within minutes of play WarioWare: Get It Together!, I completely puzzled my switch. I wasn’t obsessed with all the impossibly fondant figurines or gachapon-pooping chickens; I didn’t understand why I was pressing the buttons on my Joy-Cons instead of rotating them wildly.
In previous iterations, WarioWare games have taken full advantage of Nintendo’s technological experiments and thrived because of it. WarioWare: Touched! The Nintendo DS makes excellent use of the touchscreen, while WarioWare: Smooth Moves Rare is a Wii game that was improved by motion controls. In theory, the switch is an ideal location for the chain. The gyroscope, HD rumble, and seemingly forgotten IR sensor all feel like features that could have come together to create a more intuitive collection of 5-second minigames with creative control schemes. So why was I moving a joystick and pressing A in every game instead?
WarioWare: Get It Together! It’s a welcome return to one of Nintendo’s most delightfully weird series, bringing some mildly portable entertainment. While it’s hard to ignore what a missed opportunity this is, as it trades in spirited control experiments for an oddly earthy character-swapping gimmick.
structurally, WarioWare: Get It Together! There’s Something About a Return to Form After the Wii U’s Baffle Games and Wario. This minigame is a fast-paced collection of gauntlets where players must complete bite-sized challenges in rapid succession. One minute you’re squeezing ketchup on a plate of spaghetti, the next you’re lighting a fire by tilting a statue of a pissed cherub at right angles. The joy of WarioWare is that it doesn’t give players more than a second to process its bizarre visual gags. Games end in mere seconds, making it a constant barrage of absurd punchlines.
The main difference this time around – and this is a big one – is that there are multiple characters in the game, each with their own particular play style. Wario can freely move around the screen and deal with obstacles. Meanwhile, the 9-Volt only skateboards back and forth, shooting a projectile directly. Each microgame is designed so that any character can complete it, although players may be required to think outside the box in certain situations.
It is as clever as it is unequal. Sometimes I stumbled upon a surprising solution that made me feel like a crazy genius who had sabotaged the game. A microgame asks players to push the dog’s tongue up so that it can swallow water from a dripping tap. Instead, I found I could use Penny, who has a water gun, to just fill her mouth without interacting with her tongue. Ability premise works best when players can accidentally stumble into little moments like that.
get it together! Often asks players to assemble a small team of characters to tackle any playlist, but there are some characters I never even think to use.
However, they are few and far between. More often, I find myself contradicting motives in which my character was objectively worse than that of others. This is especially notable when it comes to characters who can fly around independently versus those who can only move by holding moving rings. A minigame consists of players searching for a cell phone signal. With a character like Wario, it’s as simple as finding the right icon by crossing a few icons. With someone like a 16-Volt, a stationary character who needs to throw a projectile at a ring in order to move, that same game is an absolute struggle.
get it together! Often asks players to assemble a small team of characters to tackle any playlist, but there are some characters I never even think to use. Characters like Pyro, who angled their tongues diagonally out to attack, are difficult to use and have no real advantage. Why would I choose her over Ashley, who flies freely while shooting projectiles in every direction? The game never gives a good answer to that question, making some characters feel completely obsolete.
While its basic gimmick doesn’t quite work, the game is still a delightful oddity. There’s a quick, but enjoyable two-and-a-half hour story mode to complete (which feels short, but on par with previous WarioWare games), but the real fun comes from chasing the high score. Players can dive into the Microgame playlist and try to complete as many as possible before losing four lives. While microgames aren’t always the series’ coolest creations (save for the Nintendo-themed one, which has a hilarious cameo) Fire Emblem: Three Housesat tea time), they become especially addictive when played in a high-stakes, high-speed gauntlet.
However, the most surprising thing is how well get it together! Connects all your little systems and modes together. The story mode and play-o-pedia (which lets players simply play a specific microgame over and over) serve as the main hooks of the game, but they are part of a larger ecosystem. There are achievements in the game, which reward coins for completing various challenges. Those direct players hit certain goals, such as achieving a certain score on a playlist, giving more motivation to play beyond just chasing scores.
Coins earned from the achievements funnel come through in the game’s quirky, entertaining crew management mode. Players basically use the in-game cash to buy random items from chicken-shaped gachapon machines. Those items can be given as gifts to each character, earning them a certain amount of experience points. As they level up, each character gets some mild customization options and some art. I quickly found myself completely obsessed as I tried to unlock every single “Prezi” and figure out which gifts are best for each character to maximize experience gains.
However, the most surprising thing is how well get it together! Connects all your little systems and modes together.
More importantly, level-ups increase a character’s ability score in Wario Cup, with the ability to become the game’s permanent hook. Each week, the game will have a different ranked challenge playlist for players to compete in. Get a high score, win some awesome prizes. Since the game lacks online features, this is its only real leaderboard. I spent hours trying to complete the first week’s challenge, a collection of hyper-fast games where players only control a skateboarding 9-volt. The more I level him in Crew Mode, the higher the score multiplier I’ll get in Wario Cup.
Only then does the entire pipeline unfold itself. Play minigames to complete achievements. Unlock achievements to get coins. Use coins to buy Prezzies. Use Prezis to level up characters. Use level-up characters to gain an edge in the Wario Cup. It’s a beautiful loop that had me hooked for longer than I expected. With the Wario Cup facing ongoing weekly challenges, there’s a good chance I’ll keep checking in once a week to hit that full circle.
get it together! There’s a heavy emphasis on multiplayer, which is surprising considering the Super Smash Bros.-esque character selection screen. Two players can work together to set a high score or compete in a series of up to four minigames. While some multiplayer modes are simplified duels, like a boring volleyball game that feels like it was made in Nintendo game builder garage, the modes that revolve around head-to-head microgame clearing, provide some hectic fun. Clearing a game in seconds is hard enough and it gets stressful when you’re trying to finish it in front of three other people (or trying to finish it while those three people are staring at the screen). bounce up and down as you try to play).
While it’s easy to imagine multiplayer working with players who all know the game, the complex character system makes it more difficult as a casual party game. In WarioWare, it’s already hard enough for a newcomer to figure out how to complete an objective on the fly (my inexperienced multiplayer partner was dumbfounded on screen as vague commands like “Phil” on the screen). Get It Together! In the game, they’ll need to learn 20 different characters and what each does. The story mode does a good job of introducing each character’s powers, but there’s no tutorial in multiplayer.
That’s where I come back to my frustration about the lack of Joy-Con support in the game. WarioWare: Smooth Moves So successful as a party game because its so easy to understand microgames. When players are asked to “answer the phone,” it’s not hard to figure out that they need to lift the Wiimote up to their ear. The best WarioWare titles feature that level of natural design that makes them so unique.
While it’s easy to imagine multiplayer working with players who all know the game, the complex character system makes it more difficult as a casual party game.
It is not so here. Instead, players have to explain WarioWare’s already confusing premise and then run the character system on top of that. And since some characters are harder to control or objectively worse in minigames than others, I wouldn’t blame a newbie for feeling completely baffled by what’s happening for the wrong reasons.
get it together! Works best as a single high-score race played in 10-minute bursts. It’s just a shame it’s such a hard sell as a party game, because the Switch is so sorely lacking in that department. Let me throw your Joy-Con through your TV already!
WarioWare: Get It Together! A pretty well-constructed series of gameplay loops includes a healthy dose of absurd fun, but it’s hard to imagine what could have been. Its character-driven premise is weaker than previous entries, which include spontaneous technical gimmicks. Microgame and multiplayer both suffer from a lack of creative control. The weirdest thing about it…