Wii U's Game and Wario makes me Wario-wary

Game and Wario makes me Wariowary
It seems stubborn to lament a stylistic and gameplay shift for (essentially) the WarioWare series -- one built on hilariously frequent stylistic and gameplay shifts -- but the Wii U's Game & Wario dramatically shifts away from pretty much all the cornerstones of WarioWare, and toward conventional minigames.

To be fair, it isn't a WarioWare game, and that's acknowledged. Instead, it's a vaguely Game & Watch-inspired set of minigames, of which only four were shown, and all using the WiiPad heavily. Where WarioWare used a variety of simple 2D art styles, Game and Wario is straight-up, simple 3D. G&W has time limits like its microgame ancestors, but they're closer to five minutes than five seconds.

The games shown include one in which you tilt to steer disco skier Jimmy T. on a downhill course, an archery game in which you fire arrows from a Wario-nose bow to fight off toy Warios (a bit of the old magic there, at least conceptually!), a thief minigame in which you must surreptitiously steal fruit, then pass the WiiPad on to another player who will try to identify the on-screen thief, and a photography game about spotting, and taking the best pictures of, a series of known criminals.

It's way too early to judge Game & Wario definitively, but it has the unfortunate distinction of being derived from game that you can judge within ten seconds. The minigames are enjoyable, they're just ... safe. Without the rapid-fire presentation, Game & Wario is essentially just another minigame collection.

There's a good reason for the proliferation of safe choices: if all the games involved the WiiPad and five-second time limits, you'd have a great deal of difficulty managing two screens in that short time. And, of course, "a great deal of difficulty" is absolutely not what Nintendo wants to show off on the Wii U.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.