glasswall52's WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii) review

You'll feel weird playing this by yourself.

Warioware: Smooth Moves is one of the only games that you can finish playing and say “what in the world just happened?”, yet simultaneously feel completely satisfied in the experience.

Strong Points:
Game play is frantic, well-varied, and absolutely satisfying with the Wii Remote. The visual style and sound alone are enough to make you laugh. Acceptable and replay values. A game that can keep you coming back time after time and can still keep you guessing.


Fall-backs:
Single player story mode ends very soon. Although rare, it can sometimes seem as if you keep getting the same mini-games to play.
The first time you play WarioWare Smooth Moves, you will more than likely be at least a little perplexed.

This game is weird, so weird that it is pretty much undeniably hilarious. Don’t believe me? Well, some of the first things you might be doing with your Wii Remote in WarioWare Smooth Moves are: picking a nose, hitting an old man trying to steal your food with a stick, shaving someone’s mustache, slamming down a store shutter at closing time, using Samus’ morph-ball ability to knock over a barrel, slapping someone in the face to wake them up, or chasing little people away with “poo” on a stick. Believe me now? Yes, these are real examples of some of the mini-games in WarioWare Smooth Moves.

As you may have guessed, WarioWare Smooth Moves’ game play is based on mini-games, but not just any mini-games, an onslaught of maniacal mini-games that are all around 3-5 seconds long and will be coming at you faster and faster with each wave that you complete. Yes, these mini-games are very short and they will usually consist of you performing one specific action with the Wii Remote as fast as you can before the time limit is up. Worried about mini-games getting old? Well worry not, WarioWare Smooth Moves boasts over 200 of these little slices imaginative genius, and each one has different varieties of itself.

 
The game progresses in a fairly straight-forward manner. Wario stumbles upon a temple with a stone in the shape of a Wii Remote, this stone is dubbed “The Form Baton”. Wario, being himself, decides to snatch the stone which triggers a huge bolder to come rolling and thus an action packed escape sequence, Indiana Jones style. This is where the game throws you in, but not without a little much needed direction. To play the game you will be holding the Form Baton (aka, your Wii Remote) in various ways to complete the mini-games. These different ways of holding the Form Baton are called “Forms”. Each mini-game will have a specific form it uses which you will quickly be informed of before starting it. Each time you learn a new form, you will be treated with a short but funny description of how to hold the Wii Remote. There are many forms, ranging from holding the Wii Remote like a pencil to holding it up to your nose like an elephant trunk. After learning your first form, the game will put it to action and you will need to beat 9 mini-games and 1 boss stage in order to complete the level. You have 4 chances to complete these levels, and you will probably need them as the mini-games get faster and faster as you progress further. After you survive your initial encounter with the Form Baton, you will presented with the town map which lets you visit the various residents of the town and attempt to complete similar levels to the first one, all the while learning more new and ridiculous forms for you Form Baton.

At the beginning and end of each level, you will experience one of the game’s stylish and usually humorous cut scenes. The games visual style is very cartoonish, but very crisp, the cut scenes really look like a well produced cartoon series. This visual style is simple but still compelling. The mini-game visuals are another story, a lot of these mini-games look as if they were ripped directly out of Napoleon Dynamite’s sketch book, and they look hilarious. Every mini-game has its own style, some being 3D wire frames or polygons forms of noses or old men, some being 2D pencil drawings of cavemen flame broiling an over sized hunk of meat. Though certainly no technological barriers were broken by these visuals, in fact, in many cases quite a few steps backward have been traveled, still the visuals of each mini-game seem to suit it perfectly and will usually leave you smiling in delight.

Like the visuals, the audio in WarioWare Smooth Moves matches the nonsensical feeling put forward by the game play. The music really fits the feel of the game and enhances the overall experience. While each level has its own main theme, each mini-game has its variation on that theme, making it almost feel like each mini-game is grabbing you and thrusting you completely into its own alternate universe for a few seconds then throwing you back out. This feeling is amplified when the games start to move faster and faster, and you already feel like your head is going to explode.

 
Once you complete the story mode, which should take you from 2-5 hours, you will unlock quite a few secret levels. These various levels will let you burn “Kalories”, shoot cans, play a revamped version of Balloon Flight, or jumble all the mini-games together to see how far you can go in a never ending game “do something completely random”. As well as unlocking the secret levels, you can also play all of the main story levels over again in an endless mode that lets you see how far you can get before you fall over and pass out on the floor. You can also play 7 multiplayer games, 4 of which throw mini-games at you in different ways, while the other 3 let you play darts, run a race while connected to your partner by a bungee cord, and eat fruit with your noses. Most of these games use a single Wii Remote that you pass to the next person during the game, which allows you to have up to 12 people playing at the same time, though passing the Wii Remote when time starts to get scarce can quickly turn into a scene of fumbling.

 
All in all, WarioWare: Smooth Moves is a wonderful game for the Wii and definitely one of the strongest party games to do date. The huge variety in mini-games can almost always keep you guessing; although sometimes you can get into a spell where it can feel as if the game keeps throwing the same mini-games at you over and over. The presentation of the game is stylish, clean, and mind bogglingly funny. There is almost an endless amount of replay value here and it’s always fun to play when you have other people to share the experience that is WarioWare Smooth Moves. If you don’t already have a party game for the Wii then WarioWare Smooth Moves should be in your catalogue of games, if you already have a good party game for the Wii then WarioWare Smooth Moves is worth a rental at the very least. Do yourself a favor and buy this game, then call all of your friends to come over and make fools out of themselves while they use the Wii Remote to clip somebody’s fingernails.

Game Play
– 10
Graphics – 8
Sound - 8
Replay - 10
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