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[Feature] Historical WarioWare: A Look Back on Wario’s Finest

Posted on January 11, 2015 by in Features, Game of the Month

Mario was always the character who got to sit in the spotlight. Wanna go karting? Sure, but only if it’s called MARIO Kart. Wanna spend a day playing tennis? Of course you can, but it has to be called MARIO Tennis. Hell, even a social gathering has to be called a Mario Party. So after years of watching his childhood best friend get all the attention while he sat there doing nothing, it didn’t take too long before Wario started thinking of ways to get his own time to shine, and what better way is there to be the star of your own video game series than to have once with your name in it!? So let’s spend today reminiscing the history of Wario’s series, and see what made them so special.



The first game in the Wario series debuted on the GameBoy Advance in early 2003. The game started the formula some of us have come to love by creating an abundant amount of rapidly paced minigames that must be completed in quick succession in order to advance to the next stage. It begins with Wario relaxing in his home in Diamond City, and while watching TV he discovers that a new game called “Pyoro” has been making plenty of money, quickly leading Wario to brainstorm ideas for his own game to make that cash his. He calls all of his friends to help out, and before you know it, WarioWare, Inc. was founded!

This game was received incredibly well, with some of the reviewers praising its fast paced and frantic gameplay and weird ideas that blended perfectly together. It currently holds a score of 89 on Metacritic, and it even won the Edge award for “Most Innovative Game of the Year” at the Edinburgh International Games Festival in 2004. It was so successful, that Satoru Iwata requested a remake for the Gamecube to be finished as soon as possible. So, just a year later we were met with…



The second installment in the WarioWare, Inc: series was actually a remake of its predecessor, but with a much heavier focus on multiplayer. Released on the Gamecube in early 2004, Mega Party Game$ came with 8 new multiplayer modes but with all the same returning minigames. This game has no story, unlike most titles in the franchise, and decided to focus more on the experience you’ll be sharing with friends.

This game was received fairly well, with one major downside being that it’s too similar to Mega Microgame$. However, critics still hold it as being a fun multiplayer game that’s perfect to have for any get together. The title appeared to be successful enough, because a sequel was churned out quickly after, and this time to welcome a new system. It currently holds a score of 76 on Metacritic.



The third game in the franchise actually decided to take it a step back and go back to where it started onto Gameboy Advance. This title released in May 2005, and took advantage of the Tilt Sensor, a new hardware advancement on the GBA. Most of the games don’t even allow you to use buttons, allowing the Tilt Sensor to be used to its full advantage. This game also brings the return of a story, with this title’s story involving another money making scheme by the big man in yellow. Wario is seen relaxing while playing on a GameBoy Advance, but loses the game he’s playing and throws it across the room in anger. After being horrified by the damage he caused, he takes it over to his friend Dr. Cygor’s lab to get it fixed, but instead of fixing it, Dr. Crygor creates a new handheld that’s controlled completely by rotation. Shortly after, Mona and 9-Volt enter the lab and begin to play the new system. After realizing how much fun others are having, Wario begins to enter another one of his plans…

Much like the rest of this series, this game as also received great reviews from critics, being praised for its unique tilt controls, as well as its quirky and charming visuals. They also complimented the tilt controls implantation, and how they managed to not make it feel like a gimmick. It currently holds a score of 88 on Metacritic.



The next installment in the WarioWare franchise moved the series to Nintendo’s portable dual-screen system, the Nintendo DS. This games big innovation was using the DS’s touch screen to open the door to even more minigames, so you can slide, tap, and drag your way to success. The game’s story begins with Wario walking down the street holding a Gameboy Advance and GameBoy SP (which he stole…) when out of nowhere he trips and drops them down a manhole. A man clad in all white called the “Sewer Guru” then rises from the manhole holding Wario’s stolen items or a completely new system he’s never seen before (A button-less DS). In typical Wario fashion, he attacks the Sewer Guru in an attempt to get all 3. He gets them, and after seeing the system has two screens, he begins to believe he can make twice the profit, leading him to create yet another WarioWare game.

This game was also received well (surprise, surprise). Critics loved how up-beat it was and all of its variety, as well all the collectables you can get. However, they disliked its length, and even said you can 100% the whole game in around 5 hours. If you like silly toys and want to get the collectables, though, you could spend hours upon hours in this game. It currently holds a score of 81 on Metacritic.



With yet another console jump for the series, WarioWare moved itself over to the Nintendo Wii. This time around, they used the system’s Wiimote and its motion controls to its full extent, letting players use the controllers in wacky and different ways. This time around, the story focuses on WarioWare’s wide variety of characters instead of just Wario, with series’ familiars such as Mona and 9-Volt getting a story for themselves. Their stories intertwine after they all find a “Form Baton” and use it to achieve all their numerous personal goals.
This game was, get ready for it, received well by the critics once more. They praised its creativity and how it used the Wiimote in ways that were surprising and entertaining. It also had some fantastic multiplayer attractions to play with friends filled with humor. Sadly, this game still suffered from being rather short to beat and didn’t test the players. It currently holds a score of 83 on Metacritic.



Our final stop on the WarioWare train ends back on a portable system with the series back on the Nintendo DS. Instead of focusing on the system itself to do new things, Nintendo decided to do something completely new and allow players to make their own mingames (in case you couldn’t tell by the title). Players could make their own minigames and post them online so their registered friends could play, making the amount of minigames and content practically unlimited.
Get ready to have your mind blown, but yes, this game was also received well. Critics loved how this game was unlimited in every sense of the word. All of your artistic talents can come together and create levels and microgames that hundreds will love. However, the length is once again short, and sometimes the end result doesn’t feel worth all the hassle. It currently is at a score of 82 on Metacritic.


Most of the WarioWare games have been pretty well received, but was there one that you found to be disappointing? Which one of them was your favorite? Because I like the GBA original and the Wii game.

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