Game Review - WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

Written by Yamagishi on August 10, 2018 @ 4:11 pm

WarioWare has always been a personal favourite Nintendo series of mine, so to have a collection of a bunch of the best microgames from the series' past, as well as some new ones was really great and makes this the best title to date, especially if you're new to the series.

If you're unfamiliar, WarioWare blasts the player with short, simple & sweet microgames about 5 - 10 seconds long each, back to back. The fun of the game is figuring out what the objective of the game is quickly and then executing it. The games themselves are naturally nothing too spectacular, but their quirky humour and general weirdness pulls through to make certain games stick in your mind. The fact that Gold could get a smile out of me just from me remembering an old microgame I played 10 years ago is a testament to how the game is chock full of personality.

Each of the past entries of the series have generally focused on a particular control type, the originals just used buttons, Twisted used a gyro where you physically twist the system and Touched (my personal favourite until Gold) used the DS touch screen and microphone. Gold takes it one step further and rolls all of these into one, dividing each of the colourful cast of character's specific microgames into a specific category of "mash", "twist" and "touch". I have to admit I wasn't the biggest fan of the fact that each control scheme was grouped like this, as it made it feel like I was simply playing the older titles, however I was pleasantly surprised to find out that in later points of the game will indeed mix and match the control styles which completely adds a new element of fun. This part of the game will easily be the part I come back to for years to come and was 100% the highlight of the game. There's even a version which won't prompt you on which control style you need to use beforehand which is very frantic, but in a very good way, as it adds an extra level of difficulty that I definately felt was needed as someone who's played all of the past entries. Since not every microgame was fresh and new to me, it was great to have a mode that still kept me on my toes at all times!

This is especially true of the extra modes you unlock after the story mode. I won't go into detail on all of them, but there are two standout modes; Super Hard, which amps up the speed and makes those control changes feel even more chaotically exciting, and Split Screen, which cuts out basically all wait times between microgames by having you play one on the bottom screen then switching to the top screen as soon as it's over. Both of these modes add a new dimension of challenge to a series that I'm well comfortable with, so I really appreciated the variety in game modes. There are a couple of duds mind, I don't like Cruise Controls, which allows you to slow down or speed up the microgames depending on how you hold the system. The other modes are alright, but nothing outstanding or noteworthy.

The story is as simple as it's ever been. Wario's get rich quick scheme this time is to hold a microgame tournament with a hefty entry fee, while making the returning cast of WarioWare exclusive characters create the games for him. Each set of microgames is divided by the character who "made" the games as well as a specific theme such as sports, life, fantasy or Nintendo. Much like previous entries in the series each character has a specific scenario which justifies why you have to play the games but a series first is the introduction of full voice acting, and it's pretty decent at that. Basically every character sounds spot on, although it's certainly weird to hear Wario speak in full sentences. Each scenario is fun in it's own right and that's absolutely all it needed to be. It ain't Shakespeare but why would you want it to be anyway.

There isn't much to say about the visuals or the sounds. The main thing of note are the character designs by Ko Takeuchi, whose art I really love and consistently follow, and I'm glad to say that Gold follows suit with a tweaked art style which really pops with the animated cutscenes. The WarioWare games have always had a zanier artstyle than the traditional Mario character affair and it's in full force here. Nothing to complain about at all. This is the same for the music. You have very little time to listen to the tunes in the microgames, and yet some of them are still memorable, when an old microgame from an older title popped up there's a decent chance I could hum along which speaks volumes considering they have less than 10 seconds to make an impression. Neither the art or the music is breaking new grounds, nor is it trying to do anything fancy, but considering the speed of the game, the easily digestible art makes complete sense and only acts to enhance the gameplay. If the graphics were too detailed it'd make the game far harder.

While it may be a slightly harder sell to people who've played previous titles, as it is mostly a microgame compilation from past titles, I'd recommend this game to basically anyone who is interested, newcomer or not. It's a stellar entry point and certainly my new favourite in the series. Some of the new modes felt solid and fresh, meaning even though I'd played past titles I still got my fun out of Gold and as a big fan of the series that is more than I asked for and anticipated going in. I expected a quick end of the 3DS' lifespan cashgrab, but it felt like they really put effort into making a solid entry. Here's hoping the series doesn't die out for another 9 years!

Gameplay Rating: 9
Story Rating: 7
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 9
Sound Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 8

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Game Information

Alternative Titles
Made in Wario Gorgeous
Platform
Nintendo 3DS
Developer(s)
Nintendo
Publisher(s)
Nintendo
Genre(s)
Action, Music/Rhythm
NA Release Date
August 3, 2018
JP Release Date
August 2, 2018
EUR Release Date
August 3, 2018
AUS Release Date
August 3, 2018
ESRB Rating
E10+
MVGL User Score
7.7
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