Wario Ware: Smooth Moves

If you're not familiar with the Wario Ware franchise by now, you should hang your head in shame and turn in your Nintendo fandom credentials. Wario Ware titles are compilations of massive amounts of minigames, most of which only last for a few seconds, and practically all of which are fun on some level. There have been Wario Ware games for GBA, DS, GameCube and now the Wii. What does the Wii version bring to the table? If you said "motion sensing controls", you'd be on the mark, wouldn't you?

Smooth Moves uses the Wii Remote, or as the manual refers to it, the Form Baton, for all the games. Each microgame (of which there are over 200, according to the packaging - I haven't quite unlocked them all yet) uses a particular form, or method to play. Before each microgame you get a brief screen displaying the form type to use so you can prepare yourself, and for the first time each form is introduced, there's a picture of the stance/method required and a particularly amusing voice over describing it. The forms include various positions, such as holding the Wiimote against your nose like an elephant's trunk, holding it to your side to be drawn like a samurai sword, balancing it on your palm as if it was a plate, holding it like a handlebar, like a fishing rod, etc etc.. There are quite a few different forms, most of which seem to work pretty well.. especially if you play it the way the manual recommends, standing in front of the TV, and not lazily lying on your couch like a certain reviewer I could mention.

What kind of minigames are there? Twisting a maze around to make a ball drop, keeping a little man balanced on a ball, slashing barrels samurai style, driving a car along a windy road filled with obstacles, you name it, it's there. 200 is an awful lot of microgames, baby. Also, as you progress, you unlock individual stand alone games you can play - the first of which, for example, is a clone of "Devilish". For those who aren't familiar, the screen scrolls up and you have to keep a ball in play, bouncing it off blocks to remove them from the path of your paddle so you can continue to bounce the ball upward. It's a fun game.. while we're on the topic, you should go and get "Devilish" for Nintendo DS, assuming you have one of those crazy things - most people do, judging by its sales figures.

Perhaps the only thing you can really fault Smooth Moves for is its difficulty level. A seasoned gamer will hose through everything in a couple of hours.. but then, the target audience for Wario Ware games in general, and this one in particular, definitely isn't the seasoned gamer. If you'd like a lot of laughs with your friends, want to recommend something that's fun, not too taxing, and just as enjoyable to watch as to play, you can't go wrong with Smooth Moves. There's not exactly a shortage of minigame style compilations for Wii, but this one is the best of a fair to middling bunch, the amusement value of screaming rabbids in that Rayman game notwithstanding.

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