Damn it’s good to have Wario and his crew back. In fact, it’s hard to believe that the last time we saw a truly new WarioWare title was well over ten years ago – WarioWare D.I.Y. for the Nintendo DS and WiiWare – the series output since then limited to a so-so spin-off for Wii U and a greatest hits compilation on 3DS. Suffice to say we’ve definitely been long overdue a brand-new batch of weird and wonderful microgames from the greedy Wario.
Fans of the series will feel right at home here, that same energetic barrage of five-or-so-second microgames fired your way one by one each requiring you to think fast and react equally so. Where one moment you might be defending the planet and seconds later simply trying to ring a doorbell or pluck armpit hairs. The longer you succeed, the faster and more difficult things get. It’s this hectic pacing as well as the weird and seemingly random mishmash of tasks that make WarioWare such a refreshing and unique time and this very much remains the case with WarioWare: Get It Together! too.
The series has never been shy when it comes to experimenting with different technologies, past entries making use of touch screens, motion controls and even cameras but WarioWare: Get It Together! opts for the more traditional button-based inputs. While that might sound rather familiar, where the game truly changes things up is in having players control the actual characters themselves within each of the microgames. Instead of simply pressing a button to poke a finger up a giant nose, you’ll now be required to physically manoeuvre your character inside to plug a nostril.
Each of the dozen-plus characters has their own movement styles and abilities making some better suited for certain microgames than others. Wario for example is able to fly around in his jetpack whilst a quick tap of the button will initiate a charge making him a decent all-rounder. 18-Volt meanwhile, remains seated the entire time, instead shooting discs to grab hooks to move himself or pick up items. Then you have Mona who will constantly fly around on her scooter, only stopping when you throw her boomerang. Despite the large cast, everyone feels as though they have something unique to offer, making it fun to simply experiment with each, identifying where they might excel and struggle.
In fact, having this variety in characters adds far more longevity to the game’s 200 plus microgames. Whereas past WarioWare titles would only have one method of completing each microgame – press a button repeatedly to keep a door closed or make a pulling motion upward to lift a sword for example – the solutions in WarioWare: Get It Together! are very dependent on the character you’re playing as. Getting a windmill to spin is a piece of cake for a character who can fire projectiles at it but requires a completely different approach for someone who can’t fly or is constantly jumping. The character-focused twist is an interesting one that proves just as exciting and fun as those seen in past WarioWare titles.
The game’s story mode sees Wario and the rest of the cast sucked inside their own gaming device with the only means of escape being to play through the very microgames they designed. Just like previous WarioWare titles, microgames are split into groups each with a tying theme like sports, food or my personal favourite, Nintendo. Complete enough microgames and you’ll take on a boss battle (essentially a longer mini-game). Reaching the finale shouldn’t take much more than a handful of hours but it’s returning to best your high scores afterwards where you’ll spend a lot of your time.
In a first for the series, WarioWare: Get It Together! allows two to join forces and take on microgames together. While initially concerned this might make things a little too easy, a few rounds with my wife quickly revealed that to be anything but the case. Not only does the difficulty of each microgame scale, but you’ll also need to contend with the whole working together as a team element, a task easier said than done when you only have seconds to coordinate and communicate. Playing with two arguably adds even more chaos to the mix but it’s a chaos that proves highly satisfying when finally bested and tamed.
Outside the game’s story, Variety Pack offers a healthy selection of competitive games (and a couple of cooperative ones), some even supporting up to four players. Duelius Maximus is straightforward but fun, pitting two players against each other in a series of microgames until someone loses all their lives. Rising Star on the other hand sees two players competing in the same microgame, stars awarded for the person who contributed the most. Puck ‘er Up kicks off with a game of air hockey, the scorer getting a chance to play a microgame and win a star while the others try to throw them off by obstructing the screen and generally being a nuisance. Balloon Bang even makes a return from WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Game$! It’s great to see the series dabble in some proper multiplayer options once again, Variety Pack making for an enjoyable party experience especially with four involved. Annoyingly though, you’ll need to finish story mode before getting the chance to play, a decision sure to irritate those wanting to jump in right away.
Wario Cup plans to offer weekly challenges awarding trophies, coins and rewards based on performance. Unlike the rest of the game, this is the one mode that does offer online leaderboards and while I’ve only had the chance to participate in the one event, I can easily see Wario Cup calling me back regularly.
Following on from WarioWare Gold, a game packed with an unpredictable and bizarre serving of unlockables, the extras in WarioWare: Get It Together! feel rather tame. Instead of mini-games, mysterious trinkets and curious toys to mess around with, the game instead focuses on the characters themselves, players able to purchase and gift items in order to level up and unlock new colour schemes for them. I’ll admit figuring out the best pairings of gift and character is rather satisfying, however the unlockables overall lack surprise.
The range and randomness in visual style from microgame to microgame continues to be one of the series’ strongest characteristics one moment placing you right in the middle of a New Super Mario Bros. U stage whilst the next in a crudely drawn scene that hilariously looks as though someone did it in Microsoft Paint. Whilst the microgames themselves provide laughs aplenty, their presentation only further fuels their amusement. The cutscenes too are reliably weird adding even more personality to each character they feature. Spoken dialogue is oddly inconsistent in these though, some characters getting more words uttered than others, which feels like a downgrade especially following the fully voiced scenes in WarioWare Gold.
WarioWare: Get It Together! proves there’s plenty more fun left in the tank for his wonderfully zany series. Playing as the characters themselves is an unexpected direction but one that works brilliantly while the introduction of co-operative play creates an entirely new and exciting experience that I hope we see more of. WarioWare: Get It Together! once more delivers an experience unlike anything else out there, let’s just hope we don’t have to wait another ten years for the next.
Version Tested: Nintendo Switch
Review copy provided by Nintendo