utilized the touch function -- in fact it was damn near the best touch game on the entire portable. The fact that a stylus is in the picture means more variety for the actual micro-games, giving you a ton of different ways to abuse your DS. Because of this, it's actually one of the easiest games in the series, but it's so much fun that it isn't a detriment. I'll take the time right here to say that the DS is one of my favorite systems of all time, and this game is partially the reason why. Although over time, with the advent of multi-touch, stylus control faded as a relic of the past in my eyes, in the prime of the DS, it was king. There's only so much that I can say about these very similarly functioning games, so I don't blame you if you skip over them! Just make sure and give this one a try on your 3DS with backwards compatibility if you can. WarioWare: Smooth Moves - Wii [Owned] COMPLETED Smooth Moves was an excellent game that came at a perfect time -- near the launch of the Wii. After I had exhausted Twilight Princess, I hastily found myself short of Wii games to play -- until Smooth Moves launched. The WarioWare formula was getting a bit stale for the general populace, even with the "Twisted" gimmick, and Smooth Moves really shook things up. Although I'm an admittedly outspoken detractor of unnecessary motion controls, what better way to showcase wacky stuff like picking up a Wiimote phone than a Wario game? Wacky things like doing squats and slicing up things with the Wiimote were just awesome, and this was before things became gimmicky and stale. Party mode was also a blast, as it was basically a digital Twister. Provided you have an open mind, this is easily worth a purchase for your new Wii U. If I could put a quote on the back of the box, it would be "WarioWare: Smooth Moves: waggle done right." Wario: Master of Disguise - Nintendo DS [Owned] COMPLETED Like Wario World, this is the only other game I didn't really get into -- probably because it wasn't very good. In fact, this is probably the only Wario game in the entire franchise that I'll outright say wasn't a good game. The costume gimmick quickly got old, as it was always an implied mechanic in past games, and it was a bit too much here. Some outlets went so far as to call the game "third party." Ouch. Extended thoughts will eventually be available below so you can get a better picture later this year!EXTENDED THOUGHTS: Master of Disguise sought to mix things up with adding more puzzle elements. Unfortunately, it failed. While good touch controls can augment a DS experience, it's a blatant chore here, on top of the janky, unfun puzzles. The level design is also unimaginative, which is a far cry from the rest of the series. Simply put, Suzak Inc. didn't do a very good job developing this one, and it's a no-brainer that they haven't been put in charge of any major Nintendo properties since. Wario Land: Shake It! - Wii [Owned] COMPLETED I can't say enough good things about Wario Land: Shake It. I feel like it fell by the wayside on the Wii, which is an absolute shame, as it's one of the strongest (and hardest) games in the franchise. Like the old Wario games, gameplay was very simple on the surface, but ascended into depth as you played it. The game could be as short as five hours, or as long as thirty, depending on the amount of collectibles and challenges you're striving to go for. The game is also fairly cheap now -- if you're looking to bolster your Wii library for the upcoming Wii U, give it a shot. Even more-so, if you enjoy a challenge, you should easily give this game a chance -- the final boss is a doozy. A controller-throwing doozy. WarioWare: Snapped! - DSiWare [Owned] COMPLETED Snapped was a cool concept, and the fact that it's cheaply available on DSiWare helps alleviate any disappointment that may occur. As the name implies, the "snap" part of the moniker implies use of the new (at the time) DSi camera that's incorporated into gameplay. Basically, this game is operating like Kinect, before Kinect was even a thing. It snaps your photo, then uses it as a guide for you to do stupid things like shake your head and hands on the screen. At the end of a minigame collection, you get to see yourself in action looking dumb with some choppy video, which is the best part (you can't save them though -- super sad face). To be blunt, your mileage may vary on this one. Snapped is barely a WarioWare game, as it only features a small number of stages sans boss challenges, but it's still fun in it's own right -- especially for a few bucks. WarioWare D.I.Y. - Nintendo DS [Owned], WiiWare COMPLETED Do It Yourself is one of my favorite WarioWare games simply because, well, you do a lot of the legwork yourself! D.I.Y. allows you to create your own games, visuals, and music with hilarious (and often fun) results. It has a fairly solid tutorial to teach you everything, and you can get started basically right away. Like LittleBigPlanet, the amount of enjoyment you get from it is basically what you put into it. A lot of people may consider this lazy design, but from time to time, if done well, I can dig it. D.I.Y. was probably one of the only Nintendo games that came close to the legendary Mario Paint. Although a Mario Paint 2 on the Wii U would make me go absolutely insane, this is a decent alternative. Also, you have to pick a virtual nose to delete your save. Amazing. Game & Wario - Wii U I actually had a chance to play Game & Wario at a press event a few months ago. Although I liked what I saw, I don't know if I'd call it a "must have" yet. Put simply, it's yet another WarioWare-type game (this isn't officially being lumped into WarioWare at the moment) that uses the Wii U GamePad as the gimmick. It wasn't offensive at all -- the demoed games just seemed like a fairly shallow use of the GamePad. When this game launches, whether it's in 2012 or 2013, you bet I'll be giving you my thoughts on it. Just make sure and bookmark this page and check back a week after release! Collection Photo: Final thoughts: Wario has been through a lot in the past twenty years. He was always kind of an oddball, doomed to obscurity, but he endured. Fans like myself kept coming back time after time, and for good reason: he provides a weird slice of Nintendo that you really can't get anywhere else. Just when he starts to slide into repetition, he reinvents himself. WarioWare is a constant bastion of unique gameplay, and everyone should experience at least a few games in the Wario franchise. I have to say, while this wasn't my favorite Quest so far (Tony Hawk takes that honor), this was yet another easy one to glide through.     
100% Wario photo
Carter's Quest
[Read on for a description of every Wario game ever released in the US, and my completion of them all in 2012.]Why Wario? Ok, this is the last one for 2012, I promise. After squeezing in Kingdom Hearts to top o...


Along with Project P-100, one of the biggest surprises at the Nintendo booth at E3 was Game & Wario. I would have definitely been less disappointed with Nintendo's on-site press conference if the...


Dr. Wily makes necessary preparations in WarioWare D.I.Y.

Aug 20
// Tony Ponce
Let's see now...there have been ten main games, one side story, and five handheld titles in the classic Mega Man series. Dr. Wily builds one or two fortresses for each outing, and they always crumble to the ground in the end...

Review: WarioWare D.I.Y./WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase

Apr 30 // Jonathan Holmes
WarioWare D.I.Y. (DS)Developer: Intelligent Systems/NintendoPublisher: NintendoReleased: March 28, 2010MSRP: $34.99 If you're not familiar with the series, you should know that WarioWare is all about five-second comedy "microgames." Sudden surprises, bizarre premises, and unreasonable demands are series trademarks. There's one microgame that shows up in most of the games in the series that tells you to "PICK!", then presents you with a black-and-white drawing of a nose and a finger. The finger is moving left to right, and with just a few seconds to spare, you have to win. But how do you win? Oh yeah, "PICK!" Press the button when the finger is aligned with a nostril! Take too long to figure that out, or press the button at the wrong time and miss the nostril, and it's instant failure. Press it at the right time, it's finger in the hole and near-instant gratification. Historically, the WarioWare games feature crude, humble, and creepy-but-amusing visual design. WarioWare is videogame equivalent of the Spike and Mike or The Animation Show indie animation festivals. That hasn't changed with WarioWare D.I.Y. The difference is that now, you can finally enter the festival yourself. The game comes complete with comics, built-in songs, and over 90 microgames packed in. Some of them are pretty good (particularly those based on other Nintendo series like Pikmin and Metroid: Zero Mission), but their main purpose is to give you ideas and examples to guide you towards making your own stuff. Making games is the star of show, but there are music and comic creation tools. It feels a lot like a sequel to Mario Paint on the SNES, except now you can share your creations in the game's virtual world, and with the real world, via both local connections and Wi-Fi. Wario is the first to introduce you to the game creation tools, as he asks you to finish the graphics for a game that he's been working on. This works as both a tutorial on using the game's drawing tools, and an opportunity for comedy. I've long been of the opinion that comedy games only work when they allow the player to be funny, as opposed to just presenting the player with a bunch of pre-scripted jokes. That's exactly what happens here. Wario doesn't tell you of the context in which your graphics will be used in-game, which results in something like Mad Libs for videogames. Whatever you come up with for graphics will likely look funny in the unexpected context into which Wario inserts them. Trust me, it's funnier to play than to read about. The music creator isn't as funny, but it's still pretty awesome. It's easy to use, and has a fairly large bank of instruments and sound effects to rely on. You get four tracks and a percussion section to work with, and you can make songs up to 4 minutes long. Suck at laying notes down by hand? Try the "hum" option. It allows you to place notes in real time by singing into the DS microphone. It's not perfect, but if you've got decent pitch, it will give you a head start on laying down some tracks. If you have no ideas for songs at all, you can just ask the game to write music for you and your games. On top of all that, you can also stick in wacky sound effects and add filters to your songs. Like most Nintendo apps, they do their best to make this music maker fun, even if you suck at using it. The comic creator is probably my favorite app in the WarioWare D.I.Y. package. It allows you to create a four-panel black-and-white comic. You get the basic pencil and fill tools, and built-in graphics if you need them. Where it might take you hours to create a finished game, and a little less for a full-length song, you can put together a pretty funny comic in a matter of minutes.  That's not to say the microgame creator is bad by comparison. It's surprisingly painless to create animated characters (with up to four frames of animation each), backgrounds, and AI programs. You can also edit other games (acquired in-game or from people online) and tweak them any way you'd like. This is the easiest game creation tool I've used yet. The problems come from the limits put on the player/developer. Sometimes they're understandable, but other times they feel a little excessive. There are only fourteen colors to choose from, which is a bummer. As a result, every game you make or play with D.I.Y. will look like a low-end GBA title at best. The upside is, the limited colors force you to learn how to shade in the old-school checkerboard pixel manner. There are even palettes set to automatically lay down the checkerboard pattern for you in different color combinations. Still, it's hard to understand why they didn't give us the option to use a few more colors, and go checkerboard if that's what we wanted. The same goes for the lack of control options available for user-created games. You can't set any of your games to be controlled with the D-pad and buttons, or even by clicking and dragging objects on-screen à la The Legend of Zelda: The Spirit Tracks or Nintendogs. It's all point-and-tap for every game. Clever developers will find ways around this, by laying D-pad and button icons down on