WarioWare: D.I.Y. Review
Posted by Corbie Dillard
A real do-it-yourself project!
Back in 2003, the developers at Nintendo introduced a game that was basically nothing more than a huge collection of minigames that lasted only seconds, but were tossed at the player in rapid succession. While the idea initially seemed a bit ridiculous, it turned out to be one of the most addictive game releases and one that would spawn a wildly successful series across the various Nintendo platforms. Over the years, the developers have been able to constantly come up new ways to challenge players with their engaging microgame collections, but now Intelligent Systems has decided to place that power in the hands of the game player's themselves with the release of WarioWare D.I.Y. on the Nintendo DS system. Now gamers can not only play a brand new collection of microgames, but they can also create their own and share them with other players via Friend Codes.
Gamers looking for the classic WarioWare gaming action will be happy to know that the game comes with 90 brand new games already built into the package. Of course it's worth noting that all of the games make use of the tapping mechanic, so those looking for the variety of WarioWare Touched! might find this slight lack of gameplay flexibility a bit of a disappointment. It was obviously necessary to do it this way in order to keep all of the games, both the included microgames and the ones created by the players themselves, consistent in their basic gameplay designs. You'll be surprised at just how many different ways the developers were able to make use of the tapping element.
As enjoyable as playing the ready-made games are, you won't be able to fully appreciate the power of the package until you begin creating microgames of your own. Not only is the level of intricacy and flexibility staggering, but you'll soon find that it offers up an almost endless amount of variety with what you can create. Of course learning to use all of the game's many creation tools can be a bit overwhelming at first and the developers obviously sensed this when they created the rather lengthy tutorial system that you'll have to take part in before you get started.
The first thing you're going to have to create is the graphics for your game. This involves tools that closely resemble many of the popular paint programs on the market today. You'll be able to draw free hand, use shape tools, and even a rather large collection of built-in patterns and stamps to help you out. It's in this mode where you'll create not only the background for your game, but also all of the individual graphical elements that will go into it. You can even copy graphics out of the included microgames if you're not feeling very artistically inclined. About the only limitations on this part of the creation process is your talent and imagination.
Next up you'll need to create the music that will be played during your game. Much like the graphics section, this too features a wide assortment of options to assist you. You can plot out the musical notes on the included 5 track scales or allow the Maestro to come up with a tune for you based on the criteria you select. You can even use the ready-made musical tracks built-into the game if you'd rather not go to the trouble of creating your own compositions. Once again the flexibility and freedom of this tool is virtually limitless, depending on how much time and effort you want to put into your musical presentations.
Once the graphics and music are in place, it's time to assemble the game itself. This is easily the most challenging part of the process and will require a large number of steps in order to set up how the game is played, not to mention telling the CPU how each graphical element will behave and function during the game. The game does a nice job of guiding you through each of the many steps and when you couple this help with what you should get out of the tutorial, it shouldn't take you too long to jump in and begin making some simple creations. Of course if you want to come up with something a bit more flashy, you're going to have to do some experimenting and put in some serious practice to get really good at it.
Once all of the other sections of the game are complete, you'll then have to verify the title of your microgame, along with setting the duration the game will last before sending it off for processing. This part of the game will have you choosing the style of cartridge, color scheme, and packaging of your brand new game before it's dropped off into the truck and shipped off for play. You'll then be able to head on over to the D.I.Y. Shop to give your new creation a try, along with any other games you've downloaded or created up to that point. You can even share your creations with players who you share Friend Codes with and vice-versa. And if all of that wasn't enough, Nintendo will even be periodically releasing new microgames via the game's NintenSoft store as well, so you should end up with a steady stream of new material to enjoy.
You can't help but appreciate the time and effort the developers put into making the game as powerful as possible without making it too unbearably complicated to use. The tapping mechanism might seem a bit limiting to the overall gameplay scheme, but you'll soon find that there are an almost immeasurable number of ways to make use of tapping the touchscreen if you put your mind to it. Heck there's even a tool that allows you to create your own 4-panel comic strip if that's your thing. And with WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase about to hit the WiiWare service, there's even more microgame goodness to enjoy with the ability to download more games, not to mention play your DS creations on your own television screen. Combine the simple gameplay elements with one of the deepest game creation tools you're ever likely to encounter and you have a gaming experience that's not only a lot of fun, but also unbelievably creative.
The WarioWare series has always been know for its wild and sometimes unusually visual presentations and this new release is no exception. The included games show a surprising degree of detail and the creation tools themselves are equally impressive and visually appealing. And the great part is that the graphics tools allow the player to be every bit as visually ambitious as the developers were, even further adding to the graphical appeal.
Much like the visuals, the musical aspects of D.I.Y. are as quirky and charming as ever. You'll get a mix of classic Nintendo tunes strung throughout the game, not to mention a wealth of new tracks to enjoy and use in your creations. And if you're feeling a bit musical, you can allays use the game's impressive music-creating capabilities to piece together a catchy score of your own to further personalize your work.
Being able to create your own microgames is a dream come true for many fans of the WarioWare series and the developers have come through with flying colors in delivering not only a very functional set of creation tools, but a package that is easy enough for just about anyone to make good use of. While the built-in games aren't quite of the variety and calibre of some of those found in previous WarioWare releases, they're still quite enjoyable and a nice blueprint for those setting out to create their own games. Fans looking to purchase WarioWare D.I.Y. simply to play the microgames might be a bit disappointed with the lack of variety in the included titles, but those who are willing to put in the time and effort to become familiar with the creation tools will likely find a very powerful and rewarding gaming experience limited only by their imaginations and free time.