WarioWare: Smooth Moves Impressions

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May 13, 2007

IT'S... WarioWare.  Having played the original and Touched!, the basic structure is familiar.  Play a series of goofy microgames loosely arranged into groups, play until they get too difficult or fast for you.  This is probably the least easy to just pick up and play, though.  The original game had very simple controls: D-pad and A button.  Touched! used the touch screen, so while there were more possibilities you pretty much knew they had to do with tapping the touch screen or making dragging motions with it... well, other than the microphone games.  With the wiimote, though, there are a shitload of possibilities.

They design the games for the controller to be used in various ways.  Before each microgame it gives you a name/image of the particular way you should hold it.  "The Remote Control" for aiming it forward.  "The Umbrella" for holding it up.  "The Chauffeur" for holding it with both hands, buttons facing you.  "The Elephant" for holding it with both hands at your nose.  The first time you run across any new one it stops to give you a silly explanation for it, but they're not always perfect.  "Tug of War", for instance, is for holding the controller with both hands, pointed toward the screen (or more accurately the sensor bar).  It said to hold it near one's navel, so that's what I did.  However, I was holding it right near my body when the game means for it to be held a bit out; holding it right near my body it was then impossible to make pulling-back gestures from the get-go.

Once you understand what they want, though, the new possibilities are a lot of fun.  I've still yet to learn a good half of the possible moves, but my favorite thus far may be "The Samurai" simple for how different it is than the others.  Hold it with your dominant hand near your waist on the opposite side of the body... then at the right time either move it out from your body for slashing something/handing something/tossing something or move it up/down for something like a guitar.

My biggest complaint about the game so far, though, is that some of the microgames attempt to use the sensor bar for "depth", but it doesn't always work so hot.  It's not always immediately obvious in a game whether the motion of an object on screen should be controlled by your pointing on an XY plane (as in menus) or an XZ plane.  It's also harder to determine the limits of motion in such XZ games, as there's no obvious "top" and "bottom" to deal with.  Perhaps practice will make perfect, but it's another way these games aren't as immediately accessible as past WarioWare titles.