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Critical Reception: Nintendo's  WarioWare: Snapped!

Critical Reception: Nintendo's WarioWare: Snapped!

April 15, 2009 | By Danny Cowan

April 15, 2009 | By Danny Cowan
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More: Columns



This week's edition of Critical Reception examines distinctly mixed online reaction to WarioWare: Snapped!, a downloadable Nintendo DSi launch title that some reviews claim is "certainly worth experiencing."

Snapped currently earns a score of 55 out of 100 at Metacritic.com, with some variance of scores.

IGN's Craig Harris rates the title at 7.8 out of 10. "Ever since the release of Wario Ware Twisted on the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo's used this micro-game franchise as a demonstration to show off the strengths of the new gaming technology," he writes.

"Wario Ware Snapped isn't much more than a tech demo for what developers can pull off with the internal camera of the Nintendo DSi system," Harris continues, "but it's certainly worth experiencing and definitely does a good job showing off the strengths of the DSi...when it works the way it should."

Harris describes Snapped! as a minigame compilation on par with Sony-published efforts like the EyeToy: Play series. "One of the major features of the Nintendo DSi system is the inclusion of a player-facing camera," he says. The Wario Ware team's known for coming up with crazy off-the-wall challenges using whatever control they have access to, and in Wario Ware Snapped they make full use of the cameras in the same way that Sony incorporated player motions with the Eye Toy camera."

The results show promise for the console's new hardware functionality. "It's a great demonstration of the motion-sensing capabilities of the camera," Harris praises. "After a brief calibration for lighting and motion, players use their upper body to maneuver through 20 different Wario Ware microgames: wave bye-bye to an old friend, play peek-a-boo with a baby, collect Mario coins by hitting them with your hands."

Harris finds that the game is fun despite occasional technical stumbles. "Don't be surprised if you fail at a challenge simply because the game couldn't recognize your head or face properly," he warns. "When it works, though, it works well."

At the PAL Gaming Network, Adam Ghiggino scores Snapped! at 6.5 out of 10. "Taking advantage of the DSi's most prominent new feature, the in-built camera, WarioWare: Snapped! wants to make you dance and jump around like a complete twit," he begins. "But is it all in the name of fun gameplay, or is Wario simply teasing you in a glorified tech demo?"

Ghiggino warns that Snapped! contains a limited amount of gameplay content. "As with most WarioWare games, the premise is paper-thin, although it's somehow even more so in Snapped!" he says. "All up, there are twenty camera-based microgames for you to play through - not a huge number to be sure."

The post-game snapshot feature proves to be one of Snapped!'s strongest elements. "After you've completed a round of five microgames," Ghiggino explains, "the game cruelly (and hilariously) reveals that it has been recording you the entire time, and plays back a series of images taken with the DSi's camera showing exactly what you were doing, but without the graphic overlay."

"This clever feature alone accounts for a lot of the game's humour and charm," Ghiggino continues, "but it's a shame you can't save these images, and that they're automatically deleted when you close the DSi."

"If you're after a game that you can use to show off your brand new DSi to your friends, then this is definitely the one to go for," Ghiggino concludes. "You should just be mindful of the fact that you're not getting a lot for your money (in fact, quite little), and that you may have to spend so much time setting up the camera that it may have just been easier to show off your DSi's inbuilt camera functions."

Gamespot's Randolph Ramsay gives Snapped! a score of 4 out of 10. "While it may be a good way to show off the DSi's unique capabilities," he writes, "it's also sorely lacking in variety, resulting in a game that probably won't hold your interest past the 20 minutes it'll take to play through it the first time."

"Of course, shallow has historically been an apt way to describe the WarioWare series and its weird microgames," Ramsay admits. "But where previous games at least had dozens of different microgame challenges to keep you interested, Snapped brings only about 20 to the table. You'll breeze through these in no time, and with no ramping difficulty, there's no reason to go back to them again."

Ramsay finds that much of the game's difficulty stems from its technical issues, rather than actual challenge. "You have only a short time in which to complete the required movements, but Snapped isn't particularly tough in this regard," he explains. "In fact, Snapped isn't tough at all because most of the microgames are easy to beat."

Ramsay continues: "What will probably trouble you more is the game's camera calibration. Snapped plays well under most bright lighting conditions, but it works poorly in low-lit rooms. It can also flake out occasionally even in bright areas, at which point it becomes necessary to reposition either the DSi or yourself so the camera can get a better reading."

"WarioWare: Snapped has plenty of the undeniable charm and goofiness the series is known for," Ramsay notes in conclusion. "But it simply doesn't last long enough for its asking price, and apart from making your friends play it for cheap laughs, there's no replayability here. You can get much better value from your 500 Nintendo points than spending them on Snapped."


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