WarioWare DS Hands-On

Wario returns with more minigame craziness on the Nintendo DS.

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SEATTLE--It was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Nintendo would be bringing a WarioWare game to the Nintendo DS following the appearance of the tech demo that starred Mario's surly twin at this year's E3. As a result, it was no surprise to see a DS version of the awesome series, which has spawned GBA and GC incarnations, appear in playable form at Nintendo's Gamer's Summit. As fans of the series with painfully short attention spans, we were understandably stoked to try out the latest game in the series.

Nintendo's development team has wisely kept things simple with WarioWare's DS debut and has maintained the format of the previous games. The DS game on display uses the elevator motif seen in the GameCube version and flings the minigames at you with all the subtly of a fully automatic Uzi. The minigames we played were a mix of familiar games we've seen before, but they were given a stylus-centric twist on the DS. In a few cases, we found ourselves timing a stylus tap on the A or B button on an image of an original GBA with one of the original minigames playing on it. In addition to old classics, there are quite a few new games on hand that simply required you to swipe your stylus on the touch screen to cut rope and fruit or to push buttons, among other fast-paced tasks.

The graphic style of the game is on par with the GameCube offering and features an eclectic mix of cartoony and photorealistic imagery that comes at a hurricane's pace. There's nothing to tax the DS hardware here, but there's plenty to give the game its own quirky style. The game's performance actually seems a little faster than the previous versions, which certainly kept us on our toes. The audio in the game follows suit with the visuals and serves up a bizarre collection of sound effects and tunes that somehow manages to offer a perfect accompaniment to the insanity.

WarioWare DS is shaping up to be an excellent entry in the slightly mad series from Nintendo. The fast-paced gameplay, loopy visuals, and crazy audio all add up to what will surely be a must-have game for the DS. For more updates on the Nintendo DS and other impressions and media, check out GameSpot's coverage of Nintendo's Gamer's Summit.

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