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Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Party Game$ Package Art
 GENRE
  Party
 DEVELOPER
  Nintendo
 PUBLISHER
  Nintendo
 NUMBER OF PLAYERS
  1-4
 CONNECTIVITY
  yes
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Wario Ware, Inc: Mega Party Game$

When I read a preview for Wario Ware coming out for the Game Boy I said to myself, "How can games that are only 5 seconds long be any fun?" About a month later when I saw it on sale for the low-low price of 20 dollars, I decided to give it a try. As soon as I started playing, I quickly punched myself in the stomach for not buying this game sooner. Then about a couple months later while walking by the neighborhood EB, I saw a big sign for Wario Ware and asked my friend Austin, "Why are they advertising Wario Ware? That came out a while ago." Then Austin started to repeatedly punch me in the stomach and told me, "It's coming out for GameCube." Now I don't know if it was the punches to my stomach and kidneys or learning that my favorite game was making the leap to the Big Leagues, but I proceeded to wet myself.

visuals

The graphics of the actual storyline, which is told through brief cut-scenes complete with flashing lights and dancing rabbit aliens, are top notch. The graphics of the minigames themselves have a wide variety. From games that look like my 4 year old niece drew them, to games that look like they were taken straight out of an anime movie. But for the most part you don’t even have enough time to critique the graphics while your trying to drop Wario safely onto a giant banana in the middle of the ocean.

audio

Like the graphics, you don't really notice a lot of the sound in the game, due to the never ending amount of minigames. Although, I looked into it and found out there actually is music. Mostly it's just techno music, while Dribble and Spitz the taxi driver prefer a softer more sultry tune. Plus there's the added bonus of hearing Wario laugh and yell at you after every game.

gameplay

The game itself is pretty easy and can be beaten in a matter of hours, but that's not to say it's not worth playing over and over again. After beating Dr. Crygar, you can go back and unlock all his different micro-games, or just to see how many games you can beat in a row. I handed the good Doctor over 100 straight defeats, just thought you might like to know. The foreseeable problem here is that there is no big differences between this version and the GBA version, which can become old and tiring to people who don't have friends to play with.

multiplayer

This is what kicks the GBA version's ass -- instead of two people using the same controller ala GBA, you can have up to 4 people playing head-to-head minigame action. I didn't even check if there was a single player version until a week later.

First you create your profile and choose your character from any of the NPCs, including Kat, Mona, or Wario himself. Then for every character they have a different type of multiplayer mode. In each game it comes down to one person playing while the other players either:

  1. Wait to see if he wins or losses
  2. Try to complete and objective before the player wins a micro-game or
  3. Try to stop and annoy the minigamer into losing.

While my favorite game to play had to be Wobbly Bobbly, Kat and Anna's multiplayer game. All players start off by sitting on top of a large turtle. Then you are thrown straight into an all out free for all game where the winner gets to take on a minigame. If the player wins a turtle gets added to the others players stack, but if he losses, he gets another turtle added to his stack. After the minigame is finished all players must try to balance on their stack of turtles for about 7 seconds. If someone fails to balance they themselves turn into a wandering turtle, who can try and help topple another player's turtle pillar.

overall

There is only one comparison to make to the different versions of this game. Single player would be like if you saw an old semi truck driving down the street, somewhat cool, but nothing new there. Multiplayer would be if you see that same semi truck driving down the street, but then it transformed into a huge robot and started handing out free fireworks, puppies, and alcohol to everyone. So in the immortal words of me "If you have friends, preferably four friends who everyone else can see, you should go buy this game."

dojo doubletake
Wario Ware for the GameCube is highly based on the new multiplayer modes. There's a slew of multiplayer modes unique to the GameCube version. Based on the actual title, Wario Ware, Inc. Mega Party Game$, it's obvious that this is where the bulk of the game is. While these modes are nice, there are other GameCube games that offer better multiplayer, and a better overall experience -- Wario Ware just does not live up to its hype.

Wario Ware supports multiplayer for 2-4 players simultaneously, or up to a whopping 16 players by passing one controller. There are a total of 12 multiplayer modes, 10 of which are for simultaneous play and two of those are simple, multiplayer versions of a single microgame.

As for the other eight "main" multiplayer modes, they all revolve around playing microgames, but have another part to tie it all together. For example, in "Wobbly Bobbly", players must win their microgame, or they have a higher chance of losing the overall game. If the player wins the microgame, his opponents are put in that position.

