Video Game Thoughts: WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!

WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! was a 2003 rhythm game by Nintendo for the Game Boy Advance. This game was very different from any other game I had played. It was basically a large collection of minigames. Wario was a pretty disgusting man, greedy, overweight, and smelly. Some of the minigames were a little too crude, but I guess they fit Wario’s character. For example, one minigame featured Wario in his underwear with the player having to move him left or right as clothes fell down the screen to “dress” him.

Each minigame was very simple to play, but everything had to be done under time pressure. The minigames were split up into levels, with around ten per level. One word appeared on the screen giving the player a hint of what to do. Then the minigame appeared. The player had to frantically figure out what needed to be done and then perform that task flawlessly. For most levels, the player could fail minigames four times before having to start the level over.

I never played WarioWare when it was new. I got it from the Wii U eShop. Because of this, I played it when I was much older. I found the gameplay to be a little too fast-paced. I was able to make good progress using the Wii U’s special “save anywhere” feature for Virtual Console games, but it was still very hard. I just can’t react as fast as I used to. I notice this in other games too. It takes more tries for me anytime a game has random elements that require quick reflexes.

Despite not playing the game that well, I really enjoyed its originality. I never played any other games like this one. I have played several of Nintendo’s party games that also contain lots of minigames, but none of them had a sense of story progression that WarioWare did. This game really had an artsy feel to it. It’s the kind of game that independent video game developers make. It was proof that Nintendo still had creativity. I kind of think Nintendo has become too creative lately.

Nintendo still releases their big franchise titles like Zelda and Mario, but those don’t come out very often. They are stretched thin trying to develop for those tried-and-true releases while also making several new oddball games. Some of those new ideas have turned out good, but others have felt like they needed a lot of polish. I’d rather have Nintendo release fewer, better games than lots more creative, though sometimes weak, games. It really has to do with time and money. My free time is precious and my money is limited. I don’t buy a game unless I’m pretty sure that both my time and money will be rewarded. I’ve had a lot of fun with the Wii U, but I think it could be better. The console probably only has a year and half left of new games, never fully living up to its potential.

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