WarioWare: Smooth Moves is one of those games that seems strange on paper. After five minutes of playing, however, Beck and I were hooked. The game is nothing more than a bunch of microgames intertwined with storylines of forgettable characters. The thing that makes Smooth Moves so great is how the microgames take advantage of the Wii Remote. [Editor’s Note: As much as I like the term Wiimote, it is not the official name for the Wii Remote, and therefore, will not be used in this review.] As you progress from stage to stage, a narrator introduces different forms, which are nothing more than ways to hold the Wii Remote (which is known as the Form Baton in the game).
Each form has a name that correlates to a (usually amusing) real-world equivalent of that grip would be. The first form is the Remote Control in which the player holds the Wii Remote like a TV remote with the body of the remote parallel to the ground and the tip facing toward the TV screen. The forms are (in no particular order):
- remote control
- thumb wrestler
- morter and pestle
- sketch artist
- big cheese
- finger food
- diner (A, B, and C)
While engaging in many of the positions, you have a tendency to feel very stupid, however, no one who plays in immune to this, so the stupidity is evenly distributed.
At the beginning of each microgame, you are shown the form you are supposed to use to accomplish the task at hand. Then, a word flashes on the screen to clue you in on what you should do. (Examples are spray, sharpen, collect, and defend.) The game suddenly appears, and you have 3-5 seconds to figure out the right thing to do. Some of the tasks are apparent while others take a few tries and some thinking to figure out what to do. To give you an idea, on one microgame, you’re given the thumbwrestler form and the word spray. You are then presented with hand on top of a champagne bottle. Putting all three things together, you immediately start shaking the Wii Remote as you would a bottle of champagne you are trying to foam up. Then you see a group of ball players and you shake the remote to pop cork and spray them. When you have tried a task a few times with no success and finally figure out what to do, the feeling of satisfaction is great, maybe because of the instant gratification that the microgames provide.
The graphics are stunning. When I was a kid, I dreamed of games that looked like cartoons. With Smooth Moves, this dream was realized. [Editor’s Note: I’m not a huge gamer, so I’m sure some other game achieved this look first. Smooth Moves is merely the first I’ve seen.] Sure the Wii isn’t high-def, but high-def isn’t everything when you get crisply rendered cartoons that look like they’re straight out of Illustrator.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves is definitely a great game. My only complaint is that the loose storylines add nothing to the game and simply serve to slow down the fast-paced gameplay. Otherwise, I would recommend this game to anyone.