In every WarioWare game, there have been certain microgames that capitalize on the fond feelings players have for older Nintendo games. 9-Volt has been the go-to character for these retro mini-games, though eventually his friend 18-Volt and mother 5-Volt appear. Appropriately enough, when it comes to all-new games in WarioWare Gold, many fall into these three characters’ categories. Nintendo really pulled from both the past and the present for these extra titles, and the games chosen suit the microgame format and are lovely reminders of how unique Nintendo can be.
The first exposure to new Nintendo-themed microgames comes via 5-Volt in the Mash League. 9-Volt’s mom apparently has great taste in games! My favorite is a Fire Emblem Awakening-based title. Players control Chrom on a map and must position him next to an enemy, Victor, then attack. On higher difficulties, more NPC and ally characters appear, to distract you from your true opponent. It is one of the more complex microgames, since you really have to think. As is Rhythm Tweezers, a recreation of the Rhythm Tengoku and Rhythm Heaven Megamix minigame where you pluck an onion’s chin hairs in time with the beat.
I suppose you could say a common theme here is how involved 5-Volt’s microgames can get in WarioWare Gold. Pinball, based upon the NES title, has you trying to keep between one and three balls in play. The Pushmo microgame has you actually playing levels of the game to succeed, with the lowest difficulty tasking Mallo with climbing the platforms, the second stage requiring you to push the button that extends one platform completely, and a third adding in a teleportation device. Super Mario Kart players may experience flashbacks after seeing the microgame that puts you on Rainbow Road and tasks you with helping Mario avoid obstacles and maybe make a turn or pick one of two sides of a road. Even the microgame based on Yoshi’s Island can get a little challenging, since the last level has a moving baby Mario, Kameks that will come to push him away, and a Yoshi that needs to hop on on a platform and maybe even hover a bit to reach him.
In comparison, 18-Volt’s new-to-WarioWare microgames seem a little less inventive. Most of them appeared in previous titles. One of the only new ones is based upon the Wii menu screen. You have to scroll through one or more menu screens, looking for a channel with a star on it. It is a nice reference to the system, and the gyroscopic control here brings to mind using an actual Wii remote to browse. The other is a rather involved R.O.B. game inspired by Stack-Up. It starts out simple enough. You have to select a specific disc. But as the game gets more difficult, you have to direct him to perform more complicated actions like grabbing a disc and moving it to a different spot. Of course, this does makes sense, since it might be difficult to adapt classic Nintendo titles and have them work with tilt controls.
When it comes to 9-Volt and his touch-based microgames, WarioWare Gold again delivers some really fun games that bring up unusual items from Nintendo’s past and current items. For example, some of the company’s toys appear. You may have to match Hanafuda cards and place them in spots. In another situation, you take a Nintendo Switch Joy-Con and slide it onto the system, complete with satisfying clicks. A Love Tester situation has you putting the tester under a man’s hand so the test can be conducted. You als have a Ten Billion Barrel with parts to match and sort. All of these act as fun reminders, especially since his mom had a microgame based on Nintendo’s remote-controlled car.
9-Volt’s touch division really excels when it comes to more modern games. His WarioWare Gold microgames tap into a lot of DS and 3DS sorts of titles. For example, there is a Tomodachi Life microgame where you have to clean off a Mii’s face. Super Mario Maker is referenced, as the game will ask you to shake an enemy or item until it changes to a different one, just like they would in the game. You have to scan an amiibo by pulling it onto a New 3DS system. A Mii Channel microgame has you altering a face’s parts to make it match a sample. Nintendogs’ sample has you petting dogs, while The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass’s minigame has you guiding the path of a boomerang. All of these
WarioWare Gold is a fun collection for many reason, but one of the best parts is having all of these fun references to Nintendo games. Many of the compilation’s new microgames fall into 5-Volt, 9-Volt, and 18-Volt’s categories, calling back to older products or games. It is great getting these brief samples of experiences and seeing how well they adapt to this format.
WarioWare Gold is available for the Nintendo 3DS.