Water Warfare (WiiWare)

Game Review

Water Warfare Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Marcel van Duyn

Fill up your super soakers and prepare for a drenching in Hudson’s second WiiWare FPS game.

Earlier this year, Hudson released Onslaught, WiiWare's first FPS which proved that Japanese developers can actually make good FPS games! One of the only complaints with Onslaught was that it only featured online co-op and versus modes; there was no deathmatch. Water Warfare seems to have been made just to fill that gap, but does it do a good job?

If you've played Onslaught, you'll be pleased to find out Water Warfare controls in exactly the same way. You look around with the Wii Remote's pointer, you move with the control stick, and fire with the B button. Water Warfare has a few different gameplay features though, so there are also some extra controls: the A button allows you to zoom in with certain weapons to get a more accurate shot, the C button lets you use items, and possibly most importantly, the Z button makes you jump.

When you first start up Water Warfare you'll be asked to create a profile. When you do this you'll not only have to enter a name, but you also get to create your very own character! There's about nine different hairstyles, faces and clothes to pick from, and you can also change your height and weight too if you so desire.

It's mostly a multiplayer game, but there are two single-player modes as well, so let's get to those first. "Mission Mode" is really exactly what the title says: you'll have to complete various missions set across the game's four arenas and a special training arena, such as hitting all stationary targets, defeating all opponents, running through checkpoints and capturing bases. Each mission (except those set in the training stage) also has various times to beat which can earn you gold, silver or bronze medals. Collecting these will eventually unlock new items which you can use to customize your character further, so if you want to show off, go do missions!

"Match Mode" lets you play against bots on any of the four online maps, which can be good for practice. Nothing too special though! Once you think you're ready for the real deal you can select the multiplayer option on the main menu. Here, you can either play with a single friend (no four-player, for some reason!) offline or you can go online and battle up to seven random players from around the world.

Online, the game pretty much plays like any other FPS - grab weapons and shoot each other to get the most points. There's multiple gameplay modes: you can just play a simple deathmatch and try to get the most "kills", try to get the most points, play a Capture the Flag-style mode where you steal the enemy's treasure chests, and there's even a mode where you must try to take control of enemy bases by standing in special "capture zones" for 10 seconds without getting knocked out by those defending it. All of the online modes can be played both free-for-all and in teams, and have various customizable settings, which is nice.

The game's kiddy image is really just because of Hudson's family friendly policy: they have a rule not to make any games where you actually kill people. Don't think that instantly means the game is for inexperienced players only though, because it's got all the features you'll find in other FPS games. Among the weapons, there's regular pistols, machine guns and shotguns, and of course rocket and grenade launchers. Item-wise, there's a water bomb which functions pretty much like a grenade, towels which act like first aid kits, water bottles to refill your guns, raincoats which temporarily shield you from some damage, and more!

The whole point of the game is to stay dry, so you should avoid contact with any water at all costs - for example, fountains and rivers which would be completely harmless to swim around in other FPS games will actually slowly damage you in this one! Truth be told, though, you don't actually get knocked out that fast if you're only taking damage from one source, so it's recommended you play in eight-player games as much as possible to keep the game as frantic as can be.

Graphics-wise, the game gets the job done nicely. For some reason, your hand in first-person view looks a bit off, but all of the environments and character/weapon models look quite good and colourful. The music is fairly simple but gets the point across, with a handful of fast-paced tunes to highlight the craziness of it all.


Hudson have pulled it off again and created yet another quality FPS - one that was developed in Japan no less! If you played Onslaught and sorely missed more online multiplayer modes, then this should be an instant download. The single player modes aren't very interesting and might grow stale quickly, but the online is great, frantic fun. Don't let the game's cuteness fool you, there's just as much depth here as in certain "hardcore" shooters!

From the web

Game Trailer

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User Comments (110)



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Wow, perfect timing. Can't wait to get it. Thanks for the good review as usual. Maybe it would've been nice to mention how the bots play just to get a better sense of the game's difficulty since that wasn't touched on as much as I thought it would be.



Machu said:

What the... I had told myself to NEVER download this, but... it looks quite good and sounds even better (raincoat shield, genius!). 800 points is very fair too, dagnammit, my self imposed 'buy no more games' rule is about to be broken.



calculon said:

Spot on with what I was expecting. Nice review - hopefully I'll start to see some western players online now. It seems like most PAL gamers are too good for this type of thing because I only ever see Japanese players online, selecting regional matches is a pointless waste of time.



PopeReal said:

Hummm, it actually sounds pretty good and it comes out here in the US in a few hours....

