I’d like to give a special thanks to Nintendo of America for sending us this game to review.
Wario and his friends are finally back in the Microgames business, this time on the Nintendo 3DS with WarioWare Gold. Featuring over 300 microgames, this is the bulkiest game in the series yet. Is Wario’s newest adventure one to invest in, or should Wario stay broke this time around? Let’s find out in this review.
The story mode to WarioWare Gold starts with Wario treasure hunting, then upon returning home, remembering he’s so broke that he can’t even enjoy a simple “pizza time.” Luckily, a commercial for the “Smash Hit Video Game Super Pyoro” comes on, giving Wario the perfect idea…a video game tournament in a ton of microgames.
This little premise to the game, allowing for various sections of microgame themes and types run by different characters, keeps everything fun and interesting for the player. The story and each of its characters are pleasant aspects of the game, though it’s the fully voice-acted story cutscenes that make its presence more entertaining.
Like previous entries in the series, the main goal of WarioWare Gold is to clear as many microgames as you can without failing too many times. The game speeds up as microgames are cleared in succession, making the experience more and more fast-paced. Regardless of the game mode, be it story or one of the various challenges, the microgames are typically divided into three types: mash, where players use the buttons, twist, where players tilt the console to control the microgame, and touch, where players touch the screen to interact. Some sections add to the challenge by giving players a mix of microgames, changing types each round, adding to the fast-paced hectic activity. Every microgame is simple enough for players to quickly understand both the goal and controls to meet it. Some challenges feature a “no hint” mode while mixing up the microgames, further making the player scramble in a frenzy to complete the microgame while trying to figure out their controls, though knowing the various microgames definitely helps. There is a small additional type of microgame, blow, which utilizes the console’s built-in mic, but there are only a few of these so they typically are not given their own section.
Upon completing the story mode, players can jump back in and play any specific characters’ set of microgames, or jump into the expansive challenge mode. This mode actually brings back several games from previous entries in the series, such as Sneaky Gamer from Game & Wario and WarioWatch from WarioWare: Twisted. Many of the other games in Challenge Mode give the player more to focus on than just the microgames. For example, in Sneaky Gamer, my personal favorite mode in the game, while the player focuses on completing as many masher microgames as they can, they also have to make sure that 5-Volt doesn’t catch 9-Volt playing video games past his bedtime. It’s a fun level of multitasking that keeps the player focused on everything going on, while testing their reflexes.
When it comes to playing the microgames as a whole, I actually find them a lot of fun! There’s a great variety, and the various modes breaking up the three types helps depending on how intense I want to play at the current time. In addition, the different challenge modes help shake up the gameplay to make it more than simply playing a ton of microgames. I personally really love Sneaky Gamer, as it’s definitely the challenge mode game that I’ve put the most amount of time into. The tension and stressful nature of avoiding getting caught playing games is both silly and fun, while the horror theme just pushes it further and keeps it entertaining, seeing all the different ways 5-Volt can spot you. With over 300 microgames packed into this title, I’m happy to say that there’s very few if any, that I dislike. Every single one, even ones that may have felt a little confusing initially, is entertaining and themed nicely.
There’s a certain charm to the simplicity in most of the visuals in WarioWare Gold. The character designs are incredibly charming, as expected from Ko Takeuchi. So much of the visuals in the microgames are either just the perfect amount of simplistic charm, or completely going to extra levels that just makes them look and feel special, such as the Mario Sunshine tilt microgame.
Beyond its visuals, the audio in the game is actually rather strong. Having every cutscene in the game completely voice acted was completely unexpected, but it just works so well. All the various voice clips and sound effects that play during the different microgames, and even the in-between-games segments really helped keep me immersed, as I found myself having a lot more trouble when I had to play without sound for a short time. The rhythmic motions of the characters and backgrounds helped to keep a certain pace when focused.
Aside from the microgames, WarioWare Gold also featured some fun extras in the arcade section, such as the silly amiibo painter and the ability to play some microgames on an in-game model of the Nintendo 3DS. Each of these added to the silly charm, keeping me interested in checking them all out, especially as I continued to earn enough coins to unlock more and more of these various collectibles. Additionally, the game features a list of missions, so players looking to play with some extra goals in mind can certainly use that to drive them through their gameplay experience.
WarioWare Gold definitely surprised most people when it was announced, as, after Game & Wario, most assumed the series would end. While I was happy to see this game come around, at the time, I really had no experience with the WarioWare series. Upon getting to play WarioWare Gold, however, I’ve been having trouble just putting this game down! Its format and various game modes make it very easy to jump right into even if only for a couple of minutes. I see myself picking this up fairly often, whether it’s to set a new record, complete some challenges or missions, gain new collectibles, or just dive into some microgames. Overall, the game is very well polished and stuffed with a ton of content, far more than I was expecting it to have. I have very much enjoyed my time with WarioWare Gold, going as far as to say that this has quickly become one of my favorites games on the 3DS. If you’re looking for something fun that’s easy to jump into and filled with lots of charm, this is definitely one to check out.
I feel confident in giving this game 5/5 stars.