I’m writing today’s review as a direct response to something I saw a lot online after the 2011 E3. At this year’s expo, Nintendo announced their upcoming game console; the Wii U. Among other things, this new console will feature a tablet like controller. What really bugged me were the people saying Nintendo was now jumping on the touch screen bandwagon. Oh really now? Let’s take a look at that claim: The Apple iPad, released April 2010, The Apple iPhone, unveiled in January 2007, 1st Generation iPod Touch launched September 2007, Sony PSP came out December 2004… and the Nintendo DS first came out in November of 2004. Before that, were there any touch screen made specifically for gaming? Nintendo isn’t jumping on a band wagon, they built it! Now to prove this point, I’ll be talking about a game that makes heavy use of the touch screen with WarioWare: Touched! For the Nintendo DS.
Nintendo’s WarioWare series of games is actually a selection of micro-games (games even smaller than mini-games): most of the time you’re required to do the simplest of tasks (such as pressing the right button quickly). That doesn’t sound challenging, but there are a few things that might mess you up. For example, you have a time limit (normally less than 5 seconds) so you gotta be quick. Also games come at such a rapid fire rate that it would break the momentum if they actually explain them to you. This means that you may mess up based on the fact that you’re given one word instructions, such as “poke”… “Poke what?” After you play each game, you’ll figure it out and this shouldn’t cause a problem again. What will cause the problem is the increasing speed and difficulty. No matter what mode you play in, eventually the speed will start getting faster. This means less time between micro-games and less time to complete them, which might make you panic into the wrong choice.
So that’s basically the series. WarioWare: touched! Brings the DS touch screen into the mix. The game will divide the micro-games into selections based on characters, and each character has an action that is constant throughout their games, such as poke, drag, rub, scribble, etc… This can make each section easier, since you’ll know basically what action you’ll need to do for each game (still, don’t get too comfortable). It’s all pretty fun and makes good use of the screen (and microphone for one character).
The art style is interesting and eclectic. What I mean by this is I don’t know how to describe this game’s look. Very few of the games actually look like each other: some use real life still images, other’s look anime inspired, you get something that looks out of clip art and some are basic pixels. The game’s menu does have an overall look like something from a 32-bit system, but the designs are odd: you can really tell it’s Japanese. It gives me the same feeling as seeing someone walking around in a morphsuit; I find it odd, but I just don’t quite know why. Though of course, I’m not saying it’s of inferior quality.
Speaking of the good quality of this game, the sounds are really neat. Each character has a selection of things they shout between games depending on how you did, and they all have really cool (DJ like) effects on them. Along with that, the music is pretty cool, all capturing the feel of whatever you’re looking at, whether it be simple, retro, funny, cute or (of course) weird.If I had to describe WarioWare: Touched! In a word it would be weird. Weird, but in an organized way, the type of weirdness done on purpose; like the developers Intelligent Systems knew they were making something weird. It’s also fun, quirky and a great game at showing you what DS could do in a quick manner. If you like a lot of those iPhone games, there will be some microgames that might give you similar feelings to Doodle Jump, Fruit Ninja and even Angry Birds (but much shorter and simpler of course). If you haven’t played any WarioWare game, or have a DS and are looking for something to really get the most use of its unique features, then I recommend this. I give WarioWare: Touched! 8.5 levels out of 10.