even though i’d recently “finished” warioware D.I.Y., i was so close to finishing up the 9 games of the warioware series that i went ahead and played through warioware D.I.Y. showcase on wiiware and game & wario on wii u.
first off, warioware D.I.Y. showcase does exactly what it sets out to do, which is provide a way for you to take your warioware D.I.Y. creations from your DS and view them on your TV via your wii. the touchscreen controls are replaced by moving the wiimote’s cursor and pressing its main button, and although these controls make things more difficult because it takes more time to move the cursor on wii than the stylus on the DS, overall the change in input works fine. games look pretty good in the transition from DS to TV, and the wiiware title also includes about half as many micro-games as the DS game (featuring the characters who were left out of the DS game, including more retro games thanks to 18-volt), all of which can be imported back to the DS game for use in making your own micro-games, and a small set of comics and songs. while nintendo had wi-fi support for this title you could also download new micro-games, but otherwise there’s not a whole lot to do and the $8 price tag does feel a bit on the high side. still, for fans of the DS title this would be a nice complement, and the warioware formula is surprisingly strong, as there are quite a few micro-games included that are as funny and memorable as any that have come before.
D.I.Y. showcase may have been pretty basic, but game & wario feels like a real step back. almost completely eschewing the series’ formula to date (i.e. an onslaught of micro-games to conquer), this game focuses on mini-games, pretty much none of which are that much fun. each mini-game has multiple levels, but only beating the first level is required to unlock the next mini-game. this keeps things moving along, but the mini-games themselves aren’t interesting enough to even warrant the extra levels. it’s pretty sad that i found i didn’t even want to play through all the levels, few as there were, and that unlocking each mini-game just resulted in another stab of disappointment instead of excitement. in their review nintendolife commented that one of the games felt “like it’s all been done before on mobile devices”, but i felt that way about pretty much all of them. many of the games felt like the developers were really straining to justify the wii u’s gamepad, and in that sense felt like nintendo land, which i found to be similarly tedious and also more like a series of tech demos than a gaming experience. my affection for the warioware cast was the main thing that kept me even remotely engaged, and the only other memorable experiences were the virtual toys whose wacky humor fans of the series should be familiar with; “gamer”, the mini-game that actually revisits the typical warioware formula (including some hilarious variations of familiar micro-games from the past) but with the added trickiness of having to hide the gamepad when your character’s mom is nearby; and the miiverse sketching game, which is basically a pictionary-type drawing game where you can select from other people’s prompts and then view others’ responses alongside your own.
it’s too bad that the most-recent two entries of the warioware series are so middling compared to the brilliance of the first titles, but i have hope that nintendo and intelligent systems will be able to turn things around from here. in the meantime i’ll be taking a look back at the series before too long, and will be looking forward to revisiting some of my favorites in the series.
big-screen warioware D.I.Y. showcase link:
– entry at mariowiki.com