WARIO WARE : TWISTED! / Nintendo / GBA


Man, it took only one real follow-up to shuttle poor Wario Ware from incredibly inventive and the cream of the GBA to uninspired formularicity (I probably just made that word up, but it's a good 'un).

Maybe that's not totally fair, because putting a motion sensor in the cartridge and having you tilt the GBA as part of the gameplay is certainly an interesting idea, even if it had been done before in Kirby's Tilt & Tumble. The thing is, I don't think just adding the tilting element really does enough to make up for the fact that it's essentially the exact same game all over again - the minigames are almost wholly new, but for the most part they look and feel exactly like the old games, and the tilting aspect of the games tends to be either so simple as to be boring, or so glitchy and finicky as to be overly frustrating.



Crygor and Wario's whole suite of games, for example, are for the most part just not fun. They're an annoyance, and something you push through just to open up the rest of the game. No sequence in the first Wario Ware was like that - the whole game was gold, basically. It was common in the first game to encounter a challenge that you didn't get on the first try, but almost inevitably you pick it up on the second try. Here, there are games that you can play multiple times and still not really understand what it is you are supposed to be doing (like Wario's boss stage, the exact mechanics of which still seem unclear to me even after successfully finishing it three times). The game also employs the same non-sequitur bizarre wackiness that the first did, but here it feels forced, like a team of writers trying to copy someone's inspiration.

One other issue I had with the game is that some of the later puzzles require a complete 360 degree spin of the Gameboy. That means rolling it between your hands in a rather clunky manuever, and it seems like there's a high incidence of dropping it accidentally while doing it, especially when things are going really fast. Just seems like a boneheaded decision on Nintendo's part, especially considering that little kids with small hands are a huge part of the target audience ... and it's probably even harder to pull this off on the DS with the top screen flipped open.

Kinda sad that Nintendo decided to Capcom the hell out of the Wario series this early in it's life, but we'll always have the first game I guess.



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