Wario Ware: Smooth Moves Review / Preview for the Nintendo Wii

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves Review / Preview for the Nintendo Wii

So smooth that you won’t even notice!

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves was my most anticipated game for the Wii other than Zelda. This was going to be the game that would demonstrate to the world how fun the Wii can be and would always be the “king” of my gaming parties. Was I wrong? Not really, but it’s so short I can’t even believe it’s all over!

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

This title is one of the most fun games I’ve ever played, with Rayman Ravin’ Rabbids following close behind. It made me crack up laughing at the end like never before with a game! I won’t tell you why. It just has to do with the kind of situations the game will put you through. Don’t think you can just sit and play from the comfort of your couch. Other Wii games may allow you to do so, even when controlled by the motion sensor. With Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, you better do what they tell you or you won’t get past level one! Say good bye to your inhibitions.

There is one main character in this story, other than Wario and his allies. It’s the Form Baton. That’s what they decided to call the Wii-mote. It sounds smooth and it plays smooth. You will learn how to use the Form Baton in many different ways such as the basic remote control, the umbrella (hold it vertically), the handlebar (hold it horizontally with two hands), the mohawk (over your head), the samurai (resting over your hip, as if it was a sword), the sketch artist (like a pencil), etc. There are about 20 of them. They will present one new technique at the beginning of each stage and they will be mixed up in the gameplay.

Wario is back in this game with all of the characters that we got to know in the past Wario Ware installments, such as Mona, who left the pizza world to become a cheerleader, Johnny with his groovy disco moves, 9-Volt with his classic-NES-inspired mini-games, Dribble and Spitz, always driving people around, etc. There are also a couple of new additions that you will like to discover.

At the beginning of the game, Wario is watching his favorite TV show, vegetating like a couch-potato. A couple of mischievous little mice decide to take the chance and steal Wario’s food. Wario chases them all the way to the museum where he discovers the precious treasure that it shelters. That is the Form Baton, a.k.a. Wii-mote, allegedly used by our ancestors for all sorts of things. Now it’s up to you to get to the end of the story and find out what happens. Don’t underestimate the power of the Form Baton because it’s all you have.

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

Like previous Wario Ware games, each level includes a frantic mix of mini-games that you will have to quickly beat before facing the final boss stage. As you know, three to eight seconds is all you need to get through each of the mini-games. Wario Ware: Smooth Moves adds the difficulty of having to switch the way you hold the controller before starting each mini-game. As you learn new techniques, the mix of games and postures will become even crazier. This makes it hilarious, not only for the person who is playing but also for those who are watching. Did you ever expect to see your friend or your mom dancing with an invisible hula hoop or quickly squatting just to hop on to the next game? Well, now you can, but not without putting yourself in the spotlight as well!

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

When you first start, you can only choose the single player mode. You will need to unlock the multiplayer by beating most of the single player challenges. Every time you beat a level, a couple of new stages will be unlocked and shown in the map, sometimes along with a special mini-game like Tower Tennis, Balloon Trip, Tortoise and Hare, and Block Star. This last one is quite addictive. Blocks will drop from above and you will have to let them fall smoothly over the tray you’re holding (Wii-mote) and have them be placed in the appropriate position. In Tower Tennis, you will just keep tapping a tennis ball, hoping to crack the bricks that show up and keep climbing the tower. In Balloon Trip, you’ll have to flap your wings (literally) and pick up as many balloons as possible. Tortoise and Hare is probably the weakest part of this Wario Ware game. You will use the Nunchuk. One hand will hold the red flag and the other one will hold the white one. You need to raise or lower whichever one they tell you, but for some reason, the controls are not quick enough to respond, and sometimes too sensitive.

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

In Wario Ware: Smooth Moves, you will play most of the game with the Form Baton. Not until later you will need the so-called balance rock, which is the Nunchuk attachment. The controls are very responsive if you do exactly what they are asking. The games are well-designed and the way you use the controls is always suitable for the kind of action that the mini-game requires. Everything seems to make sense and, therefore, it’s not extremely challenging, but it’s still really fun. It probably won’t take you more than two hours to unlock the credits and the multiplayer mode, but don’t forget to keep playing the couple of new levels added to the map, because those are really amusing as well!

This title doesn’t have better graphics than its predecessors. But maybe “better or worse” are not suitable words for describing the graphics of this game. They look as goofy as always, colorful, and two-dimensional, except in a few mini-games where they render a couple of 3D elements that look like they were made in the nineties. You can’t judge this game by its graphics. This is one of those examples that support Nintendo’s theory that says Fun is what it’s all about .

Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

The sounds effects are quite funny and fitting for the kind of humor presented in the game. They never get old, they just contribute to the fast pace of the mini-game challenges and tie everything together so it makes even more sense. Something that made me laugh happened on a mini-game where you have to quickly pick up the phone when it rings. I picked it up and some guy actually talked through the microphone on the Wii-mote. Things like that keep the spark of the game alive. The soundtrack is nothing special but it follows the style of the previous installments of Wario Ware and is just perfect.

    I just flew in from Diamond City and, boy, are my arms tired!

