WarioWare Gold (3DS) Review

Good as Gold

The original WarioWare for Game Boy Advance was a collection of microgames – three- to five-second challenges that you would play in succession – ranging from silly to utterly insane. Later entries in the series took advantage of unique gimmicks; WarioWare Touched used the Nintendo DS’ touch screen for its fast-paced trials, and WarioWare Twisted had motion-controlled games that utilized the GBA’s gyroscope. WarioWare Gold embraces this legacy as greatest hits compilation including over 300 microgames representing these different control styles.

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“WAA HAA HAA HAA!”

Once again, Wario is up to his usual money-grubbing schemes. This time, he proposes a video game tournament, charging high fees to entrants while tricking his colleagues into making the games for him. The cartoonish artwork and cutscenes featuring Wario and “friends” are as charming as ever, and they’re greatly enhanced with full voice acting. The voice cast does a wonderful job highlighting their characters’ quirks and making their individual silly stories shine. The showstopper was Charles Martinet speaking entire lines as Wario, who manages to sound even more psychotic with fully dialogue. Watching the ridiculous story unfold motivated me to re-experience these greatest hits.

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I want a full game of keeping solicitors out of your house.

Much like Mario Party: The Top 100 and Rhythm Heaven Megamix before it, WarioWare Gold mostly features content that was previously seen in the series’ older entries. Approximately only a sixth of the 300+ microgames are novel. It’s not a bad ratio of new to old, but it’s certainly not as exciting as a wholly original game. Regardless, this is the largest collection of microgames, eclipsing the second biggest by nearly 100. In addition, the whole package has a refreshing coat of paint, thanks to its improved presentation and multiple playstyles.

The microgames, even if they’re familiar to veterans, are as fun as ever. Each one only lasts a few seconds, and the challenge lies both in figuring out what to do and accomplishing it within that tight timeframe. For instance, one microgame might simply tell you to “Dodge,” and you’ll have to quickly press the “A” button to make Wario jump over a hot dog car. Other games have you mashing a button to shut the door on a solicitor, rotating your Nintendo 3DS to trim fingernails, and using your stylus to unroll toilet paper. And no WarioWare game would be complete without the obligatory nose-picking game. You experience these ridiculous sequences by playing through each character’s game selection, each tasking you to win a set amount of microgames (usually around 10-30), and beat the slightly longer boss stage that follows. Part of the charm is flashing through each game one after another at lightning speed. Twitch-like reactions, expert timing, and an understanding of the game’s absurd humor are required, as the speed and difficulty only ramp up over time.

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UltraMario vs. Bowzilla

There is a wonderful variety of microgames, divided into several themes, like fantasy and sports. Of course, my favorite is the Nintendo category, which features bite-sized challenges from beloved titles like Super Mario World and Star Fox. Fans of the Big N will be pleased to know that this category hosts many of the new microgames, and it’s a treat to see representation from Pushmo, Super Mario Maker, and the Nintendo Switch itself. The games are also divided into three main control styles: buttons (mash), gyroscrope motion (twist), and touch-screen. The different control schemes keep the game fresh and recall the franchise’s legacy. The best parts are the later challenges that mix together all three playstyles, plus a bonus one that uses the 3DS’s microphone. It’s cognitively stimulating to engage with the 3DS from every angle as if it were a Bop-It.

There are additional modes that frame the microgame rush in even more clever ways. For example, in one mode, Wario literally blocks your screen with a wine glass or with gas from his…bottom. Another mode truly tests your reflexes by having you switch between the 3DS’ top and bottom screen to play microgames with no breaks in-between. Another highlight is Sneaky Gamer mode, a returning gem from the Wii U’s Game and Wario, in which you play through as normal but must also occasionally hide from your mom who may show up at any time to chastise you for your poor gaming habits.

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Nintendo-themed microgames are the best games.

The story mode only lasts about two to three hours, but unlocking every collectible more than doubles that length. You can only get them via a capsule toy lottery system, and you must complete achievement missions and play through microgames repeatedly to earn coins for the random prizes, which can get repetitious. Your mileage will depend on how much you enjoy chasing high scores. Only some of the collectibles are worth it anyway. While the simpler ones range from in-game musical records to a museum of Nintendo products, the studio provides an unexpectedly fun opportunity to redub any of the character voices during cutscenes. The true prizes are the bonus arcade minigames. Between feline parodies of Metroid, the fan-favorite Pyoro, and a surprisingly deep card game, these slightly more substantial offerings provide meaningful diversions to the chaos.

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Definitely want Wario’s golden 3DS!

Conclusion

WarioWare Gold may not have many new microgames, but its revamped presentation, satisfying modes, and potluck of playstyles manage to keep the experience fresh. The short, rapid fire challenges are as fun as ever, and the multiple approaches to the same premise make this golden compilation an enticing option for short bursts or hyperactive binge sessions.

Score: 8/10

Note: A review copy was used for this article. This review was written on DarkStation.

What do you think of WarioWare Gold? What are your favorite WarioWare games? What are your favorite microgames? Please share your thoughts or questions in the comments section below! Thank you so much for reading!