the touch screen itself or using other tricks, but why should they have to? There are also serious limits put on the game's online distribution functionality. Friend Codes are required, which isn't that big of a deal if you have the Internet and are willing to go to WarioWare fansite forums to find some friends. The real problem comes from how games are exchanged. You can only put two games, one record, and one comic in your storeroom at any one time. That may sound like a lot, but considering that it's not uncommon to find someone online who wants to give you ten games at a time, it's a pain. You've got to ask them to drop two games in their store room, go grab the games, tell the person you got them, ask them to take those two games out and put two new ones in, and so forth. The game also doesn't allow you to store a whole lot of microgames on your cartridge -- just 90 in total. It may sound like a lot, but most microgames are over in just 5 seconds. 90 x 5 seconds = "Wanh, I want more cookies, Mama!" I get that the developers wanted to limit the player's development tools so they'd rely on ingenuity and comedy to create great microgames, as opposed to toiling away for hours at making the next Super Mario 3. I just think they went a little far with the limits. The original WarioWare was controlled with the D-pad and buttons, and later WarioWare games featured a variety of other control options, as well as a full 256-color palette. None of that limited the comedic effect or ingenuity found in the microgames in those titles. Still, the pros far outweigh the cons in this game. Making your own WarioWare game is even more fun than it looks. It's especially cool to download the game's multitudes of free DLC microgames and stack them up against your own creations. So far, we've gotten games created by the likes of Cave Story's Pixel, World of Goo's Ron Carmel, Metroid's Yoshio Sakamoto, Super Smash Bros.' Masahiro Sakurai, Super Meat Boy's Edmund McMillen, and Bit.Trip RUNNER's Alex Neuse. There is a strange sort of "living the dream" joy in creating your own, potentially superior game, and sandwiching it in between the games of these great developers. Speaking of which, if you want to try out my debut microgame, F*ck Face, drop me a PM. I'll hook you up. Oh yeah, a score... Score: 8 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.) WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase (WiiWare)Developer: Intelligent Systems/NintendoPublisher: NintendoReleased: March 29, 2010MSRP: 800 Wii Points WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase is a relatively cheap application that allows you to download WarioWare D.I.Y. DLC and upload games, comics, and songs directly from the DS version of the game. It also contains some new comics, songs, and over 70 new microgames. There are no game creation tools here, but for just $8, I didn't expect something on par with the $35 DS game. There are some advantages to using D.I.Y. Showcase on the Wii over D.I.Y. on the DS. For starters, you can send games you've created directly to anyone who also has Showcase on their Wii. No storeroom shenanigans involved; just pick the game, record, or comic you want to send, pick who you want to send it to, and you're off. It's a feature that really should have been in the DS version, but at least it's here. Another cool feature is the ability to take songs from D.I.Y. DS and transform them into playable levels in Balloon Fight. For those who don't know, Balloon Fight is a simple 2D side-scrolling flight game from Nintendo's first years in the home console market. In WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase, any record can be played as a level, where each note can be collected for points as the player flies from left to right. Each time you collect a note, the note plays. It's like Balloon Fight meets Guitar Hero. Though it's impossible to play a level well enough to play back the song perfectly, it's still a fun and weird enough challenge to give it a try. The other big advantage to D.I.Y. Showcase over D.I.Y. DS is the ability to play games in local competitive multiplayer with up to four people. You can't play games you've created in this mode -- only games that came packed in with the program. It's still a cool bonus that adds dimension to the sometimes repetitive microgame action, while also working as the perfect "gateway game" to those in the family who might not immediately take to the microgame concept. My two big problems with the "game" come from what it comes packed with, and what it can pack. As with D.I.Y. on the DS, D.I.Y. Showcase comes with some built-in microgames. There are 72 in all, and as with D.I.Y. DS, they're not all that great. The storage problem also comes up again. You can only store 72 games. Why so few? None of that really matters, though, because having D.I.Y. Showcase means I can play F*ck Face on the big screen. It's purely a vanity thing, but it's still amazing to hold a controller in your hand, look at your TV, and play something that came out of your own brain. That alone was worth my $8. Score: 8.5 -- Great (8s are impressive efforts with a few noticeable problems holding them back. Won't astound everyone, but is worth your time and cash.) [UPDATE: Reader Rabspat noticed that I have something wrong here. You can in fact use D.I.Y. Showcase's multi-player mode to play your own microgames. In this mode, you play a mixed-up combination of pre-made microgames with the homemade microgames, and the order is random. As such, I didn't actually get to any homemade microgames on my first few plays of this mode. Chalk it up to bad luck and crappy research. My mistake! Adding 0.5 to the score!- Jonathan Holmes, Staff]

