Wario Ware: Smooth Moves is the first Wario Ware game for Nintendo's new game console, the Wii. This is the fourth major iteration (the GameCube remake of the original does not count) of Wario Ware, and like each game before it, puts a new spin on the Wario Ware formula established in the original Game Boy Advance classic Wario Ware, Inc.: Mega Microgame$! In this version, Wario stumbles into a shrine of the 'Form Baton', which looks suspiciously like a Wii Remote. After managing to escape this shrine in a rather Indiana Jones-esque manner, he sets off to make more money with his silly microgames.
What is all this talk about Microgames and the 'Form Baton'?
Like other Wario Ware games before it, Smooth Moves features over 200 very small games that last about 2-5 seconds each. Each character has a stage full of a group of them. As you play a stage, one microgame after another is thrown at you in rapid succession with just a small bit of breathing room in between. In this game, there are several different 'forms' that the Form Baton (Wii Remote) can take. Each game requires one of the many different forms in order to be completed. They also require some different, small objective to be completed in the time allotted. There are also Boss Battles to spice things up in between, which also allows for a 1-up (additional life) if you are successfull. Boss battles are not microgames; they last until some objective is completed. In the over 200 microgames, there is a lot of variety in what you might expect to find. There are games that ask you to pick a nose (classic Wario Ware), cut a log, balance a broom on your hand, shoot some cans, or many more wacky simplistic puzzles. In between each microgame the form changes, and it tells you which one to use next. While one game might use the 'Remote Control' form, the next might use the Elephant, Mohawk, Dumbell, Samurai, Chauffeur, Handlebar, and so on. Each form has you hold the Wii remote in a different way, with different typically expected actions for you to perform. Also, there is a lot of variety within the games of each form. For example, with the Umbrella form, for which you hold the Wii remote upright like an umbrella, you might have one game where you wave the remote around like a fan to keep paper afloat, or the next where you chip away at an ice cube like a chisel. Or with the Sketch Artist form, where you hold it kind of like a pencil with the buttons on top, you may find yourself drawing something in one game while inserting an elderly lady's dentures in the next. This kind of creativity and variety is constant throughout this game, and each form has you using the Wii remote in some way you might not expect. This game also features several different single player and multiplayer unlockables.
Besides the common ability to unlock different stages in the level progression, there are six independent single player unlockable minigames, and seven different multiplayer minigames. There are also various other unlockables that revolve around microgames in one way or another. There is also the Staff Credits, Sound Studio, Movie Theater mode, as well as a few other little things. Overall, the unlockables are definitely shorter than in previous outings, except perhaps the original Wario Ware for the Game Boy Advance. The multiplayer games are simple, and a whole lot of fun with a lot of people. Most of them are simply varieties of ways to pass the Wii Remote around to different people in the room playing various microgames in succession. There are a couple of other modes that are unique. Star Nose is a game where you share one Wii remote/nunchuck set, with each player holding onto one of them, to fly a 'nose' and collect 3 pieces of food without crashing before the other side does. Bungee Buddies is a neat mode where you also share a remote/nunchuck, and you try to run as far as you can while jumping over any obstacles you see in your path. You have to work together, and one player messing up will stop you both. There is also a fairly accurate game of Darts available for multiple players to play. We had the most fun with the simplest mode, Survival. In this mode, each player (up to 12) has their own Mii-like creature with wings that looks like an angel. One player is chosen at random, and after that, each successive player is somewhat randomly chosen to play one of any random microgame. As it goes on, it gets harder and harder until finally only one player is left standing. It's really fun (and frantic) to have a room full of people trying to figure out who to pass the Wii remote to next - only to have them quickly pass or fail the microgame, and have to pass it on again to someone else. It's a lot of fun, and myself and 5 other friends played this mode for hours. It was a blast! There are also other variations of this mode, including Balloon, Bomb, and Lifeline. I found Survival to be the most enjoyable, though I'm sure others will disagree. I also enjoyed Star Nose and Bungee Buddies.
How are the graphics?
The graphics are really appropriate to what the game intends, and are adequate and fun. The variety is astounding. They vary from simple stick figures to really neat looking 3D environments. The 2D story sequences are really well done; the animation, motion, and clarity is great. I would say they are as clear as, say, a Paper Mario title, which is to say excellent. There is really nothing to complain about, and if all microgames were intense 3D it would somehow take away from what the game is about. It's really well done and I have no complaints.
How is the sound/music?
The sound and music is what you expect from Wario Ware if you have played them before. If you have not, the game is filled with silly, short, and sometimes catchy tunes for each microgame. In many cases the in between microgame themes for each stage are related to the back story of that area. Some of them are catchy, while others are very silly. I have nothing to complain about here, though a few of the themes may get a bit repetitive as you play a stage over and over and over if you decide to clear it and unlock everything there is to get.
How appropriate is this game for Christians?
Wario Ware games are generally pretty safe, and this one stays along those lines. The appropriateness issues are also pretty similar to previous games. One microgame has it so that if you succeed you might see a guy in his briefs. Another has you waving around a turd on a stick to keep people away. Yet another has you clearing the air after some of Wario's mighty flatulence. In general, it's pretty silly, toilet-ish humor that's mostly harmless in this writer's opinion. One of the characters in the storyline, named Ashley, is a witch. In her storyline segment, her little mini-devil familiar turns into a magic wand. She is trying to cast/learn a new spell from her spellbook, which is the 'purpose' of the levels you are playing. If you succeed, she turns a potted plant into a giant presumably man-eating Venus fly trap. There are also skulls and such in the environment on that level. It's all presented in a silly, cartoony way. In the opinion of this reviewer, it's not a major problem, but it would be nice if it wasn't there. Other storyline sequences are all pretty silly, and mostly harmless. They are intended to 'dress' the microgames in some notion of a story, and perhaps make you chuckle. They are fine as they are. It's hard to say how serious these problems are, but we are here to inform you, and that job is done. Other than these things, most of the game is silly slapstick humor that's pretty much harmless.
This is a very fun, simple, and silly game that takes great advantage of the control scheme available on the Nintendo Wii. It makes you do the most silly things in a lot of different ways, and shows some of the many potential uses for the controller on Nintendo's new system. It's also a fun distraction that can be played for virtually any length of time. If the small appropriateness allowances (most of which can also be found in cartoons these days..) are not a problem, then I think most will enjoy this game, especially fans of the other Wario Ware games. It is also an excellent multiplayer game. Friends and I have played this game for hours on end, looking like fools in the process. If pride does not get in the way, great fun can be had here. If you are looking for a game to surpass the Game Boy Advance versions in cool unlockables, this may not fit that bill, and it's a bit shorter as well. But while it lasts, it's incredibly great fun.
Appropriateness Score: 79%
Sexual Content/Nudity 8/10
Game Score: 94%
Game Play 19/20