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Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Party Game$!

Written : 04/12/04

Not all games can last forever. At least, not in the physical sense. Even though they can last as long as you keep them in good condition, eventually theyíre doomed to become old and not quite so awesome anymore. Even superb titles like Chrono Trigger and Punch-Out!! will fall victim to time and get lost in the realm of old games you never play anymore. Sure, you might pick them up every couple months, but you probably wonít play them for very long. Thatís just how it is. And of course, this applies to pretty much everything, not just games.

Sometimes, if theyíre lucky, theyíll get a second wind and you might become totally obsessed with it again, but that just doesnít cut the cake. They will get tossed aside for newer titles. Itís one of those facts of life. There are some exceptions to the rule though. Sometimes there is one game (or series of games) that you can play indefinitely and never tire of. These titles change from person to person, and usually are that personís favorite game ever. For example, I can play through any side-scrolling MegaMan game anytime and never get bored of it. Iíve played through MegaMan X a number of times that probably exceeds 30.

And then thereís the more common factor in replayability; multiplayer. When a game has the capability to let two or more people enjoy it together, it certainly seems to last a lot longer. Of course, this has to be pulled off pretty well, because a bad multiplayer mode wonít make the game any better. But if it is fun for all to play, youíll probably be playing that game for years to come. Some of the best examples I can think of are Perfect Dark, BomberMan Generation(Or any B-Man game for that matter) and Super Smash Bros./Melee. These all have excellent multiplayer modes, and I still play them with various people who live in my house. And todayís review just happens to be about one of the best new party games to come out in a while, Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Party Game$.

Last summer Nintendo gave us one hell of a messed up game, Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Microgames for the GameBoy Advance. It is by far the most original game to come out in a very long time. By now, youíve probably read my review of that one, and if you have, you know that I loved it. And since I didnít buy that one, I thought that I ought to give the GCN version a rent at least when it appeared. So I did, and though I didnít get to play it very much due to a busy-as-hell weekend, I liked what I saw. This, my friends and not-so-friends, is one great freaking party game.

While the game is a whole lot different than the GBA version, mega Party Game$ is also a whole lot the same. The single player mode is more or less the exact same as the GBA version, only without the mini-games and a slightly different layout. And the biggest part: all of the mini-games from the GBA game are here. No more, no less. Some might feel cheated, but if you think about it one way, they touched on pretty much everything. A good chunk of the games are just tapping the A button over and over. So since the Single Player game has for the most part been covered already, this review will be based solely on the Multiplayer part of the game.

Yes, the multiplayer part of this game is where it really shines through. Though I do love the single player mode for what it is, and it does last a while, this is just one of those games that you know is going to be hella fun when you play with others. Not to say the single player mode is no good. As Iíve already said at least twice, I adore this game. Itís just one of those things you can pick up every once in a while, think youíre only going to play for a bit, and then get sucked in for an hour or so. Like pretty much any strategy game. You just canít play a quick battle in Final Fantasy Tactics.

Back on topic, this is the multiplayer building. As you can see, there are many different doors to choose from; nine in total. Theyíre all very different games, although they are based mostly on taking turns playing microgames. Every game has some sort of gimmick to it, be it trying to play games while enemies get in your way, following a doctorís orders, using teamwork, and even switching off a single controller. At first, there is only one door open; the bottom middle door. Once youíve played that game, more unlock, and so forth. Itís a very simple, yet somewhat unnecessary concept.

Every multiplayer game has to have multiple characters to choose from. Well, the good ones anyway. Even if they donít have any distinguishable advantages like in Mario Party, itís always more fun to be able to choose your favorite character. Mega Party Game$ gives you ten characters to choose from, all available from the start. Only in one game will your choice matter at all, so theyíre all even in the end. And for the most part you donít really get to control them directly, so theyíre really more basic avatars than actual characters. But Iím still always Wario.

Our first game, hosted by the ultra-hip Jimmy, is Microgame Fever, or something similar to that. Itís the first game you can play, and itís also the most basic of the character games. This is a survival game where you play microgames either in turns or at the same time, and hope not to lose. You start with three chances, and when theyíre all gone, youíre out. Most of the microgames are pretty easy to win if you know what youíre doing, so this one speeds up pretty fast. While itís not exactly the most gimmicky game, it offers the best direct competition, and itís the game Iíve played the most.