At first I wanted to start this review with a "Do you like to do it yourself" reference to The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but then I thought, "Is that how I really want to be remembered in the annals of Internet history? As a peddle...


Watch Gaijin Games make a WarioWare D.I.Y. microgame

Apr 14
// Jordan Devore
I must say, covering WarioWare D.I.Y. has been nothing but delightful -- and I haven't even gotten around to picking up a copy of the game yet. "Fire Bad!" by Alex Neuse of Gaijin Games is the latest of the developer-created...

Tips & tricks with advanced WarioWare D.I.Y. tutorials

Apr 07
// Jordan Devore
And with that, the super helpful, nicely-produced WarioWare D.I.Y. tutorial videos from Nintendo of America Treehouse have come to a close. Since the game has been out in the wild for a while now, this final set delves into ...

Watch Ron Carmel make his WarioWare DIY game Suck Goo

Apr 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
Ron Carmel, co-creator of the highly successful WiiWare and PC title World of Goo, has made a WarioWare D.I.Y. microgame. Suck Goo might be simplistic (even by WarioWare standards) but that's exactly the sort ...

Cave Story creator's WarioWare D.I.Y. game, Ikachan

Apr 06
// Conrad Zimmerman
As you may be aware already, I love Cave Story. This video is of the WarioWare D.I.Y. microgame that Pixel, genius behind Cave Story, has made available to download. The Ikachan microgame is based on a mechanic from a P...

More of those helpful WarioWare D.I.Y. tutorial videos

Mar 22
// Jordan Devore
With less than a week left until WarioWare D.I.Y. hits retail, my curiosity for the game has grown tremendously each passing day. More than the main game itself, I'm curious to see if I have what it takes to make a halfway d...

Developers getting in on the WarioWare D.I.Y. fun

Mar 22
// Jordan Devore
As Matt showed us over the weekend, WarioWare D.I.Y. is going to be the next big thing for creative types. This is made even more clear by today's announcement that a handful of big-name developers will be contributing to the...

WarioWare D.I.Y. can get really, really violent

Mar 21
// Matthew Razak
What is all this talk about Nintendo not making adult games? The video above clearly shows that WarioWare D.I.Y. is heavily gunning for "Most Violent Game of the Year," and at the moment seems to have a healthy lead in the "...

Tutorial Time: Learn to make games in WarioWare D.I.Y.

Mar 17
// Dale North
I passed along a preview of upcoming Nintendo DS game WarioWare D.I.Y. earlier this month, and in it I mentioned that I'm very excited about the tools the game provides to make your own microgame. I'm sure the game itself wi...

WarioWare D.I.Y. has my imagination running wild

Feb 25
// Dale North
At Nintendo's media summit, held in San Francisco today, I had a chance to see the localized version of upcoming DS/DSi game WarioWare D.I.Y. in action. After getting a full demonstration on how it worked, my imagination is r...

Make 'em hard! Nipple-flicking Nintendo DS boob minigame

May 07
// Dale North
Do you know about the Japanese Nintendo DS game Made in Ore (Made in Me)? Bukkake, remember? If you don't, know that it's a game in the WarioWare series that lets players create their own minigames, complete with tools to mak...

Surprise: Japanese use Made in Ore to make bukkake porn

May 02
// Colette Bennett
If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times: if you want something sick and twisted, leave it to Japan. Americans didn't do too shabby of a job showing off what perverts we can be during the whole Sporn debacle, but g...

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