Developer: Nintendo / INTELLIGENT SYSTEMS
Release Date: 3 August 2018 (US) / 27 July 2018 (EU)
Price: $39.99 / £34.99
Reviewed by Gary Gray
We all know Wario as a rude, crude, money-hungry lovable villain, and as usual he's returned looking to make big bucks in the newest 3DS title WarioWare Gold - a collection of micro games forming a quick response, fast thinking, reflex testing array that anyone can pick up and play.
From the series' humble roots to the off-beat quirky tilt and touch controls, WarioWare Gold combines mini games and play styles from the history of the franchise mixing them together into a neat new package with brand new games thrown in.
Newcomers and veterans of the the series will feel right at home, as it gently breaks you into the mechanics over the short-lived 2 hour story mode, before opening the gates to a variety of challenge modes, missions and unlockables.
Yes there's a story mode, and yes it's very, very short. For the first time in the series Wario and his collection of oddball and quirky characters are fully voice acted, and while it's a little strange at first, it's not long before you're giggling away at the cheesy and humorous dialogue. As for the story itself, it's not very engaging, nor did I ever feel it really needed to be. Just like the microgames themselves it's short and snappy, and gives the characters a lot more life and personality than they've ever had before. It's a welcome touch that's quite refreshing for the series.
The microgames themselves will be very familiar to anyone who's played a WarioWare game before. From the ever-present nose picking to skateboarding and dodging arrows, a lot of the games are taken from previous titles. However, this time they're divided up by the way that they're played. From normal controls called 'mash' to twist and touch, dividing them up by control type works well. That said, some challenges only give you a second before telling you what style you're going to be playing, meaning you're scrambling to get your thumbs into position and thus weren't quite as enjoyable.
The games themselves are divided further into genres such as 'That's life', featuring games such as teeth brushing and shopping, the self explanatory 'Sports' and my personal favourite 'Nintendo', covering Nintendo games through the ages including a few that are remixed into new styles.
So the story's short but there's still plenty more to WarioWare Gold as it features lots of unlockables. These are obtained from a capsule machine that uses currency you earn as you play. Special mini games, items from Nintendo history and cool one offs - such as Wario painting amiibo that you scan - are all real treats, although some are pure clutter.
WarioWare Gold is a welcome return to form for Wario and friends with a nice buff of polish. Although the story mode is fun and brings new elements to the series, it's laughably short. Luckily though all the other modes and unlockables ensure the game is jam packed with content. I had a blast playing the micro games in their collections, and really enjoyed the extra unlock-able Nintendo stuff and additional mini games. Single-cart multiplayer modes and more original mini games would've made WarioWare Gold a must buy, but there's still enough here to make it a great package.
Pros & Cons
+ Fast, Frantic, Fun
+ Voice acted animations
- Lack of multiplayer
- Mixed control modes
- Short story