Warioís game isnít a whole lot more complicated. Get Off My Screen! is another direct microgame competition, but there are some changes. Now before I list them, Iíd like to get something out of the way. I took the game back before I wrote this, so the names of the games might be a bit off. There. Now I feel better. So anyhow, Instead of randomly taking turns, each player has to run a ďgauntletĒ of 15 microgames. Whoever wins the most wins the game. Itís once again a very simple concept, but there is one catch to this one.

While youíre playing, the other players get to walk all over your screen and get in your way. This is a good time to be a large character like Wario, as you take up more of the screen, though it seems that the smaller characters leave shadow trails to make up for their size. While youíre blocking the screen, you can even jump to shake it a bit, and do a victory pose and grow a bit bigger for a second. And as if that doesnít get in the way, the instruction booklet gives you ideas of things to do to distract your opponents, like ďScreaming very loudlyĒ and ďUnplug their controller when theyíre not lookingĒ. Evil.

Next up in 9-Voltís game, Card E-Cards. You know, because heís such a Nintendo freak. This one is very complicated and I always lose. I donít know how, but I do. Basically, there are two piles of microgame cards. Each player picks one, and it goes into the pile. When someone gets an E-Reader Card, all the microgame cards are scanned, and if you win them all, you get them all. But if you lose even one, you lose all of those cards plus any youíd previously acquired. This makes it very hard to end with any cards at all, because the pile usually ends up being six or seven games thick, and they speed up very fast.

While your friends are playing, you can walk around the ďboardĒ. If theyíve managed to collect any cards, you can try to steal them. And itís not so great, because stealing can take a long time to do, and since the microgames last less than five seconds each, you probably wonít have enough time to get away with anything. Itís a nice touch if you happen to be behind by one, but overall it doesnít help very much, if at all. At the end of the game, all the discarded cards can be won in a final game, but in most case, that just makes the game end with one player having all the cards, because theyíre so freaking easy to lose.

This one here is Balloon Bang, supplied by Dr. Crygor. Itís another shockingly simple game, but can get very tense when it comes down to the wire. Each player takes turns playing microgames. They play until they win, and then it switches to the next player. All the while, a balloon on top of the TV set is getting bigger and bigger. The player next in line gets the added bonus of getting to help pump the balloon with the conveniently placed air pump. So it stands to reason that eventually that balloon is going to get too full and pop. While it does have quit a bit of stamina, its fate does lie in many rubbery pieces. And when it goes, it takes whoeverís playing microgames at the time with it. Not an exceptionally great game, but itís better than the E-Card game.

What is this? Running away from a giant space bunny? No! Itís the ninja twins Kat and Anaís Wobbly Bobbly game! I love this game. Itís the only one I can think of with four-player microgames. And let me tell you, those are by far the best ones. Like one game, Catch the Money, has a dollar floating downward and each player has to bounce around to try to get it. Pure awesomeness. I love it so much. Another one has you playing as these little guys trying to get away from a girl with a drippy nose. If you get snotted, youíre out (or in, if you willÖ), and if it hits nothing, it breaks the floor, making for less room to run around. These four-player games alone are worth playing for.

But thatís not the whole thing! Whoever wins gets to play a standard microgame. Win it, and all the other players get a turtle added to their stacks. Lose, and you get a turtle. After the turtles are doled out, you have to keep your balance as the turtles wobble back and forth. Needless to say, more turtles equals more wobbling. So you want to win as many games as you possibly can, or make your enemies lose. If you do fall, you get turned into a turtle, and you can still play the microgames and try to bump off whoever you might not like. Like I said, I love this game. Itís just so very fun. So. Very. Fun.

Dribble and Spitz have the worst game of all. Itís boring and takes far too long to play. The way it goes is you shoot asteroids. Asteroids have numbers, win microgames to shoot more times. Plays like a complicated Othello. The Mario Party 5 version of this game is a lot better. Maybe because itís a real competition instead of taking turns. At any rate, at the end you play one last microgame, with any opposing playersí asteroids in your way. If you lose, you lose the whole game. Thatís why I hate this one. So stupid.

After that stinker, Monaís Lister to the Doctor game is like a paradise. Players take turns playing microgames. Nothing really out of the ordinary here. Only, while playing, you have to accomplish a special task given to you by the doctor. These things can range from ďWhile purring like a catĒ to ďWith your hands on you cheeksĒ. How youíre supposed to win with your hands on your cheeks is beyond me, but winning the microgames isnít really what matters. You see, the only way to win is to be playing with people who have honour, as your fate lies in the hands of your enemies.

