'WarioWare Gold' Winks at a Cynical Critique of the Games Industry

I’ve always enjoyed the WarioWare games (especially WarioWare D.I.Y., which had players creating their own 4-second ‘microgames’), but the new WarioWare Gold is on another level. At least in terms of corporate self-parody.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/mb455q/warioware-gold-nintendo-parody-satire

My answer is the easy one but it’s the one that immediately comes to mind: the Ubisoft offices you have to work at in Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. I got the impression that the people making those games were truly miserable and hated every second of it, if this was their own self-reflection.

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First off I’d like to say I had absolutely zero idea another WarioWare title was coming out, so thanks for bringing this to my attention!

I think my favorite industry parody has to be Devolver Digital’s E3 “Press Conference” from this year (Caution: absolutely NFSW). The conference is filled with just sheer absurdity the likes of which remind me of something akin to an [adult swim] short, but it’s hard to deny the air of strange truth to it all, especially when covering topics like lootboxes and miniature classic consoles. Heck, just the fact they choose to make this their E3 press conference I think says something.


Drakengard 3 has a ton of jokes not about the games industry, but the tropes of game design itself (especially the tropes of JRPGs). It’s an extremely 4th wall-breaking game, and there’s a section where Zero gripes about platforming puzzles. There’s also this scene, which is near and dear to my heart, that lampoons the tropes of traversal mechanics and the way JRPGs open up after your characters get an airship (or other vehicle).

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Saint’s Row IV managed to gleefully mock the Mass Effect series with its spaceship full of misfits and romance system that is quite literally “press X to fuck.” I still remember the first time it comes up and “romancing” Kinsey only to immediately end up in bed, which was chuckle worthy but at least somewhat in character for her. Once it became clear that they were doing it for EVERY character? Sheer perfection.

Now, I’m positive that it’s purely unintentional, but the original No More Heroes felt like a massive satire on open world crime games by its design. So much virtual ink has been spilled about “living cities” and how games like GTAIV create this breathing worlds, but it’s all just loud window dressing. A bunch of aimlessly wandering NPCs shouting quips at the top of their lungs coming from and going to nowhere at all forever. NMH drops you in the same world, but fills it with basically nothing. There’s a handful of mini-games and random collectibles, but no one to talk to, no idle chatter, nothing of any consequence. It’s the exact same thing at the end of the day, it’s just not shouting at you to distract you from the emptiness.

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If we can talk a minute about Wario Lore, I had no idea 9-volt had family also named after wattage and Dr. Crygor has a daughter? Is she a clone, because how could she not be.
Is that little girl who’s obsessed with Wario his illegitimate daughter because I was pretty sure until the end, then I’m like, well ok she just wants the only toilet in her one toilet village back.

The first four dot hack games have a lot to say about the way we interact with live games and their creators. There’s an optimism to the potential to be found there that’s genuinely charming.

The basement in Crypt Worlds was very much this.

Then again, Crypt Worlds is applicable to All Things (™)

Wario tricking his friends into free labor has always been the story of the series, but it definitely is more noticeable as more than just a funny premise these days.

As for me, it’s probably Star Ocean 3. Those who’ve played it know what I’m talking about, and I won’t say any more.

As Nintendo is a corporation who have let far-Right reactionaries dictate their HR department’s actions (well before ArenaNet or Disney), are synonymous with crunch culture (“Mario time”), treat their non-executive/creatives as factory workers, and have used child labour for actual factory workers – I find it hard to extract to joy from this.

As one of the most consistently exploitative companies in games development (you don’t generate that war chest while going from poor executive decision to poor executive decision without exploiting everyone from workers to customers), this seems like something that would be better mined by someone without their history.


Pretty much this.

It has the same impact on me as Disney’s current “yeah you were right, our movies DO suck!” phase where everything they make has to punch at what made the studio famous. Self-awareness doesn’t really work for me when it comes to corporations.

Now if its development humor, I’m all for it. This simply didn’t read like that to me, more like Nintendo pulling a deserved shot at a thing other companies are doing, which is undercut by their own awful policies.

The Surge 2017, looking at Don Hacket’s speeches again one thing becomes clear to me

He and creo are a satire of toxic video game crunch culture considering how he tries to take advantage of the passion the workers have for the work. And nearly every “amenity” he offers them is clearly designed to make them stay at work longer as well as make them think of creo as their real home and life.