WarioWare Touched! introduces a gameplay experience that finally stands behind Nintendo’s “Touching is good” ad campaign for their new portable gaming hardware, the Nintendo DS. Don’t get me wrong, we here at MyGamer have had plenty of fun with the DS since its release last November. However, no other DS title has utilized its touch screen like this current incarnation of the WarioWare series. In fact, WarioWare: Touched! not only proves that touching is good, but it’s also addictively fun.
The Nintendo DS is the perfect vehicle for the WarioWare franchise. WarioWare games are just begging to be touched! Even while playing the previous ?non-touching’ WarioWare titles, WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgame$ and WarioWare Inc.: Mega Party Game$ released on the GBA and GameCube, respectively, I’ve wanted to reach right into the screen and more effectively manipulate the franticly paced games. Now, with WarioWare: Touched! this urge can be satisfied – almost.
You see, WarioWare: Touched! not only allows the player to use the stylus and touch screen, it requires it. Over the course of nearly 200 mini-games, you’ll be grasping the stylus as you poke scribble, drag, circle, and slice at the Nintendo DS’s lower screen. Occasionally your hand and the touch screen will receive a reprieve from all the physical abuse, as a handful of the games in WarioWare: Touched! require the player to blow into the microphone port(!). One game, for example, will have you ?blowing’ off the advances of some admiring females. This deviation from all the ?touching’ provides some fun-filled variety as well as embarrassment, especially if you’re playing in public.
Like the previous WariorWare titles, Touched! offers the same type of frantically paced gameplay. Individually the games are short and simple, but when doled out randomly at ever increasing speed and difficulty, they make for some massively involving and frenzied fun. The mini-games are categorized and introduced through a series of bizarre characters. There’s Ashley the goth girl, ninja sisters, Ana and Kat, and Mike the karaoke robot – to name but a few. The characters and their accompanying stories offer little more than a cute distraction between mini-games. At the very least they provide a chance to catch your breath before Wario starts tossing more craziness at you.
Once a character’s games have been unlocked they can then be selected individually, allowing players to practice or achieve high scores on their favorites. The real fun starts when all the mini-games have been unlocked. This opens a gameplay mode that mixes all the game types together, randomly presenting them to the player. Thirty seconds of play might find you slicing vegetables, unraveling a roll of toilet paper, petting a kitten, or controlling an RC car. This is the best part of WarioWare: Touched!, as it provides endless replay value. It’s rare for a game to actually become more playable after its completion. Continued play will also be rewarded with a variety of unlockable toys and gadgets; ranging from boring (a calculator) to cool (a pet chameleon), which in turn allow for further exploration of the touch screen’s abilities.
WarioWare games have always focused on gameplay over graphics, so it’s no surprise that Touched! breaks no new ground in this area. The graphics do, however, serve the purpose of presenting Wario’s bizarre world. The game’s visuals, although decent, actually take a backseat to the excellent audio, which plays an important role in the game’s pacing. The superb music compliments the chaotic and frenzied feel of the mini-games. As the music intensity increases, the pressure to keep up is heightened. Definitely play this one with the volume up.
WarioWare: Touched! does a great job of showcasing what Nintendo’s new handheld is capable of. No other DS game uses the touch screen to such great effect. That being said, the marriage of the WarioWare franchise and the DS does fall short in a few areas. It’s both surprising and disappointing that with the DS’s superior hardware, Touched! actually contains fewer games than the GBA’s WarioWare Inc.: Mega Microgame$. Also, how could Nintendo pass up this opportunity to include some WI-FI multiplayer features? Surely this is the perfect game for it.
Lots of people remain on the consumer fence as to whether the Nintendo DS is worth its $150USD price tag. The eventual result of this decision becomes ever more complex with the release of the much-hyped Sony PSP just around the corner. As much as this reviewer likes WarioWare: Touched!, it’s not worth the purchase price of a DS. However, if you’re already a DS owner, and have been itching for a game that really lets you go nuts with the touch screen, then this title is a must-have purchase. Touched is both fun and addictive with tons of accompanying replay value. It also goes some way to proving the popular marketing adage that touching is, indeed, good.