Gaming Post 30: WarioWare: Twisted

The random number generator has determined that the game I should write about next is WarioWare: Twisted. It was one of the 3 portable motion controlled Game Boy games that I know about, as well as the second real installment of the WarioWare series.

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WarioWare games are great. They’re difficult to play at first, but with practice they become more enjoyable. It consists of playing various micro games in quick succession. Each micro game is only a few seconds long, and the player either wins or loses based on their actions after quickly being given the instructions. Some of the instructions can be too vague to understand the first time you see them, but there are only about 200 micro games in the game, so you end up memorizing a lot of them by the time you’re finished. 200 micro games sounds like a lot, and it is, but they are divided into categories when you play through the main story, so the rotation of possible micro games should only consist of about 20 when you’re first learning them. You can play a mode at the end when any game can appear, but that’s after the main story.

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Aside from the first one, WarioWare games have always had a gimmick related to the controls. This time, the gimmick was motion controls. At the time, the Wii didn’t exist yet, so motion controlled games felt new and exciting. Despite how common they are now, this game is one of the best motion controlled games I ever played.

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Take a look at this cartridge! I don’t know how it works but it’s amazing!

The other motion controlled Game Boy games I know about are Kirby Tilt-N-Tumble and Yoshi: Topsy Turvy. WarioWare: Twisted is the first one I played, and the best of them, but I eventually beat all 3. I wonder why so many of these titles use the letter T so prominently. It might just be a weird coincidence.

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The story starts with Wario accidentally breaking his Game Boy Advance. He takes it to his friend Dr. Crygor and tells him to fix it. Instead, Crygor modifies it to have motion controls. Wario sees the potential of it and starts developing games for the new system.

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The whole game uses tilt controls and occasionally the A and B buttons. This also applies to the menu. You will never use the directional pad for anything.

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I’m a big fan of WarioWare. My friend Jonah introduced the series to me, but I only really got into formally completing the games myself once I received a download for the first WarioWare game through the 3DS Ambassador program. My local Target store dropped the price of the 3DS from $250 to $180 a day early, so I bought it for $180 the day they dropped the price but still got the Ambassador games.

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#Win

I always strive for 100% completion in WarioWare games. In order to do that, there’s a certain process I undertake. First, I try out the first category of micro games. If I make it to the boss and win, I unlock the next category of micro games, but I don’t move on to playing them yet.

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There’s a mode in the better 4 WarioWare games that lets you play a particular micro game over and over until you lose 4 times. Just like in the regular mode, the micro games get faster and sometimes trickier the further you progress. If you can reach the high score goal for beating a micro game a certain amount of times in one go, the game acknowledges this achievement with a flower icon (I think) on that particular micro game in the micro game selection menu.

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Example of a micro game

I work to get the achievement for every single available micro game, and I stop once I’ve reached all the high scores. If there are micro games you can’t access in challenge mode, it means that you’ve never encountered them before in regular mode. In those cases, I would go into regular mode with the express point of finding the locked micro games. Having practiced the micro games unlocked so far, I’d be able to survive long past the first time encountering the boss micro game, and as I progressed further, the faster micro games went and thus the more likely I was to encounter the locked micro games quickly. WarioWare is definitely a situation where practice makes perfect.

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Another micro game

Once I unlock all the micro games and complete their challenges, there are still neat things to collect. WarioWare: Twisted takes advantage of its unique controls by adding in neat virtual toys that they call “souvenirs”. I think it’s great that ideas like these see the light of day because they are bundled with a product that is actually worth buying.

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Example: When you rotate the game system, the globe rotates too.

My favorite micro games in WarioWare are generally the ones developed by the character 9-Volt. He’s a Nintendo Fan who (by an extension of logic) lives on the same planet as Mario, Wario and Donkey Kong. His games remix old Nintendo games with changes either in controls or context. This time he added Motion Controls to classic Nintendo titles.

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I wouldn’t be surprised if he grew up to develop NES Remix.

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WarioWare: Twisted was never localized in Europe. Some say it was never sold there because the mechanism inside the cartridge used mercury and mercury is one of the poisonous substances blocked from being sold in the European Union, but this is probably not why.

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A mercury thermometer. Not all thermometers contain mercury.

The main reason I don’t believe that the mercury rumor is true is that mercury is poisonous no matter what country you’re in. I am pretty sure that people wouldn’t allow a poisonous substance to be used in a toy or video game sold in America, so the only other theory I’ve read that makes sense to me has something to do with the long bureaucratic process for approving games to be sold in Europe. The idea is that either the process for getting the game’s approval took too long or it was predicted that it would take too long and (either way) was abandoned by Nintendo of Europe since their focus shifted from marketing Game Boy Advance to the Nintendo DS. A similar thing happened with Earthbound Beginnings between its release in Japan and its lack of localization anywhere else. Earthbound Beginnings eventually did get released worldwide on Virtual Console, but it took a long time and a lot of fan outcry to make it happen. For anyone wanting to play this game in Europe, I’d recommend just buying an American copy, since there was no region lock on the Game Boy Advance so it should work with a European console.

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Europe did get some of these WarioWare: Twisted micro games via the inclusion of a few of them in a category within the WarioWare game for Wii, WarioWare: Smooth Moves. Both games had motion controls, so the category’s inclusion was an elegant throwback to “retro” motion controlled micro games.

