|Developer:||Nintendo SPD Group No.1/Intelligent Systems|
|Release Date:||January 2007|
Fast! Fun! Wacky! Insane! Hilarious! Gross! Awkward! Random! Groovy! Any of the words just listed could easily describe one of the craziest, zaniest video games I have ever played! Warioware: Smooth Moves is simple yet challenging, strange beyond belief yet incredibly addictive, and is one of those random party games where anything can happen at any given time. A game of this nature defies video game logic and is nearly impossible to critique using standard methods. What I do know is that Warioware: Smooth Moves is immensely fun to play and has to rank among the top party games of all-time. Who said that being wacky and weird was a bad thing?
Overview: Of all of the games that I have reviewed here at The Tigmo Dimension thus far, Warioware: Smooth Moves for the Nintendo Wii is by far the strangest, weirdest, most random video game that I have come across. If you thought that Sqoon was odd, you haven't seen anything yet! Warioware: Smooth Moves takes the word random to a level hardly seen in the world of video games. What's funny is that I actually had a good feeling about this game when I stumbled across a copy at our local video game store recently. Despite the odd pink cover and the goofy Wario expression, I had heard a lot of positive things about this series from my brother and a few of his friends. And I figured that if the game did happen to suck, at least it would only be $10 down the drain.
Well, being that I was still hooked on The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword at the time, my younger brother Nathan got first dibs on Warioware: Smooth Moves. It's funny too because the first thing I remember seeing is a goofy (yet groovy!) looking dude donning an afro surrounded by smiling cats. Yes, you read that last statement correctly. My initial thought, like many other gamers I am sure, was that whoever was responsible for coming up with this game just had to be on some crazy acid trip or something. I mean, WHO in their right mind could actually conjure this stuff up? Nose picking, nose hair pulling, face shaving, cow butt scrubbing, and catching pink-clad gymnasts stupidly falling to the ground upside-down (I did not make that last one up!) are just a few of the tasks that you have to perform in Warioware: Smooth Moves. Are you scared yet? Well, you should be because I haven't even mentioned the incredibly awkward dance routine you have to mimic in order to technically beat this game.
In all seriousness though, this game is actually very easy to pick up, surprisingly addictive, and for better or worse, amazing in terms of being intuitive/innovative. As a matter of fact, I find it difficult to even compare Warioware to anything else. The Mario Party series along with Sega's Tant R classic are vaguely similar but only slightly so. Lazy Jones for the Commodore 64 was probably the first truly random title that I can recall playing (I actually have the best memories playing that ancient game.) but there was only so much you could do in a C64 title.
Meh...it's not worth worrying about. Let's just discuss the gameplay and move on with this review already! If you break down Warioware: Smooth Moves, what you essentially have is a party game broken up into hundreds of little micro-games. A command such as "Knock," "Lift," "Avoid," or "Drink" will suddenly appear on screen and your task is to figure out how to accomplish the set task within mere seconds. It makes for some truly fast and furious gameplay and is perfect for the party scene! While up to 12 players can play, only one player can play at any given time. And since everyone shares the same controller, you might want to bring along some disinfectant wipes just to be safe (I'm just saying!) Anyway, there are a plethora of multi-player options available along with the surprisingly fun main game. The main game, in addition to introducing you to the core gameplay, also unlocks additional sets of micro-games as you progress through each area. And while many of these micro-games are standard Warioware stuff, you can also unlock some fun, off-the-beaten-path games like "Can Shooter" and "Balloon Trip" (a wonderful Balloon Fight spin-off). Some of these extras are quite fun...particularly in multi-player mode when everyone pushes each other and competes for the highest scores and the bragging rights that inevitably go with them.
On a different note, one of the things that Warioware: Smooth Moves does very well is that it seems to utilize the Wiimote's full potential! You will be doing everything from turning and twisting the Wiimote all sorts of different ways to actually setting down the Wiimote (during any "Discard" games) and suddenly picking it up to trigger something. This game is as varied as they come and you will find yourself mimicing everyday activities such as drinking water or handing out a pamphlet thanks to the wireless Wiimote (and some dang good programming by the "acid trip" people who made this game). From an objective standpoint, it's hard to sound negative because this game, for being so wild and wacky, was soundly executed.
