WarioWare: Smooth Moves Review

"It’s a Wii, Waaario!" From the moment you select the Smooth Moves disc on the Wii interface, it’s apparent the quirky charm and offbeat (and at times corny) humor of the WarioWare franchise is back in full force with the twisted anti-Mario’s latest foray into the video game world. Since the first WarioWare game, it seems like Intelligent Systems has constantly been trying to top the previous outing. Things took a step backwards with Touched!, however, as the game served more as an introduction to how the DS worked than a challenging minigame compilation. When the next WarioWare was announced for the Wii, many fans feared that Smooth Moves would succumb to the same fate as Touched! and become nothing more than a technical display of the Wii’s prowess. To a degree, it does just that. There is a silver lining on that stormy cloud, though — despite the fact that Smooth Moves is more or less a display of the Wii’s strengths, it’s still an amazingly fun (and at times challenging) game.

Like the DS version before it, Smooth Moves makes extensive use of the Wiimote and its abilities. How it does so is fairly simple. Throughout the course of the game, you’ll play a variety of mini games using a variety of remote positions (the game calls them baton forms). Ranging from holding the remote normally to placing it on the top of your head like a technopunk Mohawk, the positions all bring something new into the foray. One of the highlights of the game is when each new form is explained to you. You’ll see a graphic showing how the remote is held, and then a smooth, suave voice will describe the position, always ending with some random (and hilarious) line. Even when you know a joke is coming, you can’t help but chuckle.

The way the game incorporates the forms is brilliant. On each stage during the single player game, each mini game will briefly show which form to use, then jump straight into the action. Three seconds or so later, the task is (hopefully) completed, and after a quick animation, it’s on to the next one. The change between positions adds a sense of urgency to the game, and a large part of the fun is laughing at friends as they stumble with the remote, trying to get ready for the elephant position. With that being said, it’s very important that you use the wrist strap in this game — especially since some of the tasks will ask you to just let go of the remote and let it fall.

Like past WarioWare titles, the single player game is short but sweet. It starts out with Wario finding the Form Baton in a temple of sorts, and escaping with it. From there you’ll choose stage after stage, each one having a random but humorous story behind it. Ranging from an inept witch trying to become stronger to the people’s champion 9-Volt, the animations for each little story are well done, and the intro and outro to each stage is a blast to watch no matter how many times you’ve seen it.

During each stage, you’ll have four chances to complete the tasks and beat the boss. When you fail a minigame, you lose one of those four chances. Lose all four, and it’s Game Over. The real highlight of each stage, though, is the boss fight. Some of them are fairly simple driving excursions; others are perfect recreations of Star Fox using the tilt sensitivity of the Wiimote. From near-perfect 1:1 sword movement to boxing that looks much, much better than Wii Sports, bosses never disappoint.

When it’s all said and done, the single player game will take you between one and two hours to beat. Even though it’s short, much like Raving Rabbids there’s a lot of replay value in the single player gameplay; some of the games are just that fun. Where the game truly shines in replay value, though, is in the multiplayer. There aren’t a lot of game modes, but since a few of them randomly utilize any of the available minigames, there’s always a ton of variety. And good news for anyone having trouble tracking down an extra remote and nunchuck: the multiplayer games in Smooth Moves require only one of each, so all of your friends can play with your single player gear.

WarioWare Smooth Moves is what the WarioWare franchise is all about: quick, fun minigames with a twisted and offbeat sense of humor. The game may be something you can beat in less time than it takes to watch a movie, but you’ll keep coming back for more — especially if you have any friends. Very soon we’ll be graced by the first Wii version of Mario Party, but until then WarioWare is by far the best multiplayer game on the Wii, and also one of the most enjoyable. Hula hooping and answering the phone in front of friends has never been this fun.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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