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A micro game in WarioWare: Smooth Moves

Theoretically, Nintendo might be able release the entirety of WarioWare: Twisted for the Wii U Virtual Console, but honestly, I don’t see it happening. WarioWare: Twisted is a great game, but it’s relatively obscure. If you want to play it, definitely order a copy online. I recommend it!

Wario's game development team
Wario’s game development team

Thanks for Reading! I Appreciate it!

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Gaming Post 20: Super Mario Galaxy 2

The random number generator has chosen my favorite single player game OF ALL TIME!!! The game is Super Mario Galaxy 2. It came out in early 2010 at the end of my Senior Year of High School. At the time, I still didn’t have a Wii, but that’s beside the point.

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I remember that Nintendo used their YouTube channel really well to hype this game up. They uploaded trailers in the form of purposefully glitchy videos with upside down video titles as if they were sent through space. Here’s a sample of a trailer that was re-uploaded by a fan and was thus preserved.

I remember that I really kept up with these trailers. I don’t usually pay attention to games much until they come out but Super Mario Galaxy 2 was an exception firstly because the game looked so good and secondly because the trailers were so fun.

That was my favorite trailer of them all because it showed us a huge reference to the Mario game that started my 3D Mario adventure; Throwback Galaxy AKA Thwomp’s Fortress from Super Mario 64. At the time, my favorite single player game of all time was Super Mario Galaxy 1, but in basically every way Super Mario Galaxy 2 was better. It was almost like DLC for Galaxy 1, as there was no overlap in the two experiences. It was just the addition of some really awesome levels. Sure, you may fight a boss again in Galaxy 2 that you already fought in Galaxy 1, but you’re using a different power up, so it’s a different strategy involved.

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There was a countdown on Nintendo’s web page for Super Mario Galaxy 2’s release date, but after it reached zero, it started going up. I recorded this video of peoples’ reactions.

I actually had a bit of trouble securing a system to play this game on. As it turned out, my friend Jonah had become fed up with me borrowing his Wii System for so long a period of time, so I couldn’t actually use his anymore. For some reason, my friend Nick’s Wii wouldn’t work with the game either. For a while, my only solution was bringing Galaxy 2 and an SD card around with me wherever I went, playing whenever I could use someone’s Wii. This process was ridiculously slow, so after getting about 70 stars this way, I realized that I really needed my own Wii to fully complete the game. Around this time, a new edition of the Wii surfaced.

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The (second) best Wii System ever
The actual best Wii System ever, owned by the Queen of England
The best Wii System ever is actually the Royal Wii, which is owned by the Queen of England.

I had held myself back from asking for a Wii system for a long time, but it felt like the time was right to ask for one for Christmas. Not only did I want it to play Galaxy 2 but also to play the Zelda game for Wii that would be coming out (Skyward Sword). I had just finished the existing Zelda Series that summer while my Galaxy 2 progress was in a halted state. So, I asked my mom for the Black Wii System, and the first Christmas I came back from College, it was under the tree. I was worried that my dad wouldn’t be too happy about it, but he didn’t mind. In fact, that Christmas break, along with furiously playing through Galaxy 2 from scratch (I decided to start the game over), I taught him how to use Netflix. He was very impressed.

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I think it's pretty funny that this disc ever existed.
I found this image, and I think it’s pretty funny that such a disc ever existed. Most people just downloaded the channel for free from the Wii Shop.

The first thing I did upon getting the Wii was boot up the Shop Channel. I had a 1000 Nintendo points card prepared for this moment, and so I redeemed it and bought PacMan. I then briefly played PacMan. This was done purely for the irony.

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Gotta save some quarters

Over winter break, as I said, I furiously played through Galaxy 2. I think I was exposed to BBC Radio for the first time during quite a bit of my play-through, as my dad had it playing loudly on the computer in the TV room. Mario isn’t a story driven game, so it can be enjoyable while multitasking, consuming two different types of entertainment at the same time. I played so much of this game that I got all 120 stars in the main story and started the Green Star second story.

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Essentially, there are 120 green stars hidden throughout 40 stages in the game, 3 per stage. It’s similar to how they would later appear in Super Mario 3D World, except that obtaining one in Galaxy 2 takes you out of the level immediately to save the fact that you got it, just like a regular star in the game. They’re hidden, but you can try to listen for the sound the stars make as you travel through each level, and use the number given to each star you obtain as a hint for what part of the level you should look for the other stars in. It always goes in order; 1 is first, 2 is second and 3 is third. If you find Star 1, all the other stars are after the part of the level you found it in, and so on.

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It seems that I played about 45 hours of Galaxy 2 that week, but that wasn’t quite enough to finish the game, just because of the final level.

Now, I should probably mention that I beat this game entirely as Mario rather than Luigi. Maybe I have an excuse to revisit this game some day as Luigi. I’m still afraid of that final level though. The tool assisted speed run you just watched may have made it look like it was easy, but it was not.

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According to the calender in the data of my Wii, I played the game on March 15th during a vacation after returning to college on January 2nd. I played for hours trying to beat the final level, but it wasn’t until March 16th that I finally cleared it. Throughout the entire game I tried not to be nervous, because I knew that being nervous can cause one to make mistakes, but in the final seconds of the final level my heart started beating intensely of its own accord, and yet I still succeeded! It was a thrilling moment for me.

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Super Mario Galaxy 2 is now available to purchase on the Wii U eshop for $19.99. If you have time to play the game, I highly recommend it.

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As always, Thanks for Reading! =)