Mario Party 7 Reader Review
I happen to be what appears to be a rare entity in the world of playing video games, as I quite like the Mario Party series. "WHAT!?" you may say, "WHY?!" you may also say. Well, for starters, I do not buy these games for their single player prowess (as there is none). And anybody who considers buying it for this reason should SERIOUSLY consider otherwise. I buy these games as they; along with Super Smash Brothers Melee and Super Monkey Ball 2 (also Timesplitters 2 if I'm being generous) offer the best multiplayer experience on the Gamecube. Yet, it could be so much better.
The thing with every new iteration of Mario Party is that they seem almost determined to add at least one gimmick. Infact Iím pretty sure its now law. However, instead of implementing these gimmicks properly, they think its a good idea to not make full use of it just incase someone is "offended" by it...or something. For example, we have the microphone, which works well enough, but then its only given 11 minigames in which it can be used, and then the controller can be used instead, with decidedly more control. The same applies with the new 8-player mode, where only 13 minigames are present, though to be fair only one of them could be classed as 'poor'.
Then we have Bowser Time. Every 4 turns or so a Bowser meter will fill up and once full Bowser will decide (non-negotiable) to raise havoc across the board. Just for the record, I don't blame him for being angry. I cannot understand what it must be like for him to be shunned from going on a cruise with his arch enemies. But Bowser Time again is not properly implemented, and after a few boards the same things will keep cropping up. Oh, look he's taking a photograph again...oh...I just lost 10 coins again...
Not So Pointless Additions
Which brings me to the six new boards. Whether you like playing the board games, or just prefer going into the Minigame mode, it is undeniable that the game boards are some of the most creative yet. Of particular interest, and my personal favorite, Windmillville, has you invest coins in a windmill, which therefore gets you the star (or 2 or 3 depending on the size of the windmill). Now here's the trick, if other players were to invest more coins than you in that windmill, then they would gain control of the stars. It all makes for an interesting diversion from the usual 'get to the star first and pay 20 coins'.
I've noticed quite a lot of people comment on how Mario Party is the "rubbishest GAME EVA!!!" because some of it has you rolling virtual dice and travelling round on a board. This however, is some of the enjoyment of Mario Party, but I must stress, the balance is not quite there in this particular outing. That is to say, too much rolling dice and not enough playing fun minigames, but its not quite enough to warrant a slap round the face for Hudson.
Before i start to wrap this review up, I must mention the minigames, which on the whole are very good, though as a package they do lack a couple of killer games which your just dying to play again. I still have fond memories of both 'Domination' and Avalanche' in MP4 and the Ice Hockey game in MP5 but can't see me remembering any of these games in years to come. Saying that, there is a great little Air Hockey game (see image) that you have to unlock called Ice Moves, and yet you can't play it in a board game. AND I WANT TO KNOW WHY!!!!
Where Are The Additions?!
Saying that, there are some fundamental problems that need sorting out and need sorting out right now!! For example, Mario Party calls itself a multiplayer game yet it doesn't record player stats, so on going feuds can only be done in your head. For example at the moment it is only "I have a feud with you!" instead of what it should be, "I see from the stats that I have 1 more win than you, you are a big loser, fatty". Again, what's the point of having records if you don't know who's set them...
Also, the minigames could do with some more variety, different layouts each time you play them, more whatever. The more variety there is, the more chance of starting a minigame on a relatively even playing field. Sticking with minigames, why can't I determine what I can unlock and when? Why do I have to rely on luck to gain access to all the minigames? I might aswell mention it while Iím here, the single player is like trying to close a door, which won't close because one of the hinges has snapped, incredibly frustrating. MP6 looked like it had a single-player going in the right direction, but in MP7 we're back to facing a computer player on all the boards. Yawn. Very BIG YAWN!
In the very first MP there was something called Mini-game Island where you would make your way through each mingame with increasing difficulty. Now that, was a FUN single player mode. Bring that back and Iíll be happy...yes there's something similar with 'King of the River' on MP7 but I want to be able to unlock minigames doing it, I don't want to have already unlocked mingames to play it...if that makes sense
If wanting a Mario Party game, get this oneÖ or get the 2nd one with Revolution's download service.
Single Player - DO NOT BUY FOR SINGLE-PLAYER!! END OF!
Multiplayer - playing with friends regularly?? Purchase this (it is worth noting however that this particular Mario Party will not make the unbelievers change viewpoints) Apparently it makes a great drinking game aswell, i wouldn't know, as drinking has been banned in Britain since the 19th century. No, I am not confused and i'm FED UP OF PEOPLE SAYING IT!
Assuming there will be a MP8, hopefully on Revolution, I hope Hudson will be able to bring a full fledged Mario Party with lots of customizing features. Note to Hudson: take a couple of years on it, don't rely on gimmicks, just make it good...and maybe there will also be online play.... sigh a man can dream though...a man can dream. (Also wanted: fing-longer)
6 / 10