Tech News on G4
Time to Party with Mario
Mar 26, 2012
By John Powell - G4 Canada
We missed you 'Mario Party'. It has been a few years since Nintendo's ultimate party game made its debut on the Wii and in that time the market has been flooded with all manner of multiplayer party titles. Based on the strength of its characters and mini-games, 'Mario Party 9' is marked improvement over its predecessor.
As before, players travel around virtual gameboards, landing on spaces and earning rewards or penalties. The goal is to collect the most stars by winning competitive mini-games and rewards either against other players or against the computer A.I., which can be limited or eliminated altogether. The collection of 78 mini-games includes those testing your memory, your reflexes and ability to mash those buttons as furiously as you can. There is so much diversity you will rarely see the same games pop up again and again.
Since all the players travel in the same vehicle, the potential positioning of each player and the chance to alter the order at various times during the sessions establishes a whole new strategic element to the 'Mario Party' franchise. Scouting out the spaces ahead, it may prove advantageous for you to advance or delay your roll.
New to 'Mario Party' as well are the massively entertaining boss battles which are interwoven into the paper-thin plot of Bowser and his son stealing stars not princesses. During the battles, players try to simultaneously deal damage to a massive adversary. Awards are given to not only who dealt the most damage but whose blow finished off the baddie. The battles break up the gameplay and are just crazy fun when you have a handful of players. Great stuff.
Although Nd Cube's changes will thrill old school 'Party' fans who have been longing for enhancements, what might burst the buttons on their overalls is the game's reliance on pure, blind, stupid luck to determine outcomes. Just like a real board game, a random dice roll, a random appearance by Bowser or a randomly generated square can severely alter the outcome of the game. You can go from first to last in the blink of an eye. The game's substantial dependence on the luck factor can be very discouraging to those who cannot accept such arbitrary twists of fate, such as younger gamers who may not have the patience to roll with Bowser's punches.
Nd Cube's first crack at the 'Mario Party' franchise is an encouraging one and might win over some new fans. They have kept the trouble-free core gameplay intact, tightened and brightened things up and introduced new elements to revive the series.
Next time we get our invitations though, we hope that pure skill not blind luck dominants the 'Party'.
Mario Party 9
About G4 in Canada
G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.