Destroying Solid Friendships Since 1998
The brand new Mario Party game is out and the world can now consume the bright, colourful and insanely interactive, friendship-killing, multiplayer game that is Mario Party 10. Now with 17 years under their belt and a new platform to build upon in the Wii U, does Nintendo deliver a Mario Party game that we’ll reminisce about another 15 years from now?
Mario Party was a massive part of my childhood gaming experience growing up, from playing Mario Party 2 and 3 at various friend’s houses as well as getting put in front of the television and the then outdated Nintendo 64 whilst waiting patiently for my mother to pick me up from the school holiday program a few years later. I had so much love for those couple of games (Skateboard Scamper, yes please) but I didn’t continue the love to the newer games, mostly because I didn’t have a Gamecube and not much interest on the Wii, because, you know, I was a brooding teenager. However! I love the Wii U and the integration of the game pad into certain games and was excited to see what this game would involve.
So, this version of Mario Party has three different modes: the usual Mario Party, Bowser Party which involves one person playing using the Wii U as Bowser, and Amiibo Party which uses your previously bought Amiibos or the Mario Amiibo that can come with the game.
Mario Party is the usual version of the Mario Party game. It’s 1-4 players, turn order is picked automatically, you each get 5 mini stars (more on that later) and then, one of the worst decisions Nintendo have made in regards to the Mario Party series, you all jump aboard some sort of vehicle together like a kind of boring road trip. You’re all playing together yet against each other at the same time with the goals of getting to the end while beating the bosses as a team that are towards the end of the board. The “captain” of the vehicle drives it and rolls the dice before switching to the next player in line. You play for mini stars rather than coins and stars and it’s the usual ‘the most stars win’ type of victory in which you most likely know who is going to win even with the bonus mini stars awarded at the end.
Now, playing by myself, as sad as that is, was both laughably easy and annoyingly hard as you can change the difficulty of the COM players before you start. They’re automatically on ‘normal’ difficulty and this mostly applies to how they play in the mini-games. Sometimes, in games where you need to be the last on standing on a platform, the COM’s will walk stupidly close to the edges; In guessing games, they will pick completely random answers; In games that require physical action and reaction time, like flicking the Wiimote, the COM’s will always seem to be a second or so behind, making victory an extremely east feat. I assume the ‘very easy’ COM difficulty to be only for children who can’t grasp victory.
However, the ‘master’ difficulty, the highest COM difficulty there is, should be called ‘fucking bullshit’ difficulty. Whilst playing ‘normal’ difficulty, I came 1st twice along with 2nd once after a crappy Bowser Jr. roll. After playing on ‘master’, I had 2 lasts under my belt. And when I say last, I mean absolute and utter decimation. Whenever they had a chance to earn extra mini stars, they got it. Whenever they had a 50/50 chance of hitting something in their favour, they got it. If they needed to roll a 5 to be safe from the board hazards, YOU BETTER BELIEVE THAT THEY GOT IT! Everything seemed to line up so perfectly for them to get into just the right spot that the person next (me) would get hit or lose mini stars. Fuck you Wario, fuck you.
Apart from the bullshit, the boards are SUPER pretty and there’s always something to look at. With the game pad, no one gets to use it but depending on the map you’re using, you’ll either find Bowser or a gold Toad stuck behind bars on the screen with six locks that unlock each time a character rolls that number for the first time. Once unlocked, new things will happen with the board or you’ll get bonus mini stars.
The fun mini-games make a return but with one huge flaw: you could go through an entire game without even playing them! Unlike previous games that activate a mini game after each character has rolled, you only get to play mini games in this mode after landing on a ‘VS’ spot which come up every so often or can be hidden on random, unmarked spots.
Bowser Party is the best part of Mario Party 10. It’s basically the Mario Party mode but with 1 extra player who uses the game pad to play as Bowser. The 4 characters go around as normal, then Bowser rolls his 4 dice and try to catch the others. If caught, the 4 characters play a mini-game with Bowser trying to rid them of their hearts/lives. If you lose all your hearts/lives, you’re out of the game. If Bowser gets all the characters out, Bowser wins and the game is over.
Bowser’s mini-games are really fun, especially for Bowser. On the game pad, the player sees things from Bowser’s perspective, whereas on the television screen, the other players just see the mini-games as they normally would. The game pad uses any of its features to make the games more interesting, such as using the microphone to blow fire at the other characters, and to be honest … it really works. The games are very fun and interactive and it means you hold all the power of the game … unless you’re like me and you’re sitting on your couch in the dark all alone playing against 4 COMs. Then you just have all the shame.
The Amiibo Party version is … a little … meh. Depending on which Mario Amiibo you have (if you get the packaged game, you get Mario!) you can play certain player’s maps. And by maps, I mean cardboard-like boards which each have their own player specific themes. Now, as much as this version is … a little … meh, it actually works mostly just as the old Mario Party games, such as: landing on blue gives you coins, red takes your coins and the green spaces randomly places you in either red or blue for the mini game at the end of each round. You also play for the popular yellow star which you need 20 coins to buy. The Amiibos also come with features like tokens that can be used to collect extra coins and such during the game.
So, that’s a good point that it has but unfortunately, the boards are extremely dull and the character are Amiibos, if you have them or else they are cardboard cutouts themselves and lifeless until you get to a mini-game.
Mario Party 10 also has other random ‘free play’ things to do, such as singles or double badminton, a kind of jewel game (actually fun), a way to play mini-games by yourself or with others such as the mini-game tournament with 1-8 players or playing as Bowser and playing 10 mini-games with the game pad, trying to rid as many hearts off players as you can.