Game & Wario

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All hail Wario

Paying tribute to the original Nintendo anti-hero.

"Anti-heroes" aren't supposed to look like Wario. Anti-heroes aren't really supposed to have preset characteristics at all - the whole point is that they're defined by negation - but in the course of countless Gothic vampire stories and cyberpunk adventures, the role has come to involve certain visual traits. Anti-heroes must be lean, sexy, glowering and little-spoken, with a regulation two days' worth of stubble and a variety of intriguing scars. Their lips must be curling, bleached, sardonic. The eyes? Glowing, slitted, bionic and/or bloodshot. The apparel? Trench coats, mirror shades, knee-high boots, flapping bandages and anything cut from dark leather with sharp angles that smells ever so slightly of S&M.

Game & Wario review

Game & Wario review

Anarchy reigned in?

Game & Wario creates an odd first impression, but it all starts to make more sense when you take its star out of the picture. If rumours are correct, Wario was surgically spliced into this arrangement of GamePad exercises later on in the development process than you might have expected; even if he was there from the start, the graft hasn't quite worked.

Nintendo and Intelligent Systems are offering 16 mini-games rather than hundreds of loopy micro-games this time around, and while they're often inventive, they're frequently complex and even a little cumbersome. The challenges that Wario has historically chucked your way could generally be summarised with a single word and then figured out on the fly. Chop! Sneeze! Dodge! It's not uncommon to fire up one of Game & Wario's activities, however, and find a couple of pages of introductory text to work through. Here's how to hold the GamePad. Here's when to switch your attention between big and little screens.

More elaborate games can require more elaborate rules, of course, but for an anti-hero who's always thrived on finding instant fun in new hardware, it's still a bit worrying. With the Wii U, has Wario met his match?

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Nintendo's Game & Wario finally gets Wii U release date

Wii U mini-game compilation Game & Wario will arrive in the UK on 28th June, Nintendo has announced.

Designed by the WarioWare team, the collection includes 16 mini-games - 12 single-player and four multiplayer.

The bite-sized games are designed to highlight different uses for the touchscreen GamePad controller - as a camera to catch criminals within a crowd, for example, or a sketchpad in a game of virtual Pictionary.

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Game & Wario Preview: Game, Set & Wario?

Game & Wario Preview: Game, Set & Wario?

A quartet of gems suggest that Nintendo's anti-Mario is as much fun as ever.

So it turns out that Nintendo has a bunch of decent games for the Wii U. They just chose not to show people all of them. It's a question of priorities, really. I understand. Why make room in your E3 press conference for a brilliant new Platinum Games project when it's going to eat into precious time that Reggie could be using to do an impression of a randy French zombie? (It was meant to be randy, right?) Why tell anyone you've got a new WarioWare in the works, when you could be showing off Batman - a dazzling action adventure that absolutely everybody's already played?

Oh well. It's hard to stay upset when WarioWare's back, and - guess what? - WarioWare's back. The series' masterful blend of chaos and precision has been sorely missed from the 3DS's line-up so far, but at least it's going to make it to the Wii U. Rejoice!

Also, I've played four of the new games. Ski is the least interesting of the bunch, so let's get it over with quickly. It's all about Jimmy, and he's cel-shaded and racing across the ice to get to a disco. The skier uses the Game Pad, held vertically, to view proceedings from a top-down perspective: tilt to steer, don't miss the jumps, and would it kill you to stay out of the snow? The rest of the family follows the action on the telly, incidentally, and they get to see the whole thing nicely cut together, as if they're watching the best Winter Olympics ever. Go Jimmy! Disco is life!

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New Wario game heading to Wii U

Game & Wario announced after Nintendo's E3 conference.

An all-new Wario game has been announced for Nintendo's Wii U - and it seems to take its cues from classic Game & Watch titles, as evidenced by its name, Game & Wario.