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WarioWare: Smooth Moves (JP) is a video game released for the Wii in early 2007, just a couple months after the release of the console itself. It stars Wario as the main character of the game and is another addition to his own established WarioWare series that consist of various, quick mini-games in a comical fashion.

Among the first games released for the system, the game designers knew early on that they would be able to use the Wii Remote in unique ways to create an engaging title. There are over 200 microgames included in Smooth Moves that all make use of the Wii Remote.

Although the game used the same artwork style for all the case covers, an interesting touch was the use of differently coloured backgrounds for each region. Almost a decade after the game's original launch, it was later ported within the eShop service where it could be downloaded on the Wii U console.

Gameplay

As with the previous WarioWare titles, Smooth Moves is structured around completing short, simple tasks (dubbed "microgames"), which increase in speed and difficulty as the player progresses. The various microgames are divided in sets hosted by a WarioWare character. Unlike previous WarioWare games, most of the character sets do not have a clear differentiation in theme or control method, apart from ways to hold the Wiimote (dubbed "forms") being progressively introduced.

Most microgames solely use motion controls, though an handful of games require pressing A and one set uses the Wiimote + Nunchuck combo. Before each microgame, a "form card" appears briefly to show the player how to hold the Wiimote.

Between each sets, the player can select a map icon named "Temple of Form" to practice unlocked microgames, which are grouped by both microgame sets and forms. Unlike previous WarioWare games, the player cannot set scores for individual microgames as the session automatically ends after going through each three difficulty level.

Microgames

Wario

  • Pest Control
  • Playing Hooky
  • Wario PI
  • On the Ropes
  • Take a Stab at It
  • Wokka Wokka!
  • Crowd Control
  • Wario Fu
  • You Can Pick Your Friends...
  • Poster Child
  • Shaving Scream
  • On In Hole
  • Biggest Fan (BOSS)

Mona

  • Stage Fright
  • Welcome Committee
  • Keep Your Guy on the Ball
  • Fan Boy
  • Shakedown
  • Swat Team
  • Carrot Away
  • Runner's High
  • Fired Up
  • Dough Boy
  • Up for Grabs
  • Come to Poppa
  • Closing Time
  • Over Easy
  • Honeymoon Fall Out
  • Universal Marionette
  • Cupsy Daisy
  • Escape Artist
  • Five More Minutes
  • Tearful Reunion
  • Hand Me Down
  • Wet Your Whistle
  • Toilet Training (BOSS)

Kat & Ana

  • Cutting Edge
  • On the Edge
  • Serve Already!
  • Paper Trail
  • Objet D' Art
  • Frequent Flyer
  • Extreme Patty-Cake
  • Writer's Block
  • BYOM
  • Teeth Polithe
  • Cookie Rookie
  • A Moment of Reflection
  • Saving Face
  • Stick It Through 'Em!
  • Shear Terror
  • Fitting In
  • S-T-R-E-T-C-H!
  • Budget Dentistry
  • A-maze-ing
  • Simon Says
  • Code Dependency
  • Mall Tour
  • Driver's Ed (BOSS)

Young Cricket

  • Broom Shtick
  • That's How I Roll
  • Plane and Simple
  • Logged In
  • Anchor Man
  • Castanet, First Chair
  • Meet the Eggheads
  • Pink Eye
  • Geared for Landing
  • This Bites!
  • Suit of Armoire
  • All Wound Up
  • The Outcast
  • Helping Hand
  • Sweeps Week
  • Spring Cleaning
  • Volley, Y'all!
  • Clean Your Plate!
  • Smile and Nod
  • Junk and My Trunk
  • Block Party (BOSS)

Ashley

  • Undercover Agent
  • Cold Call
  • Spray It, Don't Say It
  • Wiggle Room
  • Carving Artist
  • Sticky Shift
  • Bone Appetit
  • You're Fired!
  • In the Cards
  • How the West Was Really Won
  • Shady Characters
  • Skip It
  • Shoot the Breeze
  • Cheater!
  • Marching Orders
  • Flask Me Later
  • All Shook Up
  • Pool Boy
  • Secret Ingredient
  • Ringmaster
  • Fresh off the Grill (BOSS)

