(DESCRIBE!)The WarioWare series is essentially a collection of hundreds of mini-games. (PLAY!) And the gold-hoarding, gas-cloud-belching Wario is in charge of it all, aided by a cast of wacky friends and neighbors. (SUPPORT!)But wait! (WAIT!) There are three important details to these mini-games:
Each mini-game lasts for only about five seconds. (Normal-length games run eight beats; the BPM starts from 100 or so and rises from there). (RUN!)
In each 'level' you have to complete nine to twenty-five of them in a row, without stopping (And much more if you're going for a high score)! (JUMP!)
And you receive no instructions on how to play! Your only assistance is a single command that appears on-screen just as the game begins. (IGNITE!)
That's pretty much the WarioWare games in a nutshell. (CRACK!) Each game is a handful of about 200 or so "microgames" that come at you in roughly five-second increments, each time prompting you to do a simple task (POUR! STOMP! etc.). The microgames are shuffled at random, (MIX!) so you'll have to react fast to succeed (CHEER!) and impress Wario and his cadre of microgame developers (APPLAUD!). Once you've unlocked everything, the games basically become quests to beat your high scores at all the games. (BREAK!)Games in the WarioWare series (LIST!):
WarioWare: D.I.Y. for Nintendo DS — this entry allows you to create your own microgames
WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase for WiiWare — a companion game for the above
Game & Wario for Wii U — a Gaiden Game, and a departure from the previous games (Having individual game modes similar to boss stages from previous games, although the microgames do appear in one of the game modes).
Other releases include multiple WarioWare, Inc. trial versions and selected microgames, downloadable to a Game Boy Advance from Wario World and in one case from the Nintendo GameCube Preview Disc, (LINK!) as well as the DSiWare games Bird & Beans and Paper Airplane Chase (respectively Pyoro and Paper Plane in PAL countries), standalone versions of minigames from Mega Microgame$! (REMAKE!) Wario also appears in Super Smash Bros. Brawl with his default appearance having him wear his clothes from WarioWare (his Wario Land appearance is available as well (REMINISCE!)), along with a WarioWare-inspired stage and Kat & Ana as Assist Trophy. (SMASH!) Diamond City also appears as a course in the two Mario Kart arcade games Arcade GP and Arcade GP 2. (RACE!)Rhythm Heaven was made by the same team that made this series, and it shows. (SIMILARITY!)
Anti-Frustration Features: In Smooth Moves, if you've just played a microgame involving spinning the remote around, and thus twisted up the wrist strap, the next game will be one in which you have to drop the Wii Remote and leave it dangling by the strap, untwisting it.
Anti-Poop Socking Smooth Moves, since actually getting up and moving around is the core part of the gameplay.
Not to mention Crygor's stage, which is specifically themed around getting some frickin' exercise. It even measures your progress in "kelories," each of which is about 1/100- 1/50 of a calorie.
DIY unlocks only one of five sets of microgames per calendar day and one of 18 sets of five comics (out of 18) per calendar day.
Art Evolution: The characters' designs have evolved subtly over time. For example, between Mega Micro Game$ and Smooth Moves, Mona's waist became more realistic, and her eyes became smaller.
18-Volt started off as a Satellite Character of sorts, but got more recognition as the games went on. In Smooth Moves, 9-Volt's storyline actually revolves around 18-Volt trying to make up with 9-Volt by buying him a new console, 18-Volt hosts his own set of microgames in D.I.Y. Showcase, and in Game & Wario, 18-Volt hosts one of the modes of the Gamer minigame.
5-Volt (9-Volt's mom) went from only making cameo appearances to actually playing a key role in "Gamer" in Game & Wario.
Boss Warning Siren: All titles have a sound clip whenever a boss stage is coming up next and will linger on the screen between microgames eight beats longer than normal. There will usually (but not always) be an on-screen message telling you that you're about to encounter the boss. Said sound clip varies from game to game, but that in WarioWare: Smooth Moves sounds particularly like a klaxon played to a beat.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Taken literally in two separate games. In the first game, one of the microgames has you catching a baseball; missing it causes the ball to smash through the screen. In Touched, Wario's boss microgame has you swatting flies on the touch screen; tapping too many times causes the screen to shatter and the flies to come flying out.
One of the bonus games in Game & Wario involves driving a toy car around a room using the gamepad. The gamepad's view is from the cardriver's perspective, and the main screen shows an overview of the room from one of the walls. If you look at said wall from the car's perspective, you see a TV showing yourself playing the game from the other side of the screen (it uses the gamepad's camera to do this).
Cheaters Never Prosper: At the end of Inc. Wario makes a shitload of money, and attempts to flee in a rocket to avoid paying his employees. Dr. Crygor later flies into the rocket, sending Wario, and all the money, falling into the sea.
Console Cameo: Several of the games, mostly 9-Volt's, include various Nintendo systems. This even extends to 9-Volt's multiplayer mode in Mega Party Game$, which is based on the e-Reader accessory for the GBA.
