Mario... Party? Yes! It's board game & Mini-game time!
Published by Cam3ron36@NFF
Mario Party Review
Welcome to my first review in I don't know how long! Crazy? I know, right? I felt like doing this for the sake of the holidays, why not? So I figured, why not review a game that's calssic to me, from a series I've grown up with, and still play a ton to this day.
Ladies and gentlemen... It's party time! As much as you can party through reading...
Mario Party! I know what most older people were thinking when this one came out, oh boy they are just slapping mario on anything these days, and it'll sell... While all the kids like us at the time were cheering in the streets! Literally in the streets, at least if you were like me and you rented the game, then had to walk home... Ahem! Whether you played this game as just another Mario game, or took a step to try it being weary that it might just be another Mario's Time Machine, most eventually found peace with the game and enjoyed it so. Did I just say peace? Ha! This game does anything but keep the peace! That's half the fun however!
Now some unfamiliar with series may be asking, what's this game about? How's Mario make a board game? Aren't there bigger issues in the mario universe like fighting the almighty Bowser!? Well sir, all I have to say to you is apparently not, as you can see Mario and his friends can play Golf and Tennis in their down time as well, among other things. This game stems from Mario and his friends needing to fill their egos as much as they please! Even if it means putting themselves through torture of any sorts for simple coins! Oh, and don't worry, Bowser's still present to wreck the show. He always finds a way to involve himself (ladies and gentlemen, biggest ego winner over here). Anyways, moving on from what is basically the story.
Mario party is really a fairly basic game, not your run of the mill board game however, so don't think that. Mario Party is a video board game! With events! and minigames! Kinda hard to hype up a board game. Ok, so it's a board game! I ask you though, what other board game lets you fight for your lives between every round. Well not many, and I'm not sure you'd want it like that unless it's your video game characters lives on the line. Of course characters in Nintendo can't die, so they return every round anyways.
The boards in Mario Party sport an array of spaces that all make or break you to the ultimate goal of getting stars. The person with the most stars win, and coins settle a tie-breaker. Pretty basic. Red spaces take some coins, blue spaces give some coins, and green spaces trigger an event specific to the map. The other 3 more uncommon spaces are the Bowser space, which sends you to Bowser where he presumably does horrible things to you by putting you in mini games, taking coins or evening coins up among everyone (what a communist!). Another was a mushroom space that either let you roll again, or miss a turn. The last space is Chance time which is exactly what it sounds like. You roll 3 dice, 2 determine 2 random players, and the other determines who gives who money or stars... Yeah... Chance time is horrible! The board also has Boo, Koopa, and Bowser pass-by spaces if you will. Koopa gives you 10 coins like a nice guy, Boo steals coins or stars (stars for 50 coins) like a nice guy, and Bowser usually just takes your money like a JERK!
Each board game has their own gimmick and mini story, and each board is actually different enough to set them all apart, being that this is the first game, some experimentation was done with board game mechanics and ideas. Some ideas failed, and some were awesome. Expect some sort of Gimmick with every map though, and oh: Don't play Wario's Battle Canyon! When it all comes down to it, each board is about collecting the most stars and coins however. Yay, greed!
Mario Party has some other game modes and stores to it, that you can all visit on the main menu. You can play just mini games that you buy or rent with earned money (much like a video store) in a best of 1, 3, 5, 7 manner, you can do single player which sends you through 8 worlds of individual mini games that you must beat to finish the game mode. You can save in this mode though, don't worry. There is also a store, and an item activation center. You buy items at the store that show up randomly in game such as dice blocks that only roll from 1-3 or 8-10, and the activation center, let's you activate the items you buy. Why you need 2 separate buildings for this, I'll never know. I must say, there is something very calming and soothing about that main hub world though, right down to the music and peaceful village look. (although that music may get annoying looping in this review. Oh yeah. Shut that music off in the video below by the way :P)
So what's this game really about though? The mini games! That's right, I've mentioned it before, this is what it's all about, the meat on the bones, the nectar of the flower, if you will.
So let's kick it off with the games that cause a lawsuit! Yeah! Who doesn't like a good lawsuit against our game companies. Silly angry mothers blaming everything on video games. Although in this case Hudson could have been a little smarter, or kids could have been a little smarter. Don't know what I'm talking about? Ahem, excuse me for a second while I explain. Now what I want you to do is grab your N64 controller (or look at a picture if you don't have one). Now, you see that control stick? That hard plastic, uncomfortable thing on the controller. Now take the palm of your hand, and put it on the control stick. Now spin the control stick with the palm of your hand for just over a minute. Just keep in mind you do this at your own risk, I don't need some lawsuit against me like Nintendo. Now, what's this all about you ask? Well, I'll tell ya, there is a handful of mini games in Mario party where that is the sole goal of the mini game. To rotate the control stick faster than your opponents. As you may imagine, or may have found out first hand (get it, hand?), this hurts! A LOT! Sounds like fun? Well, in some sadistic way it kind of is to know you put yourself through brutality like this to beat your friends who had to endure the same thing. That's the story of how Mario Party got sued kids.
Moving on to other mini games, there's not too much to say, there was a lot of experimentation in this right too. Again, some ideas worked tremendously, while some failed tremendously (giving a nod to the above paragraph). My favourite types of mini games were always the survival style ones where you had to outlive your opponents in bizarre scenarios. Other mini games involved racing, chance, memory, you name it! There was also different formations for the mini games that were determined by what spaces you landed on. free for all 4 player mini games, 1 player mini games that also had their own spaces (oh hey, that's the other space, yay not editing!), 1 vs. 3 mini games, and 2 vs. 2 mini games. All in all, a good experience in the end, most of the mini games were fun, and very few weren't. Some were horribly unbalanced however, and sucked to be the 1 guy facing the 3, but were hilarious with the tables flipped.
Not much to really say on the music. It's very suiting to the game, very pleasant and yeah. Nothing horribly memorable, but grows on you very easily. Also enough variance in the music to keep it fresh.
In regards to secrets in this game, there are 3 secret maps. One is a Bowser themed level you have to buy, another is the Eternal Star that you get by getting 100 stars throughout all your games as human players. The final is not so secret. Click the pot inside the mini game house, and you are taken to a mini board shaped like a star where you battle strictly for coins! One of my favourite maps actually, and good for coin farming to buy mini games at the store.
In closing, this is one of my all time favourite games, and spawned many good sequels *cough* except 9 *cough*. It's a really simple formula that just doesn't get old. It's a very good choice when playing with friends, arguably the best, but it can get old when you play on your own. These games are really about the mini games, but the board games are fun to be a part of and watch all the cool, frustrating, and funny things that happen. Definitely give this game a go if you never have.
You forgot to mention that people god controller burn on their palms from the games that involved spinning the control stick, and Nintendo sent out Mario gloves for free to combat this. They also opted to never release the game on Virtual Console due to this.