Now here's a rare concept--a console game designed mainly with multiplayer in mind. And it's a long-overdue idea that really, really works. Not to sound trite, but Mario Party really is the ultimate party game. It packs more than enough gameplay quirks to keep competition tight right up until the end of each game--which can last up to three hours. The seven game boards available at the outset offer plenty of variety--as well as lots of Mario World charm. But it's the so minigames that really keep players screamin' and leanin' in their seats. At first, was worried that these simple skill games - many of which involve Track 'n' Field-style tap, tap, tapping-would wear thin. Not a problem. The games come in such a whopping variety that the more you play 'em and the better you get. the more you want to kick other players' butts. Mario Party also rewards free quant multiplayer play by letting you save coins for goodies that mix up the game a bit (including a power-up that switches players' positions on the board). Oh, you'll stumble across a few secrets, too. As a one-player game, Mario Party is only so-so. Playing the solo mode opens a few secrets but is really only good for practicing minigames Play Mario Party with three friends and you'll never want to play it alone again.
As a self-confessed GEEK, I feel secure saying a four-player Mario Party car be more fun than a nifty out in Chicago. This cart Is loaded with well-designed mini-games that are fun and easy to pick up. Their simplicity means, 1) Anyone, from a video game-shy old hag to a hardcore gaming freak, can enjoy this cart and, 2) You may get bored playing the same games over and over. Great for the occasional get-together with the gang.
Mario Party is an extremely well-designed party game that packs hours upon hours of alarmingly fun gameplay in its more than 50 mini-games. There's just one catch: You'd better have friends. As a one-player game it's fun. but playing against the often-predictable CPU opposition gets stale quickly. Multiplayer play, on the other hand, never seems to get old. All the little extras they threw in just add to the experience. Fun, fun game.
I don't want to play regular, old board games anymore--they just can't compare to the fun and interactiveness of the incredible must-buy Mario Party. Now. if you don't have a lot of friends who come over to play games maybe this one isn't your best choice. But if you're a fan of multiplayer mayhem, then look no further. A couple of times we had to play the same minigame twice in one game, but you know, it was still a blast.
Download Mario Party
Party hard! 'Mario is back, and he's going to par-tay!
Aren't parties great? Cigarette burns on the furniture, congress between two people who normally wouldn't give each other the time of day under a pile of coats, unidentifiable liquids being tipped into girls' handbags, somebody necking a two-litre bottle of Merrydown on their own and collapsing in a corner, the distant stench of bleach and vomit.
Not in Nintendoland. Anxious to repair the damaged image of the party, Nintendo has gone back to the days when people at parties didn't play games that involved lewd chanting. Mario Party is a video board game that even your great-aunt can play. Up to four players can take part as one of six Nintendo characters (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Wario, Yoshi or Donkey Kong) in a race to collect the most coins and stars from around the six boards before time runs out.
In many ways, Mario Party is similar to Tamagotchi World (issue 11). Having programmed the latter game, Nintendo learned from its mistakes the second time around. There's a multiplayer subgame at the end of each round, as well as plentiful one-player tasks reached by landing on certain parts of the board.
Always Find Me In The Kitchen
Mario Party actually boasts so many 'happy mini games' that the Japanese version comes with a second manual just to list them all. There are 50 games in total, most for all four players at once (if you can't get four people at your party, the N64 takes over for the absentees) and the others for various three-against-one, two-against-two and one-player combinations. There really are too many to list on just two pages, but you can see a fairly good selection dotted around these words.
The games are designed to be simple to play (it's rare that any require the use of more than one button and the analogue stick) and quick to finish. The winner is rewarded with coins, while the losers usually get nothing, or even have to forfeit a few bob. Most of the subgames come and go pretty quickly, but there are a few (the one where the players balance on huge beachballs and have to ram each other off an island, the Beat Mania/PaRappa-slyle orchestra) that could easily have been expanded into full games in their own right.
Gameplay on the main boards is much like Tamagotchi World - roll the die, move that number of spaces, have good/bad things happen depending where you land. The number of turns the game lasts is set at the beginning, but you'd have to be in a real party mood to play the maximum length.
Mario Party is fun, but as the name suggests it's definitely meant for groups of people. Play it with fewer than four partygoers and the computer-controlled player(s) will usually get ahead pretty fast. The Japanese text isn't really a handicap because the sub-games are straightforward enough, but it'd be better to wait for the British release if you're interested.