In another game called "Card-e Cards" players must win as many cards as possible by winning microgames. "All For One" is a cooperative mode of sorts, in which one player plays a microgame on a pitch-black screen, with other players shining flashlights on the play area to help out the player.

"Balloon Bang" puts players against each other in a hot-potato style of competition. One player must win a microgame while the other players are blowing up a huge balloon. If the player passes his microgame, the next player is put in the hot spot. However, if the player does not complete the microgame, he must continue until he completes one. Whoever is the microgame player when the balloon pops loses.

The most basic multiplayer mode is "Survival Fever." Players who lose three microgames are out of the competition, and the last one standing wins. A much more quirky atmosphere is "Listen to the Doctor" where players are given an instruction such as "While blinking" and then are graded by other players on how well he followed to doctor's orders while playing a microgame.

There's also a "Jump Forever" game, which simply lets players see how many times they can jump a rope as it gradually speeds up. "Paper Plane" is simply a race game. The one-controller modes are variations of "Jump Forever" and "Survival Fever."

While it sounds like a lot, there really is not a whole lot of difference between each mode. Each "main" mode is simply like this: One player plays a microgame, something happens on the screen, the next player plays a microgame. That's all it is. "Jump Forever" and "Paper Plane" are pulled directly out of the other multiplayer modes, so those are just a cheap way of adding to the multiplayer mode amount.

However, Mega Party Game$ is one of the very few to actually support multiplayer for more than four players, so at a big party with a dozen people or so this game might attract some attention, but that's really the only time it would be worth it. And even then, the 16-player modes are very basic in outline and detail. This game was tailored for multiplayer, but there's honestly not a huge selection in terms of actual multiplayer experiences between modes. 7.1/10

-- Mark Raby


It's probably unfair to harp on the single-player aspect of a self-declared party game. But the fact remains, Wario Ware packed a killer single-player experience on the Game Boy Advance; by comparison, the GameCube version is kind of puny.

There are six single-player game modes available to unlock, each one offering a slightly different way to play through those familiar old microgames. "Hard and Thrilling" modes make a return from the GBA version, just as good as they ever were.

The "Stage Clear" mode is a marathon run through all 213 microgames, arranged by genre. It's interesting to try and clear all nine genres with four lives, but Mega Party Game$ lacks the charming interfaces and most of the cinematics of the original. No "Toilet" stage, no "Kat & Ana" theme song, no shameless GBA SP commercials, nothing. You can't even replay a developer at increasing difficulty for a high score.

"All Mixed Up" is a mode where microgames are selected at random and you play for a high score. "Speed Up's," "Level Up's," and "1-Up's" are offered in the same way that they are in the GBA version's main stages.

"Time Attack" is probably the most interesting new mode offered. You select a number of games to play, and then they come at you one after the other. The better you do, the faster the games start going. There are no "lives" to lose if you miss, but the games will start to slow down again. The object is to get through all of the games in the quickest time.

The last unlockable stage, "Master Mode," is sort of anticlimactic. It's a marathon run through all of the microgames, except the bosses, at the highest difficulty level. You score one point for every microgame you win -- there are no penalties for losses.

"The Grid" makes a return, this time as "The Album." Not only can you play any microgame repeatedly and try for a high score, but you can practice microgames at any speed and difficulty level that you wish. It's fun to fiddle around with, but most microgames really don't need that much practicing.

Considering that the GBA version was stuffed to bursting with single-player amusements ("Dr. Wario" was worth the price of admission all by itself), it's kind of disappointing to see that Nintendo has left single players out in the cold. There are no cute bonus games to unlock, and about the only worthwhile extras are a collection of videos: Peculiar cartoons featuring Wario and friends, and two short music videos featuring stage themes from Mega Microgame$.

It's one thing to release a lazy port of a GBA game on the GameCube, but Mega Party Game$ actually ends up looking hobbled compared to its portable cousin. It's disappointing that Nintendo couldn't give us something new to chew on when we don't have friends over to play. The discount price softens the blow a bit, but it can't change the fact that Mega Microgame$ offers more bang for your buck -- unless you have some friends to play with you. 5.0/10

-- Ed Griffiths



final score 9.2/10





WRITER INFORMATION
Staff Avatar Morgan Stephenson
Staff Profile | Email
"While I was on Percadin, I thought of a word that rhymes with Engine."


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