More Reviews
REVIEWS Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold: The Faf Review
I dunno what a "Fifnir" knight is, but damn is he scary-lookin'. And his game... it's pretty damn good too.

Godzilla (PS4) Review
Godzilla fans enjoyed the recent film, but will they feel the same way about the new video game?
More Previews
PREVIEWS Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Preview
Fans were mad about Beyond Earth. Rising Tide should fix that.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Lost Dimension
Release date: Out Now

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma EXTEND
Release date: Out Now

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Release date: 09/01/15

NHL 16
Release date: 09/01/15


LATEST FEATURES BAMF BABES #12: Talia al Ghul [Batman Arkham City]
"Thousands of warriors have fallen in pursuit of the Demon. Would-be successors have proven to be nothing more than children battling the enormity of creation."

Call the Fight: Dying Light Flourishes During Dead Island 2窶冱 Woes
These two games were set up to compete, only for one to suffer an embarrassing defeat.

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP oblivion437 Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that.  It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece.  I strongly recommend anyone...

Mario Party 5 Review

GR_Chimp By:
GR_Chimp
12/01/03
PRINTER FRIENDLY VERSION
EMAIL TO A FRIEND
GENRE Puzzle 
PLAYERS 1- 4 
PUBLISHER Nintendo 
DEVELOPER Nintendo 
RELEASE DATE  
E Contains Comic Mischief

What do these ratings mean?

This party's a dud.

Hey gaming buddies! Guess-a who!

It's-a me again! Maaaario!

Guess-a what! That's right 窶“ it's a party time, excellent!

Huh? Whazzat? You tired of-a my parties? Maybe you come to my after-parties! And den after the after-party and the after-after party, we alla go down to the hotel lobby for even-a more party!

Come on! I'm-a sure you'll have-a fun. We'll take-a that no good monkey to the cleaners (he smelled-a like a wet bananna!) and bring in-a some new friends.テつWe alla watch that Peach dance a sexy numbah!

Huh? Whazzat? You still no wanna come?

Oh, okay. If you don't-a mind, I'm-a just gonna cry-a my eyes out. It's-a MY party after all! I don't- a need you! You leave-a Mario alone or I'm-a gonna throw a fireball at you!

Love,
Maaaario

Mario Party has been a surprising staple for Nintendo since the first bash came out in 1999.テつWhen you have the right mix of willing players, the game can certainly be fun. The mini-games have been quirky and charming and little tweaks have steadily been added since its N64 inception.

But unfortunately, the party has come to something of an end with Mario Party 5, a by-the-numbers regressive and somewhat uninspired sequel.

Right off the bat, there aren't any huge visual or audio improvements from Mario Party 4.テつIt carries over the fairly standard, efficient cartoon look and gloss.テつThe sounds are classic cheeky, sugary Nintendo. More noticeable are the change-ups in the character lineup, with Ghost, Baby Bowser, and Toad giving the big boot to Donkey Kong.テつAs annoying as Toad is, I miss his gravelly voice in his former role as ringmaster of the game boards.

The new game boards are large, but lack the frenetic energy found in earlier versions.テつSometimes it feels like they are just big for the sake of being big.テつEven though the characters move around the board quickly, they seem to drag themselves from spot to spot. It can be annoying waiting for the CPU players to take their turn.

A new single-player mode tries to alleviate the painful waiting by pitting you against three Baby Bowsers that move at the same time.テつ If one crosses your path, then it's onto a duel.テつ This is a step in the right direction, but in a world of instant gratification, it's not enough to cut the mustard. Irritatingly, you must also play through the game boards to unlock the mini-games. I just want to be let loose on a large sampling of games from the get-go.

The new power-up system is here as well, but winds up making the game more obtuse. A power-up is earned when you pass one of the vending dispenser machines on the game board.テつ There are many random items and the effect of each is not immediately clear.テつThese items can then be dropped on any spot on the board to attempt to nail a random passerby.

In Mario Party 4, the key to the basic mushroom power-up was that you could grow big and stomp away 10 coins from any opponent you happen to cross.テつThere was a certain strategy involved; do you trigger the mushroom now or wait until you're sure to squash a guy in front of you? The drop-and-pray items in Mario Party 5 lack that edge.

The mini-games are mostly rehashed concepts, with far too many games that just revolve around mashing a button as fast as you can.テつ Twists on that formula include mashing TWO buttons as fast as you can.テつThere are a few bright spots, but this time, there really aren't any standouts. Why not revisit previous Mario Parties and pick and choose the best of the bunch?

Besides the Group game, normal single player, and the single player against Bowsers, there's a mode that lets you play the game like a traditional board game without any mini-games.テつThere are also some extra mini-games - volleyball, ice hockey, a card hopping game 窶“ that aren't as fun to play as the full-scale equivalents.

Rather than just add longer mini-games, Nintendo should have taken a cue from the excellent GBA game Wario Ware.テつ Now there's a guy who knows how to party!テつ Wario Ware's pick-up-and-play value is brilliant, yet at the same time throwing you all kinds of creative situations. From picking your nose to duplicating the best of classic 8-bit Nintendo games, those were truly inspired mini-games. There was never a dull moment.

Conversely, Mario's parties have become haggard and tired.テつMario Party 5 is a step backward for the series with its needless vending machine set up and bland mini-games. Fans of the formula will still like it, but newcomers are better off with last year's bash. Nintendo should ditch or rebuild the game board, reinvigorate the mini-games, and pump some new life into this series.テつAt least we can look forward to the upcoming Wario Ware for the Gamecube.テつI think its time to ask for a Wario Party.

C Revolution report card
  • Sticks to a proven formula
  • Big boards, lots of mini-games
  • That are strictly by the books
  • Awkward new vending machine set up
  • Not enough innovation for a series this old

More from the Game Revolution Network




comments powered by Disqus

 


More information about Mario Party 5


More On GameRevolution