Graphics: I can already tell that Warioware: Smooth Moves is going to be one difficult game to review. How in the world do you critique the graphics in this game? Due to the number of micro-games and the incredible variety in the game's graphics, it makes a reviewer's job pretty challenging indeed. In general, the visuals in this game lean heavily on the "cartoony" side and don't really seem to take themselves all that seriously. This game thrives on humor and the down-to-earth, quirky graphics absolutely reflect this. You honestly never know what's coming when you play this game for the first time. One moment, you might see a regular guy holding a glass full of water. If you are able to drink the water slowly and "win" the micro-game, the guy suddenly grows hair everywhere on his face! Another micro-game involves you treating the Wiimote as a dumbbell (Who's the dumbbell here?!) and simply lifting a weight on the screen. Once you accomplish this feat, suddenly lions in all of their ferocious glory grace the screen in perfect harmony. Ladies and gentlemen, I present Warioware: Smooth Moves!
Weirdness aside, Warioware: Smooth Moves features plenty of variety and, in addition to some wild-looking micro-games, it contains delicious easter eggs for retro fans in particular. My favorite set of micro-games in Smooth Moves, at least from a nostalgic standpoint, has to be the ones found in 9-Volt's domain. You will get to see scenes from Super Mario Bros., Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!!, Animal Crossing, Metroid: Prime, and two Zelda games (Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker) among others in this amazing assortment of old-school goodness! Although I was already sold on the graphics in this game before reaching this point in the game, getting to play all of these micro-games then fight R.O.B. in a Star Fox arwing sealed the deal for me. Who cares if the graphics are retro or cartoony? They rock!
Music: If you thought that the graphics were all over the place, just wait until you hear the music! In terms of variety, Warioware: Smooth Moves has it all. When it comes to wackiness and humor, the soundtrack also scores in the upper echelon. As long as you don't have a problem with music that is fast and intense, groovy, or downright cutesy, you'll be fine with this game...at least in the auditory sense. Warioware: Smooth Moves honestly seems to have had a very heavy Japanese influence simply due to how random the game is! That is not necessarily a bad thing though. If the game is fun, it is perfectly fine to throw caution to the wind and get a little crazy. And pretty much every aspect of this game screams originality so who am I to complain?
Before we move on, however, I simply must mention the voice that "describes" each Wiimote (sorry...FORM BATON) formation. It is a calm, fluent voice that says the most random things and, unless you don't have a soul, will have you heaving in laughter multiple times throughout the game. I have joked with friends and family that the voice seems to take the game too seriously in a funny way and almost gives the game a hilarious spiritual element of sorts. And when the voice discusses a few formations involving the Nunchuk...er...my apologies...the BALANCE STONE, I found myself laughing until tears ran down my cheeks. I'm not exactly sure what the programmers were wanting to accomplish here, but if they wanted to give us gamers something to laugh about, they sure accomplished that feat!
Play Control: I know that this has been a unique video game review so far but I can at least calm down a bit for this section. Honestly, Warioware: Smooth Moves uses the Wiimo...I mean "Form Baton," better and more efficiently than most of the Wii games I have played. I love the resourcefulness of this game and the way that it has you doing everything conceivable with simple, wireless technology. Granted, we all know that the Wiimote has some limitations (hence the development of the Wii Motion Plus controller) but Warioware: Smooth Moves really seemed to get everything out of this technology that you could hope for and then some! It does what a Nintendo Wii game should do. It takes wireless technology and simply plays with it and tries to find new ways to use it. What you get is a game that is so addictive and fun largely due to the varied, unpredictable gameplay.
