Friday, June 24, 2005

I was at the mall last weekend, and I ducked into Target, to see if they had the new WarioWare game for the Game Boy. I enjoyed the previous installment in the series, and was tempted to plunk down a bit of my gambling winnings on a new game. Target did have the game in stock, but I noticed it was on the wrong shelf, where some old game was being advertised for $14.99. So I asked the clerk if she could tell me how much the WarioWare game was, since it was misshelved, and she said, since the wrong price was posted, she would give me that price. Turns out the game was $30, so I saved 50%. Pretty sweet, especially since it turns out to be a pretty cool game.

If you're unfamiliar with the original game, the idea was to advance as far as you could on various levels, by playing a variety of games. The gimmick is that each game lasts only five seconds. You're given a one-word instruction, and you have five seconds to figure out what you're trying to do, and do it. I got a lot of mileage out of the very addictive game, probably as much if not more than any Game Boy game I've ever owned. The best part of the game was trying to figure out just what you were trying to do in some of the odder games, but even once you're well-familiar with all the games, it still holds up to repeat play. So I had high hopes for the sequel, even though it sounded a little too gimmicky. In WarioWare: Twisted, the twist is that you literally have to twist the game. The cartridge has some sort of centrifuge in it, which detects motion, and so the only way you can control the game is to tilt the entire Game Boy (some games also use the "A" button, but that's it). I feared this would just be another example of a failed attempt by Nintendo to introduce some new bizarre gimmicky device they can use to justify higher game prices, and I also feared that the controls might be too difficult. I am pleased to say I was wrong, and the tilting controls work great, and are fun to play. The game includes a rumble pack, so in addition to the screen, the vibrations give you good reinforcement as you twist the game. Sometimes it's hard to see the screen when you're really frantically twisting, but that's part of the challenge of the game. And the graphics and sound are very reminiscent of the first, so if you liked the look of that game, you'll have no complaints. Only time will tell if this game's replay value is as high as the original. But so far, I've been very impressed.

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