By now you?re probably wondering why I?m not talking about the mini-games yet. Don?t worry! Here I go: they are, almost without exception, spectacularly good fun.
The 9-volt episode I mentioned earlier (which appears halfway through the unlocking procedure) is a highlight of the show. It?s a really well crafted homage to Nintendo?s glorious past (not that its future isn?t looking glorious right now) which features, among other things: Animal Crossing
fishing (use the Wii Remote as a rod, of course), Metroid Prime
Samus rolling (which apes Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz?s
control, to steer Samus through a section of Prime
), and Wind Waker
parasailing (Link does Pilotwings
). Other games directly referenced include Mario Sunshine
, Ocarina of Time
, and Super Mario Bros
It?s a Nintendo fan?s wet dream, and the payoff is that Starwing
boss battle sequence. It seems that all the games in this episode have been built by using the originals as templates, but only a few borrow from the originals? actual game engines. Still, they all look fantastic and play beautifully.
I?ve played many great mini-games across the many episodes available, but if you think I?m going to describe all 200-odd of them, think again. Let?s settle for this: there are only a few duds (most notably one basic game in which you have to guide a hole beneath two sprite characters so that they fall in, but the Wii Remote tends to get stuck after you?ve felled the first sprite) and the rest are ingenious.
Some of my favourite Smooth Moves?
mini-games include: answering the phone (pick up the Wii Remote in time, after placing it on a flat surface, and you?ll get a message from a Japanese chick), shaving a stubbly face, and flying a paper aeroplane through a canyon. Even better, though, are the boss stages that close each episode, and in particular the Space Channel 5
-style dance-off that ends the Baby Wario scene. Holding the controller as advised on-screen, mimicking the fourth in a quartet of luminescent Spandexed dancers, you have to dance in time with the rest of the band. It?s so good that I didn?t want it to end, and I got all excited about the (speculative) prospect of a Wii-based sequel to SC5
Once multiplayer was unlocked, I had the pleasant surprise of finding that it caters for as many as twelve players. Although in most modes (such as Survival, Balloon and Life Race) where the main map?s mini-games are played out in turn, Smooth Moves
inexplicably forces you to pass one Wii Remote around.
In big parties, that does sort of add to the mayhem but it?s also an unnecessary demand. In spite of that, multiplayer is still a great laugh. There are also mini-games that use the Nunchuk controller, which are unlocked once Smooth Moves?
main attractions have all been seen. The Nunchuk can also be used in special two-player games (such as a hurdle race and a spaceship flight sprint). There really is something for everyone tucked away somewhere in WarioWare: Smooth Moves
. And for that, I love it to bits.
SPOnG rating: A
How much you get out of Smooth Moves depends a lot on your expectations. If you?re hoping for any kind of sustained single-player challenge, you?ll be disappointed. But if you?re looking for a beautifully presented collection of ingenious mini-games and a multiplayer party game that offers something completely different from Wii Sports, Wario has your ticket.[/i]