Challenge: Like any great party game, Warioware: Smooth Moves is one of those games that is somewhat challenging at first since you are constantly trying to quickly figure out what you are supposed to do. That is part of the fun and intrigue and it makes for some great laughs simply for those who might be watching! It is a lot of fun figuring out what to do and gives this game a certain uniqueness in a way. In addition to having sharp reflexes, you'll need to also use your mind in this one...and quickly! Despite being in the party game genre, Smooth Moves blends action and puzzle elements beautifully. Being fast isn't enough in the land of Warioware. You've got to be sneaky smart too.
While the initial main game honestly isn't all that daunting (unless a particular micro-game or two really stick it to you), the real fun begins when you and your friends play some of the hardcore games like Super Hard or Sudden Death. Constantly getting better and attempting to one-up each other is, in the end, the real draw of this game. Granted, I personally loved playing the main game and enjoying some wacky and hilarious backstories (we'll get to that in a sec) but playing the micro-games with family and friends is truly the selling point of this game. And as far as replay value goes, this game scores very well because it never really ends. There are tons of gameplay options to choose from and when you consider the number of micro-games alone, it's easy to see how minutes can quickly become hours whenever Warioware is involved.
Storyline: You may have been expecting me to post "N/A" here but, believe it or not, this game actually does have a story...well, sort of anyway. Although there is no real underlying story, Warioware: Smooth Moves features a conglomerate of basic sidestories for each character you come across. For example, the Mona set of micro-games involves an innocent, lovestruck football player trying his best to win the big game for the super-hot Mona. One of my personal favorite, however, has to be the 9-Volt backstory. Basically, 9-Volt is a Nintendo fanboy who loves all things Nintendo (I can relate!) and, unfortunately, 18-Volt comes into the room and suddenly jockeys for position and tries to take 9-Volt's super-cool handheld system away! Well, disaster strikes and the handheld system gets destroyed. Wanting to make up for his selfish act, 18-Volt rushes to the store and discovers that he can apparently win a new console if he masters a retro set of micro-games! How cool is that? I was tickled pink as I played through this awesome set of micro-games. You can't beat the old-school style...you just can't!
Honestly, even though Warioware: Smooth Moves doesn't really have a main story, the combination of a bunch of wildly diverse and varied stories make this already random game very enjoyable! You never know what's going to happen and that is without a doubt one of the high points of the game. Who doesn't want to see Jimmy T. dance with cats? Sigh...it's okay to raise your hand...
Funfactor: Despite the jokes and sarcasm, I honestly have had a blast playing this game! Sure it's stranger than a Tim Burton film and half the time you don't really have a clue what's going on (I suppose playing some of the previous games in the series might help.), but the most important thing about Warioware: Smooth Moves is its easy accessibility. This game is an absolute must-have for parties just in case some non-gamers happen to show up. Literally anyone should have no trouble at least figuring out the concept of this game. What's the worst thing that can happen if you lose? You'll probably find yourself laughing along with everyone else. And that's not a bad scenario. Overall, this game really cooks and would be a fantastic addition to anyone's library of Wii games! No sarcasm there!
Negatives: This might sound really silly but I could see anyone with a serious, stoic personality absolutely hating this game. Warioware: Smooth Moves thrives on humor...included the semi-gross kind which might turn off some people. Granted, this game doesn't bother me at all but I could see someone who is really strict and overprotective actually hating this game. Seriously...I can!
And while the Form Baton controls (I finally said it right!) are pretty much spot-on in this game, there are times when it seems to freeze up or briefly glitch which could ruin a solid game for someone. This doesn't seem to happen if you stand close to the TV but it is an issue at times.
Lastly, and this doesn't really involve the core gameplay, but Warioware: Smooth Moves is a really difficult game to critique! That should be a negative of some kind! Right? Uh...right?
Ratings: Graphics: 3.8 Music: 3.8 Play Control: 4.7 Challenge: 4.3 Storyline: 3.8 Funfactor: 4.7 Overall Score: 25.1 out of 30.0 Overall Rating: Bronze Bravo
Back to Wii WondersLast Updated: May 18, 2012