WarioWare Smooth Moves

Dance is an art form. It isn’t one we have written about at all on Novus Literae, but it is an established medium all the same. Like most forms of art, it is highly subjective. What one sees as a thought provoking and moving interpretive dance could be seen by another person as an asinine excuse to squeeze into a unitard. WarioWare Smooth Moves is not a dance game, but like Dance Dance Revolution, the game play focuses on form and movement instead of a standard arbitrary control system based on directional pads or buttons.

Movement and Form

Like previous games in this series, players must perform a brief action as part of a “micro game.” This means that success in the individual trials must occur within seconds. Since many of the actions required are adaptations of everyday occurrences, it is not difficult to figure out how to proceed. Examples range from swinging your hips as if using a hula hoop, flicking open a beer bottle, or scrubbing clean the backside of an elephant. The activities are enjoyable help center the player on the themes of form and movement.

The game primes the user for the impending micro game using pictographic representations of how the player should hold the Wii remote. The stances are named after similar activities from real life, like holding a pencil or placing your hands at your waist. These cards become second nature to the player and the forms, themselves cultural references, become ingrained in the experience. This is relatively new to video games, as up until now even sports games were slaves to directional pads and button pushing.

Cultural References

This game, like most contemporary games, is full of cultural references. Every micro game, in fact, is a cultural reference of one kind or another. They range from oddball Japanocentric activities to common things like driving cars or preparing food. Some of the more interesting references are adaptations of other Nintendo titles. Because this game is a Nintendo-branded title, these tie in the rest of the franchises. There are Brain Age mini games as well as some which reference Super Mario Bros., Balloon Fight, Animal Crossing, and The Legend of Zelda among others.

Caloric Burn

Like most Wii Games, Smooth Moves is physically far more demanding than the average video game. This title takes advantage of that by having a separate area for burning “Kelories.” Kelorie is a portmanteau of the name of a character and the word calorie. This section features a rapid succession of micro games which require more movement and effort than others, and therefore burn calories. While the actual caloric expenditure is probably minimal, it is an interesting function of an already interesting game.

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