EDIT: yeah I think I'm going to download this and Swords and Soldiers today



calculon said:

@KnucklesSonic8: The bots aren't too bright on Normal difficulty level, I haven't played at a harder difficulty as I've moved onto on-line matches. Just don't get cornered as two people with bazookas will take you down real quick unless you have a shield (raincoat)



Wiiperson11 said:

People that are buying this please put your friend codes in the Water Warfare Friend Codes thread and lets battle!
Mine is there too!



KDR_11k said:

The bots are dumb as bricks in all difficulties, I think they only fire their weapon more often at higher ones (they shoot at reduced rates normally).

You didn't mention how (non-team) battle royale tends to devolve into raincoat spam and assault is plain broken by the availability of invincibility items that last exactly long enough to perform a full capture. It doesn't matter that much if you avoid those two modes but still sucks.



postmanX3 said:

If it makes it to the US, I'll probably download this. Aside from Rune Factory Frontier, my Wii hasn't had anything to do lately.



Knux said:

Oh dear,I laughed on the inside when I saw this,what a joke.
If it's better then Onslaught,though I might buy it.



Adam said:

Sounds good. Just one question though:
Can you take two players online from the same console?

I'd heard you can, but I haven't seen it confirmed yet.



Adam said:

Dang. Nevermind then. I'll just have to stick to PS3 for shooters.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Buying tonight. And Bit.Trip next week.

Wow. When did WiiWare get so awesome?

EDIT: Has anyone had problems with lag?



Pablo17 said:

I am still going to get this but I was hoping that two players (1 wii) could go online together.



minial100 said:

I would love to get this, but it would be useless because of no internet connection.



Michi said:

Let's see, I can put on a cute loli dress, get a supersoaker and some water balloons, and deathmatch people online? Yes please!



gladiator_posse said:

I read elsewhere that the maps were randomly generated each time you play online...no mention of it in this review so should I doubt it?



ejamer said:

Released in the US on Monday, June 29th. BUT... it won't be available until noon Eastern time, so if you are looking right now it's still too early.

One question: I've played Onslaught! and enjoyed it, but your character in the game moved very slowly. Did they manage to speed things up for this multiplayer FPS?



SG1man said:

Thanks. But yeah, this game sounds pretty good, especially for 8 bucks



KDR_11k said:

I think I've got some fairly high lag but it behaves strangely. Shooting works fine, hits seem to count but "killing" someone won't register until a second later, also there's some delay on weapon pickups and sometimes item uses.

gladiator: It does vary the maps randomly. Not a lot but in many cases it means you won't immediately know where which item is located.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

Well there is a power-up that increases speed significantly but even despite this, from what I've seen, it doesn't seem slow to me.

@gladiator: It's true. Somewhat. There are small and large versions of each map (8 in total) and the scenery/props do change (like castles, towers, etc.) from time to time.



gladiator_posse said:

Nice...I'll have to give this one a try. Still waiting for Night Game... Does anyone know if there's a specific reason these online games don't simply use Mii characters? Does Nintendo have to allow it?



Philip_J_Reed said:

It's a different reviewer, "truezeldafan." Drake's opinions aren't meant to (and shouldn't) match up exactly with anybody else's. On top of that, this "just as good" business is foolish. There are only 10 number grades. Is every game that gets an 8 "just as good" as every single other game that gets an 8?

Of course not.

Quit riding the numbers as though they are of the ultimate importance if all it's going to do is upset you. There are a lot of words above the number, you know. Read them sometime. They're informative.



Adam said:

Don't be so flippant, Chicken Brutus. The score is absolutely scientific.

They put the game on a fun scale and determined that Water Warfare, Twilight Princess, and a duck all weigh the same in metric funs. I don't understand why people continue to argue with science.

In fact, you really don't need the review itself. Just judge every game by its weight in funs. Seems reasonable to me.



warioswoods said:

I believe that there is a misconception by some readers that the review score is an absolute score that could conceivably be used to rank games against each other, regardless of their genre, era, etc.

The numeric scores would seem to be much more a measurement of how well a game achieves what it sets out to achieve. In other words, a fun but simple game like this, if well thought out and neatly presented with smooth controls and so forth, should indeed get a very high number for giving the player a finished product that offers exactly what it advertises, and that excels within its genre, however niche that genre may be. A game like LoZ:Twilight Princess is understandably being measured against its entire series, and the score there reflects how well it lives up to its ambitions within that context.

The numbers should never be used to rank games across genres, platforms, eras, etc. That doesn't make any sense. Read the review, think about what the game is actually attempting and whether that interests you, then base your purchase on that.



thewiirocks said:

The one part that boggles my mind is: Why the character creator?

