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JadeDragon's game reviews and playing tips: Nintendo DS games
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WarioWare Touched!

Review posted October 2005 by Corbie Dillard

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: February, 2005
ESRB Rating: "E" for Everyone
Genre: Puzzle
Price: $34.99

With the release of the original WarioWare game on the Game Boy Advance system 2 years ago, Nintendo managed to create one of the most unique and addictive games ever made. By taking loads of 3-5 second mini-games and throwing them at the player in rapid succession, they were able to create a challenge and a game unlike any before it. Naturally, with the release of the Nintendo DS system, Nintendo decided to release a new WarioWare game that could make use of not only the dual screen format, but also take advantage of the touch screen. The result is WarioWare Touched!, a game that not only delivers the fun and excitement of the original, but using the touch screen, manages to create an even more distinctive and addictive style of play.

Gameplay

For those who aren't familiar with exactly how the WarioWare experience goes, the game presents you with 3-5 second mini-games in a rapid-fire manner. These mini-games are normally fairly simple in design. What makes them so challenging is that you're given a time limit to complete each mini-game. As you progress through a challenge level, the game gradually speeds up, giving you less time not only in between mini-games, but also less time in which to complete each one. The pace of these games coming at you gets downright insane, requiring your touch screen skills to become almost instinctive if you want to have any chance of completing some of the later challenges. It's this fast-paced style of gameplay that's the driving force behind what makes the game so difficult to master.

WarioWare Touched! features several different game modes. In "GAMES" mode you'll have the opportunity to experience the game from a "story" type atmosphere. It's here that you'll get to play different character's challenges, which by winning them opens up new characters and toy games for you to play. You can also choose to play these opened character's challenges anytime in order to attempt to better your high scores. "ALBUM" mode allows you to play individual mini-games from any of the character's themes that you've opened in the game mode. This is a good place to go if you're having trouble on specific mini-games in the game mode and need some practice. The "TOY ROOM" is where you can choose to store the toy games you unlock. Most of these consist of silly activities that seem more geared towards pre-school aged children and don't offer much in the way of entertainment unless you like building snowmen or coloring a nice headshot of Wario. It goes without saying, most of your time will be spent in the "game" and "album" modes, as that's where the real challenge of the game is located.

Each character in the game sports a different "theme" of challenges. For instance, one set of mini-game challenges feature "touching" style games, while another offers mini-games that force you to blow into the system's microphone (which will make you quite dizzy if you play them too long.) WarioWare even goes so far as to include a "retro" style set of mini-games featuring classic 8-bit NES games like Super Mario Bros. and even Duck Hunt. It's these unique themes that make playing WarioWare Touched! so much fun, as you never know what type of mini-games you're going to unlock next.

Multiplayer Mode

In truth, the multiplayer portion of WarioWare Touched! is hardly worth mentioning. There are a couple of toy games, like Ping Pong, that allow a second player to grip your DS from the top of it and hit the ball back and forth. It's honestly as boring as it sounds and is more of an after-thought than a true multi-player option.

Graphics

The graphics range from absolutely brilliant, to painfully bland. Don't let this scare you off, it's just how the style of the game presents itself. You'll see some beautifully digitized images of such things as the GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and even the classic NES system, to graphics that look like a 3 year old drew them. Somehow they all come together to form the game's off-the-wall styling. It's worth mentioning that most of the graphics in the actual story mode look fantastic and really shine when they're displayed on both of the DS screens at once. WarioWare Touched! is honestly a game that you just have to see in action to fully appreciate its outrageous graphical appearance.

Sound

As if the visuals of the game weren't crazy enough, you'll get an earful of just about every type of sound effect and music track you can imagine. Most of the tunes in the game are very upbeat and fit in with something you'd normally hear in a Super Mario Bros. or Wario Land game. There's also a ton of classic NES game tunes thrown into the mix. It's rather entertaining to listen to the music in the game, especially these classic NES tunes, as they speed up to a blistering pace once the action in the mini-games picks up. To round everything out, you'll also receive your fair share of Wario's trademark growls, not to mention a few nicely done vocal tracks along the way. It would be nice to have some actual speech in the game, but given the frantic pace, it might just get in the way.

 

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Conclusion

It's tough to describe what it is, exactly, that makes WarioWare Touched! so much fun to play. As simple as most of the mini-games are, it's downright insane how intense and frenetic the pace of the game can become. Most gamers will finish the initial portions of the game fairly quickly, which does take a little away from the overall value of the package, but it's really trying to beat the high scores that will keep players coming back for more. Fans of the WarioWare series will definitely fall in love with this latest incarnation of the game, and for those that have yet to experience the insanity that is WarioWare, this game is good introduction to what the appeal of this game series is really all about. The bottom line is, of all the titles currently available for the Nintendo DS system, you'd be hard-pressed to find a more unique or endearing title, not to mention one that serves as such an excellent demonstration of the capabilities of the touch screen, than WarioWare Touched!

Playing Hints and Tips

- Remember you can always go to the "album" section of the game and practice the individual mini-games if you find you're having trouble understanding what to do.

- Remember to keep an eye on the top screen, as that's where it normally gives you an indication of what you're supposed to do on each mini-game.

- Keep in mind that WarioWare Touched! is an intensive use of the DS' touch screen so try not to bear down too hard with the stylus or you're going to end up with a touch screen full of scratches.

- On Mike's levels where you use the microphone, keep in mind you don't have to blow very hard to complete them. It's generally not how HARD you blow, it's how LONG you blow.

Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics

WarioWare Touched isn't about flashy graphics. You'll see some outstanding visuals and some very mediocre art pad-style graphics, but they all fit in superbly with the zany and offbeat styling of the game.

Sound

Terrific music in the game, complimented by not only some very nostalgic NES tunes, but also some very amusing sound effects. The sound in the game is almost as amusing as the visuals, and that's really saying something.

Fun Meter

Graphics and music aside, WarioWare Touched is an absolute joy to play from beginning to end. It's not going to set the video game world on fire with innovation, but it would be hard to find a game that packs as much sheer enjoyment into one package as this one does.

Addictivity

Although there will come a time when you've seen all 180 of the mini-games, you're going to have a tough time putting this one down in the meantime. There's quite a bit of replay value in the fact that you can open additional characters as well as new toy games along the way, but the one thing that will keep you coming back more often than not, is just trying to beat the high scores.

Total Score= 4.25 Dragons, 85%



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