Mario Party 5
When the fat plumber hosts a new Party, It's always two steps forward, one step back. Each chapter in his party-game series improves upon its predecessor but always manages to leave something behind, thus cleverly avoiding the perfect package, forcing you to buy more editions. Mario Party 5's stages, for example, are the worst yet. You'll dig the multitiered layouts but you'll yawn at the lack of interesting features like MP4's giant roulette wheel or lottery booths. MP5 makes up for it, however, by letting you place a wide variety of good or bad 'events' on the boards' spaces, customizing the level as you play. For most Party animals, that won't be reason enough to spend another 50 bucks, but that's not where the biggest improvements are. The single-player experience is faster paced and has different rules (so it's not just the Party mode with CPU opponents), and several new un-Mario-Party-Uke modes (like Card Party or Super Duel, where you create tanks and battle them against friends) really add some disco to this venerable formula.
Another Mario Party, so soon? Yes, and while I'm disappointed that the series has still not made the jump online (c'mon, it'd be perfect!), this fifth iteration hasn't lost that special touch. It's full of little tweaks, like an improved singleplayer mode, better pacing (with a little help from the Koopa Kids), the ability to deviously place event capsules around the board, and fun li'l hockey, volleyball, and card side games. A few of the 'new' minigames are rehashed, but it's hard to find fault in that when no one's been able to throw a better party game than this.
No other game brings out the best in me as a gamer and the worst in me as a human being at the same time. Almost as if by design, Mario Party's innocent window dressing provides a delightful contrast to the relentless vulgarity and obscenity that the unpredictable gameplay generates. Some of the new minigames are a little stale, and some concepts are recycled, but the new capsule system functions well as the necessary fresh coat of paint. Buy it, call some friends, and let chaos reign.
Download Mario Party 5
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP