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Platform

GameBoy Advance

 

Genre

Action

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Nintendo

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q2 2003

 

 

- Pick-up and play
- Strangely appealing design
- Great walk down memory lane
- Requires as much concentration as you can muster
- Humor is offbeat but on-target
- Great unlockable extras

 

 

- Can suck up mega amounts of time
- Not always clear how to win a “stage”

 

 

Review: Wario Land: Shake It! (Wii)

Review: WarioWare Touched! (DS)

Review: Super Mario 64 DS (DS)

 

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Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgames

Score: 9.5 / 10

 

wario ware micro megagames game boy advance review          wario ware micro megagames game boy advance review

 

Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgames (WW) is like everything and nothing you’ve ever played. There’s the familiar, the insane, the quirky, the sublime – all this in one tiny cartridge.

The premise behind WW is that Wario realizes there’s big bucks available in game development. He assembles a band of developers to create over 200 games, which can each be played in under 5 seconds. It becomes your job to face-off against each developer and ultimately defeat Wario at his own game.

You think that a bunch of microgames would be anything but engrossing. You’ll be thrown by the kinetic frenzy of hair-cutting, log-sawing, snot-sucking, teeth-

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brushing, strawberry-dropping, spoon-bending, rhino-taunting, paw-shaking, bug-licking, worm-squirming, gear-moving, cat-spotting, sandwich-eating, sword-catching action. For once I can say that I was truly surprised by a game. Surprised not only with its style, action and inventiveness but also with the fact it can suck anyone that plays it – from age three to adult.

But how about I explain how it works?

 

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Let’s say you’re taking on Dr. Crygor’s batch of games. You’ll have to eat a banana first (by rapidly pressing the “A” button). Two seconds later the game switches to a “fighter” where you must defend yourself with presses of the directional pad. The next game you have to cut a piece of steak by pressing left and right on the control pad. And so it goes… until the boss battle.

Each microgame is introduced by an ambiguous description of what you’re supposed to do. By ambiguous, I mean a description that says, “Sleep” and a picture of blinking cat appears. There are more than a few of these, “What the hell am I supposed to do?” reactions but after a few runs throughs you become familiar with them. Plus, each one can be practiced on its own. Many of the microgames you’ll tackle are outright hilarious – just try landing Wario on a floatation device in the shape of a banana!

 

wario ware micro megagames game boy advance review         wario ware micro megagames game boy advance review

 

The speed at which the games switch can’t be fully appreciated until the Hard level is unlocked. Hard level ups the speed after each microgame to the point that if you blink you’re dog meat. Layer on top of that the random nature of the puzzles you’ll face and you’re looking at a true test of concentration and reflexes. If you can break 35 on this level, I bow before you!

Not only do you get all the microgames but there are two other (unlockable) full-version games: Dr. Wario (exactly the same as Dr. Mario that appeared on the NES) and Sheriff, from far away 1979. These single player games are good enough but WW has even more gaming in the form of two-player games that can be played using one GBA. They’re incredibly simple – each player is assigned a shoulder button – but extremely effective. Good for long bus and plane trips – just be sure you’re on good terms with your opponent and he brushed his teeth recently.

Even though everything is so rapid-fire, the presentation suffers nothing. WW features a curious mix of crude hand-drawn stickmen and digitized images of fruit. WW also guest stars a number of old Nintendo games. The original Mario Brothers, Metroid, Duck Hunt, F-Zero and The Legend of Zelda make cameos. If you’ve followed Nintendo since the NES days, there’s a real sense of history and touches of nostalgia from more innocent times – heck, R.O.B. the robot even puts in an appearance.

Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgames is another high water mark for Nintendo and an even higher mark for the Game Boy Advance – it should be in your GBA library.

- Omni
(June 22, 2003)

 

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