It's much better than Tamagotchi World, because the sub-games are far more frequent, but Mario Party reflects Nintendo's current policy in Japan of knocking out gimmicky video toys instead of those pesky expensive-to-produce games. Depressingly, it seems to be paying off. Mario Party can be a good laugh with a group of friends, but it's no substitute for the games that made Nintendo's name in the first place. Let's hope this isn't a long-term trend!
2nd rating opinion
This is like buying game at a jumble sale and finding out the instructions are all in French! The sub-games in Mario Party are great - but it would be nice to know what the hell was happening! Good fun, but it's probably best to wait for it on PAL.
A new Mario game is usually preceded by at least a year's worth of hype and speculation, but Mario Party has sneaked into the Christmas release schedule almost unnoticed.
A collaboration with Hudson, Mario Party is an intriguingly Japanese mixture of multiplayer subgames built around a central board game featuring just about every major Nintendo character - Donkey Kong, Bowser, Wario, Yoshi, Toady, and Luigi to name but a few. Not forgetting Mazza himself, of course.
As far as our sources in Japan can tell, four players will be able to compete, individually or in teams, in games as diverse as ten pin bowling, cycling, and a multiplayer version of Peach's slides from Mario 64. One of the strangest games appears to be a contest to see who can stay standing on top of a beach ball the longest, which is certainly a first on the N64 if nothing else.
As weird as it sounds, we're really looking forward to this - largely because its use of updated versions of the models from Mario 64 bodes well for the prospect of seeing a proper sequel to the game some time next year. If Mario Party makes its projected release slot, we'll bring you a review just as soon as we can decipher it.
In the beginning there were board games... then someone invented the silicon chip and along came videogames. Okay, so a lot happened in between, but you get the gist, right? Now, surely the only reason that board games were invented was because they couldn't at the time do videogames.
Which raises the question, why on Earth would you want to make a videogame of a board game? Quite simply, Mario Party is the answer!
The game offers you a choice of six different boards on which up to four players can battle it out for board game supremacy. These are great fun in multiplayer, although they do become a trifle tedious after a while when you're playing them on your own. You find yourself spending far too much time watching the CPU players make their moves. This was also a major criticism when we reviewed the Japanese version last issue.
However, what we didn't realise at that time -- owing to our rather poor grasp of the Japanese language -- is that Mario Party actually offers a game mode aimed specifically at the solo player.
This mode gives you a unique board on which you can work through the 50 different mini-games on a progressive basis, without the need to do the lengthy dice-rolling main multiplayer game. As well as being an awful lot of fun, this one-player mode serves another important function as it allows you to practice the mini-games.
While some of them are fairly easy, many others - despite their apparent simplicity -- are downright difficult and can take many attempts to master. When you're playing the various board games you usually only get one attempt at a mini-game and then don't encounter it again for quite some time. Having the chance to practice these games is invaluable.
Party On Dude!
The multiplayer board games themselves become a lot more fun in this version, as now it's possible to work out exactly what everything on each board does. While some of it could be deciphered from the Japanese version by trial and error, the workings of some special squares weren't quite as obvious. For instance, when you finish one lap of a board you meet either Toad or Bowser. Toad offers to sell you a star (which is important, as at the end of the game the player with the most stars wins). Bowser, on the other hand, does various things like stealing all your money or giving you a false star which he charges you twice as much for. Though these things seem really obvious now, they weren't quite so self-explanatory when the only clues we had were reams of Japanese text -- we did in fact spend ages first time round trying to land on the Bowser square!
Mario Party is now good fun in one-player mode and has a lot of hidden secrets which you uncover as you play through it, which should keep you coming back for more. Where the game really comes into its own is in the four-player mode, with its variety of colourful and unusual playing environments. There are enough mini-games included to keep you and three friends occupied for a very long time to come and the games, although simplistic in nature, are nevertheless extremely good fun -- many of them are very reminiscent of classic arcade games. Although Mario Party has the look of something which would be suited best to younger children, the sheer addictiveness of the gameplay should make it attractive to all ages. Yet another hit from Nintendo -- keep it up guys!
It's always good to see when something pokes fun at itself, and with Hudson Soft's upcoming Mario Party, Nintendo seems to have sanctioned the ultimate no-no...making fun of characters from the Mario universe. Apparently six of the franchise's big stars (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Donkey Kong, Yoshi and Wario) have got into an argument over who is the biggest star and have decided to resolve the issue through use of a board game.
