Since i have been waiting a lot for Nintendo to resurrect the Wario Ware series, especially since they kinda blew it on Wii U with Game & Wario and since then we got simply a collection on 3DS (which is still better treatment other not-major Nintendo franchises got in decades), i was quite ready for a new one to come out, and then bam, Nintendo Direct, new Wario Ware. Yeah boi!
This one i preordered at a slightly lower price, because 50 bucks for a Wario Ware seemed a bit much in this day and age, but we’ll get to that later.
In case you’ve never played or heard of Wario Ware, it’s basically a compilation of mini-games that started on the Game Boy Advance… well, a compilation of micro-games, as they last around 5 seconds, and you have to figure out how to accomplish the objective very fast with the odd set-up and controls given, with a limited amount of lives.
The appeal is that the gameplay it’s fast, fun, highly addictive, the micro-games offer weird situations and reward intuitive grasp of what oddball, zany set-ups you’re given, be it trying to help Wario pick his nose, avoid being squashed by a giant foot, resolve a quick memory puzzle, or figuring out how exactly the controls work in that istance. It’s crazy, downright wacky (with a distinct penchant for scatological jokes or imagery since it’s dirty old Wario), and it has been pretty much a staple for Nintendo consoles since the original, as the set-up it’s perfect to utilize new hardware features and gimmicks, be it the DS two screens, the Wiimote, or the gyroscope for the sadly not Europe friendly (because Nintendo, once again) Wario Ware Twisted.
With that in mind, Get It Together is….kinda conservative, since the Joycons can be used as pointers, but the game uses their detachable nature to enhance multiplayer, and this brings us to the major new feature of the game: playable characters.
You can pick and choose a team from a variety of Wario Ware characters, and then face the themed micro-games pack, which actually changes how the microgames are solved, since some characters can fly or hover, some can jump, some don’t move themselves at all or even have a direct offensive attack. For example, Wario has a jetpack for flying and can do it’s old Wario Land shoulder smash, while 18-Volt doesn’t move but can throw disks to attack and latch on rings, Mona has a controllable boomerang attacks but keeps on moving herself, and so on.
Older character duos now are controllable separately, but face or shoot in a single direction, while the other character shoots in the other one, like Dribble and Spitz, the first shooting only on the left, the latter on the right, which is tailored for multiplayer use, and as anyone who played the Gamecube re-release of the first one knows, Wario Ware it’s a blast with friends and strangers.
We’ll talk more about that later, but yes, this new feature of directly controlling the characters in the mini-games it’s a nice twist on the formula that feels natural and gives more variety, as the mini-games tweak themselves in order to make them beatable even by characters who can’t jump or that can’t be directly controlled and just move back and forth, like 9 Volt on his skateboard.
This also means some mini-games are way easier for some characters , and harder for others, but it does help in keeping thing interesting and making you approach a familiar mini-game in a different way. It’s a fun gimmick, but the downside is that this limits somewhat how challenging and crazy the mini-games can get, aside from the combination of game and character that results in nearly impossible to use controls and you’re most likely lose, you end knowing before hand somewhat what you’ll able to do with the gimmick of character specific abilities-controls.
The story mode it’s a bit beefier than expected, it still not long, but i really mean it when it doesn’t need to be for a game like this, where replayability is high and a big part of the appeal, as you revisit stages, unlock more gadgets and modes, hone your scores, etc.
..BUT still, i can’t bring myself to really justify the fact it feels a bit flimsy in the content department outside the multiplayer offering (the comparison with Gold it’s a bit unfair and not that pertinent since that was a collection), because the series did offer more before in extra side games, and there was more for single player to dig through. It’s not totally new since every Wario Ware iteration on a home console put a lot of emphasis on multiplayer funtime (heck, starting from Mega Party Games on Gamecube), so it’s not a “disgrace” or a “surprise”, but it’s also hard to shake the feeling more could have done as far as extras and overall content go.
Almost forgot, the story it’s basically the exactly opposite of Wario Ware DIY, as the staff of the Wario Ware company gets sucked into the latest game console they worked on, and have to fix all the bugs corrupting the game world to escape.
As usual, it’s a cute pretext for some meta jokes and some fun gags.
Not much to say on the technical side, the art design and direction is great (and weird) as usual, pretty colorful as expected, and now the characters have also 3D cel shaded, almost chibi-ish models, kinda needed now that the characters actually are directly involved in the gameplay, instead of acting as “theme packs” to organize the mini-games around. Also, there’s some partial dubbing in english, a lot of european languages like italian and french, even russian, always welcome.
As i was saying before, multiplayer is a big part of the appeal, not the main focus but the game gives the players a lot of modes and variations on the formula, plenty just for multiplayer games, and i gotta specify it’s only local co-op. It’s one of those games were you can just share the two standard joycons and have a complete 2 players experience, it’s pretty easy to play like this.
You can also play the story co-op, even do co-op with another console & game combo, but at the moment there’s no online component, aside the option to register your scores in the Wario Cup leaderboards (which – as expect – requires a NSO subscription), so keep that in mind, especially if you want to play it mostly solo and do some occasional local multiplayer session with friends.
I’m not exactly up in arms because i didn’t quite expect it, but Nintendo eventually did patch in online play in Super Mario Party, who the hell knows if or when it’s gonna happen, it’s Nintendo, after all.
Still, i wanna know who exactly voted in those surveys Nintendo held and wanted to pay 50 bucks for a new Wario Ware, it just seems a tad too much, i mean, i despite the “hours=price” mentality bullshit, it does, but maybe 40 bucks would have been the perfect price for it, as players that prefer Wario Ware in a solo experience will do the story and not find much else tailored to them.
I mean, it’s a first party Nintendo game, it’s not gonna drop in price…..ever, most likely in 5 years it will cost twice (or thrice) as much in the second hand market, so i’m glad i managed to preorder it at 40 bucks, sorry for being candid but it’s not like they made something insane like double the amount of minigames or something like that, and the aforementioned lack (temporary or not only time will tell) of online play for the multiplayer games and challenges doesn’t help in this regard.
It feels like Nintendo isn’t really trying to pack much into these older series that the company doesn’t consider that important anymore, so it cuts costs and seems to make them only when they can think of a gimmick to base this new title of that series around.
Overall, it’s a good time, but the fun will be shortlived or not depending if you can and want to play Wario Ware Get It Together in local multiplayer for a fun party time microgame bonanza, and while i’m very happy that Wario Ware is back, fairly satisfied with the new gimmicks and new games, and do had fun with this new title, more could have been done in every way, so it’s a little bittersweet.