i’ve been in the mood for sequels lately, so for my second game of the year i played through the now classic warioware: twisted! for the GBA. this is the 3rd warioware game i’ve played so far, and the novelty hasn’t worn off yet (even despite the fact i’ve been playing them out of order). the series has stayed fresh in large part by the variety of physical mechanics they’ve incorporated: the original only utilized the D-pad and one button, whereas the DS and wii versions made full use of those systems’ capabilities. as you probably already know, twisted includes a gyroscope which instantly makes your GBA a completely new device, and this new mode of gameplay is immediately compelling. (although i’m not alone in recommending that you forego your GBA SP for this one, as the shape of the original GBA is much more suited to “twisting”.)
but on top of the unique mechanics, and what makes the game ultimately a more fun game than the original, is that the microgames themselves have more variety. after i’d unlocked all the microgames in twisted i actually went back and played through a fair amount of mega microgame$ (partly to make the comparison, but then largely because i realized i hadn’t unlocked all the microgames for it). revisiting mega microgame$ really showed up the fact that many of those microgames feel very similar, whereas in twisted i rarely felt like any of the microgames were repeats. this isn’t solely due to the addition of the gyroscope, but also b/c the variety of situations in twisted and the even wackier and more over-the-top presentation cleverly disguise any similarities in actual gameplay. this iteration is noticeably more difficult than the first game, and the inclusion of tons of unlockable “souvenirs”, including music tracks, virtual kaleidoscopes, musical instruments, gadgets, and mini-games, also definitely adds to the fun and replay value, despite the fact most are completely random, throwaway, and useless. but, like the microgames themselves, almost all of them will leave you smiling, shaking your head in disbelief, or chuckling to yourself like an idiot. oh, and yes, 9-volt’s retro nintendo fanboy games are still the best. haha.
all in all twisted is a clear winner, and one of many sequels that is a clear improvement upon the original. i wouldn’t rank it as “the #1 game boy advance game of all time” as craig harris did over at IGN in march of 2007, but it’s def. a classic. of the three warioware games i’ve played i’ve come to appreciate smooth moves for the wii more than i originally did due to the amount of actions you’ll be called on to perform, but, not surprisingly, twisted feels a bit fresher since it was earlier in the series. next i’ll probably tackle touched for the DS, which actually came out before twisted in the US. looking forward to it, although the general concensus seems to be that it’s easier and shorter than previous installments.
out of curiosity, and b/c i’m a big geek, i thought it would be interesting to compare review scores of the various warioware games (although of course the actual reviewer may not have been consistent for each review). i limited the table to just nintendo power, IGN, and 1up, and used the original japanese release dates. a list of the games in the warioware series can be found on wikipedia.
|WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! (GBA)||3/21/2003||89||92||90||N/A|
|WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! (GCN)||10/17/2003||76||75||85||85|
|WarioWare: Twisted! (GBA)||10/14/2004||88||85||95||80|
|WarioWare: Touched! (DS)||12/2/2004||81||92||85||85|
|WarioWare: Smooth Moves (wii)||12/2/2006||83||90||82||80|
wario’s twisted links (bwa ha ha ha ha!):
– entry at wikipedia
– PDF of instruction manual at replacementdocs.com
– FAQ on all of the microgames and a prizes FAQ at gamefaqs
– list of unlockables at IGN
– pretty good review at 1up
– wikipedia entry on the newest installment, for the DSi, utsutsu! (which means “reality”, as it uses the DSi’s camera). looks interesting, although it seems the controls may not work that well.