Continuity Nod: A lot of the later games feature microgames that replicate previous games in the series.
The setup of Gamer in Game & Wario (9-Volt is playing games when he should be sleeping, while his mom tries to catch him) originally appeared in a cutscene in Wario Ware: Twisted.
Corrupt Corporate Executive: Wario. He hires his friends to make games for him, but doesn't pay them. At first they were somewhat forgiving (Especially Mona who is rumoured to have a crush on him) but in the end half the team quit to work for a rival company. Wario then hires (But still doesn't pay) the "Players" to make microgames for him. Despite that, WarioWare went under. So what does Wario do? Create Game&Wario starting all over again.
The Faceless: 5-Volt, up until Game & Wario, was only seen From behind and from the knees down and later as a silhouette in the epilogue of 9-Volt's and 18-Volt's level in Twisted! and as a silhouette in a game over screen in Touched.
False Reassurance: This little gem from Penny: "Experiments are guaranteed to be 100% not-entirely-lethal.".
Game-Breaking Bug: On level three of the needle-threading game in the original, a design oversight sometimes puts the eye of the needle out of the thread's reach, making it impossible to win. A real buzzkill when you're racking up a high score on the Thrilling tower and this glitch takes you out.
Gameplay and Story Segregation: The story and gameplay in most of these games (bar perhaps Game & Wario) have absolutely nothing to do with each other. This is because the games you're actually playing are video games made by the characters, who are apparently employees of WarioWare Inc and hence are surreal, arcade style experiences.
Game Maker: WarioWare D.I.Y. While its microgame engine allows for all different genres of games to be made, they're all still strictly microgames.
Genre-Busting: The series can be loosely considered mini-game collections, but it does it in such an unusual way (games are typically about 4 seconds long, must be done in quick succession, are presented in random order, and the goal is to survive a predetermined number of them before failing four times), and has an emphasis on single-player rather than multiplayer, that gamers and critics alike have largely given up trying to classify it at all.
Getting Crap Past the Radar: In Tiny Wario's Boss Stage in Smooth Moves, there are several instances of closeup ass-shots of your dancer.
Glowing Eyes of Doom: 5-Volt, during 9-Volt's microgame in Game & Wario. Goes to show how seriously she takes her role as a mother. Also, more generally, Ashley, when she gets pissed. The game does mention that 9-Volt's game was "born from 9-Volt's feverish imagination", though, so that might just be his imagination of his mother.
And then in Game & Wario there's a straight Nostalgia Level, Gamer, which uses the old micro-game based gameplay from the original Mega Microgames...with a Red Light, Green Light styled twist. (9-Volt's playing the game late at night, so he has to hide whenever his mom is looking.)
Honest Axe: Spoofed in "Touched!" Wario's response? "Gimme all of them!" *tackle*
Idol Singer: minor character Sal Out, who sings the "Mona Pizza" song.
I Just Want to Have Friends: Ashley. It doesn't show up that much in the games, and it's implied in her English theme, but her Japanese theme outright states it.
Level Ate: In Game & Wario, Ashley tries to explore a world filled with pretty scary stuff. But once she inserts herself into the book, there was a slight mistake, and she ended up in a world filled with sweets, donuts, and candy. Only Red is happy, but she's utterly annoyed.
Lost Forever: A few of the medals in D.I.Y. require entering microgame design contests that were periodically held by Nintendo. Nintendo no longer holds these contests, so if you hadn't already gotten the medals for them you can now no longer obtain them. Thankfully, it's still possible to get all the records even without these medals.
The same, of course, goes for the microgames that won those contests. Even while they were running, you could only access the two most recent contest sets at a time to download their microgames. Now, you can't get any of them, unless you can get them from other players.
Because most of the online services for the Wii and DS (aside from the Wii Shop Channel and the like) have been shut down, the online-related medals can't be unlocked anymore, meaning that not all records can be unlocked on one save file. Fortunately, there's a way around this as well: because the records you obtain from medals are semi-randomized, you can obtain the ones you lack from a friend or relative. If all you care about are the music on the records and not having the full collection in your game under the built-in section, you could also copy the music from the records you could get into new records in the music maker, send said records to DIY Showcase, then restart your game and get new ones.
Marathon Level: Master Mode in the GameCube game consists of playing every microgame in a row.
Market-Based Title: The first game had the subtitle Mega Microgame$! in North America and Minigame Mania in PAL territories. The removal of the dollar sign makes sense as most countries other than Australia and New Zealand that use that title don't use dollars, in contrast to how both English-speaking North American countries do.
New Neighbours as the Plot Demands: So where were the characters who start appearing in Twisted, Touched or Smooth Moves back in the GBA original again, and how come all these ancient places never appeared on the maps of the game world before they became important to the plot?
No Fair Cheating: In D.I.Y. a stage and comic are unlocked each day you play until you have them all. You could set your clock forward a day at a time to unlock them. Your DS's clock can be set backward, but the game's clock will stay forward and won't move until the DS matches. Of course, setting your DS clock backward before starting your save file will let you avoid this.
