WarioWare: Get It Together Review – Only As Strong As Its Weakest Link
In an era full of 100+ hour open-world campaigns and games as service titles that can be played in perpetuity, WarioWare’s 3-to-5-second microgames almost feel like a commentary on the state of the industry. On the one hand, Get It Together’s microgames require split-second thinking, continually offer the unexpected, and feel refreshingly original. On the other hand, this ultimately shallow experience left me wanting more.
For ages, our mustachioed menace and his eclectic crew have designed aggressively short games in the hopes of earning piles of cash. But this time around, the only thing the group gains is a trip into the digital world; Wario and his oddball crew are trapped in their own digital landscapes, and the only exit is on the other side of these half-baked amusements.
As usual, the minigames in this WarioWare collection are completely bonkers. Get It Together’s oddball objectives are also a testament to Nintendo’s creativity. In one moment, I was connecting water pipes so someone could wash their hands. In the next, I was tweezing hairs from the armpits of a bodybuilder, dumping ketchup onto a plate of spaghetti, or punching an eggshell to release a trio of frightened squirrels. Completing these objectives is always simple, but tension quickly mounts when you have mere seconds to register and achieve each goal. I was often frantically zigzagging around the screen with a smile on my face, sometimes failing in a hilarious fashion.
This setup isn’t new for seasoned WarioWare players, but the big change in Get It Together is that Wario and his companions now take center stage in all the games. Each character has their own controls. For example, Wario comes equipped with a jetpack, so he can fly around the screen and dash punch objects, while 18-Volt fires discs from a stationary position. Each character is easy to control, but some are better suited for specific tasks. For example, dodging objects is easy with a character like Ashley who can freely move around the screen, but harder with Kat who constantly bounces up and down. All characters can complete any game, but you are randomly assigned a new character for each minigame, and it always feels unfair when your character is a poor fit for the task at hand.
Another unexpected outcome of the WarioWare crew’s inclusion in these microgames is that the whole experience feels unified. Sadly, this isn’t necessarily a good thing. WarioWare’s strength has always been in its off-the-wall antics and how quickly it pivots from one wild concept or gameplay mechanic to the next. In the past, you might easily jump from a first-person shooting tower defense game to a racing game to a bizarre sequence where you ripped a Band-Aid off someone’s knee. Get It Together’s themes and visuals remain charmingly random, but the gameplay mechanics are more conventional because you’re always playing as Wario or one of his companions. As a result, while Get It Together’s minigames remain amusing diversions, I grew tired of them faster than usual.
Get It Together’s local multiplayer offers a few reasons to come back to these microgames with up to 3 friends. Most of the multiplayer experiences work off a theme. For example, Puck ‘er Up is an air hockey game where the player who scores a point each round gets to play one of Get It Together’s minigames. However, I liked the simplicity of Duelius Maximus, which has two players racing through a series of microgames to see who can stay alive the longest.
WarioWare: Get It Together’s lively visuals are temporarily engaging, but this candy shell has a hollow center; like any sugary snack, the experience doesn’t stick with you. As soon as I’d wrapped Get It Together’s brief single-player campaign, I was content to move onto something else. These microgames are a nice treat if you’re in an eccentric mood, but these miniature experiences only offer short-lived joy.