See, while youíre playing and doing your thing, the others have to watch you and make sure that youíre doing what the doc said. When the game is over, they get to press the A button in accordance to how well you followed the orders. The problem with this is that the other people want to win too, and they probably wonít press the button very much, if at all. I only ever lose this game because my brothers wonít give me the points that I rightfully deserve. Really, it would be a great game, but when youíre competing, the honour system doesnít work very well. The doctor is pretty cool though.

The final character game, Orbulonís All For One game is based on cooperation rather than competition. At the start, you choose one person to play a series of microgames, and the rest stand by. While you think everythingís going good, the lights go out and your friends man the flashlights. Itís like the opposite of Warioís game. You canít see anything, and they try to light it up so that you can win a couple games. After you lose, youíre given a friendship rating based on how many games you completed. Since my backup isnít too good, the best rating we got was ďAcquaintancesĒ. Oh well, it beats ďStrangersĒ I guess.

The ďplainĒ doors hide other, less complicated minigames. The (debatably) best one, Paper Plane, is on the top right. Itís an expansion of the Paper Plane microgame, made to fit four players. Itís a race to the finish with plenty of obstacles in the way. Iíve gotten very good at it, and itís great fun to play too. Some may find it a bit hard to control at first, but there is a very short learning curve. Nice for when you want to play a short, direct competition.

Another cooperative game is one of the two Jump Forever games. This one has all four players jumping a rope. Another painfully simple game, but also a bit hard, or at least youíd think so if you saw my high scores. Itís not my fault though. If I had competent people to play with, theyíd be a lot higher. It ends when even one person misses a jump, so everyone has to have good timing or you all lose. And it even shows who screwed up, so you can point fingers if you feel the need.

The other Jump Forever game is just as crazy, if not twice as crazy. You can play with up to 15 other people, and everyone uses the same controller to play. Everyone takes turns, jumping once and then passing the buck. Since this game is very Hot Potato-esque, it would be a very good idea to play with a WaveBird, especially if youíre playing with a lot of players. Especially when it starts getting fast.

And finally we have the One Controller Marathon. Again, 16 players can pass around a controller to play this one. One person plays a microgame and then passes the controller to the next one in line. Iím not sure, but the turn order might be random, which could very well add to the franticness of the game. Again, itís a lot better if you can somehow round up a whole gaggle of people. It goes without saying, but Iíll mention it anyway, that when you lose even one game, youíre done.

And to top it all off, thereís a page where you can check your standings in both the single player and multiplayer modes. It saves all sorts of stuff like your best records and your win percentage. As you can see, Iím number one at every game except for that damned E-Card game. Hmmm. Now that I look at the picture, I notice that it says all the titles of the games. Well donít I feel stupid. But itís very fuzzy to read and Iím not going to go back and fix my mistakes. Youíll just have to try to decrypt the fuzz yourself and/or deal with it.

And thatís pretty much everything about the multiplayer modes of Mega Party Game$. Itís a great game if youíve got a lot of people to play with, because thereís so much variety of things to do. And the fact that some games are totally wrongside-out just makes it that much better. Itís apparently pretty cheap too, so if youíve got an itch for a new game but canít find anything that really tickles your fancy. I give it an A+ based on the multiplayer alone, and you know that thatís a ďbuyĒ recommendation. So thatís all Iím gonna write about this one. I guess. Conclusion time.

I can end abruptly if I want. The game is mostly identical to the GBA edition, so I donít have to review graphics and all that crap this time around. And Iíve got more than enough words too, so itís all good. My mom even seemed to like this one for the very short amount of time she played it, so if I can get her to rent and play again, I might just be able to trick convince her to buy it. It would be nice to have, as I didnĎt get to spend much time with it and didnít accomplish nearly as much as I wanted to. Call me a fool for renting a game when I knew I wouldnít get to play much, but I think it was worth it.

Iím much happier with this one than I was with I-Ninja. I probably wouldnít have so much against that game, but itís got ball-rolling in like every level and I canít stand the stuff. Oh. Hey, it was just Easter weekend. I guess you were expecting a 2004 edition of the Easter Eggstravaganza, but thatís just not going to happen. There wasnít nearly enough stuff to do a real article about. But you know that not all of my stuff is real articlesÖ *hint hint*. But it is the last Easter where Iíll get stuff, so I suppose it would be wrong not to write something about it. So Iíll go think about that, and you go and buy Wario Ware Inc.: Mega Party Game$ and invite me over to play.

E-Mail: Mr_Hotshot64v2@hotmail.com