WarioWare: Touched! (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 22.03.2005

Review for WarioWare: Touched! on Nintendo DS

After the immense success that followed Made in Wario, the first Wario microgame spin-off, there has been a lot of pressure on Nintendo to release new versions complete with the same sense of addictiveness. Now, after the original, a multiplayer GameCube edition and the latest GBA game that relies solely on the tilt sensor inside the cartridge, Nintendo’s ever-reliable Intelligent Systems team have been handed the task of created a new version that utilises the touch-screen of the Nintendo DS to its full capacity. Read on and find out how well IS has coped…

There has always been a loose reason as to why Wario decided to set up his very own company, and that was purely that he realised he could make money from the venture. Create ultra-short ‘microgames’ and sell them to people – money made the easy way, just the way he likes it. But this time something strange happens. Wandering along the road he stumbles, dropping his GBA down an open manhole. A friendly stranger collects the fallen portable, but also brings up a weird looking contraption, which Wario snatches as well. But he has trouble working it, trying to twist it round…eventually, after figuring it out, he realises he has just hit the jackpot – double the screens, double the money! Oh it is all so simple in his mind…

Screenshot for WarioWare: Touched! on Nintendo DS

In the past, the WarioWare games have been both praised and criticised for its particular graphical style. You see, it is all about little crazy microgames that are extremely basic in nature, with barely any flair and finesse applied to the visuals. Some saw this as a unique approach that gave the game character, whereas others just shunned it for looking as if Nintendo had not bothered spending too much time on what was originally a calculated risk in innovation. Now, whilst this basic feel is retained in most of the microgames, like having to draw lines from one point to another, rubbing the screen to uncover a symbol or help a ball bounce up into space, there are a few that are quite impressive – such as ones with realistic images of cats and dogs. In addition, there are full cartoon video clips to illustrate the back-story of each in-game character, with some fancy 3D effects appearing on the top screen as the player is taken across town to where each character currently resides. Intelligent Systems seems to have taken the series one step further, boding well for the future…

Music in ANY Wario game is classed as not quite of the norm, with weird tunes that you would not exactly expect to find in other Nintendo games. But somehow they always seem to suit to proceedings adequately, with some even becoming ridiculously lodged in your head, refusing to slink away. But for WarioWare Nintendo tends to go completely overboard on the craziness, with Touched! being no exception at all. Be it unusual little tunes that play in the background or the sometimes very worrying sound effects that accompany microgames and their completion, prepare yourself for a ‘varied’ experience! The great inclusion of a Speed Up feature returns as well, so that after a set number of games being completed, the background music speeds up along with the game itself. But it does not just stop there – songs are lurking in there. Just when you are growing accustomed to the music, suddenly in walks a full-blown song (albeit a very strange one) for Ashley’s haunted level and catches you by surprise…and all in wonderful stereo. Weird, wacky and wonderful, all in one package.

Screenshot for WarioWare: Touched! on Nintendo DS

You would assume that since the DS is Nintendo’s new portable, the company would be able to produce games that take full advantage of the system itself. And in every way WarioWare is a wonderful example of what can be achieved that could not be done on the competition at the moment. The use of touch-screen is considerable, with even the microphone being used and some great dual-screen usage to improve the gameplay overall. Each of the games so far have had one unique feature – the original had the introduction of the microgame, games that only lasted between three- and five-seconds; the GameCube version focused on the multiplayer aspect, throwing in some physical games aimed to embarrass players in front of others; and the latest GBA edition is played purely by turning the system round thanks to the tilt sensor lodged in the tiny cartridge.

So for the Nintendo DS launch, in order to show off the wonder that is that touch-screen, Intelligent Systems has stepped up to produce a touch-only version of WarioWare. You have the usual set-up of various characters to choose from, ten in this instance, each of which have different types of microgames for you to play with. Some involve writing on the screen, others have you dragging items around, tapping the screen when appropriate or rubbing like crazy. There are many ways that microgames can be completed, with enough variation throughout to keep even the most cynical of gamers engaged until the credits roll, at least.

Examples of microgames include tracing Japanese kanji symbols, poking cats on the head, popping bubbles, collecting coins in a purse, catching a bouncing ball, slicing vegetables and guiding a planet through space. Some of the games show such creativity that you might worry about the minds that actually conceived them. You can even use the microphone to play a harmonica in the game! But, in all honesty, there are several that have appeared in past iterations and it may prove repetitive for those who have played the games before. The fun does not stop at the main game, though, as there are many other things to uncover the more you play.

Screenshot for WarioWare: Touched! on Nintendo DS

After completing each character’s set of microgames you must finish off with a boss level, such as one with you helping a face bounce upwards and another where you must swat flies on delicate glass. Once this has been done, not only is another character unlocked, but there are items given to you that can be stored in your two toy rooms. These range from some bacteria that you can leave alone to form shapes or poke to have them follow you round, to a game called Pong Ping that you can play with two people on one DS machine, and a little video of a creature crawling along and eating through walls, which you control manually by spinning the film reels. Considering this is IS’ first attempt at the series, it certainly still manages to live up to the crazy / addictive reputation!

Whereas fellow Nintendo DS mini-game title Project Rub is very short, yet frustrating in places due to the difficulty level, WarioWare is basically the opposite. So you have the usual hundreds of microgames, but they do not seem quite as hard as they were in the past. Perhaps this has been purposely done to help it appeal to the masses of new gamers the Nintendo DS is attracting, but it will come as a slight disappointment to hardcore followers of the games. Thankfully, though, there are still the extras included that have become a staple feature – such as extended versions of certain microgames, as well as the odd multi-player game that can be played on just one system. Then there is the option to replay any games you have already unlocked until you either perfect them or get insanely bored of them. There is definitely enough replay value within, but it just seems a little rushed compared to the previous versions and the forthcoming Western release of WarioWare: Twisted!

Screenshot for WarioWare: Touched! on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Intelligent Systems has crafted a worthy addition to the WarioWare legacy, with microgames as crazy as ever and making excellent use of the Nintendo DS' functionality. If it were not for a little bit of staleness setting in at times this would be perfect. As it is WarioWare proves to be one of the best of the launch line-up...









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (23 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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