Sometimes there’s a real downside to writing about Wii games. Like I said in the headline, they defy any real or simple description. It’s hard to tell what exactly is going on sometimes. They can even be downright confusing. That’s definitely the case with Wario Ware: Smooth Moves.
Long, long ago, civilization was infested with these things called “form batons”, mystical objects that contained vast power and ostensibly controlled a race of tiny humanoids if the hieroglyphs are to be believed. Anyway, one day, Nintendo‘s biggest anti-hero and treasure hunter extraordinaire Wario was sitting in his chair at home, sucking down cake and donuts and suchlike when one of those tiny humanoids from the hieroglyphs abducts Wario’s snacks. Naturally, Wario can’t stand for such nonsense, and thus he chases after the tiny humanoid to recover his snacks. What he finds instead is one of the legendary form batons. Thus, Wario will join a whole cast of motley characters, including a dog and cat taxi driving team, two inveterate gamers, a cheerleader, an inventor and a witch with her pet demon familiar in a series of slice of life-style vignettes as they go about their lives.
You, meanwhile, will have to accomplish a series of tasks in rapid succession, accomplished by doing various things with your Wiimote. You’ll hold it like a waiter holding a tray, like a remote control, up in front of your nose like an elephant with its trunk, and on top of your head like a mohawk to do any of a number of things, including driving a car, picking up trash with a remote controlled robot, picking your nose, and scrubbing a cow’s ass. No, seriously. You’re going to do all that and even less savory tasks. Frankly, I was amazed enough to find myself working my Wiimote into a position where I could ram a finger up a polygonal nose on a polygonal face, but when I started running a scrub brush over a cow’s rump roast, well, that just did it for me. I had nothing to say.
The graphics are, of course, last generation weak, but the biggest problem with Wario Ware: Smooth Moves is also the biggest joy–the controls. Several times I found myself about to start a game and I was left totally unaware of what to actually DO. Oh, sure, I knew how to HOLD the Wiimote–they make that perfectly clear from the second you start a game–but I didn’t always know what to do from there. Did I swing to the left? The right? When do I pick up? And most unaccountably of all, why won’t the Wiimote acknowledge ANYTHING I do, no matter what direction I move? This didn’t happen often, but when it did, it really spoiled the game.
I have to admit that I enjoyed this game. I liked the rapid switching of games, and how at higher speeds it could be tough to keep up. There was some challenge involved here–it was no walkover. It took me two, even three times to get through some stages.
All things considered, this is definitely a game to get your hands on and wrap some smooth moves around.