Categories
Game Review

WarioWare: Get It Together (2021)

I have a special place in my heart for the WarioWare series, and I’m not sure of exactly why. I don’t like Wario as a character, and each game is extremely short. But there is something about them that keeps me coming back with each new announcement.The concept of playing hundreds of microgames one after the other, all with different objectives seems like a great deal.  WarioWare: Get It Together is the newest game in the ongoing series, and out for the Switch, and sadly the game just isn’t worth what they are asking for.

You can boil down a WarioWare game into a formula at this point; Wario is a game developer, and is making a new game. The game has some development issues and Wario and his friends need to fix them. To fix them they must complete microgames, and each friend has a select level they must clear. That’s really it, and pretty much every one of the WarioWare games are exactly like that… all 9-10 of them (Depending if you count Game & Wario on the Wii U as a WarioWare game).

It’s formulaic and has worn completely thin. Each game in the series is the exact same and just doesn’t feel special anymore. The game also is very shallow and seems like they don’t have a lot of care put into them any more. The animation resembles more of a flash game with limited movement; Voice Acting is relegated to mostly grunts, with a single spoken word or two for most of the characters (Which is just saying their own names like a pokemon), and again, the story just seems thrown together at the last second. 

Get It Together’s storyline this time around is that Wario is again making a new game, and the console he is playing the game on, gets inhabited by a Bug (A bug like a video game bug or glitch, not an insect). Wario becomes frustrated with the game not working right and tosses it into the wall like a kid throwing a fit. The console emits a series of flashing lights, and rumbles, and then proceeds to suck Wario, and all his friends who are around him into the game; very similar to the premise of Tron. While trying to find a way out, Wario and friends have to fix their own levels and clear out any programming bugs or glitches.

Each level has a theme and each theme is centered around the character who created the level in the in-game video game Wario is developing. 9-Volt for example, is a little kid obsessed with older Nintendo games, so his theme is video games, and all his levels have some sort of aethstetic with classic Nintendo video games. Ranging from the original Game Boy’s Super Mario Land to a Breath of the Wild microgame. And it makes me wish that 9-Volt was the main character, because his levels are always much more interesting than anything else in the game. 

The real gimmick this time is that when you are going through each level of microgames, you not only are controlling the character for that level, but a roster of friends you have unlocked as well. What is even odder is that you get to pick the characters you complete the microgames with as well, assembling a team of sorts. But there is a stipulation, the order of the roster of characters are chosen at random, and you’ll have no control or pick of which one you are able to use for the next microgame. Which in all honestly does keep you on your toes, and would make the game much slower if it did allow you to pick after each microgame. 

Each character does bring something different to the way you complete the micro game. Each character controls differently than the previous one, and has some sort of handicap in the glitched out console they are stuck in. Whether it is Mona who is riding a hovering moped and can’t stop, unless she flings her boomerang; which she’ll stop moving and then you take control of the boomerang until you come back to Mona. Or Spitz the dog, who is part of a team along with his pal Dribble, and they both are in little hovering taxis and Spits shoots right and Dribble only shoots left. But you are only able to use both characters if you are playing in multiplayer mode. 9-Volt rides a skateboard that can’t stop and only moves side to side, and only can shoot out a yo-yo that fires vertically only. It’s a strange choice to limit character movements so much, but does make you think a bit more carefully when choosing a loadout of characters for the level you are playing though. 

The Story mode is short, only around an hour and a half to two hours long, and spends most of that time in cutscenes introducing the characters. All of whom have been in previous games. People like Jimmy, or Ashley, or Mona, or 9-Volt. The cutscenes are nothing special and don’t offer anything interesting other than to setup the theme of the level, which is unbelievably vaguely tying the character to the theme. Ashley is sitting down to eat and is attacked by some ghosts… so her theme is food. It just all is so thinly put together that any character can change themes with another character and it would make sense. 

The Multiplayer mode seems like it was tacked on, or at least not part of the consideration of the single player story mode until the very end and was shoehorned in to appease some marketing team. I’ll never get into Multiplayer modes, so I didn’t even touch it, and even if I did, I honestly don’t see the fun in a bunch of microgames with another person. It creates just too much chaos in such a short amount of time. Plus the micro games are never that hard to begin with and the only time the game does feel difficult is when you get into the infinite levels where the game speeds up and things on the screen go so fast that it’s just hard to keep your bearings and figure out what you need to accomplish within just a few seconds for each game. 

WarioWare is just a fun time waster series, and not really much more at this point, and with the trickling of games that have come out this year, this is easily one of the more interesting ones to come out so I felt like I had to play it…. Couple that, with the fact that the game came out on my birthday, and very few games ever do that, so I felt like it was my duty to play something new on my birthday. 

I don’t want to be down on the series, but at this point, asking $50 for what essentially is just another WarioWare game isn’t right. Chop this down to $30 and I’d probably be more lenient on value being put out, but that’s not the real issue. The real issue is that the game is just nothing new, and hasn’t been for years. The game offers very little in production value, with what equates to around 10 minutes of cutscenes that show very little animation and voice acting. The credit sequence for the game has more production value in it, than the actual game, and it’s just a goofy ending credits for characters in the game. 

My hope for the future of the series is that WarioWare gets a full overhaul. Remove all the friends, remove the story of Wario being a game developer and rethink what Microgames are and how they should be presented. The series is suffering from the same Nintendo formula fatigue that plagued the Zelda 3D games for so long; until Breath of the Wild showed up and completely changed the series. WarioWare needs the same treatment at this point. 10 games all barely different other than the console that it was put out on is not a good look, and the last game should have been the final nail in that coffin. With WarioWare Gold, it literally was just a rehash of previous games all in one full game, like a Best Of for the whole series, and that was on the 3DS. This newest one should have been something different… but it sadly wasn’t and it feels lazy, like the game was barely given much thought or care. I really hope the next WarioWare is something completely different, because if they keep up with the same old formula for the next game in a few years, I won’t be playing it… because I already have 9 other times before.