Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Biweekly Music Wednesday! No. 46 ~Menu~ (WarioWare, Inc.: Mega MicroGames!)

Origin: WarioWare, Inc.: Mega MicroGames!
Plays In: Menu
Status: Original Composition
Composed By: Ryoji Yoshitomi

Video games are often cited as a method of escape: be it stress, tragedy or dysfunctional families, we depend on our favorite hobby to smother our woes. Even if it's only temporary, anything from a ten-minute foray into Super Mario Bros. to being absorbed for hours by our Animal Crossing village may be the only daily relief for troubled lives.

Yet how often is it games give something back to us? In today's example, it's not as if I was going through anything difficult when WarioWare, Inc: Mega MicroGames! reached my grubby 5th Grade hands, but I remember it most fondly as a game that spoke with me. This is hardly unique to WarioWare--just observe the troves upon troves of preschooler computer games where characters speak directly with toddlers--yet somehow Wario and his new crowd of game developers constantly engaged with me and made me one of the gang through one common thread: random, dumb humor.

My childhood secret of nostalgia was always kept clutched to my chest, yet I always outspoken with my favorite area of comedy. I constantly devised stories and characters representing the most demented products of my mind, be it sentient spoons or zombie men crimelords who feasted on the flesh of cereal character mascots. The sacred "Game in the Basement" action figure rituals with my and my friend Matt involved Pepsi Seal murder mysteries and Kung Fu Beanie Babies (among other vastly inappropriate adventures I won't be sharing here). Invader Zim, Ed, Edd n' Eddy and Courage the Cowardly Dog all embraced these themes and were three of my favorite cartoons growing up. It was one of primary reasons why EarthBound, gaming's masterpiece, meant to so much me.

Most of this, as you may expect, went over the heads of my peers. Not that they didn't watch Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, but seeing as how my brand of humor circuitry isn't exactly the norm, it was difficult to find others who shared my passion of blood-sucking monkeys (it would eventually lead to an eventual outcasting due to the belief I was "retarded," but that was a ways off). This is echoed even in my adult life: I'm the guy whose favorite episodes of South Park adopt the "bludgeon one stupid joke repeatedly" model (Terrence and Philip in Not Without My Anus, Jakovasaurs, Crippled Summer, etc.), which were never very popular.

When considering all that, it saddens me quite deeply WarioWare's presence has practically dropped off the face of the earth. That it had to die with Game and Wario--a project that betrays the very core of the series--is especially heartbreaking; I'd take flawed entries in the vein of Smooth Moves and D.I.Y to keep the blood pumping, and it's all because like EarthBound and Animal Crossing before it, it understood me. It knew I'd shake my head in amusement at warped Nintendo references, grin at a falling nail yell "HYAAAAAAAH!!!" in-between a poor man's fingers, and laugh at watching a beautiful anime woman shed tears after retreating a loogie up her nose.

It was Nintendo's modern embracing of random humor, and now it's gone. All I have left are the entries that spoke to me in elementary/middle school; in fact, it'd be inaccurate to label it "modern". WarioWare's now yet another childhood dream: one I can return to any time, because it came true.

Whenever I hear this song, I say to myself, "I've come home." And just think: it was Wario of all characters who made me feel welcome. How peculiar!

Final Thoughts: Naturally, I was thrilled when this received not one but two arrangements in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Yoshitomi-san himself returned to do a medley, but Keigo Ozaki's version is actually one of my favorite arrangements from the game.

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