Doesn't this game just scream, "Use Miis! Use Miis!"? Reinventing the character-creator wheel seems pointless and less effective than just reusing the existing models. Especially since the existing Miis would provide a more unique online identity for players. Plus, Miis seem like they would be a lot less work for Hudson.



SG1man said:

Even if you could compare games by number ratings, two eights being exactly equal, I still wouldn't trust them. Its like movies. Some of my favorite movies this summer, like wolverine and terminator, got 30%'s on rotten tomatoes, well other movies get 80's 90's, which are only average movies, like tropic thunder and the Slumdog Millionare(yes, i only thought slumdog was average. sorry). You really just need to get a critic you trust, and then read the review and not the score.



KnucklesSonic8 said:

It does make sense but it's been confirmed that Nintendo didn't allow it. Don't ask me why. I'm just the messenger.

@Chicken Brutus: Tell me about it. Your views are well justified. That being said, when someone compares something that gets a very low score to another game that got a much higher score that didn't deserve it, then I can see where some are coming from but making the comparisons strictly based on score is rather narrow.



ejamer said:

Regarding Mii characters in game: There are some strict limitations about what can be done with Mii characters in-game, and I'm pretty sure there is a licensing fee also. With WiiWare titles, that extra cost is probably just not worthwhile.

Too bad. I'd love to see Mii characters used more often.



KDR_11k said:

They said in an interview that Nintendo didn't allow them to use Miis. Maybe Nintendo doesn't like the idea of a game about shooting people you know, even if it's just with toy guns.

Megaace: Yes. The zoom button won't be easy to hit then but zoom is absolutely worthless anyway because it forces you to aim with the analog stick instead of the pointer.



Philip_J_Reed said:

Actually, reading back my comment it sounds much more rude than I had intended it. So let's pretend that I said all the same stuff, but more nicely.



thewiirocks said:

May I be the first (ok, probably the 5 billionth) to say: That is so stupid. I swear, Nintendo finds new and innovative ways to shoot themselves in the foot on a nearly daily basis.

Granted, these snafus are not necessarily as damaging as their competitors' self-inflictions, but damaging nonetheless.



WolfRamHeart said:

Great review Drake! I'm definitely downloading Water Warfare today! I will also be downloading a duck, thanks to Adam's metric fun rating system!



BigLord said:

I wish I could download this ASAP, I loved Onslaught and this seems a ton of fun, even though it is "kiddish" in theme... Who doesn't love super soakers!?

Someday I'll get this



BrazCanaMan said:

I got it, the single player missions are fun and pretty diverse considering the simplicity of the game. I tried one multiplayer match (did I play anyone from the site?) just to see how it is and I liked it, I also won the match which put me in 1st place in my region, Brazil (probably because I'm the only person to play online in Brazil so far.



KDR_11k said:

Well, I just golded the whole beach and got nothing for it. The only things I've unlocked through mission mode were the endboss looks (which can only replace your whole character, not be mixed into your design).

All of the online modes can be played both free-for-all and in teams, and have various customizable settings, which is nice.

What options are there for the multiplayer modes? The only options I've seen were bot count and difficulty, neither of which applies to online.



Vendetta said:

Yes, it's Zapper-compatible. I know a lot of people don't like the Zapper, but I dig on having a gun shell for shooters. This game lets you pick a button for each function. I've got A as jump, B as zoom, Z as shoot, and C as item.



Crazed said:

Great review Drake. Hudson is really dishig out some great games on Wiiware... however, I'm not sure I'm going to get this. Although wi-fi would be a blast, I was somewhat hoping for 4-player local play. It won't be the reason why I won't get it, it'll just be the reason why I might get some other games before it.



Modern_Legend said:

If you had a choice between this and MK64, what would you choose? (more or less i need to know for myself)



Megaace said:

Good news if i can use the zapper. I love it!
Now the question is: is it a proper game for a 6 years old kid? It would be his first gun game and I am a little afraid that it is too soon for him... I don't like the idea that he loves to play gun games, but after all, this is about water pistols...



BrazCanaMan said:

The only thing that annoys me about this game is that POS radar that does more harm than good. It takes up soooo much of the right side of the screen, it's easy to get blindsided from the right. I wish there was a way to turn it off... is there a way to turn it off? I couldn't find an option. =(



astarisborn94 said:

I knew this would be an good game, so I'm going to download this game. Finally, a worthwhile WiiWare game!



