Tech News on G4
Wario not Ware-ing out his welcome
May 6, 2010
By Daniel Barron - G4 Canada
Most gamers know a good game when they play one and will appreciate it till the cows come home by investing hours upon hours into it, defending it from haters, and downloading add-on content.
But how many gamers actually ever consider the kind of work required to make a game? It's mind-boggling to wrap one's head around the time and effort needed to put together something like Metal Gear Solid 4, Mario Galaxy or God of War. It's crazy to think that any of these games should be forgotten years after their release.
To gain a true appreciation for what it's like to make a video game, look no further than WarioWare D.I.Y. This game manages to break down in the simplest of terms what a game requires, and then lets the player make something of their own.
For anyone unfamiliar with WarioWare, the titles in the series are basically a collection of dozens of rapid-fire minigames. Each minigame lasts at most about four seconds, and half the fun is in figuring out what the heck you're supposed to do to complete the 'level'.
It's a fairly simplistic idea, but the different titles in the series have held up well over the years by adding in cool multiplayer components or taking advantage of each Nintendo system's capabilities (GameBoy Advance's tilt functionality, DS' touch screen, to name a couple).
With D.I.Y., the whole idea is to make your own minigames. We've seen 'do-it-yourself' games before - everything from Excite Bike to LittleBigPlanet - but WarioWare D.I.Y. guides you through the process step by step. More importantly, you're making bite-size minigames, not massive levels for a first person shooter, for instance, so it's all a lot more manageable, even for the most amateur person.
Keep in mind there are a few caveats here. First - if you don't like following directions, you may not get much out of WW: DIY. When you fire up the game for the first time, there's not a whole lot to do besides learn how to make games. The only way to unlock new minigames is by completing lessons, which are 'taught' by the studious Penny and the ever-impatient Wario.
The other caveat is that even these quick minigames can take hours to complete, depending on how complex you want to make it. A game where you have to pop a stationary balloon is one thing, but that's about as simple as it gets. To make something original that will keep your audience's attention will require a lot more work.
Though Penny and Wario like to talk a lot, they do answer just about every question before it's asked, and are very good at being clear and concise, even repeating points that are particularly important.
Now, D.I.Y. wouldn't be a WarioWare game without a ton of extras, and sure enough, it delivers. Rest assured that there are a ton of pre-made minigames featuring all your past series favourites, from Ashley to Orbulon to the awesome 9-Volt, who's games feature awesome homages to Nintendo titles, both past and present. Again though, it's important to remember that most of these minigames can only be unlocked by completing game-making lessons.
D.I.Y. also includes a jukebox, easy-to-use music editor and a slew of ridiculous 4-strip comic books, of which you can also make your own.
There are even a ton of achievements to unlock, from playing certain games a set number of times, to playing for a set number of hours, to linking up with friends.
That's the other great thing about D.I.Y. - if you're just not that into making your games, you can always check out what other people have made by linking up locally or downloading free minigames online through the Nintendo WiFi Channel.
Further to that, you can download the WarioWare: D.I.Y. Showcase, which lets you play your DS games in, er ... all their 480p glory on your TV. Showcase has its own set of pre-installed minigames as well. Just know you won't be using your Wii Remote to make games with this software.
D.I.Y. is one of the best game creation tools to be released yet. It's sure to hook some people who are iffy about making their own games, though if you've always hated creating games on your own, this WarioWare title likely won't change your mind. By the same token, the D.I.Y. Showcase is really only for those who are really hardcore about making and showing off minigames. It's certainly a neat addition for the title, but it's not free.
There's a lot of trial-and-error, reading and re-reading, and fine-tuning, but it's extremely satisfying to know that the finished product is something you made with your own two hands and a stylus.
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.