Warioware: Smooth MovesÃ‚Â will most likely be the ultimate party game this holiday season.Ã‚Â
Like peanut butter and jelly, Siegfried and Roy, Virtual Boy and migraines, if there was ever a match made in heaven it would undoubtedly be WarioWare and the Wii. Super Mario Galaxy, Metroid Prime 3, and Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess will all be terribly important Wii games, but when it comes down to what the system is about — the innovation inherent in a brand-new form of control — the abovementioned games only utilize the controller as an accessory. It is WarioWare: Smooth Moves that exemplifies the Wii experience, so we decided to take a closer post-E3 look at exactly how the two work together.
Given the direction Nintendo has taken with its products in recent years, it is somewhat tempting to conclude that when WarioWare first debuted, back in May 2003, it and its successors were dry runs for the final version on the Wii. And while hindsight is 20/20, there is no denying that if using a traditional D-Pad/analog stick and face buttons to push, pull, scratch, toss, and guide objects on-screen could be a blast, with a controller that allows to you to actually physically mimic those movements, the sky’s the limit.
As far as the development team behind Smooth Moves is concerned, the Wii remote itself is “the game” this time out, and the focus has been put on what the game can do for the controller, not the other (more traditional) way around.
One only need to look at the microgames themselves — specifically the way they are presented in-game — to understand the subtle shift in mentality surrounding WarioWare’s Wii debut. Whereas prior iterations simply thrust you into the microgames and let you figure out what to do, the Wii version prefaces each microgame with a diagram — and an associated catch-phrase — that indicates how you should hold the Wii remote. Then the microgame launches, and you are tasked to “win” the game by discovering how exactly to utilize the remote with the indicated grip. With Smooth Moves, the puzzle isn’t one of simply beating the microgame, but of figuring out how to use the controller to do so. It may be a minor distinction, but it was important to creator Goro Abe to “first show the end user how to hold the controller, thus making the game easily understandable and successfully inviting to more people.”Back at E3, when we brought up the point of how perfect a match WarioWare seems to be with the Wii, Abe wholeheartedly agreed with a display of exuberance belying his reserved nature, grinning from cheek-to-cheek as he responded with an emphatic “Hai” (Japanese for “yes”) even before the interpreter translated our question.