WarioWare Gold (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Lex Firth 15.09.2018

Review for WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

It's been nearly ten years since the last mainline game in the WarioWare series, but it remains one of Nintendo's most popular and impactful series. It was a big leap in 2003 for developers to take an iconic main character like Wario and completely reinvent him to front an obscure spin-off, but it's one that paid off in spades - nearly every entry since has been a hallmark of its respective system's unique features, and an instant classic in the mini-game compilation genre. The latest entry, rather than treading new ground, aims to celebrate with around 250 microgames from previous entries (and a small smattering of new ones). It's certainly an impressive way to honour fifteen years of such a fantastic franchise, but is this greatest hits compilation worth retreading?

Most by now will be familiar with WarioWare's unique brand of over-the-top, quick-fire gameplay, but for those who aren't, it's a very simple set-up: it consists of "microgames," particularly short mini-games that last no longer than a couple of seconds, each with a simple command, such as "Jump!" They are rapidly fired at the player, with the speed and difficulty ramping up gradually, and occasional boss games to break up the action.

Screenshot for WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

Seeing as they are taken from a multitude of consoles, the microgames on offer in this instalment utilise three different control schemes - "mash," referring to the d-pad and A button, as well as "touch" and "twist," which use the 3DS' built-in gyroscope. Generally, the "mash" games refer to those taken from the original GBA WarioWare, Inc., while the "touch" ones hail from DS entry Touched and the "twist" ones from GBA sequel Twisted and Wii version Smooth Moves, although some have had their controls rejigged.

It's not just the control schemes that have been switched up - plenty of the microgames here have been graphically upgraded, or had their mechanics tightened up. In fact, so much love has been poured into improving what's on offer that it feels like only a small number of the games are here in their truly original forms; even classic boss aspects have been shortened and simplified in order to make appearances here. It's an inspired choice that both tightens up the gameplay for newcomers and keeps things interesting for old fans, making Gold a genuinely fresh experience for anyone.

Screenshot for WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

As in previous instalments, the meat of WarioWare Gold's gameplay is held together by a somewhat barebones story mode, with a vague plot that sees Wario hold a gaming competition under the predictably narcissistic name of the Wario Bowl. Each character's microgames have their own self-contained story, bookended by short cartoon vignettes, which are nicely-animated and, in a series first, are fully voiced. This is hardly a game that sells itself on the basis of its plot, but what's there is decently entertaining and wraps up nicely at just a couple of hours before overstaying its welcome.

Once the story mode is over, the real fun begins, with a huge assortment of bonus modes unlocked immediately after. Although a few of these are just generic spins on the main gameplay with slight alterations, such as variations with only one life or at the top speed, but there are a few that showcase the developers' creativity at its highest, such as Cruise Controls (which uses the gyroscope to adjust the speed of the microgames, allowing the player to go at their own pace) or WarioWatch, a constant race against time in which the constantly-depleting stopwatch can be refilled by clearing microgames quickly.

Screenshot for WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

It's a good thing there are plenty of modes on offer, as there's plenty of replayability required to unlock everything in Gold's souvenir cabinet. While some of the unlockable extras verge on the inane - take the phone codes, which unlock a couple of lines of rarely-interesting dialogue - others are a lot more worthwhile, in particular the more fleshed-out mini-games. These range from series staples like Pyoro, to a faithful recreation of a Game & Watch title, to even some more fleshed-out new ones, such as a tower-defence mode starring Ashley.

Despite being, on surface level, a greatest hits compilation, WarioWare Gold is one of the most fleshed-out entries in the series so far. Perfectly blending classic gameplay with a fresh lick of paint, even diehard WarioWare fans will be pleasantly surprised by just how much this collection has to offer.

Screenshot for WarioWare Gold on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

9/10
Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Boasting the largest amount of content to date, Wario's latest entry is a masterclass in reinvention, breathing life into old games and somehow making the same three-second long mini-games fans have been playing for years feel new exciting. Just as fresh for series fanatics as it is for those who haven't yet delved into WarioWare's absurdist world, Gold is far more than just a collection of the series' best moments; it's an entirely new game, and a great one at that.

Developer

Intelligent Systems

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Party

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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