Review: Wario Ware, Inc. - Game Boy Advance

...this game is the first non-medical replacement for Ritalin.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

In a video game world full of mediocre platformers, first-person shooters and sports games, Nintendo always tends to deliver an original gem once in awhile. No one is sure how to categorize Wario Ware, Inc. Some may say it's a collection of mini games, but the games only last about five seconds each and can satiate the shortest of attention spans. Not only that, but this game is the first non-medical replacement for Ritalin.

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Each stage is broken up into 10-30 different 5-9 second games. After successfully completing them, you will encounter a "boss" which takes a mere 30 seconds to complete. Most games are completed by correctly timing the A button. While other games you may have to use the D-pad to dodge or catch. You will barely have to use both at the same time.

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Much of the difficulty stems from trial and error, figuring out what you need to do to complete the microgame. You usually need to press your direction or button within the first two seconds, so you really have to be on your toes.

It's not completely random, though. You will get a hint right before you get into the microgame. Sometimes it will say "dodge," hinting that you need to jump over or move out of the way. Sometimes it will say "flee" or "jump" or various other hints so you aren't totally in the dark.

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There are plenty of unlockables including a full version of Dr. Wario. You also unlock 2-player games that can be played simultaneously with one button each; one player uses R and the other L. It sounds quirky but it works quite well. For instance, in one game, each player holds down their button to spring-load a foot to kick a skateboarder along a bumpy path. The object is to make him go as close to 400 feet without going over.

This game is terribly addicting. I didn't put it down until I beat it the first time through. Even then I still never encountered all of the games that you can come across. After you beat the stage's boss, you can go back to the stage and see how many games you can complete before losing your four lives. This increases the replay value tremendously.

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This game isn't about graphics or sound. Some games are merely a pencil drawing of a finger and a nose. Your objective is to get the finger in the nose. Your hint was 'pick." There are also many franchises such as Mario, Zelda and F-Zero which make a cameo for a microgame.

You will play this game. It will provide hours of single player and multiplayer fun that you can't experience with any other game on any platform.

Overall: A 92%