One Game for the Price of Two: D.I.Y. and D.I.Y. Showcase. 100% Completion of the medals in D.I.Y. requires linking up with Showcase at least once, and Showcase includes games from several of the traditional characters that weren't in D.I.Y. itself. There's nothing special in Showcase that really requires D.I.Y. however, other than being able to play your own creations on the TV screen rather than just the built-in ones and other people's.
One-Hit-Point Wonder: In most microgames you play in every installment, you only get one shot to clear the goal. Screw up in any way, and it's a fail.
Otaku: 9-Volt and 18-Volt are hardcore fanboys of all things Nintendo.
Out of Focus: Dribble, Spitz, and Orbulon took the backseat in Touched as mere cameo appearances. They have since taken the spotlight back, but now Mike has suffered this and is currently Put on a Bus (Despite appearing in Smooth Moves).
Mike was used only for Mic based games, (Hence the name) which was exclusive to Touched. DIY couldn't use them because that would give the impression that the player could create Mic games. So unless we get a 3DS entry in the series, we shouldn't hold our breath.
Paper-Thin Disguise: In Mona's ending in Touched!!, rival pop singer Vanessa briefly tries to disguise herself as Mona. No one buys it.
Press X to Die: Each game usually comes with at least one microgame that tells you to do nothing. You only lose if you push a button.
One particularly irritating example is in Touched!, which involves a group of Gronks trying to cross a tightrope. Blowing into the microphone causes them to fall, ending the game in a loss. This minigame is incredibly infuriating when it catches you off guard, doubly so if you're playing it at a high speed, and TRIPLY so when you're playing with the DS's language set to a language you barely understand.
Background noise can cause failures in this game, and Twisted has a game with an egg that breaks if you turn the GBA, or if the car or bus you're sitting in takes a turn.
Quality Over Quantity: In the series, this is the contrast between Mona Pizza and Pizza Dinosaur. While in their shared theme song, Mona Pizza boasts about how great their pizzas are, Pizza Dinosaur only boasts about how they're everywhere, while acknowledging that their pizzas are terrible. In WarioWare: Twisted, Pizza Dinosaur has its business being taken away by Mona Pizza, driving them to use more aggressive measures of competition.
The series in general is about a small team of people cranking out games on a per-minute rate. Each game is about 4 to 8 seconds long, and hundreds of them pour out at a time. Wario has seen much success with this model, both in the stories for the games and in real life sales of the video games in this series. (So basically, this game is an aversion where quantity wins out.)
Recycled Soundtrack: WarioWare Mega Microgames uses a lot of Wario Land 4 music and sound effects for its cutscenes and mini game music. Most easily soon with the Crescent Moon Village theme used in the ending and the Curious Factory theme used during Paper Plane.
Rhythm Game: A few microgames task the player to time button presses to the beat. The game as a whole runs on a beat with a rising BPM. In most titles, regular microgames are 2 measures, and long ones are 4 measures.
Running Gag: Every official WarioWare installment has a game involving nosepicking, usually as one of Mona's games.
In DIY, the nose-picking minigame is also used as confirmation as to whether or not you wish to erase your data.
Noses in general, considering Wario's got the biggest one of them all.
Mona getting a new job every game.
Scare Chord: This plays in the background whenever 5-Volt passes by the window in Game & Wario.
D.I.Y.'s graphic editor is highly reminiscent of Mario Paint, and its music editor has many samples from the same. Some of the microgames also make references to it in the form of the man doing sit-ups and one in Touched! where the objective is to color in a picture.
The Mario Paint music Easter Egg in D.I.Y.(activated by renaming your microgame to "Mario Paint" and then opening the graphic editor) further drives the point home.
Jimmy P. in Smooth Moves bears an uncanny resemblance to Bobobo.
The Samurai from Rhythm Heaven Fever is in one of the fish-slicing microgames in Game&Wario (and as an added bonus, his microgame is rhythm-based), as well as the Wrestler and several other characters from Rhythm Heaven Fever make cameos. Most notably in the ending credits which at that point the player may not have even known they were in the game.
Starfish Language: According to the description of the alien "instrument" in D.I.Y., the sounds made by the instrument are how an alien talks. And if you haven't guessed, it sounds nothing like human speech.
Stylistic Suck: The graphics of the microgames often invoke this, though there's often just as many aversions.
Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Mona has been a gelato worker, a soda jerk, a pizza deliverer, a rock star, a cheer leader, a meat bun vendor, a temple explorer, and now a Criminal Photographer and Paparazzi.
Yonkoma: Basically, the kind of comics that you can create in D.I.Y.
You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Kat's is Pink, Ana's is bright red, and Jimmy's whole family has multi-colored hair/wigs. Jimmy actually has blue hair, Papa T has Yellow, Mama T also has pink, Jamie has Pink/Indigo/Red(Depending on where you look), and James has orange. Jimmy P from Smooth Moves has Yellow hair as well.