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SuperStingray

Mario Party!

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What can you say about Mario Party that your carpal tunnel syndrome and broken friendships can't? I've owned and played every game in the series (even some of the eReader minigames) and the've certainly provided some offbeat and unusual boardgame-esque entertainment over the years.

My friend came by the other day, but seeing as I don't have any other working game consoles with me right now, I fired up the ol' 64 and put in Mario Party 1. Shit was just as crazy as I remembered it. Dissipating a ghost with a bike-powered lightbulb, digging for treasure chests, laughing at the minigame called "Bumper Balls." It all came back to me. But god damn, I doubt there has been a greater dissonance between fun and balance in a video game. I swear, over a 35 turn game, we landed on those Chance Time roulette's 18 times. The guy who was third place the whole game became first in the second to last turn! And then there's the dreaded dexterity minigames in which all computer players will make you their bitch. I just turned this game on for the first time in perhaps 10 years at least and I FINALLY beat that damn tug-of-war game!

So then there's Mario Party 2. Mario Party 2 still has some unfinished business for me: the roller coaster. If you're like me, the only reason you play the board game is for the minigames in between. And I think Mario Party 2 has a lot of the best minigames in the series. I think my particular favorites in this game are Honeycomb Havoc, because while it seems like luck, it really comes down to game theory and predicting your opponent's actions like a brief, linear game of chess and Cake Factory, because it uses synergy in a 2 vs 2 minigame extremely well. It also introduced the Battle Minigame, which made things more interesting while increasing the balance. But what I love about this game the most though? The costumes. Why Nintendo hasn't brought back the distinctive themes and level specific costumes I'll never know.

Nonetheless, Mario Party 3 is and has been since it came out my favorite Mario Party of all time. Not that I was necessarily let down by its successors, but it was the last truly memorable one as far as I'm concerned. The Duel Map was a very interesting twist and the story mode was probably more in depth than most of the others. Plus I had some good memories of it, my old friend and I used to play this game well past our bedtimes.

Mario Party 4, on the other hand... it's strange- I know I enjoyed it, but I don't remember much about it. But it did have some cool "extra" minigames and it had a kickass final boss level (which I believe to be the earliest sign of Mario Galaxy.)

Mario Party 5 is probably my second favorite if only for the return of the Star Spirits from Paper Mario (great fanservice!) and the bonus Superduel mode, where you build weaponized cars with the stars you earn. Also, this is the first and only time a character was removed from the roster (Donkey Kong) so that he could become a board character.)

I kind of see Mario Party 6 and 7 as the oddballs, with their weird and unnecessary microphone mechanic and the former introducing a day/night cycle on all the levels rather than just one. Unfortunately, this is kind of where the series started to stagnate in my eyes, so I guess not much stood out to me from either.

The most recent main entry, Mario Party 8 was basically Mario Party with motion controls. Party games are one of the only genres I believe use motion controls effectively, so it kind of revitalized the franchise to me.

There was also a Mario Party DS which was pretty immemorable too, but Mario Party Advance still stands out for being less a party game and more a single-player RPG on a boardgame-like environment.

So does anyone else have a history with this odd party game series?

Edited by SuperStingray

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I remember renting Mario Party 2 back then. Me and my brothers used to stay up all night playing that game. Since then, I have not played another MP game until MP8, which was not good imo.

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Even though I am a Mario enthusiast there are some games that I haven't played yet, and that includes some of the Mario Parties.

The only ones I have played were 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, Advanced and DS. I am looking forward to Mario Party 9 that is supposed to come out later this year (Q4 is the predicted time-frame) since that is supposed to be Thelma and Louise with Daisy and Peach roadtrip time around the Mushroom Kingdom (or is it the planet? Not much details are available right now.)

I liked DS and the inclusion of a story mode. I miss the character themed boards, however. Excluding Donkey Kong, Waluigi was the last playable character to get an entire board.

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For me, the Mario Party series is a mixed bag. Being the Mario enthusiast that I am, I've played all of the games including Advance and DS, but I can't say I've enjoyed all of them. Well, that's a bit of a lie actually, they've all been passable games - but some have never quite ventured beyond "passable".

I have fond memories of playing Mario Party games with friends up until about Mario Party 5 on the Gamecube (my fondest memories coming from MP3, MP4 and MP5, if I remember rightly) but after that I feel the series fell a bit flat. Mario Party 6 came along with its microphone add-on which was... pretty crappy, to say the least... and then Mario Party 7 with the exact same gimmick... and by this point Mario Party had just become some sort of cash cow that Nintendo was milking out on an annual basis. It really wasn't fun any more, a truth cemented with Mario Party 8. That game was just dire. Sure, it had some interesting minigames with the motion controls, but the graphics were horrible and it all felt a bit half-arsed. Heck, the only reason I haven't resorted to trading it in is because I have one of the UK launch copies that had the word "spastic" in (which, as many of you will know, caused the game to be recalled and edited before re-releasing it). So it's kind of a collector's item, I guess. But that's the only reason. I haven't touched it in absolutely ages and I have no intention to.

I was really glad that Nintendo stopped churning out Mario Party games after MP8. Finally, I thought they had realised that the series was past its sell-by date and that it should be shelved. So I'm not exactly hyped for Mario Party 9. It could be the game that Mario Party 8 should have been, and I hope that it is - but if it turns out to just be another rushed Wii shovelware minigame-fest, well, I won't be surprised.

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Well, perhaps a break is all it needed. I know I would have been less excited for this game if I hadn't thought Nintendo stopped making them.

