A truly successful villain never seems totally evil. Part of you needs to root for them to succeed, despite the inevitably disastrous results, otherwise you'll just be interested in seeing how they're disposed of. Look at the evidence: Ernst Blofeld became a high-velocity chimney brush, while Dracula got used as an impromptu kebab payload. But Wario? That particular aubergine-nosed antagonist is still kicking after 20 years.
People like Wario. Despite his kleptomania, garlic obsession and severe ADHD, his games are Nintendo staples and each new one is greeted with blanket excitement. Even better, Wario's never been watered down. He's always been an antidote to Nintendo's clean-cut image and Game & Wario proves that's still the case by taking on the sweet-natured Nintendo Land.
Devil's In The Details
On the surface, it's an odd move. Mere months after the release of what is quite possibly the best mini-game collection ever made, here comes another, complete with modes suitable for up to five people, imaginative use of the GamePad and a wide-ranging outlook.
It all comes back to Wario. Nintendo's first true anti-hero (Donkey Kong doesn't count, because he turned good) was never meant as an anti-Mario, but rather a reflection of Mario in a crazed funhouse mirror and Game & Wario acts in much the same way. Like Nintendo Land, each of its 16 games uses the GamePad and the TV, but the twist is that even five-player events require only the former.
That can mean collaborating: Gamer, for example, turns WarioWare into a kind of post-modern sleepover by telling one player to play the usual stream of inane challenges while everyone else makes sure they aren't caught by their prowling mother on the TV.
Or it can be competitive: Fruit tasks the chameleonic GamePad player with blending into an AI crowd to steal apples, while viewers attempt to work out who the culprit is on the TV.
It's not all so skewed (we're yet to discern any difference in gameplay between the self-explanatory 'Ski' and Captain Falcon's Twister Race), but the general vibe seems to be one in which Nintendo gets to flex its creative muscles in odd new directions.
As with everything Wario's involved in, we're excited for whatever saunters our way come spring.