Nintendo's initial Nintendo 64 and Nintendo DS Wii U Virtual Console titles certainly are an eclectic mix - with WarioWare Touched! perhaps being the most unexpected inclusion of the bunch. Having been initially released on the Nintendo DS in February 2005, WarioWare Touched! is one of the DS's earliest titles, coming from an era of bright-eyed optimism during which Nintendo eagerly demonstrated the many unique features of its shiny new handheld system, and just the kind of off-the-wall experiences that gamers could expect from it over the coming years. Thankfully, WarioWare Touched! is as fun, kooky and bizarre as it was ten years ago - and serves as a perfect introductory DS title for the Wii U eShop.
Much like its predecessor - WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames for the Game Boy Advance - the gameplay of WarioWare Touched! features a number of fast-paced microgames daisy-chained together in a brief but exhilarating series of challenges that players must tackle against an ever-decreasing time limit. However, for the first time in the series, WarioWare was able to make use of the Nintendo DS's many new features, such as its dual-screens, touchscreen controls and microphone in order to make the minigames even more varied and interesting.
The main hub of gameplay occurs in "Games Mode" which allows the player to tackle a number of short scenarios. Each one of these is specific to a member of the cast of colourful and unique characters. Every one of these personalities has their own theme which affects the gameplay, such as Mona - whose "Cute Cuts" centre around slicing challenges, or Mike - whose minigames solely require the use of the microphone.
The most fun and interesting of these characters are the duo, 9-Volt and 18-Volt, whose games all centre around retro Nintendo properties like Mario, Zelda and even hearkening back to the days of Game & Watch. These throwback challenges also make a nice change of pace from WarioWare's usual (though, admittedly amusing) crude toilet and booger humour which is often present. Once a challenge has been played in the main story mode, it becomes freely playable in "Album" mode - unlocking the ability to go back and re-play a specific game in an increasingly growing difficulty, in the vein of the main game. "Toys" and "Souvenirs" can also be unlocked over time, offering up even more little minigames and time-wasting devices such as a toy piano. Because, why not?
Unfortunately, many of the microgames aren't especially enthralling when analysed on their own merits, and there can only be so much variation in which touching, tapping or swiping your stylus can be implemented without becoming stale after prolonged gameplay. Some of the challenges (especially the microphone-centric ones) can be especially mundane, simply requiring nothing more than a quiff puff of breath into the microphone in order to complete, and are understandably limited in how much they can differ. Having said that, a huge number of them show an admirable use of imagination, requiring you to do far more than simply slice fruit or unravel toilet roll, and some of them will leave you genuinely baffled about the correct gesture required on the touchscreen.
Fortunately for the challenges that are a little on the menial side - the zany nature of the experience as a whole (which can only be described as Monty Python's Terry Gilliam meets Takeshi's Castle) and the heavy use of stark imagery, catchy tunes/songs and abundance of humour cause even the duller aspects to shine. With 180 challenges in total, WarioWare Touched! rarely becomes stagnant.
One of the major concerns voiced about porting DS titles onto home consoles in the past was the implementation of the system's many unique hardware features, such as the dual screens, touch controls and use of microphone, and their importance in certain titles of the DS's library (especially with the likes of WarioWare). Thankfully, Nintendo have managed the process exceedingly well. With the Wii U Gamepad featuring many of the same aspects as the Nintendo DS, such as a touchscreen and microphone, the likes of WarioWare are able to make the leap to their new home exceedingly well and certainly don't feel out of place or shoe-horned into the system.
The most difficult challenge Nintendo undoubtedly had was in condensing the dual-screen action onto a single screen. Nintendo have not only succeeded in making it viable to play DS games on a Wii U GamePad, but also made the experience extremely customisable - giving the player a total of six changeable screen layouts to accompany the DS's dual screens. These range from placing more emphasis on the top or the bottom screen, fitting one entirely on the TV and one on the GamePad, and even matching your hand orientation. Perhaps the best of the options (which also provides the most faithful DS experience) requires the Wii U GamePad to be held vertically in a portrait mode fashion, allowing the DS's top and bottom screens to fit onto the controller without the size of either of the screens being diminished.
Despite being an extremely short experience (with the main mode easily completable in an hour or so), and featuring incredibly simplistic gameplay mechanics which often verge on the tedious, WarioWare Touched! still has plenty to offer a decade after its release. The sheer abundance of microgames will leave anyone with a love of short bursts of on-the-go gameplay coming back for more time and time again, and its colourful visuals, quirky humour and wonderful soundtrack all work in making it a timeless experience. WarioWare Touched! might not have quite the wow factor that it had upon release, but it is still an enjoyable, frantic feast of the senses.
I so love this games music, nostalgic after 10 years. :3 But... this game needs to be emulated on Wii U but can run straight off the hardware on 3DS... why is this Nintendo. o.o They need more VC on 3DS so much~
I love this game! Hope it comes to NA. I liked the gba version on the wiiu. I'm loving these transitions to the big screen!
I've bought this but not played it yet. At least it won't be ruined by Nintendo's terrible button mapping
@Ryu_Niiyama You're in luck. It's set to be released this week.
That sounded like a very obvious 9. Kind of surprised to see it get a 7.
A great way to wreck the DS's touchscreen, and a great way to wreck the GamePad's touchscreen.
