Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$
Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$ is one strange game. Some time ago it was already released on the GBA under the name WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ which got quite some positive reviews. The only difference between the two titles is the word ‘party’ instead of ‘micro’. It’s no coincidence that this is also the only difference in the gameplay between both games. In a way this is without a doubt a positive thing but it also brings with it some disadvantages.
Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$ is a truly original and innovative game! It consists of about 200 different little games that you can play in different ways. And when I say ‘little’, I mean ‘little’: they all last about 5 seconds max! The variation in those games is also quite astonishing. Some examples: pick a nose, perform a volley-ball smash, put the correct eyes on the Wario face, indicate which word is the wrong one in the list, count the number of ants passing on the screen, catch a mug sliding over the bar, shake paws with a dog…. etc etc.
However, although the variety in the games is unlimited, most of the time it’s all about timing, control and reaction time. Click the button right on time, aim the tumbstick in the right direction, do a combo… It’s quite logical then that one can track the score on those factors in the personal profile. The only games that are a bit disappointing are those of the ‘intelligence’-category. Those are way too easy and not challenging at all for gamers who have passed their 12th birthday. However, for non-native English speakers, the challenge can be found in understanding the foreign language.
The singleplayer side of the game basically consists of two major parts. In the first you have to successfully execute 25 consecutive mini-games of one category without committing more than 3 errors. In the second part you can do a record attempt for one game at a time. Both are sheer fun with a big F, mainly because of the fact that the games keep going faster and faster, giving you less and less time to execute the moves and relax between two games. At the start you’ll have 5 seconds to do the trick but after some time you’ll have to do the same in the blink of an eye. Utmost concentration will be necessary to become a champion!
It won’t be long before you’re addicted to this hectic gameplay requiring you to keep pushing buttons faster and faster until it becomes hilarious (and impossible) to keep up with the game. Needless to say that breaking records of your friends or brother has always been addictive (remember Tetris anyone?) and that Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$ really uses this competitive drive to its own success (200 different records, easy to replay, etc.). Next to this, the game is so easy to pick up and play for 5 minutes that it makes it ideal to spend those minutes you would otherwise pass bored in front of the television.
The multiplayer part differentiates the GC-version from the GBA-version and it’s also the only reason you should buy this game if you already own the version for the handheld. In the MP part you get to play the same games as in SP but with a plethora of shells around them (e.g. one with disco-music). One can use 2 to 4 controllers, enabling 2 to 16 players to share the fun. The variation is again present in this side of the game: play until someone makes a mistake, taking turns, there is a mode in which one player must block the view of the other one by moving his avatar in front of what’s happening on the screen etc. Without any doubt the multiplayer is great fun, however I sometimes got the feeling that the difference between the modes were marginal or superficial and that they don’t really add a lot to the game. But if you’re looking for a game to play when having a home party, look no further!
It should be clear by now that the gameplay is excellent! It’s a shame I can’t be as positive about the graphics. The menus are colourful and sharp and they do blend in greatly with the fun concept. What we get in the micro-games is the same we get in the Gameboy version and that is quite … basic to say the least. Maybe it’s sufficient quality for the small screen of the GBA but seen on a big TV it really sucks. This doesn’t prevent the game from achieving its goal but we would have been a lot happier to see the mini-games getting the same graphical overhaul as the menus.
The sound does what it’s supposed to do: support the hectic gameplay. The music and sound-effects do an excellent job in making the adrenaline flow when the game speeds up and making you freak out while trying to concentrate on the next move.
We also need to mention that you can buy the game for less than 30 euros, not unimportant since it would be crazy to pay the full price for it. And as I said before: no need to buy this one if you already have the GBA-version or you would have to be looking for a game to play specifically with your mates during a party.
Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Party Game$ is a fun and crazy, very addictive and at the same time refreshing game. You have to have an open mind to be ready to admit that you like a game which is at first sight only for kids. The fantastic and innovative gameplay is a bit overshadowed by the mediocre graphics but that shouldn’t be too much of a barrier. In the end, you need to buy this game for the fun and the hours of mindless entertainment with or without your friends. That’s all there is to it, but excuse me: I have to go break another record!