Dribble & Spitz

  • Diddly Squat
  • Up in Arms
  • Clean Sweep
  • Eating for Two
  • The Closer
  • Stick It to the Man!
  • When in Rome...
  • Talk to the Can!
  • Cut to the Chase
  • Catch of the Day
  • Bell Captain
  • Rally and Cry
  • Soiled Reputation
  • Use Your Head
  • Unintelligent Life
  • Spring Training
  • Femme Brûlée
  • Sprinkler System
  • Stick a Fork in It
  • Armed and Dangerous
  • Boot Camp (BOSS)

Penny

  • Boarder Control
  • Slice of Life
  • Mixed Signals
  • Yes, You Can!
  • The Intern
  • Stir Crazy
  • Community Service
  • Local News
  • Get to the Point
  • Mercury Falling
  • XYZ!
  • On Point
  • Airhead
  • Cranky Robot
  • Sure, You Can
  • Burning Sensation
  • Now You're Cooking!
  • Hit Parade
  • Litterbot
  • Stay Tuned
  • Produce Stand-Off (BOSS)

9-Volt

Tiny Wario

  • Sucker Punch
  • Party Crasher
  • He Who Smelt It...
  • Net Profit
  • A Tale of One Kitty
  • Wario Hunting
  • It'sa Me, Wario!
  • Roll Model
  • Three's a Crowd
  • Rude Awakening
  • Wario's Gym
  • Bedside Manners
  • Paper Wario
  • Wario's Pinheads
  • Not the Face!
  • Cheap Shot
  • Dead Ringer
  • Climate Control
  • Safe or Snack
  • Closing Night
  • Wario Dance Company (BOSS)

Orbulon

  • It's a Wrap
  • Hare Raising
  • Chunky Salsa
  • Bridge Work
  • Safe Craccker
  • Monkey Dance
  • Buggin' Out
  • Starved for Attention
  • Clock Watcher
  • Bear Handed
  • Top Dog
  • Finishing Move
  • Look, Ma! No Feet!
  • Stroke of Genius
  • Coming Unhinged
  • Monkey Crossing
  • Boom Box (BOSS)

Development

The idea for a WarioWare game on the Wii came shortly after WarioWare: Smooth Movess director, Goro Abe, and producer, Yoshio Sakamoto, first saw the Wii's controller.[1][2] The game's development started with around twenty people, with others coming and going, but the number remained relatively consistent.[3] From the start, multiplayer was a big aspect in the development of the game, and the idea was that one person would play the game while the others around them enjoyed the comical positions. While teams working on other projects were worrying about how to fully utilize the Wii controller, Abe and Sakamoto had great optimism for the system, saying that "If you’ve got one of these Remotes, you can pretty much do anything".

The various positions came into play when the development team realized that restricting the Wii controller's to one way limited the amount of entertainment, which led to the discussion of which positions would and wouldn't work. Microgames were decided mostly by the developers writing down ideas, sending them to Abe, and having him pick out the ones he liked, after which they began to design the ones that were picked. The developers and designers were often asked to create a unique design for the microgames, giving the desired effect of having a wacky environment. Feedback about the previous WarioWare games and suggestions for improving them were looked into, but were disregarded if they didn't fit with their own idea.

Reception

Critical reception

WarioWare: Smooth Moves received generally favorable reviews, holding a score of 83 on Metacritic[4] and a score of 82 on GameRankings[5]. Many critics complimented the game on its controls and its multiplayer[6], though it was criticized for its short length[7]. It received a score of 34/40 from Famitsu (around 85%)[8], while the Official Nintendo Magazine gave it a 92%, commenting that Wario should "take his place alongside Mario and Link as a true Nintendo great"[9]. Eurogamer gave the game a 70%, complimenting the game's "beautiful" use of the controls and "superb" humor, but criticizing that it is "short on long-term appeal" because it does not "dare to test players"[10].

