WarioWare: Get It Together! is the latest entry in a near 20 year old Super Mario spin-off series starring one of Mario’s most memorable adversaries. I’ve played a few WarioWare games in the past and the most charitable way I can describe the series is utterly bonkers, but stranger still I’ve enjoyed them quite a bit despite how bizarre they can be. So let’s not waste anymore time on preamble and see just how well put together the latest offering from WarioWare is.
The basic premise of WarioWare is that Wario, in his never ending quest for more money, has founded his own video game company as a get-rich-quick scheme. In WarioWare: Get It Together! the twist is that Wario and his colorful cast of employees get sucked into their latest batch of microgames by a bug in the game’s programming. While this is certainly one of the most involved storylines in the series, overall it’s mostly just context for the gameplay so I wouldn’t call it a selling point by any stretch of the imagination. The best thing about the story in my opinion is that it gives Wario’s supporting cast extra screen time, making these otherwise obscure characters much more endearing to the point where I would love to see some of them show up in other games like Mario Kart.
What truly makes WarioWare stand out is its unorthodox gameplay, consisting of over 200 “microgames” which are very simple and beaten in a matter of seconds. The player must complete as many microgames as they can in a random order, getting faster and more difficult as time goes on. WarioWare: Get It Together! puts a new spin on the formula by having the player control Wario’s crew directly, each one having different abilities that change the way the microgames can be approached. A character like Young Cricket, who jumps around like a traditional Mario character, will feel much different from 18-Volt, who shoots projectiles from a stationary position, even if they’re playing the same microgame. WarioWare’s greatest strength is that you can never truly know which microgame you’re playing next or which character you’ll use to play said game so it becomes a matter of being able to process and act upon new information as fast as possible.
To top it all off there’s also 2 player co-op which doubles the insanity in the best way possible. Communication is the key to getting high scores with a partner because uncoordinated pairs often get in each other’s way. There’s also a smorgasbord of additional game modes designed specifically for competitive multiplayer between up to 4 players. Some of them like Duelius Maximus and Rising Star are no nonsense microgame competitions to see who’s the best player while others like High Five and Frenemy Frenzy feature no microgames, completely changing the rules of the game. These modes make for a great change of pace and work wonders for entertaining large groups.
The last noteworthy mode is the Wario Cup, a rotating online challenge where players from around the world compete for the highest score possible. The rewards for participating in this mode are nothing too terribly substantial, but it’s still about as fun as anything else in the game so I can’t really complain about it much beyond that. In general most of the rewards in the game revolve around collecting coins which can be exchanged for “prezzies.” Prezzies are given to the game’s characters as gifts that raise their level and unlock custom outfit colors and concept art. It’s a small bonus, but sometimes that little extra something is all the motivation I need to jump back in and shoot for a new high score.
The game’s presentation is also quite solid, mainly because of how well it complements the core gameplay. The music mostly consists of funky jingles that speed up alongside the game’s ever increasing difficulty, heightening the tension nicely. The visuals on the other hand are all over the place in terms of quality, bordering on amateurish and even surreal at times. However, even this serves to enhance the experience since the constant shift in visual styles adds to the challenge of absorbing information and completing tasks. It’s not objectively the best looking game out there, but it is completely intentional and that is commendable in its own way.
From the Catholic perspective, WarioWare had me reflecting on some surprisingly fundamental parts of life. When encountering a new microgame for the first time, it’s always unexpected and confusing and mistakes are a borderline certainty. In that sense it’s somewhat analogous to the fact that in life you can never be fully prepared for the problems that come your way, and life tends to come at you pretty quickly. Failure is as inevitable in life as it is in WarioWare, but as Catholics we must learn to carry the burden of our crosses and keep moving forward no matter what. But if you want to be picky and say a goofy game like WarioWare doesn’t deserve that kind of interpretation, just pretend I spent the last few sentences talking about how Wario’s greed for profits endangered his employees and take it as a warning against making money the only ambition of one’s life.
All in all, WarioWare: Get It Together! did not disappoint me as a fan of previous WarioWare games. It’s the same addictive microgame mayhem with the various character gimmicks keeping things fresh. It’s not the greatest game ever made, but it is a one of a kind experience that I wholeheartedly recommend all the same. Wario may be a fat greedy ne’er-do-well, but he sure knows how to keep a fella entertained.
Morality and Parental Warnings: WarioWare: Get It Together! is a very cartoony video game with bloodless slapstick violence and a crude sense of humor. Some of the microgames include references to magic and Greek mythology, albeit lacking any sort of rituals or incantations. Two of the playable characters are Ashley, a “witch in training,” and Red, her imp sidekick.