WarioWare D.I.Y Showcase Review
When the Wii and the DS were first talked about one of the big features of the two systems would be the interactivity of the two systems using their included Wi-Fi capabilities. That hasn’t seen a whole lot of use since it was first talked about, but Nintendo opted to do just that with their latest release of WarioWare D.I.Y. The two games came out within a day of each other with the DS version being a full retail release and the Wii version being a downloadable game on their WiiWare service. WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase is not so much a full game in itself as it is an extension of the handheld game.
Lots of Stuff to Do
That’s not to say, though, that the downloadable game can’t be played by itself. It absolutely can. For 800 Wii Points you get 72 exclusive mini-games and all the online functionality of the DS game. Where the DS version has its cast of characters, so too does the Wii version. This game includes characters like Wario (disguised as the super hero, WarioMan), Dribble & Spitz, Kat & Ana (my personal favorites), and 18 Volt, the larger counterpart to the DS’s 9-volt. You cannot create your own mini-games, but that’s not really what this game is about. It’s about showing off the games you’ve created on the DS and being able to put them up on a screen for everyone to see. In addition to the games included Showcase also has its own exclusive four panel comics and music that you can listen to and trade to your DS to take on the go. The inclusion of an 8-bit version of the Mona Pizza song brought a smile to my face immediately upon hearing it. You also have the ability to play around with the music in a mini game that’s styled off of the Balloon Fight game from the NES. You can control the character and collect the notes in order, or out of order if you wish, and as fast or slow as you want to put the song together in a completely different way.
I would say that the WiiWare version of this game is more user friendly than the DS game is. It does away with the unwieldy friend code system. Instead it accesses your friends list and anyone that has a WarioWare D.I.Y. save file is automatically included on your friends list in the game. You still have access to the distribution center to download all the exclusive “celebrity” games as well as the games that are based on the themes they have presented there. Another interesting feature is the ability to fill out a survey based on the game you access from your friends. If you’re looking to connect it to a DS you simply turn on the Distribution Center in both games and they will find each other and games, music and comics can be traded freely between the two systems. It’s very seamless and very easy to do, though trying to do it yourself is a bit unwieldy.
Make it a Party
WarioWare D.I.Y. for Wii includes a mode that can be unlocked known as Mix All: Versus. In this mode you and up to three friends can compete in all of the included games where the last person standing wins. In this mode the screen is broken up into four parts and each person plays the mini-games in the section of the screen they’ve chosen. You also can either play the mini-game correctly or try to screw up your opponents. It makes it a very interesting risk-reward system that can end up back firing on you if you’re not careful. It’s a fun mode where you can play until you’ve lost a game four times and brings the party that I didn’t really find in the portable version back to WarioWare.
In order to make the game’s compatible with each other the only gestures available are tapping, or in this case point and click. The previous Wii installment of the franchise, WarioWare Smooth Moves, really showed off a lot of the different movement types that the Wii Remote was capable of. It feels like a bit of a step backwards compared to the previous version, but like I said in the DS review they do a good job of making you feel like you’re doing different things. I can still see how some people might find this style of game play a bit repetitive and ultimately boring.
Visuals Are a Bit of a Mixed Bag
WarioWare on Wii has been a bit of an interesting ride visually. The different “cut scenes” and animations outside of the game look amazing. They have a very colorful, hand drawn, animated feel. On the other side of that coin, though, the micro-games themselves look a bit dated. Part of this comes from the fact that the games have to be able to travel between the two systems and the DS just can’t handle the Wii’s graphical “power”. It’s a bit jarring going back and forth between the beautiful animations of the story and the pixilated, slightly stretched look of the games.
WarioWare D.I.Y. Showcase is a really good package by itself. There are a lot of things to do and the ability to continually download new games will keep the content fresh for a while to come. It keeps the charm and fun that the WarioWare series has always had and even if you don’t have the DS game you’ll find yourself coming back to it often. The game really shines, though, when you have to ability to connect it with the DS game, upload all your favorite portable content and any games you’ve created and can share them with your friends. Together the package is brilliant and I would have no qualms saying to pick them up. Not having the ability to create your own games might be a bit of a disappointment to some, but there are plenty of avenues to make this a non-issue. Do not pass up the opportunity to own one of the most creative games Nintendo has released in a long time.
Final Score: 4/5 Above Average
Review copy of the game provided by GolinHarris. (Nintendo PR)
Played all 72 included mini-games, downloaded all mini-games available at the time of the review. Tested out the functionality between the Wii and DS games.
Total Play Time: 4 hours