by JSnake, reviewed on
Let’s Party like its 1999
The first Mario Party game was quite innovative when it was released on the Nintendo 64 in the late 1990s. It was, at its core, a mere board game. However, the inclusion of wacky mini-games that served as the main way to progress forward in the game made it a blast to play with other people.
In order to win a game, the players needed to gain a wide array of Stars that served as a point system of sorts. Players would hit blocks and move forward the destined number of spaces, but when everyone was done with their turn, a mini-game would be initiated. Whoever won the mini-game would gain a certain amount of coins which they would then spend on Stars. Whoever had the most Stars at the end of the game won.
From then, Mario Party became a big hit. If you wanted to play a game with your friends that you could all enjoy, you could not do any better than Mario Party. Unfortunately, Nintendo then decided to milk the series, and for a while it felt like there was a new game in the franchise every year. It became stale and if you played one Mario Party, you played them all. New iterations didn't offer any new features or anything. The only thing that was new was a handful of new mini-games. So, for a while, the Mario Party series became largely ignored, and few people bought the latest games in the series.
New style partying
However, with Nintendo’s recently arrived Wii and its innovative control scheme, the Mario Party series was practically begging for a revival. After all, motion sensing could help make it a totally new experience. Nintendo realized this and we now have Mario Party 8. Does it live up to expectations and manage to be the best in the series? Or does it suffer from being another redundant sequel? Read on to find out!
Mario Party games were never known for their stories and the latest entry does nothing to change that. There is a carnival in town in the Mushroom Kingdom and Mario and friends have decided to check it out. They learn that a contest is being held to determine the ultimate superstar. Of course Mario and his companions enter the contest and have lots of fun.
Obviously, the story is as cookie-cutter as you can get. No character development, no surprises. No anything. However, this is forgivable as Mario Party is... well, a party game. You don't buy these games for an epic story. Needless to say, players who did will be sorely disappointed.
While Mum and Dad are away, the kids will play?
Mario Party has been begging for something fresh for a while now. Its formula really makes sequels redundant because if you've played one, you've essentially played them all. Thankfully the Wii Remote helps to remedy that a tad. However, the main core is largely untouched; mini-games are the only thing that has benefited from the move to a new console.
For those un-familiar with the Mario Party games, they play out somewhat like a virtual board game. Essentially, you have a giant board with tons of different spaces that all do different things if you happen to land on one. Players hit a dice block at the beginning of their turn and a number 1 to 10 randomly pops out. The number that appears signifies how many board spaces a player can move forward. A player's ultimate goal is to find their way to a Star space, which when landed on gives them the offer of ponying up twenty of their coins for a single Star (which serves as a way to tally points). And at the end of fifteen turns (or how many you set for the game to last), the player with the most Stars wins.
Now, you may be wondering 'but how do we get these coins?' Well, it's actually quite simple. You can keep hitting dice blocks and landing on blue spaces to gain three coins a piece, or you can win the mini-games. After everyone has had their turn, a mini-game initiates and then the dice block smashing commences again. The mini-games have always been the meat of the Mario Party games and the newest iteration is no stranger to that rule.
No Pros and Cons at this time