Clearly designed as a party game, the "overworld" is very much in the mold of a board game--players roll dice to figure out how many spaces to move, and upon landing on a square, they jump into one of 50 different minigames. Once in the minigames, everyone competes for traditional Mario-esque fare--coins and stars, and whoever has the largest number at the end of the game is the biggest star. Simple. The minigames are extremely varied and offer numerous different gameplay styles ranging from simple racing games, to team-based tasks to more vindictive "three-on-one" efforts that involve individuals trying to complete a simple task while all the other players try to stop them. As you can see from the screenshots, the style of the game is exactly what you'd both expect and want from a Mario game, and while the game can be played by someone on his/her own...this really isn't designed for this. Best enjoyed by large groups, Mario Party should prove to be popular with the more social adept of you who enjoy super-competitive and exceptionally vindictive games like Bomberman or Diddy Kong Racing.
More on the American release next month.
Mario's back on board for the N64...literally! Mario Party soups up the board-game concept with inspired multiplayer action that's loads of fun.
ALL A BOARD
Mario Party is like any traditional board game or board-game video game. Each player chooses from six recognizable characters -Mario, Luigi, Wario, Princess Peach, Yoshi, arid Donkey Kong--then takes turns rolling...er, pressing a die in order to move their character around one of six Party boards. But'the similarities with traditional board games end here.
Party's action really amps up each time a player completes their -turn4--that's when'one of the 56 randomly selected mini-games begins. These hilarious side-games feature'four-against-four, two-against-two, or one-against-three action, enabling each contestant to win (or steal) precious gold coins. And you better believe the coins are well worth, the fight--;they enable you to purchase the all-important Gold Stars. If you don't know it aJreadyKwhoever has the most stars at the end of the game wins.
The excellently crafted, brainteasing (and sometimes' offbeat) challenges cover a dizzying array of gameplay styles, including white-water rafting, slot-car racing, deep-sea treasure diving. Concentration-style puzzles, and a dancing Limbo contest And that's just for starters!
Part sports the nicely crafted, now-classic look of the Mario game tamily. It you re familiar with Mario 64 and Yoshi's Island, you know what we're talking about The game's tunes and audio effects are also classically cute and perfectly fit Party's jovial action. Nintendo fens will instantly recognize these nostalgic notes.
The controls, which range from precise stick-movements to wild button-mashing insanity, are well implemented, enabling you to manage easily all the diverse action. Some minigames, such as the rafting event, even require you to rotate the joystick frantically in a 360-degree motion--a guaranteed blister-busting workout.
You're Right To Party
Mario Party is fun, even if you're playing alone. But like any good party,-it's definitely better to play with-a group of, friends--you can cheer'erh on,, cap on 'em, or try to jinx"em. This games a blast, no matter how you play it.
- In Bumper Balls, it pays to gang up on another player; just don't let them gang up on you.
- In Tightrope Treachery, occasionally step backward to throw off the timing of your cannon-shooting competitors.
- Collect as many coins as possible: Not only are they necessary for purchasing Gold Stars, but they can also be used to employ the Ghost to steal Gold Stars from your fellow partygoers.
- In Treasure Divers, you can knock your opponents into the sharks or the octopi and steal their chests.
- In Paddle Battle, always reach the rock first If you lose, the imp steak your coins.
- To finish first in Balloon Burst, quickly and rhythmically tap your buttons-in order to blow up your inflatable Bowser.
- Borer's Face lift has a .time limit, so pujl the face into the general shape as quickly as possfole, then work on the details.
Mario Party's characters look great--you'll instantly recognize each one. The six imaginatively drawn board-game environments and the 56 mini-games are also well designed.
Just like its graphics, Mario Party's sounds and effects are very Mario-esque: They're sweet and petite. The game's full of funny voices and quirky boinks, bonks, and bleeps--it even contains some audio cues that were in the first Mario title on the 8-bit NES.
Once again, Nintendo's just showing off the versatility and the durability of the N64 controller. The facile controls easily handle the diverse gameplay of the minigames while introducing new ways to use the joystick
This is a nicely crafted multiplayer game that's great for people of all ages and skill levels. Even the single-player mode is fun, but the Party really starts when the players interact with each other while com? peting in this hilarious game.