The PSP could emulate perfectly GBA games so when it comes to 3DS having only GBC games, it is more about selling Wii Us than the 3DS is not powerful enough to run GBA and DS games. Hard copies of DS games works in 3DS without any problem but the digital version do not. Hard to believe. Unless I am missing something but as I said the PSP (the original fat model) could emulate at least GBA without problems.
Good review Tom, Keep up the good work
Eh, I'll just wait for Rhythm Heaven.
@FaustoM The 3DS can play GBA games as well, remember the few GBA games they gave out as part of the Ambassador program?
The main reason they don't put these games on the eShop is because they would be missing the features of other VC games due to hardware constrictions. When the 3DS plays DS or GBA games, the CPU actually cycles down to match the CPU cycles of either machine. Emulating the original hardware AND running the 3DS's OS and Miiverse and such wouldn't be possible. That's why when you press Home when you play DS games, the game doesn't pause, it just asks if you want to go to the home menu.
Personally I don't care about the VC features, they aren't as robust as they are on the Wii U. I just want Four Swords.
The thing I found whilst playing Mario vs Donkey Kong on Wii U recently is it's very awkward to hold the GamePad and use the stylus for a long period of time (30 minutes). My hand was numb from clutching the controller for so long. I found it whilst playing the Pikmin game in Nintendo Land too. I feel these more stylus heavy DS games are just too awkward to play on the GamePad. I know you can rest it on something while playing but that's not always ideal if you have you look at the screen, to have it down at your lap.
Realistically the one-handed GamePad control method just doesn't work like it does for a small handheld like the DS/3DS and I wouldn't like to see many stylus dependant control methods on Wii U in future. Basically, these DS releases should be on 3DS VC, where they belong.
They need to release the Kyle Hyde games on the VC as fast as possible. They would be a perfect fit for the Gamepad.
I would like to point out that this virtual console release is probably missing the Mona Pizza music video. It was originally unlocked by putting WarioWare Twisted in the GBA slot of the DS.
I have never played a WarioWare game but if I wanted to I could simply load up Mega Microgames that I received as an ambassador but still haven't played. If I like that one then I will consider this one.
Looking forward to playing this. I never got a chance to during its original release.
But... isn't that already on the 3DS? Or atleast was?
@Boidoh Indeed it was. The reason Four Swords and all those other GBA games aren't on the eShop anymore is because Nintendo wasn't satisfied with the quality of their release, for reasons I outlined in my original comment.
@LemonSlice I agree. Will give those outside of Japan/Europe the chance to play Last Window: The Secret of Cape West too. Even in the UK it's hard to find a physical copy of it.
I think this is a better game than certainly the Conclusion in the review would have you believe.
Very harsh review. This is an excellent game full of wit, charm and energy. You can almost feel the buzz among the designers as they compete to make the wackiest use of this (at the time) bizarre new hardware. It's also a terrific game for chasing high scores.
Glad to see that they're expanding the Wii U's virtual console, but what about all of those NES and Super NES games that were not even released on the Wii's shop? There is so many wonderful games for those systems, and nintendo still has yet to release them. Now with adding the Advance and DS games, it seems that they won't be putting much out from these systems. Remember how N64 on the Wii Shop barely had any games released, while NES and Super had a ton.
@electrolite77 I think people see a "7" and instantly think it's a bad score, when it isn't at all. A 7 by our scoring system constitutes a "good". When considering the relatively short story mode and that tapping a touch pad isn't as unique as it was back in 2005 - a 7 is still a very decent score.
@UboaNoticedYou If you put it that way it is clear the hardware has some limitations to emulate GBA and DS perfectly. I had to check because I could not remember if GBC games were able to minimize to desktop, I had the impression they could not. Anyway I am still pretty sure a lot of people would love to have GBA and DS (as digital because hard copies are somewhat hard to find) in their 3DSs even if you lose some functionality . I do not buy VC games so I could not care less but it would be nice for some people.
Fair comment. To be honest, I'm not bothered about review scores, I'm one who'd happily do away with them. I just thought the review itself portrayed the game as poorer than I think it is. All opinions of course.
They need to get Twisted out as a download, or even re-release it on 3DS. It's a crime that it was never released in Europe. Damn Mercury laws.
I remember a scene in Hotel Dusk where you had to close the DS to advance the game... now I don't know how they would replicate THAT DS function...
I'm sure there's nothing too complicated about that, it doesn't have to be a mechanical operation. A simple menu function would suffice, or reprogram the title for the puzzle to solve itself. This isn't the only title with such a puzzle, Phantom Hourglass for instance has the same, and that game is coming to VC for sure.
Great game, loved it in 2005, it was one of the first DS games I bought. Can't wait to experience it again, haven't played it in 10 years or so.
I don't find WarioWare tedious at all, but maybe it's because I'm such a big fan of mini-games...especially those that take such a unique twist with the hardware. I'm glad it's able to emulate the microphone an stylus flawlessly! I missed out on this one back when it came out (opting for Pokémon Dash instead) and the special controls makes it feel brand-new.
@BearHunger I played it on my DS & never wrecked the touch screen. Use to play it for hours everyday too.
One of my first DS games, and I really liked it. However, don't destroy your touchscreen. Mine has lots of small scratches. But it still works very fine, and everything looks good on it.
@Starz Then you weren't playing hard enough.
I was reckless with my touch screen, much like with N64 joysticks playing Super Smash Bros. With this game, the biggest challenge is to win and go easy on the touch screen at the same time.
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