Do you enjoy rubbing and touching?
Tue, 19 April 2005
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This is a tough one to review in some ways. You see, while I absolutely love it, in many ways WarioWare Touched! is not what Iâ€™d usually call a very good game. Fundamentally it is pretty limited. Thereâ€™s very little depth to it, the gameplay is exceedingly basic and repetition sets in quite early on. Yet, despite all of that, Iâ€™ve played it (at least briefly) every night for the past couple of weeks and I think Iâ€™ll continue to do so for a while longer yet.
WarioWare Touched! is not a game that immerses you in some majestic adventure, where you explore a detailed 3D world. It is more like the old â€śGame & Watchâ€ť Nintendo games that many of us played as kids (in fact some of the mini-games actually are recreations of those Game & Watch titles). You just turn it on and play the simplistically presented games for the sheer fun and challenge of trying to top your highest score. If you enjoy that kind of thing, WarioWare Touched! is one of the most fun examples of it around, because it is all done in unique ways which implement the DSâ€™ two screens, stylus control and even the microphone.
|I once knocked out Mike Tyson doing this! |
The premise behind Touched is much the same as WarioWare on the Gameboy Advance. There are several characters in the game and each one presents you with a bunch of mini-games. They all have little cut-scenes and there is a semblance of a story to connect it all together, but I wonâ€™t go into that since, at the end of the day, it is insignificant. You definitely wonâ€™t be playing the game for the story, but at least everything is presented in a very humorous manner. The cut-scenes for each character are all utterly silly and goofy, which makes them quite amusing to sit through the first time around. After that you can (and you will) choose to skip them and go straight into the games.
Each characterâ€™s set of games uses a different type of control. Some require you to rapidly tap the screen, others have you dragging objects and some of them have you spinning things; all using the stylus on the touch screen (or sometimes by blowing into the microphone). Never do you use any of the actual buttons. You have to beat each mini-game within a strict time limit and as you progress the speed gets faster and the games get more hectic. The games are quite bizarre, such as: angling a pissing statue to put out a fire, unrolling toilet paper, blowing (literally) up balloons or tickling a nose until it sneezes. You never know exactly what youâ€™re going to get. It is crazy stuff, but also addictive and great fun.
One of the many examples of the great use the game makes of the dual screens is the â€śboss stageâ€ť for one of the characters where you use the stylus to steer a remote control car. You have to move the car and have to avoid obstacles in the top screen. Meanwhile on the bottom screen a big goofball can be seen chasing after you. If you crash too often he catches up, gets on the top screen and captures the vehicle. Like, I said this is just one example, but WarioWare often shows how much of a difference having the two screens can make and has me very hopeful to see some of these great ideas explored and expanded upon in the future.
Another nice little addition is the toys you can unlock by achieving certain goals. While the majority of them are utterly useless, they are like little tech demos for the DS and some of them are really cool to mess around with. My favourites are the harmonica (which you play by blowing into it, just like a real one) and something called â€śPyoro Tâ€ť which is a whole little game of its own. I was also quite taken with the parrot that I taught to say â€śdickheadâ€ť by repeating it into the microphone (because I am mature like that).
The biggest criticism to be applied to WarioWare Touched! is that before long all of the mini-games begin to feel far less varied than they did at first. Thereâ€™s only so much rubbing, tapping and swirling a dude can do before it is not new anymore! So the games donâ€™t stay â€śfreshâ€ť for very long and, if that is what you were after, you could certainly lose interest. Thereâ€™s not a whole lot to it. The graphics and (especially) the sounds are all nice, charming, whacky and perfectly functional but thereâ€™s nothing mind blowing here in a â€śtraditionalâ€ť sense. So if you judge the game on those merits it wouldnâ€™t be all too successful. But I donâ€™t think all games necessarily have to be judged the same way, some offer different experiences that put them almost into a whole different category. As I said at the beginning, none of those â€śproblemsâ€ť ended up bothering me. Iâ€™ve become quite hooked on trying to top my scores, repetitive or not and I tend to play in bed each night (thereâ€™s a potentially disturbing visual for you). I find it to be a nice diversion after spending the day playing more involving and complex games (yes, a big part of most of my days involves gaming, what an awful life right?), to just revert to a simple old-school â€śtwitch responseâ€ť game like this.
|Toilet paper should be in every game |
Thereâ€™s also a great deal of appeal here for a more general audience than usual. The new, but simple and intuitive control methods are really easy for non-gamers to get the hang of quickly. The whacky nature of it all is also more accessible for many folks. The kind of people (I guess you could call them â€śaverage peopleâ€ť) who show little interest in shooting demons, levelling up wizards or re-enacting battles from World War 2 are still quite likely to respond to the sheer silliness of WarioWare Touchedâ€™s content. Picking noses and pulling pants down: anyone can get a laugh out of that sort of thing. Iâ€™ve had people who rarely play any games get right into this one and I always enjoy seeing that. Great stuff Nintendo!
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All up I thoroughly recommend it. But those looking for a more â€śstandardâ€ť type of game may be left wanting.