Booze and hookers not included.
Dear Gaming Buddies, Hello! It's-a me - Maaarrrio! I'm-a having a BIG PARTY! That's-a right! A BIIIIGGGGG PAAARTY for all-a my friends! And I want you to come! Dere's a-gonna be plenty of fun stuff to do, so you don't-a wanna miss it! If-a you wanna come, then keep-a reading this here review. But if-a you don't wanna come, den I'm-a hurt! You disrespect-a me anna my family! That's not nice! Maybe you have-a an...accident! Maybe a monkey wrench will-a fall onna you head! You better watch-a your back, mister-a tough guy!! Sincerely, Don Mario
Welcome one and all to Mario Party, the latest game starring that lovable
little Italian stereotype of a mascot. Mario has been a bit quiet lately, having
been resting since the fast-paced Mario Kart
hit the shelves over a year ago. But it seems as though the chubby plumber is
back, and this time he’s in a Board Game!
BORED game. Mario Party is a party game with great intentions, but unsatisfying
delivery. This is a tedious and often frustrating experience, and its few bright
spots get squashed under the weight of Mario’s fat, boring ass.
No Mario game is complete without a plot (sheesh). Perhaps inspired by a few
too many magic mushrooms, Mario has decided to throw a party. When all of his
friends show up, they begin to discuss who’s the biggest star. Before things
get bloody (darn), perennial non-star Toad suggests they travel through the
Warp Pipe to ‘other places’ and do good things. Eventually, one of them will
be deemed the Super Star! Ha! Are you loving this as much as I am?
Mario Party is an interactive board game. Like all recent Mario games, this one has more cameo appearances than a Woody Allen flick. You’ll be able to play as or against Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Wario, Peach, and Yoshi. How cozy.
Gameplay is straightforward. You roll dice and move around a colorful game
board. The goal is to collect coins and eventually buy stars from Toad. The
one with the most stars at the end of the game is the ‘Super Star.’
I’m not going to go into depth about the play, because frankly it just isn’t
very deep. Like most board games, randomness takes center stage over skill.
Roll the dice well, and it’s hello stardom; roll poorly, and you’ll be pulling
out your hair within minutes.
Nintendo attempts to even things out a bit by including Mini-Games. Mini-Games
are played when you land on a Mini-Game space, and it’s here where you actually
get to flex your gaming muscles a bit. The Mini-Games are pretty much little
arcadey diversions. One might have you playing a platform game, while another
engages you in a version of ‘Simon Says.’ You’ll race bobsleds and mine carts,
play slot machines, and even go fishing. The variety of games is impressive,
with over 50 to play.
can, in fact, disregard the board game and choose to play on ‘Mini-Game Island.’
This is a one player affair that pits you and a CPU controlled partner up against
the 50 Mini-Games. However, none of the games are particularly exciting, and
when you take away the competitive edge the board game offers, they look and
play even worse. Adds variety, but not quality.
The key to a game like Mario Party is in the multiplayer. I checked
this game out in several multiplayer atmospheres – with 2 coworkers, with my
girlfriend, and even at an actual party. While good for a few laughs, everyone
tired of things fairly quickly, myself included. Even large quantities of alcohol
didn’t seem to help. The randomness of everything keeps everyone involved, but
it gets incredibly irritating being way out in front only to land on the wrong
space and lose everything to an opponent.
In a major design faux pas, someone decided that the only way to play
the board game is with 4 players. This is okay if you’ve got 3 friends around,
but is a pain in the butt otherwise. If you’re only playing with two human controlled
characters, the CPU will choose the other two and play them. This means you
are often stuck watching the computer roll the dice, move around, and even play
in the occasional 1 player Mini-Game (they could have at least simulated this).
Playing the game with fewer than 3 real people is terribly boring, and realistically
scrounging up 4 people to play Mario Party is harder than it sounds.
Everything else about the game is standard. The graphics are adequate if a
bit cheesy. The sound is fine – I especially dug the re-mix of the Super
Mario Brothers theme song. Very retro-hip.
In all fairness, Mario Party will have a certain appeal to the younger
gamers out there. The familiar faces, simple controls, and random rewards might
keep little kids glued to the screen. It’s us big kids who will be heading for
the hills. Goldeneye, ho!
He’s been a plumber. He’s been a racer. He’s jumped on a million turtles and
rescued a million princesses. He’s explored the sewers, the jungles, and even
the heavens. He’s battled giant apes, ridden on the back of a dinosaur, and
demolished legions of vicious mushrooms. What more can you say? Mario is a Renaissance
man. But I think it’s about time for him to take an extended vacation and give
the gamers a break already. This is one dead party.