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21 thoughts on “WarioWare Gold (3DS) Review

  1. Great review as always! WarioWare is as ridiculous as ever, I see. The most amazing part is hearing Wario’s full speaking voice. Not many Mario characters achieve such feats. Even in Super Mario Sunshine, everyone else but Mario spoke (and we saw how that turned out). I also like the silly characters, the voice acting, and most of all, the fact that you can dub over scenes with your own voice! It’s so much fun to mess around with hehe. Now we can be like our favorite voice actors! Watch out Ray and Robbie – we’re coming for you! 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! Or should I say Wahahahaha! Thank you so much as always for your support and love! 😀 I really like the WarioWare series and have enjoyed it since the Game Boy Advance original. My favorite is definitely the original, but I have fond memories with almost all of them, including the underrated Smooth Moves for Wii and the awesome WarioWare DIY game. I loved hearing the voices, and it was also very fun to make up my own voices for the studio mode. We should show the VAs our silly creations next time we see them at a con hahahaha! 😀

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  2. Nice review Mr. Panda! I grabbed the demo totally not expecting to be remotely interested in it, played it all the way through, then drove to Best Buy and bought a copy! What a blast of a game. It’s totally insane and frantic and the perfect “pick me up” when you need some good motivation. Can’t believe I’ve never played anything in the series before.

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    1. Thank you so much Geddy! I appreciate it man! It’s such a great series, and WarioWare Gold is actually a perfect way to get into it. You get a little bit of everything from all the past games and play styles. I also completely agree that the frantic pace and ridiculous humor always make me smile and pick me up! Enjoy my friend!

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  3. One of my long (well, for the past 5 or so years) wished for games is another Wario Land title, but this looks like a fun diversion. As a Wario purist, I’ve never been too down with his Wario Ware persona but I’m long overdue to give one of these a shot. The Nintendo games alone look really cool! Also, referencing Ultraman and Godzilla is always appreciated.

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    1. Thank you for your great comments my good man! I just had a feeling that you would love seeing anything WARIO! I’d love to see more of the Wario Land series, and I still think we’re lucky we got such the masterpiece that Wario Land: Shake It was. But I don’t mind a good WarioWare game either, and I actually do like his supporting cast, even more so now that they have full voice acting. By the way, you would love Wario’s fully voiced dialogue. HE. IS. INSANE.

      If you haven’t tried any WarioWare, WarioWare Gold is actually the perfect place to start. It has the most microgames of any in the series, and it also combines all the playstyles and collects a lot of great classics. You know, like the one where Wario picks his nose, and the other one where he farts. The Nintendo games are by far the best parts of these games, and I love seeing which ones are included. By the way, tangent, but you might also like NES Remix 1 and 2, which has a similar premise to the fast-paced Nintendo challenges. It’s on 3DS and Wii U. Glad you appreciate the Ultraman and Godzilla references! You know I was thinking of you when I put in that caption! 😉

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  4. This definitely sounds like a pretty fun title! I’m super behind on the Wario games, but aim to get more of them at some point. His micro games are always pretty easy to find time to play since they are so short. Glad to see this one is so solid!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WarioWare Gold is definitely a great place to get back in since it includes a lot of the microgames from the first three big titles! Only the bigger motion-control games from the Wii version and the photography ones are missing. Even Game and Wario is somewhat represented here. Of course, there’s no DIY mode either, but I highly recommend that one if you missed it. What was the last one you played?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The last one I played was way back in the GBA era. I think it was the first of the WarioWare titles or at least one of the oldest ones. The last Wario game aside from that series for me was Wario Land 4. I definitely would have at least gotten Wario World by now, but the price is pretty crazy. Gold definitely seems like the perfect comeback one

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      2. Ahh, yeah, if you used button controls, that was the first WarioWare. The only other one on GBA was Twisted, which used gyroscope motion controls. Indeed, Gold would be a great place to start. As far as the Wario series goes, I would also recommend Wario Land: Shake It for the Wii. That was a gorgeous looking game that was so much fun to play. Same developers as Kirby’s Epic Yarn and Yoshi’s Woolly World! Wario World is also a Treasure, but it is so hard to find. I liked it a lot, and it reminded me of old-school SNES platformers but in 3D.

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      3. I remember seeing Shake It not too long ago for a pretty low price at Gamestop so that should definitely be really easy to get. Between that and Gold I’ll definitely be able to say that I’m more acquainted with the series. It’s cool that Mario has 3 different spinoff series still going strong (DK, Yoshi, Wario) and even Luigi and Peach have had their own titles. Definitely a masterful franchise

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      4. I love the Wario Land series and wish there were more of it. I am glad that Shake It happened, at least, as I was getting worried that Nintendo didn’t want to continue the series after WarioWare took off. I definitely like the WarioWare series, but I still prefer the platformers! I do appreciate that the characters in the Mario franchise have come into their own. Yoshi and Donkey Kong are my are my favorite spinoffs, with Wario close behind. Luigi’s Mansion is also fun, but Super Princess Peach was just okay. I’d like to see her more in a starring role, but hopefully with better gameplay than touching the screen to activate Peach’s emotions… Here’s hoping that Bowser gets his own sequel one day!

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and support Rachel! I truly appreciate it! 😀 WarioWare is a fun series, and I’ve enjoyed it since the original GBA game from over a decade ago. I think my favorite is still the first one, but this new collection is really nice too! WarioWare Gold is a good recommendation if you haven’t played any of them, unless you have played them and just didn’t get into them?

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      1. Ahh yeah, I think the games’ fast nature and more arcadey-style might not appeal to everyone. But there is a joy in seeing everything pop up rapid fire, and it rarely feels boring thanks to the randomness and humor. I’d definitely be interested to see what you think if you do pick it up sometime! 😃

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