The latest addition to the WarioWare franchise is not only highly original, it is perhaps the best Wii game so far.

User Rating: 9 | WarioWare: Smooth Moves WII
There have been a ton of WarioWare games so far, and it is in WarioWare: Smooth Moves that Nintendo have really delivered their most exciting micro-game collection ever. With each previous outing in this outrageous franchise, we have used the latest technology on each platform to give the micro-games a unique feel depending on the version we're playing. With WarioWare on the DS, the use of the stylus and the ability to speak (or even blow!) into the microphone gave the series a new "unique" feel. This time around, the Wii remote is our tool and it is literally used in every single way imaginable - and best of all, it all adds up for a very special and very entertaining experience.


The gameplay is very simple, but if it was complicated it wouldn't work. Those familar with the WarioWare series know that with each stage, you are plunged into a variety of fast mini-games (the term "micro-game" has been coined to describe a game of this sort). Each game lasts about 5 seconds, and the aim is to complete a small task before the time runs out in order to move onto another game. Once the right number of micro-games have been passed, a "boss stage" (which is actually about the length of a normal mini-game that most would be used too) emerges and if completed, the stage is done.

The game is not very complex, but I think a huge plot-orientated tale to serve alongside the micro-games would just bog down the gameplay, so instead we are given a load of characters and they set the "themes" to playing each stage. It works well.

The Wii remote is recognised as an actual item within the game, named the "Form Baton". Wario finds it in an ancient temple and that's it really - the game sees you using the Wii remote in various positions (you might have to hold it like a remote, a broom, an umbrella, on your head or you might even have to put it down all-together and answer it like a phone!). Each micro-game tells you how you should hold the baton a few seconds before it starts, and you could be using the remote as an elephant's trunk to pick an apple from a tree, or you may have to a guide Link (from Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series) to safety with a parachute by directing him with the remote on top of your head.

As the number of micro-games you pass increases, so does the speed. Before long the game is going crazy and you are changing form poses by the second - it's extremely fun to play and extremely fun to watch, as well. It's actually a formula that is very hard to get bored of, as each time you play you're getting a new experience (over 200 micro-games, after all)! The multiplayer is great, too - four friends and one remote is a full-proof recipe for fun.


Though the graphics in are not stunning in a typical sense, for this type of game, the amount of design and artwork that has gone into each and every micro-game (and that's 200, remember). Each little game has its own distinct look, whether it's 8-bit graphics representing some sort of NES classic, to the fully 3-D volleyball depicted in a beautiful noir/shadow black and white. As you change pace so quickly, it is sometimes frustrating that you can't stick around long enough to admire how much work has gone into making every micro-game its own... and it's always great to see Link and Samus in their glorious Gamecube colors after a ton of 2-D stages.


I'm going to bet that the sound in this game is going to be a very unrated section to what is already an excellent Wii title. Since the games move too fast, the music may be missed (just like I mentioned above in the graphics review). Each stage has its own funky tune, be it rock and roll, drum 'n' bass or a disco classic that'll be stuck in your head for days. As a new micro-game is presented, the stage theme stops and the new micro-game melody - and there's a different one for each stage, mind - flows into it perfectly. When you complete the micro-game, the tune perfectly flows once again with the stage music without any sense of things slowing down. It's great! Some of games include famous Nintendo theme tunes (I've heard Zelda, Metroid, Mario, Yoshi's Island so far).


If there's one thing that stops this game from reaching the highest score in my opinion, it's that there's not really a lot here to keep you busy. By this, I don't mean you're going to get bored quickly - you'll be playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves for months, I promise. What I mean is more to do with the length of the main game (I completed it in about an hour) and after that, it just means you playing the micro-games under a variety of different settings. Of course, Nintendo have given you a load of other stuff to occupy yourself with. Games like Can Shooting, Darts and the multiplayer challenges are great fun, but I get a real sense that we needed something a bit chunkier to do... even if it meant adding in a completely new feature. Still, one cannot argue - there's loads here if you're looking for a mini-game madness and a lifelong companion to make your sleepovers the most entertaining.


On the whole, WarioWare: Smooth Moves cannot really be faulted. For what it is - essentially a micro-game package - it delivers everything one would expect from both this type of game and pre-existing WarioWare titles. It's entertaining, funny, fast-paced, beautifully original, and, with the possible exception of The Legend of Zelda: The Twilight Princess, it is the Wii's best title so far.