WarioWare: Get It Together – Fun, Frantic, Frustrating

WarioWare has always been a deceptively simple and engrossing game. Sure it’s quick video game junk food that you can complete over a lunch break, but each game’s expansive and eccentric library of rapid-fire minigames and challenges that require exceptionally fast reactions and problem solving makes it such a unique and insane experience. WarioWare Gold was my favorite game during the 3DS’s lifespan, and while it was more or less just a “best-of” collection of WarioWare’s legacy by implementing various gimmicks throughout its console history (such as motion control from WarioWare: Twisted! and touch screen controls from WarioWare: Touched!) it brought WarioWare back to what made it great, with irresistible charm and addictive mini-game frenzy. While WarioWare Gold was the “gold” standard for the series, there’s always room to bring back the series and improve more and more. 

Get It Together brings Wario to the Nintendo Switch to reap more microgame chaos, with its regular cast of wacky, colorful characters and frantic brain busters. Everyone is back, but with an all-new look and a new way to play, each character playing different from each other (well, for some… we’ll get to that shortly). The game looks and feels great and can be a mountain of fun, sucking away your time before you know it. I don’t think I’ve had this much fun with a party game since, well, the last WarioWare

Like its predecessors, Get It Together’s insanity is introduced through a brief and entertaining story mode, which can be completed over the course of an afternoon. Wario is back to his game-developing shenanigans, using his friends over at WarioWare, Inc. (likely for free labor) to develop the next big, best-selling video game. Suddenly, a bug in the video game causes Wario and his pals to shrink down to chibi-stylized versions of themselves and are sucked into the game console, where they must find their way out. Notice how I’m able to sum up the game’s plot in two sentences because the stories ARE just that simple; but the story modes in this series are but an appetizer, a quick tutorial to set you up for the madness that comes much later. After all, WarioWare has always been about aiming for a high score through its microgame hellscape, plus there’s the plentiful bonuses that you can unlock. Put simply, even when the story is done, the game has just begun. Still, Charles Martinet’s voice acting from Gold is very absent and very missed in this.

Get It Together is the same frantic game you’d expect to come out of the WarioWare series, with a large variety of microgames that last seconds apiece. Whether you’re yanking out armpit hair, blocking basketball shots, removing junk from Wario’s stomach, or enjoying tea time in Fire Emblem: Three Houses, there are hundreds of absurd microgames that will put your reaction time and problem-solving to the test. But the more microgames you complete, the faster and harder they become, quickly turning into a lightning-paced speedrun as you frantically brute force your way through each microgame as you aim for the high score. While obviously each microgame is harder and easier than others depending on the person, it’s a nutritious balance of fairness and quick challenge that will encourage you to improve and adapt.

I don’t think it’s incredibly controversial to say WarioWare has had a problem with repetition over the years. Even with its hundreds of microgames per game, it’s possible to master each and every one, and once you see everything the game has to offer to you, it can quickly become stale. Get It Together solves this epidemic through an entirely unique gimmick in its biggest selling point: to have a roster of characters that can move about in each microgame and beat each one using their own skills. Rather than always playing one microgame the same way forever, there’s now dozens of unique ways to play. Whether you play co-op or alone, you can select a handful of a dozen characters to complete each microgame. Elementary schooler 18-Volt can rapidly shoot fast projectiles in any direction, but remains almost completely sedentary, making him difficult for games that require mobility; extraterrestrial Orbulon can use his abduction beam to lift and carry objects, but has a limited range of attack; cab driver Dribble can float around and shoot projectiles, but can only fire to the right.

This seems great, but this brings other issues into the foray; namely that some characters are just objectively worse versions of another (take, for example, Kat, who throws shurikens to the right of her, similarly to Dribble, but constantly bounces up and down making her next to impossible to control reliably). Even then, the worse characters spice up microgames in their own, fun ways. It gives you the option to have that extra challenge just for the fun of it. Respectively, certain characters outright break the game. Ashley has complete mobility, but can also shoot projectiles in any direction she so chooses, making her a candidate for the best character in the game. Then there’s 5-Volt, who can use her ghostly transformation to teleport anywhere. This allows her to bypass most levels, brain not required. While each character is fun in their own right, it did do the old “the same but better” trick a bit too often. 

So you have a short but fun story mode and tons of extra challenges, but what’s great to see is the amount of multiplayer party games that you unlock after the story. While I do prefer the content found in Gold, it’s nice to see proper party games return to WarioWare after Game & Wario and Gold made a detour from that. You have the returning competitive balloon inflation mode, a head-to-head survival mode, and a Smash Bros.-esque brawler where you use the game’s roster of characters to fight each other. On the downside, there’s no online multiplayer options, which can greatly dampen the overall experience, but playing with someone next to you is also bound to be a fun ride. Just definitely a mixed opportunity here.

Oh, and just for fun, this game also features Gacha mechanics. And no, no microtransactions in sight, so don’t worry. Instead, you can grind for in-game coins to unlock a random set of “Prezzies” that you can give to the different characters to have them level up and unlock different colors. It’s a nice but slight reward that’s very ignorable, but perhaps bafflingly, also boosts your leaderboard for the Wario Cup, a weekly challenge that changes every week. Still though, the customization aspects may not be entirely engaging or complex, but offers a nice reward for people who want to spice up their game even a slight bit.

To put it in a word, Get It Together is a delight, like receiving a cold pint of beer and a warm hug. A heartwarming, funny, and endlessly charming ride that’s easy to get lost in whether alone or with a companion. However mechanically frustrating it can be at times, the fun is never once lost. It’s not as rich as Gold (I mean, what is?) but offers plenty of fun that can only be found in WarioWare

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