Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs Review for Nintendo Wii

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs Review for Nintendo Wii

If there’s one thing Nintendo fans know for certain, it’s that there’s no shortage of party games and mini-game collections on Wii. However, the folks at Hudson have come up with something at least a little bit different for the system. Help Wanted is one part simulation, one part Mario Party, and it’s a quirky, little title that has a lot of charm. Does it have gameplay to match?

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs screenshot

Forget about suspending disbelief with this game; you’re simply going to have to throw logic right out the window. The story here is completely ridiculous – in a very good way – and it’s a wonderful premise that gives you all the incentive you need to burn the midnight oil. The plot goes a little something like this: it has been discovered that a meteor is on a collision course with Earth. When your grandfather discovers the great rock via his super-duper telescope, he comes up with a plan to save the planet. You see, there’s a watch on the home-shopping channel that will transform its user into a superhero. All you have to do is earn enough dough to afford the watch.

Keep in mind that the entire presentation has a wacky, Elite Beat Agents-like style to it, based on the logic of Viewtiful Joe. If you can roll with the game’s sense of humor, you will likely find the experience to be quite funny and endearing.

You begin your adventure by choosing a gender and name for your character, and though things start out a bit slow, it’s surprising how much depth has been packed into this budget ($30) title. Make no mistake – this is still, for all intents and purposes, a mini-game compilation, but it’s one of the few that has a solid enough foundation to be entertaining as a single-player experience.

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs screenshot

When you first begin, you have only seven days to save the world, with just three jobs to choose from. When you discover that the cost of the superhero watch greatly exceeds your budget, the game makes you sweat a bit. However, the gameplay formula soon becomes clear – earn money, purchase somewhat-powerful super items, and then beat the meteor back a smidge, which will afford you more time to complete your ultimate task. In actuality, there isn’t just a single meteor, and you’ll eventually find yourself entangled in a lengthy process of protecting the planet.

Your bedroom acts as the game’s hub of sorts. You can log onto your computer to sift through the help-wanted ads, and your bed lets you complete the day. Downstairs in your house is the T.V. where you’ll shop for new uniforms (giving you the ability to perform new jobs), power-ups (which aid you in mini-games), trophies, and Points items. The Points items are what give you the super powers to ward off the impending threat. Purchasing one of the super golf balls, for instance, allows Gramps to lob a shot at a meteor, doing damage to it and often pushing it back to give you a few more days reprieve. Each meteor has a certain amount of damage points that need to be depleted, and then the cycle pretty much repeats itself, with new mini-games unlocked each time you purchase a uniform from the shopping channel.

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs screenshot

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs speaks to many of the things gamers generally enjoy – collecting trinkets, earning cash, and discovering new morsels of gameplay along the way. This particular mini-game collection does a really great job of doling elements out to you at a good pace, but unfortunately, the mini-games themselves aren’t necessarily all that great. You’ll be performing something in the neighborhood of 50 different jobs – everything from sushi chef, to posing as a body builder – with some of the games offering a cute and entertaining way to earn cash, while others are frustrating in their design or simply not all that interesting to play through. Of course, with so many jobs to choose from, there’s bound to be at least a few that strike your fancy.

As an example of some of the games on offer, there’s a cow-farming mini where you’re using both the Wii Remote and Nunchuk to – you guessed it – tug on a cow’s utters. You’d think it would be a pretty straightforward affair, but the mini-game is made unnecessarily complicated. You’ll need to hold both controllers upright while holding the B and Z buttons respectively. However, you have to tug the cow’s utters in time with icons that flash on the screen. The timing is very unforgiving, the controls feel clumsy, and there’s also no visual representation for left-handed players, which can make things even more confusing.

Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs screenshot

There are, however, quite a few entertaining mini-games, such as the tailor job. This one is actually set up like a racing game, where you have to steer the sewing machine (using just the Wii Remote turned sideways) along a guided pattern. You can speed up and slowdown (useful when navigating corners of a seam), and any extra time remaining at the end of the job is tacked on as a bonus. You can only perform one job per day, and Sundays are an automatic off day (which is a good day to do your shopping).

In addition to the story mode, there are a handful of one-vs.-one multiplayer options. You can choose to set a cash limit where the player who reaches the cash goal first wins; you can set a specific number of rounds; set the number of wins; and finally, there’s an option called Free For All, which lets you compete in one mini-game at a time. There isn’t any online functionality, though it’s not greatly missed, since the mini-games on offer here are geared toward more of a party atmosphere.

The presentation for Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs is really quite fun and entertaining. The visuals are on par with last-generation titles, but the entire game has a nice polish to it. The art style is something of a cross between Elite Beat Agents and Cooking Mama, and there’s a healthy mix of 2D cutscenes and 3D gameplay – everything looks tight and attractive. Though there’s no voice work, the humorous dialogue and character expressions come across great. The music is fun and fitting with the gameplay, and overall, Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs is a delightful package.

Ultimately, that’s really the game’s best feature – its packaging. As wonderfully silly as the story is, and how nicely pieced together the different elements of the game are, there are quite a few minis that just don’t make the cut. You’ll likely find yourself sticking to a select few when they become available, which is disappointing because the premise itself is so good. For that reason alone, we recommend a rent. If you end up liking the bulk of what’s on offer here, you can always adopt Help Wanted for good.

Though the visuals here aren’t pushing the Wii hardware, the presentation looks great, overall. 3.0 Control
Some mini-games handle quite well, in spite of a few hum-drum motifs, and the developers made a great effort trying to incorporate the unique Wii functionality into almost every game. However, too many of the minis fall short, and none of them ever reach a mark that can truly be considered great. 4.0 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The sound effects and music are fun and fitting with the theme and style of the presentation. 3.5

Play Value
There’s a surprising amount of content and polish (for a budget title) contained in Help Wanted: 50 Wacky Jobs, and it’s built upon a really great reward system. It’s too bad the actual mini-games couldn’t have been tuned up just a little bit more.

3.4 Overall Rating – Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • Multiple difficulty levels which change up gameplay elements.
  • Shop with the money you earn. Buy fun and crazy things after you get off of work and show them off in your collector’s room when you’re done.
  • 50 different jobs to choose from.

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