Vendetta said:

Megaace, I'd probably keep him offline. I doubt there will be many 6 year-olds on there.



totallyNECTAR said:

I posted this question on the Nintendo download page but some might not look there. So here it goes. Is Water Warfare's online pretty populated? Is it easy to find games with lots of ppl? I would like to know because I am on the fence about buying this game but it sounds alright. If the online community is somewhat active I might pick this up. Thanks for your help! ;D



KDR_11k said:

You accumulate points for certain "archievements", winning, first blood, position on the scoreboard (by frags), not using items, no deaths, etc. The points sum up and you get an icon (bronze, silver, gold, multiple decoration levels, ...) based on your total score along with a position on the leaderboards. It roughly tells you who to aim for first in battle royal.



Fuzzy said:

Probably from playing the game.

It is quite good fun. Not too seroius also.



KDR_11k said:

It shows what you did after the match finishes along with the point values (which seem to differ based on the ranks of your competition), kinda like the titles you got in Smash Bros Melee. So far the titles I've seen were "victory" (winning the game), "first place" (placing first point-wise, doesn't necessarily mean the victory condition of the gamemode), "second place", "third place", "first shot" (first kill), "last shot" (last kill, probably limited to team games), "never knocked out" and "used no items". I haven't seen a list of them all but you can probably learn about them just by playing more.



warioswoods said:

I've only played it for a few minutes so far (the tutorial levels and one random online match, in which I came in 1st, yay), but this is pretty enjoyable overall. I thought the controls were horribly sluggish until I changed the option for faster turning (or small bounding-box I suppose), which was a big improvement, but it still doesn't feel as nice as other FPS controls I've tried on the Wii; the simple fun of the online match was pretty good, though, even with a bit of lag, which hopefully won't creep in too much more, as it was noticeable but bearable in my first match.



CanisWolfred said:


There is?!O_o How the heck would that work?!?! This is certainly unexpected. So I guess it's not as lame as I thought. Oh well, it still loses out for me, since I hate its central theme: WATER!! >_<



PHANTOM93 said:

This looks like it could be fun....... but I think that I'll stick with the multiplayer in The Conduit.



KrazyKain said:

this game is actually really fun, the only thing that annoys me is that when a game starts it started.. and nobody else can join



KnucklesSonic8 said:

@melvin2898: Okiedoke. It's such a great game. No reason to hesitate on it if you're on the fence. I've been addicted to it. It's just so enjoyable. For 800 Points, it's a steal!



Ricardo91 said:

I saw the video on the Nintendo Channel, and it didn't really grab me at all. As much as I like playing with water, I'll be saving my moneys for Onslaught.

@Mickey. "How the heck would that work!?!?"

It's a bazooka that blasts water, duh!



Pikamander2 said:

IGN screwed up yet another review.

The reviewer gave it a 6.9, even though he praised most aspects of the game. The main thing he didn't like was the graphics, which really aren't that bad.



Metang said:

@Pikamander2: And my faith in IGN's reviews continue to dwindle.

The score for the review (the NL one) is one point too low. The game's graphics are good. The music fits but is somewhat forgettable. The controls are excellent, and overall, the game satisfies on nearly all levels.



Kadaj said:

Not gonna lie, this looks pretty cool. Still a few games I wanted to get before this, but this and Overturn are definitely on my list. I like having a few "Plug 'n Play" games to balance my enormous RPG library, a game where you can just sit down and have some good 'ol fun without getting too deep into a story.



wiiwareaddict said:

The BEST Wiiware game so far.This is a great game for hard core gamers! I play this with my boy and he beats me most of the time.I like how it is a kid friendly version shooter.We play 4 rounds just about every other day and I have had this game since it first came out and am still playing it.Hope they come out with Water warfare 2. 10/10 (Hardcore gamers)



KanrakusPizza said:

Before going online on this game, i recomend practicing on VS mode, because when i got this game the first thing i did was went online and everyone kicked my ***.



megaboomface2 said:

well my friend in Florida isnt allowed to play many shooters and he got 10000 points for his b day so this i got to get so i can beat him like i would all the lego games



rayword45 said:

Hahahaha no. This deserves a 5/10 MAX.

Absolutely ATROCIOUS graphics, cheap sound-effects, some sluggish controls, and crappy missions do not make a good game. The Classic Controller support/split screen save this from being vomit-in-a-Wii-channel, but other then that, this is pretty garbage.



rayword45 said:

@Uberchu No I don't.

Fun games with good graphics, brilliant missions, catchy music and controls that aren't totally clunky include World of Goo, Space Invaders Get Even, Fluidity, Toki Tori, Jett Rocket, the list goes on.

Almost two years after commenting I still think this game is a damned joke of an FPS.

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