Zelda might have been Nintendo’s “killer app” for the Wii, but Wario Ware: Smooth Moves (Odoru Made in Wario) is the best demonstration of what the Wii can do. Like all of the other games in the Wario Ware series you’re going to play “microgames” that last a few seconds. The games come in rapid succession and each game has a clever way to use the Wii remote. After around fifteen mini games you enter a longer, more difficult boss stage The formula might be the same, but the way Wario Ware: Smooth Moves uses the Wii remote makes it a must have game if you own a Wii.
What makes Wario Ware: Smooth Moves novel is the way it uses the Wii remote control. Each game makes the remote a different object and has a different control scheme. In one game you hold the Wii remote vertically and on the TV screen is an image of a door. The obvious solution is to hold the remote and make the motion like you’re knocking on a door. When the door opens you’re treated to a hula dancer or a gymnast balancing on rings. In another game you use the remote to smack someone on the wrist before they steal fruit and in another the remote becomes a phone. In the phone microgame you place the remote on the floor and wait for the sound of a phone ringing. When you hear it you flip the remote over and you can hear someone talking through the remote’s speaker. The two hundred mini games in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves are clever and intuitive.
Wario Ware: Smooth Move’s microgames are broken into episodes with familiar characters in the Wario Ware series. The first group of games stars Wario who is casually eating donuts and cake when his snacks are stolen. Wario chases after the little yellow culprit and he is led into a tunnel where he sees a stone shaped Wii remote on the ground. When he picks it up the microgame madness begins. Wario’s games are an introduction to Wario Ware Smooth Moves, most of the games have players simply point with the remote. In one game the remote becomes an electronic razor and you have to shave Wario’s mustache. To make players feel like they are holding a razor the remote vibrates. Another game has players shoot a Godzilla like Wario in key weak points. The classic nose picking game is in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves too and you use the remote to guide Wario’s finger to his nose. The boss stage at the end of Wario’s level makes the Wii remote a hand fan and you have to blow away a robotic Wario before he shoots a laser beam at you.
Later on you’ll meet other familiar Wario Ware characters like the ninjas Kat & Ana. They have a sword drawing game where you hold the Wii remote as if you were carrying a sword and then you slash at the screen to knock down a barrel. In Penny Crygor’s levels the remote becomes a brush to scrub a cow and the handle for a paper shredder. At the end of her level you engage in a sword fight where you move the remote from side to side to deflect attacks. Ashley, the mischievous mystic, has the remote become a hula hoop where you have to shake your hips to keep the hoop in play. Wario Ware has other physical games where you hold the controller over your head to do squats and another game where you lift it like a dumbbell. It’s the first full body moving game on the Wii, but if you’re savvy you can avoid doing the motions. Cheating is way too easy. Remember that squat game? All you have to do is hold the remote high and then bring it down with your hands. In another game players have to jump rope, but you can cheat by moving the remote up at the right time. While you can cheat your way through Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, it takes all of the fun out of the game.
One of the best parts in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves has always been 9-Volt’s stage. His microgames pay homage to classic Nintendo titles. In 9-Volt’s scenario, he and his brother, 18 Volt, are playing with a Game & Watch when it snaps in half. 18 Volt heads to the store to get a new Game & Watch after 9 Volt yells at him. In the Animal Crossing microgame you wait to catch a fish. When you see the fish grab the line you pull the remote back to grab it. In the Super Mario Brothers themed game you hold the remote vertically and move it up to make Mario jump to collect coins. In the Pikmin themed game you turn the remote horizontally to roll over a group of Pikmin. The Balloon Fight game is interesting because you’re supposed to jump to fly over sparks in the sky and fish. In the Nintendogs microgame you hold the remote on your hand and then move your hand to the on screendog so you can shake. Out of all the boss stages 9-Volt’s is the best. You jump into an Arwing and control Fox McCloud’s ship by tilting the remote. You can fire lasers by pressing A to shoot polygonal enemies. At the end you run into Rob the Robot who shoots Fox’s plane with a light gun. It’s the easiest boss game to win, but it is also the one Nintendo fans are going to want to play over and over.
Once you beat a mini game or a boss level you can freely select it to play. Besides having microgames there are a few unlockable minigames in Wario Ware: Smooth Moves. You’re going to unlock ping pong first, which isn’t a game of table tennis. Instead you guide a ping pong ball up a tower by bouncing it on a paddle that you control with the remote. Blocking you from the top are bricks that you can smash if the ball hits them. To win this game you need tilt the remote controller slightly so you can hit the ball at angles to knock out the stone bricks. One of the other minigames is a puzzle game where blocks fall from the sky on a moving platform that you control with the remote. The goal of the game is simple catch and balance all of the blocks that fall down. The most addictive mini game is “Shooting King” where you enter a Wii remote controlled shooting gallery. The game looks like an 8-bit NES game where you have to shoot cans for points and blow up missiles before you get hit. The game also has a timer on the top of the screen, if this runs out the game is over. To keep that from happening you have to shoot floating heart cans on screen, which increase your time.
Wario Ware: Smooth Moves shows what the Wii can do. It’s creative and fun for gamers of all levels. The biggest problem some people are going to have with the game is the way it looks. The Wario Ware games have a history of having “underdeveloped” graphics and Wario Ware doesn’t look like a next gen game at all. It hardly looks like a DS game, which might turn some people off. If you have a Japanese Wii and can’t read Japanese you won’t have too much of a problem playing Odoru Made in Wario. Since the microgames are intuitive you should be able to figure them out without any language cues. Also a handy on screen picture shows how to hold the remote before a microgame starts. The only game you might have a problem with is the Brain Age homage and a game where you’re asked a question about your Mii. Fortunately, the wait for Wario Ware: Smooth Moves isn’t too long. Nintendo is bringing it over to North America on January 17, 2007.
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