WarioWare: Smooth Moves
WarioWare: Smooth Moves is the fifth game in the WarioWare series, released as a launch title for the Wii initially in Japan on December 2, 2006. The game showcases and takes full advantage of the Wii Remote and its motion sensor, as microgames are played by placing the controller in numerous positions, called "Forms" by the game, which often invites the player to perform odd actions. All major characters from the previous games return, while Young Cricket, Master Mantis, and Penny Crygor debut. Alongside the microgames and some longer minigames, the game includes a multiplayer mode with several subgames.
As with 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 (dubbed "forms") being progressively introduced.
Most microgames solely use motion controls, though an handful of games require pressing and one set uses the + Nunchuck combo. Before each microgame, a "form card" appears briefly to show the player how to hold the .
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.
Wii Remote Forms
In the game, the micro-games use different variations of holding the Wii Remote, called Forms. These positions are the following:
The game features 205 microgames in total, all of which have three difficulty levels and various speed settings. The microgames are divided by characters, which host a varying number of microgames each. One game, Bungii!, is not tied to any specific set and has a chance of appearing in any stage after they've been beaten once.
In addition to the stages played during the course of the storyline, there is a handful of microgame mixes with special characteristics. None of these sets feature games from Orbulon's set.
Alongside the single-player minigames are a set of games meant specifically for multiplayer. These games are unlocked naturally as the game progresses. Some of them are based around playing sets of microgames (besides boss microgames and Orbulon's microgames), while others are separate minigames.
Similarly to previous installments in the series, the localization of WarioWare: Smooth Moves includes not only text adaptation, but graphical and sound changes as well, which are listed below.
The idea for a WarioWare game on the Wii came shortly after WarioWare: Smooth Moves's director, Goro Abe, and producer, Yoshio Sakamoto, first saw the Wii's controller. The game's development started with around twenty people, with others coming and going, but the number remained relatively consistent. 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.
WarioWare: Smooth Moves received generally favorable reviews, holding a score of 83 on Metacritic and a score of 82 on GameRankings. Many critics complimented the game on its controls and its multiplayer, though it was criticized for its short length. It received a score of 34/40 from Famitsu (around 85%), 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". 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".
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. 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. In the UK, the game debuted at the No. 2 spot, behind Lost Planet: Extreme Conditions. 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.
It won IGN's Best Action Game award at its Wii Best of E3 2006 Awards, and was later named the site's Game of the Month for January 2007. It has also received an award in the Trend and Lifestyle category at the 2007 Nuremberg International Toy Fair.
Pre-release and unused content
The E3 2006 demo did not feature the Elephant form and some of the microgames featured different graphics and instructions.
The game was a coproduction between Intelligent System and Nintendo SPD Group No.1. Goro Abe is the director and Yoshio Sakamoto is the producer, as with most WarioWare games. The game was Yoichi Kotabe's last credited work as a full-time employee of Nintendo before his departure from the company.
During the credits, each member of the development team is represented by a Mii avatar. The player can place a hole under each Mii as they take a bow, the amount they trap is recorded and kept as a high score.
References to other games
References in later games
Names in other languages