    Since his meager beginnings as the end boss in Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins, Wario has intrigued players and has garnered a dedicated fanbase. This often self-centered and always greedy character has starred in several great two-dimensional (2-D) platform jumping games from the spinach green Game Boy (GB) through the Game Boy Advance (GBA). Wario even made a memorable stop on the ill-fated Virtual Boy.

    Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

    When Nintendo decided to take Wario games in a different direction, I was understandably concerned. That was, at least, until I played WarioWare for the first time. It was a completely original idea in its day. Take hundreds of five-second microgames and make the participants play through them at incrementally increasing speeds. Nintendo and Wario haven’t looked back since, with two hit sequels on the GBA and DS. WarioWare: Smooth Moves keeps this hectic microgame insanity coming. This time however, Wario takes his hit series to a home console instead of a portable system.

    WarioWare games, in the past, have not been known for their engrossing storylines. This game is no different. It begins in Diamond City, where an ancient civilization has left a form baton (Wii-mote) in a temple. Many years in the future, Wario stumbles across this temple and finds the artifact. Since he lives his life by the “finders keepers” mentality, he refuses to return the form baton to its rightful owners. Basically, the storyline just serves as a farfetched, often nonsensical, reason to play through the game’s over 200 microgames. Fortunately, the WarioWare franchise wasn’t built by its story, but rather by its gameplay.

    Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

    Similar to WarioWare: Touched and its introduction of the diverse ways to use the DS’ touch-screen controls, Smooth Moves acts as a tutorial for the Wii’s motion-sensing controller. The microgames in Smooth Moves will have you using the Wii-mote in almost every way imaginable. Each microgame is prefaced by a picture that shows exactly how you should hold the Wii-mote. These different positions are called forms. In all, there are 19 different forms to learn. These forms range from handling the controller like a remote, to more interesting uses, like holding it on your nose or wearing it on your head. Each form is unique and presents you with a wide variety of different challenges.

    The sheer number of microgames and the vast diversity of crazy objectives to complete will consistently keep you on your toes. One second you will be holding the Wii-mote at your side while revolving an onscreen hula hoop and the next, the Wii-mote will be on the end of your nose while collecting apples with an elephant trunk. Some microgames are better than others, but all are incredibly entertaining. My favorite microgames come from the 9-Volt level. All of these games are based on older Nintendo games. Most of Nintendo’s major franchises are represented, including Mario, Metroid, Zelda, and many more. Perhaps, the most satisfying being the Starfox microgames. Players will fly an Arwing by holding the Wii-mote like a steering wheel. While soaring, you will combat ground and air enemies, with a final boss battle with ROB the robot.

    Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

    Aside from microgames, the WarioWare series is best known for its quirky presentation and Smooth Moves doesn’t change that formula. Levels and characters are introduced through cartoons that have a look similar to that of South Park. Microgame visuals range from 2-D hand-drawn graphics to 3-D polygonal models and backgrounds. Each one is full of odd looking characters, objects, and backgrounds that make this game feel completely different from almost any other game in existence. All of the graphical choices work well as you jump from one task to the next, desperately trying to stay alive. Smooth Moves even incorporates Miis into many of its microgames, making everyone’s games look different. This game’s odd gameplay experiences are also enhanced by its excellent sound. As the game speeds up, so will the music. The pace of the music, strange sound effects, and random shouts from characters help to make the game seem increasingly frantic.

    All of the previous WarioWare games have appeared on portable systems. As such, they were heavily focused on an enjoyable single-player experience. While Smooth Moves still offers a great single-player experience, it is clearly meant for a crowd. The only thing better than having your friends and family watching you wave your arms around like you are having a seizure is having them participate in the madness. Smooth Moves offers several different multiplayer games that will have between two and twelve of your acquaintances looking like spastic fools while enjoying every minute of it. If the microgames become too hectic, you can even take a break and play a few games of virtual darts.

    Wario Ware: Smooth Moves screenshot

    Smooth Moves is an excellent addition to any Wii library. While the story mode only takes a few hours to complete, unlocking all of the microgames and pose cards can add several more hours of gameplay. Add in some unlockable mini-games and excellent multiplayer modes, and you have an entertaining experience that will keep you and your friends coming back for more. Just make sure that you don’t accidentally injure yourself or others while flailing in glee.


  • Revolutionary Fun: With hundreds of microgames, this game is just as wild as you’d expect from the name WarioWare, but the game play has been revolutionized. Under Wario’s tutelage and with the help of the Wii Remote, players will swing, spin, and squat their way to victory.
  • Tons and Tons of Microgames: With more than 200 lightning-quick microgames and controls that range from scribbling to flailing, WarioWare: Smooth Moves takes interactive gaming to a whole new level. All players need is confidence, a Wii Remote, and their best moves.
  • Off-Screen Party: With games that are as much fun to play as they are to watch people play, WarioWare: Smooth Moves brings the party to its feet. It’s hilarious for players and audiences alike.

    Rating out of 5 Rating Description


    This game looks like the last twenty years of video games vomited on a cartoon. Like the Mona Lisa, it is an odd-looking beauty to behold.


    Prepare to use the Wii-mote in ways you’ve only dreamt of. Best of all, they all work incredibly well.


    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Heart-pounding music, odd sound effects, and characters that randomly yell at you set the stage for an enjoyable experience.


    Play Value
    While being a great multiplayer party game, the single-player story mode is far too short.


    Overall Rating Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

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