Mawaru Made in Wario Import Impressions

Wario's back on the scene with another moneymaking scheme.

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The follow-up to last year's insane--and insanely awesome--Game Boy Advance panic action game WarioWare Inc.: Mega MicroGame$ has just hit store shelves in Japan. Rather than simply taking the easy way out by creating a handful of new, little games to make you crazy, Mawaru Made in Wario takes an entirely different approach. The GBA cartridge has a built-in rotation sensor, and most of the 200 or so games found on it require you to turn and tilt your GBA to make things happen on the screen. Needless to say, this adds another layer of crazy to an already wild concept.

Like the first WarioWare game, Mawaru is broken up into multiple stages, each with a colorful character attached to it. The posse from the first game returns, but it's thrown into new scenarios. The taxi drivers, Dribble and Spitz, end up with a broken-down taxi cab, so you'll have to play through a bunch of minigames to watch them fix it. Additionally, Dr. Crygor's got some sort of wild washing machine contraption, Mona's pizza delivery business has some evil competition, and 9 Volt's joined by a new buddy named 18 Volt.

The game's story mode ramps up in difficulty pretty nicely. You start out playing games where only the tilt sensor is used. After a few rounds of that, you'll encounter a mode where only the A button is used. From there on, though, you'll run into games that feature both input methods, which is where Mawaru really starts to get tough. Along the way, you'll also unlock other games and some neat little trinkets to play with, such as a record player that will let you listen to the game's soundtrack. You can hit A to just listen to its sounds, if you like, or you can spin the GBA to make the record play at different speeds.

The games themselves represent the same brand of ridiculousness that you'd expect from a WarioWare game. One has you attempting to maneuver a piece of fruit from a man's mouth, through his digestive system (much like in an old aspirin commercial), and--ugh--out the other end. You'll use the game's rotation feature to control a basketball player's arm while he tries to slam-dunk the ball at just the right moment. You'll encounter some new takes on NES classics that are, for lack of a better term, "fully bananas." Each section also has a boss stage, and in one, you'll be firing fingers at nostrils like a maniac. Basically, you'll have to rotate the GBA so much that you might just want to play the game standing up or sitting in a rotating office chair. Otherwise you might have to spin the GBA all the way around in your hands, which isn't that easy if you're playing on an SP.

Graphically, Mawaru is a step up for the WarioWare series. The wrappers around the games are bright and fresh-looking; the story sequences are colorful and interesting; and the games, in many cases, look better than the previous WarioWare entries. Luckily, though, the same wild sense of style has been kept in Mawaru. Finally, the sound makes a really terrific first impression as well.

Perhaps the only disappointing thing about Mawaru Made in Wario is that it has yet to be confirmed for a US release. However, that's something we expect will change before too long, so look for more on this neat-looking game in the future.

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