Title: WarioWare Move It!
Developer: Nintendo, Intelligent Systems
Release Date: November 3, 2023
Reviewed On: Switch
WarioWare Move It! Review: Gaming Reinvented with Joy-Con Poses
The WarioWare series holds a special place in my heart. Its chaotic storyline and the concept of quick 5-second minigames flashing across the screen to make you perform a variety of actions have always been my idea of good fun. When I was younger, I thoroughly enjoyed playing WarioWare Smooth Moves on the Wii. So when Nintendo announced WarioWare Move It! for the Nintendo Switch, I was excited, perhaps more excited than I’ve been for many game releases this month. The Japanese name directly implied that it was a spiritual sequel to Smooth Moves. So let’s grab our Joy-Cons and dive into some fun shenanigans with Wario and his friends.
Unmasking the Humor: WarioWare Move It! Story Mode
In WarioWare Move It, Wario is casually driving around Diamond City when he catches wind of a brand-new burger joint in town offering garlic burgers with a special promotion. For each burger you purchase, you get a chance to win a golden ticket for a group trip to Caresaway Island, known for its rich history and exotic wildlife. Wario orders 50 of these burgers and wins the grand prize, and much to his disappointment, his friends learn of his win, and now insist on joining him on the trip. And so, the first “official” (if you can even call it that) business trip of WarioWare, Inc. begins.
As is typical with WarioWare titles, all of Wario’s friends are scattered across the island, each with their own stages, some in duos or trios. Each stage features a selection of random microgames that progressively get faster, with a boss stage at the very end. Here’s where WarioWare Move It! lives up to its name. Instead of simply pressing buttons to clear the microgames, you have to physically move your body.
It’s all about using your Joy-Con controllers to mimic various poses for different mini-games, which is a blast but can sometimes get a bit confusing.
Each microgame has a specific pose, known as a Form, with a narrator and a 3D model instructing you to assume the correct position before each game begins. These Forms include various funky poses like “Scales,” which requires you to stretch your arms wide, or “Crocodile,” where you sandwich the Joy-Cons together with your dominant hand on top. Unlike some other games, you’ll need to ensure your Joy-Con straps are handy because WarioWare Move It! relies on them consistently, with the “Trust Tether Sign” prompting you to intentionally let the Joy-Cons dangle from your wrists.
Personally, my main issue with the Forms was that there were a couple of times when it wasn’t very clear how a specific Form should be used for a microgame. Additionally, my Joy-Cons occasionally had trouble tracking my movements, like in Mona’s Boss microgame, where I briefly lost control while performing the “Sky Stretch,” and in Jimmy T’s stage, where the “Pounce” was hit or miss. It would have been helpful to be able to recalibrate the controller during certain intervals.
While I struggled with multiple Game Overs during my first run in story mode, I was introduced to an interesting mechanic. If you lose all of your lives, you’ll be required to perform a “Second-Chance Pose.” Succeed, and the stage continues with all four of your lives restored. Most microgames that I initially failed at became much easier to grasp after the third attempt. Unfortunately, after completing the final stage, the “Second-Chance Pose” doesn’t appear again, being replaced by a short “Break Time” pose after each boss.
The game’s story mode is short but packed with humor and voice acting, and the multiplayer mode is a real highlight for social gaming.
One noteworthy aspect is that this is the first WarioWare game where we get to hear Wario’s new voice actor, Kevin Afghani. Personally, I didn’t have much of an issue with his new voice. It’s just a matter of getting used to it, given that Charles Martinet had voiced him for so long. What did feel a bit jarring, though, was that many of the other characters in their microgames use a mix of old lines from WarioWare Gold with some new lines added. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that the difference in quality between the two sets of voice clips is evident, and it can feel a bit weird at times.
Due to its nature, WarioWare Move It does not support Handheld Mode, only Tabletop and TV Mode. Even in Tabletop Mode, you need to have a wide open area at a distance from the screen to avoid any collisions while performing the movements. You’re also limited to using only the Joy-Cons, which makes sense, considering they utilize all of the controller’s sensors, including the rarely used IR camera. While I didn’t find this to be a significant issue, it might be a consideration if you plan to play on the go and need to find a TV to dock the Switch for the best experience.
Multiplayer Madness: WarioWare Move It! Social Gaming Fun
One of the standout features of WarioWare Move It! is its multiplayer mode. You can engage in a variety of games such as “Medusa March,” where you swing your arms to avoid getting petrified by Medusa, and “Galactic Conquest,” a board game where the objective is to score as many points as possible. Additionally, all of the microgame stages support Co-Op, with players 1 and 2 alternating between games and the occasional “Together!” command requiring both players to coordinate their movements. If a player fails at a microgame, a “Tie-In Challenge” will trigger, giving the other player a chance to attempt the same pose and microgame. Success means you both move on without losing a life.
WarioWare Move It! keeps the franchise’s quirky spirit alive and is a must-try for anyone who loves fast and crazy microgames.
The story mode is incredibly short and can be completed in two to three hours at most. However, this has been the case for every WarioWare game so far, so it was expected. What’s cool is that all the story cutscenes feature full voice acting, unlike the partial voice acting in WarioWare Get It Together. They are genuinely funny and feature an art style reminiscent of an early Sunday morning cartoon, a style the developers adopted since WarioWare Gold. Moreover, there are over 200 microgames to unlock and collect. By visiting the temple, you can practice every single one of them and also receive tips on how to perform some of the Forms correctly.
WarioWare Move It! – A Missed Opportunity with Missions
One missing feature that I wish had been included in the title is the Missions system, present in WarioWare Gold and WarioWare Get It Together. It served as a nice achievement system with simple missions such as achieving a certain score with a character or clearing a set number of microgames. Its absence means there are no gadgets to play with, which feels like a missed opportunity, as I quite enjoyed them in the series.
In Conclusion: WarioWare Move It! – A Quirky Microgame Adventure
WarioWare Move It! is a fantastic addition to the WarioWare series, adding a fun twist to the classic microgame formula. It’s all about using your Joy-Con controllers to mimic various poses for different mini-games, which is a blast but can sometimes get a bit confusing. The game’s story mode is short but packed with humor and voice acting, and the multiplayer mode is a real highlight for social gaming. Just a couple of downsides, like missing the mission system from previous games and some voice acting that doesn’t quite match up, but overall, WarioWare Move It! keeps the franchise’s quirky spirit alive and is a must-try for anyone who loves fast and crazy microgames.
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