Game and Wario – Wii U
Platform: Nintendo Wii U
Release Date: June 23, 2013
Genre: Minigame / Party
Rating: 6 out of 10
With the short list of Wii U games available nearly a year after its launch, I was excited to see something from the Mario-verse hit the shelves. Fortunately Game and Wario is a masterful showing of all that the Wii U is capable of, moreso than the minigames present in Nintendoland. With full use of the gamepad and TV screens, as well the touchscreen, gyroscopic, and camera features, Game and Wario takes a moderate step forward in changing the entire concept of video gaming.
The 12 single-player and 4 multi-player only minigames cover a wide range of topics and playing styles, ranging from pure intellect and concentration to brute force and lightning fast reflexes. There is sure to be something in this package to please everyone. Some of my favorites include Fronks which involves flinging small creatures from the gamepad to the TV on an ever-moving target buoy as well as Kung Fu which utilizes the very novel approach of tilting the gamepad to control a constantly jumping character from a bird’s eye POV. Others that stick out are a minigame where one is forced to spot minute differences in similar looking characters and snap their photo using the gamepad, as well as the fast-paced gameplay of 9-Volt / 18 Volt (one must rapidly complete 3 to 5 second long “microgames” while avoiding “mom”) and Taxi which is essentially a different take on Crazi Taxi-esque games of the past.
While none of the games fall completely flat, nor would I go so far as to label any of them “gimmicky,” about half of them feel like slightly more polished versions of activities we’ve already gone through on the DS / 3DS and the original Wii. Ashley is a fun take on a shoot ’em up game but lacks the innovation of some of the above mentioned. The bowling is done from the gamepad to the TV, making one wonder why anyone thought this was a better way to play than slinging the Wii Remote.
The novelty of this title far outweighs its drawbacks, but one of the major problems is the relative lack of replayability. There are literally hundreds of “eggs” containing all sorts of items to collect but it is so difficult to procure coins that the goal of attaining them all seems impossible. All of the minigames are also extremely finite in nature leaving little reason to revisit them more than a handful of times once the technique at hand has been mastered. Also confusing is the juxtaposition of near perfect graphics in some games to others that appear to harken back to the days of Virtua Fighter. Oh and Wario’s appearance and involvement with only 3 out of the 16 games is slightly disappointing as well.
Game and Wario is a fun glimpse into a different type of gaming experience, but I think it spreads itself just a little too thin by trying to show off and combine so many quirks of the Wii U. Perhaps we will see some of these ideas more fully fleshed out in the future, but right now Game and Wario falls just a tad short of true greatness.
Reviewed by The Cubist
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