Sales

For its US launch, WarioWare: Smooth Moves was the best-selling Wii game of January 2007 and the fourth best-selling game of the month according to NPD data[11]. Smooth Moves debuted in Japan with around 63.000 units sold. By 2014, the game had sold around 658.000 units in the region according to Famitsu sales data[12]. In the UK, the game debuted at the No. 2 spot, behind Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions[13]. In Europe, the game was rereleased as part of the Nintendo Selects range, budget rereleases of commercially successful titles.

By the end of the first quarter of 2007, Smooth Moves had sold 1.82 million units worldwide[14].

Awards

It won IGN's Best Action Game award at its Wii Best of E3 2006 Awards[15], and was later named the site's Game of the Month for January 2007[16]. It has also received an award in the Trend and Lifestyle category at the 2007 Nuremberg International Toy Fair[17].

References to other games

  • Donkey Kong - Opening Night uses the level start song from Donkey Kong as well as Donkey Kong and Mario's sprite, as well as a recolored version of Mario's sprite made to resemble Luigi.
  • Super Mario Bros. - A microgame titled Super Mario Brothers involves Mario hitting a set of blocks to obtain coins. Opening Night reuses Toad and Peach's sprites as well as the overworld theme. Super Mario Brothers, Sifty Character, and Super Nostalgic Entertainment System also use the game's theme; in the last, the game itself may also appear as one of the cartridges used.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - Opening Night reuses several themes from Super Mario Bros. 3.
  • Dr. Mario - The level settings song is used in Opening Night.
  • Super Mario World - The game's cartridge is one of the ones used in the microgame, Super Nostalgic Entertainment System.
  • Mario Paint - The game's cartridge is one of the ones used in the microgame, Super Nostalgic Entertainment System.
  • Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 - A microgame named Wario Land revolves around Wario throwing a Pirate Goom.
  • Wario's Woods - The game's cartridge is one of the ones used in the microgame, Super Nostalgic Entertainment System.
  • Paper Mario - A microgame's title, Paper Wario, is based on Paper Marios title.
  • Super Mario Sunshine - One of the microgames, called Super Mario Sunshine, has the player extinguish fire with Mario and F.L.U.D.D..
  • WarioWare Inc.: Mega Party Game$! - The Balloon multiplayer game returns.
  • WarioWare: Twisted! - Three microgames from Twisted! are included in the microgame WarioWare: Twisted!: Iron Stomach, Cutting It Close, and Hat's Off.

References in later games

  • Game & Wario - A Call Code features a group of people playing the game while talking to the player via telephone.

Trivia

  • The instruction guide is presented as a newspaper called "The Weekly Wario", and explains several elements of gameplay under the guise of random "stories", though it only has one issue because Wario was too lazy to write a second one. On page 18 of the instruction booklet for the game, Wario says the next issue will be out "whenever he feels like it".
  • On the Nintendo Channel, one video incorrectly named the game as WarioWare: Smooth Grooves.
  • On the back of the cover, we see some pictures of microgames, Broom Shtick, Diddly Squat, Logger Heads, and Driver's Ed.
  • The instruction booklet released in North America has a mistake on page 22. The bottom of the page is written in English while the section of the instruction booklet is supposed to be in French.
  • It is revealed that Wario is wearing a white pair of underpants with blue polka-dots if the player clicks the Wario icon and waits for a few seconds.
  • This is the first WarioWare game to give Wario unique voice clips instead of recycled ones.

References

  1. Iwata Asks with Abe and Sakamoto
  2. Interview between Planet Gamecube and Goro Abe
  3. IGN: WarioWare: Smooth Moves Interview
  4. Metacritic page
  5. GameRankings page
  6. GameSpy review
  7. Gaming Target review
  8. IGN: Famitsu Rates Wii
  9. Official Nintendo Magazine review
  10. Eurogamer review
  11. IGN: NPD: Best-Selling Games January 2007
  12. GamesCharts.fr: Rétrospective jap : Wario
  13. Videogamer: UK Video Game Chart: Lost Planet finds itself at No.1
  14. IGN: Nintendo Sales Update
  15. Wii Best of E3 2006 Awards
  16. IGN: Game of the Month: January 2007
  17. GameSpot: Wii, Wario win ToyAward
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