WarioWare: Smooth Moves

Here's a simple premise for a game. Read instructions that are given to you, and do what you're being told. Sounds easy enough, yes? Not quite. Which is exactly what WarioWare: Smooth Moves, and the previous iterations of the series, are all about. The hectic, fast-paced gameplay, and simple start-and-stop fun of the WarioWare titles is what make them so highly praised in the gaming community.

For those not versed in the chaotic world of WarioWare, it features a varied selection of "micro-games", which are essentially mini-games that range from 3-5 seconds in length that are continuously thrown at you throughout the course of a level. Each one is unique, and must be accomplished within the set time limit. Before the micro-game begins, a simple instruction will flash across the screen, guiding you as to what you should do. This can range anywhere from "squat" to "unlock the door" to "push".

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WarioWare: Smooth Moves makes full use of the Wii remote in several unorthodox fashions. The remote is appropriately referred to as the "form baton" in the game, because you learn a slew of different forms to hold the remote. Before you start the first level of Smooth Moves, you're introduced to, and taught, a form which is to act as a guide as to how to properly hold the remote for the upcoming micro-game. As the game progresses, you'll learn a large array of forms that can be used. To aid the player, each form is shown before the start of each micro-game, and then the correct instruction will flash on the screen. Many of these forms are completely nonsensical, but I won't go into detail so as to not spoil the experience of learning them yourself.

Smooth Moves also features multiplayer for up to twelve players. However, only one remote can be used at any given time, so this detracts from a "true" multiplayer situation. Another issue with multiplayer is the fact that you basically have to complete the entirety of the game before having access to it. It should've been available from the start, but considering the overall length of Smooth Moves, it's not as much of a hindrance as you might think.

The length of Smooth Moves will range from 2-5 hours to fully complete. This is a dismally short amount of time for such a fun and inventive game. The majority of the replay value comes from the unlockable mini-games, which include a shooting gallery, block stacking game, and even a 3D version of Balloon Fight, among others. The rest of the replay value comes from just how much of the micro-games you can play and not get bored with. Considering there are over 200 micro-games, there should be enough replay value for a decent amount of time. Multiplayer will indefinitely expand the game though, and should be a great alternative to Wii Sports for now.

Smooth Moves is visually pleasing, neither aiming for extraneous graphics, nor crudely drawn animation. Its crisp, clean animation is vibrantly portrayed through the cut-scenes that give the back story to each character's level. There are a total of 12 levels to complete, each featuring a different character from the WarioWare universe, and each more zany than the last.

WarioWare takes a creative touch on Miis, and features them throughout some of the micro-games. One of these is a fantastic rendition of arm wrestling, which features two Miis battling for strength supremacy. Skeptics aside, Miis definitely add to the enjoyment factor for WarioWare, and will give Wii owners more incentive (as if there wasn't enough already) to create unique Miis that will be featured in WarioWare: Smooth Moves' micro-games.

WarioWare: Smooth Moves is a very enjoyable game. The fast paced and hectic gameplay make for an entertaining, but short-lived romp. If you're an avid multiplayer gamer, it's easy enough to warrant the purchase of Smooth Moves. WarioWare definitely doesn't lack substance, but it does lack replay value. There's enough of it if you're looking for it, but for a single run through of a game there really isn't enough here. Still, this is an excellent introductory game to the Wii, similar to how Wii Sports is. It's easy to recommend WarioWare: Smooth Moves on that merit alone, but the chaotic and oft-humorous fun also to be found here makes WarioWare: Smooth Moves a game to not be overlooked.

Little-Dudes.co.nz, little brother site of NZGamer.com, has a comic up based on this game. Click the image to check it out!

"Proves that insanity can be good for you."
- WarioWare: Smooth Moves
Follow Own it? Rating: G   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 15 Min


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