WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!
|WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames!|
North American box art
|Director(s)||Hirofumi Matsuoka (GBA)
Goro Abe (GCN)
Osamu Yamauchi (GCN)
Ryoichi Kitinashi (GCN)
|Platform(s)||Game Boy Advance, GameCube|
|Release||Game Boy Advance|
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames![a] is a minigame compilation video game for the Game Boy Advance. The debut title in the WarioWare series, the game is about rapid completion of "microgames", short minigames given to the player consecutively and with increasing speed per each game complete.
Developed by Nintendo R&D1 and published by Nintendo, the game was inspired by the "Sound Bomber" mode of Mario Artist: Polygon Studio for the Nintendo 64DD. The game was produced by Takehiro Izushi and directed by Hirofumi Matsuoka. Matsuoka was also the director of Polygon Studio. Mega Microgames! was released in 2003; in Japan in March, in North America and Europe in May and in Australia in June.
Upon its release, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! received generally favorable reviews, winning GameSpot's Editor's Choice Award and Most Innovative Game Award of 2003, among other awards. The game went on to receive a multiplayer-focused remake called WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! on the GameCube.
The game went on to spawn the WarioWare series of video games, which all have the same formula of gameplay as the debut title, with the exception of Game & Wario. "Pyoro" and "Paper Plane", two bonus minigames that appear in Mega Microgames!, were re-worked into two full titles for the Nintendo DS and sold as DSiWare as Bird & Beans and Paper Airplane Chase. In addition, some of the microgames featured in Mega Microgames!! will also appear in WarioWare Gold. The game has also been re-released through the Virtual Console on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
WarioWare's core gameplay principles revolve around the concept of "microgames", extremely short minigames that last for a few seconds each. In a stage, microgames are given to the player consecutively, and as the player keeps playing, the game speeds up in order to make the game more difficult. If the player completes a microgame, the game moves onto the next one, while if the player fails a microgame, by either losing the game or running out of time, one of four lives will be deducted. If the player loses all four of their lives, the game will end and the player's score (the number of microgames played) will be saved if it is one of their best three scores.
At the end of a set number of microgames, the player must complete a "boss stage"; a longer microgame without a set time limit. In these microgames, the player has the opportunity to gain a life back if they have lost one. Mega Microgames! has nine stages, each revolving around Wario or one of his friends in a plot scenario. Each stage also has a general theme the microgames present in it pertain to, such as "Sports" or "Nintendo Classics".
In addition to main stages, the player can also gain access to additional bonus games. These include variations on the main gameplay concept but made more difficult (through increased speed or more difficult win conditions), or other minigames.
Mega Microgames! has won numerous awards and received critical acclaim. It was voted the winner of the Edge Award at the Edinburgh International Games Festival in 2004 by a panel of videogames industry members, academics, and journalists.
Mega Microgames! currently has an aggregate score of 88.83% at GameRankings. Reviewers wrote enthusiastically about the game. Jeff Gerstmann from GameSpot gave it a 9.1 out of 10 and praised the game for its portability, being able to play it in "short bursts" and being able to return to it again and again. Craig Harris from IGN said that the sheer number of minigames, its simplicity, and replay value made the game original and great, and gave it a 9.0.
In 2008, Game Informer named the game one of the top ten weirdest of all time.
Edge ranked the game #40 on its list of "The 100 Best Games To Play Today", stating "almost every minigame is a masterclass in how to instantly captivate with clear goals and a captivating alchemy of sound, image and control."
Remakes and re-releases
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games!
WarioWare, Inc. was remade for the GameCube as WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games!, known in Japan as Atsumare!! Made in Wario (あつまれ!!メイド イン ワリオ, lit. "Gather!! Made in Wario"). It was released in Japan on October 17, 2003, in North America on April 5, 2004, and on September 3 that year in Europe. This title features all the microgames found in Mega Microgames!, but also features multiple multiplayer games. It came out half a year after the original Game Boy Advance game. Satoru Iwata commented that it was overdoing it to come out with this title this quickly, but was also the one who requested its release. He said to the developers of the Game Boy Advance title to remake it for the GameCube and fast, and when asked how fast, he said "as fast as possible." WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Party Games! was directed by Goro Abe, a developer of the first game, and it was his first experience being at the head of the team. It is also the first game in the series co-developed by Intelligent Systems. Goro Abe told Iwata about a talented programmer at Intelligent Systems, Taku Sugioka, who joined the project. Sugioka stated that this video game turned out to be a good experience, and helped make his next development project.
Paper Plane (紙ヒコーキ Kami Hikōki), known in North America as Paper Airplane Chase, plays the same as the original title. There are three modes - the first is Endless, which places the player in a randomly generated course, requiring him or her to guide a paper airplane through it as it descends, attempting to get as far down as possible; Time Attack, which places the player in pre-created tracks, requiring them to get down to a certain point as fast as possible; and Race Mode, a two-player competition that is played on one DSi, with one player using the d-pad and the other using the face buttons. There are a total of eight courses in the game.
Bird & Beans (鳥とマメ Tori to Mame), known in PAL regions as Pyoro, features both Pyoro and Pyoro 2 from the original GBA version. Both play mostly the same as the original versions, although the play area is now wider. The first requires the player to eat falling beans by shooting Pyoro's tongue in an upward diagonal direction. If a bean lands on the ground, it destroys part of the floor, limiting how much the player can move Pyoro. If the player eats a differently colored bean, it will restore one of the blocks, and eating a flashing bean restores many, if not all, lost blocks and destroys all on-screen beans. The further Pyoro's tongue is extended, the more points are awarded. If a seed lands on Pyoro, the game ends. In the second game, the player must shoot seeds at the falling beans. More points are awarded when two or more are taken out at the same time. Bird & Beans does not have any additional modes.
Anoop Gantayat, a writer for IGN.com, commented that both titles, especially Bird & Beans, felt like Game & Watch titles, both lacking in frills. He also commented that they were great to play for a few minutes, and that he liked how quickly the game would load up, not having to wait for the game to go through various company logos. He commented that he would have preferred if the games weren't one-hit-kill games, saying that it hampers their replay values.
In December 2011, Mega Microgames! and nine other Game Boy Advance games were released to Nintendo 3DS Ambassadors, which were users who purchased and registered their 3DS systems prior to a specific date in their home markets. Nintendo has stated that there are no plans to release the game to other 3DS users through the Virtual Console service.
The game was later released on the Wii U Virtual Console on April 3, 2014 in Japan and April 10, 2014 in North America and Europe.
- Known in Japan as Made in Wario (メイド イン ワリオ Meido in Wario), stylized as WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$!, and known in PAL regions as WarioWare, Inc.: Minigame Mania
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