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WarioWare: Get It Together review — Refreshing and sometimes frustrating

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WarioWare: Mega Microgames for the Game Boy Advance is one of those formative games for me. It showed me that the medium doesn’t always have to fit into neat, pre-determined genres. It helped that the game (with its rapid-fire 5-second action sequences) was fun and funny. The new WarioWare: Get It Together maintains that tradition. It is fun and funny. But it’s also obvious that the designers at Nintendo, and co-developers Intelligent Systems and Koei Tecmo, are struggling to live up to the franchise’s legacy of introducing exciting and new ways of interacting with WarioWare’s games. And that leads to a game that is still fundamentally a delight but one that may also not feel quite as original as it once did.

Even without that novelty, however, WarioWare: Get It Together is still a great time. The spin on the gameplay this time is that you control an on-screen character and that you can play the games cooperatively with other people controlling different characters. In previous entries in the series, you interacted with each game directly instead of through an avatar.

Each character also has their own abilities that are different from one another. Wario can fly and has a shoulder charge, another can only jump, and some are either always jumping or always riding back and forth on a skateboard. This makes some specific games more challenging depending on who you have on your team. That is occasionally frustrating, but it also means that Get It Together has more variety than a traditional WarioWare.

Nintendo is using all of that to present Get It Together as a broader sort of part game for families. And I don’t know if it succeeds at that. But as a long-time WarioWare fan, I’m enjoying myself.

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Still silly but even more challenging

I am happy with this WarioWare. That is likely due in part to the release of WarioWare Gold at the end of 3DS’s life in 2018. That greatest-hits collection brought together many of the best elements of previous WarioWares and ensured I have something to go back to if I want that classic style. So I’m OK that Get It Together goes in a different direction. At the same time, I suspect some fans may find that the change takes away some of the charm of what made WarioWare works. For me, however, I love throwing WarioWare into a tube of toothpaste.

Get It Together nails what is important — it’s still silly and funny. You’ll find lots of mild toilet humor that also somehow skirts gross-out jokes. The game also continues to revel in the absurd, like tweezing a statue’s armpit hair or putting a leaf over a nude robot’s crotch.

It’s the kinda stuff that is maybe more likely to make a kid laugh, but I cannot help that I’m immature. And if you do play with a kid, their enthusiasm for what is happening on screen is infectious.

But beyond the presentation and core mechanics, I also am finding myself going back to the game — even in solo play. Get It Together has a mode called Wario Cup where you pick five characters and try to survive as many microgames as possible. The longer you go, the higher you will end up on the leaderboards where you can compare yourself against friends and the world.

Wisely, the game also takes into account the difficulty of each character. So if you complete a stage as the relentlessly skateboarding 9-Volt, you’ll get a score bonus. This should encourage many players to build teams using the more challenging characters. And going back to this mode to compete against friends has made me like the game even more.

WarioWare: Get It Together is something different

While the WarioWare formula is decades old now, the series is still so odd compared to the rest of gaming. And Nintendo executes on maintaining that weirdness with Get It Together. Even with the new mechanical twist, this is not some revolutionary step forward. But it is still good, solid fun.

This is a game I expect to go back to regularly throughout the life of the Switch. But when I do, it probably won’t be for the multiplayer. Those modes are fine, but cooperative play adds a bit too much stress. But as a classic WarioWare, Get It Together shines.

WarioWare: Get It Together is available now for Nintendo Switch for $50. Nintendo provided a download code to GamesBeat for the purpose of this review.

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