But honestly, the only I want back is that magical, abstract whimsy that went into the style of the series. Now it's just been replaced with loud yet overall superficial party motifs. Mario Party 3 took place in a magic toybox; Mario Party 2 made it as if the characters were traveling to other worlds. And Mario Party 1 just didn't bother to explain anything at all other than the exposition, so it was particularly odd. After that, it's just birthday bashes, carnival tents and cruise ships. Mario Party 6 kind of brought it back, but it wasn't enough. But then maybe that's just nostalgia telling me its not good because it's not EXACTLY what I played when I was 7.

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There's nothing quite like seeing your friends being screwed over because of sheer luck on your part. Or because of that cheating bastard of a computer. It's the same reason why I love Mario Kart, and why I think they should never remove the blue shell.

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My brother used to have one of the Mario Party games for the N64. I don't remember which one it was. I remember one of my cousins, my brother and myself playing Mario Party. Great and fun game, especially when more than 2 people play it. From what I can remember, some of it was pretty challenging.

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My first and favorite was actually Mario Party 4. That was a super fun game, countless hours playing with my friend whenever he came over.

Then after that it was Mario Party 7, I thought it was cool because of the team feature, and the microphone.

Then I got Mario Party 8, because I thought the motion controls would provide something different.

4 was my favorite. I don't know if its because of Nostalgia, if I truly liked the mini-games more, or what. Although the new ones had cool new features, I liked the simplicity of four better, and IIRC the dependance on luck wasn't as bas as it was on later games, with what all the crap that happened with you if you were the poor bastard who landed on one of the booby trapped spaces.

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I have Mario Party 2 (My second favorite), Mario Party 4(My favorite one), Mario Party Advance(Which I just love to death, it's my favorite GBA game.) and Mario Party DS.

But I remember Mario Party, the first one, and I remember what happened that day. I had gotten lucky, and actually had over 5 stars! one more turn left, nobody else had a star, and I knew that I was gonna win no matter what. That is until LUIGI got a chance time. Let's just say that after chance time, I somehow ended up with zero stars and he got 5. Fuck you Luigi, just Fuck you.

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The only Mario Party games I have are 1 and 6. They're nothing great really. Sure, 1 is kind of fun, but 6...it has some fun standard mini-games, but the mic mini-games suck and are so irresponsive. For example, I would say something clearly, and then it tells me to repeat it because I "didn't say it clearly". BULLSHIT.

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There's nothing quite like seeing your friends being screwed over because of sheer luck on your part. Or because of that cheating bastard of a computer. It's the same reason why I love Mario Kart, and why I think they should never remove the blue shell.

Yeah, that's why it's called Mario Party not Mario Hardcore-Tournament-Shit. Honest to god, there are times I feel the game is deliberately trying to troll me, like it's skewing the dice numbers to my disadvantage 80% of the time.

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2 and 4 were my favorites. 9 sounds promising so far, so we'll have to see how that goes. I'm also interested in Square-Enix's Fortune Street, which sounds like the Command Board from KHBBB.

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Mario Party should be renamed to Bowser Hater Party. Most of the game's cut-scenes show Bowser getting fucked over by the dumbest shit. That's borderline animal abuse.

I've never played a Mario Party games. I hate board games though so I avoid them. Plus they usually have terrible character rosters because of one omission.

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I did love Mario Party back in the day. My breakdown opinion goes something like:

Mario Party

Classic, if a LITTLE unpolished in terms of difficulty and strategy. It was a great starting point. My favourite was the Mario World-style-presented Mini-Game Island. I wish all the games had kept this mode. There was also something seriously epic about:

Bowser stealing all your stars at the end of the game and destroying the main menu village in the process. Switching on the game and seeing that was such a shock and made the final game on Eternal Star to get your stars back all the more awesome.

Mario Party 2

Improvement on the original in so many ways. Tons of neat aesthetic twists, unashamed return of favourite games from the first (seriously, why didn't they continue this? Bumper Balls NEVER gets old!). I didn't find it quite as magical as the first but that's about it.

Mario Party 3

This is my favourite too. I think it brought back the "magic" of the original (or maybe that was just because I got and played it at christmas), and the item system was way improved. Story mode was awesome, soundtrack was the best in the series, animated game boards was nice, the duel mode was fantastic and... ah just so much great stuff. The minigames were also the greatest ratio of awesome to lame, even if they did stop bringing back previous ones.

Mario Party 4

Spent most of the time just ogling the awesome graphics of the GameCube, though was dissapointed that the boards were just tracks floating within the 3D backgrounds. Still, I loved all the in-board mini-mini-games, and it had a pretty fun set of mini-games and yes, fantastic final boss.

Mario Party 5

Ack, a lot of things went wrong for me here. At first I liked that the story mode was rebalanced for the lone player, but the result was that you just got sick of the 1-on-1 mini-games, and that rope-pulling utterly chance-based one was SO frustrating in this mode. I hated the capsule system too, felt so much less in control than before with the item system of previous games. Made the whole thing feel more chance-based again like the original, since there was no way to directly attack other players. You could only throw a capsule on a space and HOPE they land on it. However, full 3D interactive boards were nice.

Mario Party 6

After 5, I stopped buying the games for a while, but eventually decided "no, I need to get all these some day" so got this just a year ago. It was good. Not great, just good. More fun than 5 but still had the capsule system, bleh. Unfortunately I got this second-hand so no microphone, but somehow managed to get addicted to some of the mic games anyway using the controller to play them, lol.

Mario Party 7/8/Advance/DS

Yet to play but I want to pick them up eventually.

As a final note, I loved that in the first few games the menus had you travelling through 3D spaces point-and-click style, and was very dissapointed that the menus got more and more minimalistic with every new game. 8C Did any of the ones I haven't played go back to the old style?

Edited by JezMM

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