No one would suggest reviewing games is ever as unpleasant as working in a coal mine or an abattoir or a Wetherspoons, but there are still days you want to have a little cry. Days when you've got to review your fifth mini-game collection in as many weeks. Days when the press release for the game includes the word "whimsical" and the phrase "crazier than ever" (twice). Days when the game says "Mario Party" on the box.
Being a Professional, and because you're paid to, you put your misery and prejudice aside. Maybe this one will be different, you think. It's on DS, for starters, so there's plenty of potential for fun new touch-screen-based mini-games. Maybe they'll finally have rejigged the stupid board system. And you'll be able to play against real people via Wi-Fi Connection, more than likely, so for once you won't need friends round to enjoy Mario Party. Wrong, wrong, wrong.
For those who aren't familiar, the Mario Party games see up to four players taking it in turns to roll a die and move round a game board. Many of the squares on the board have different effects, such as giving the player who lands on them bonus coins or transporting them to another square. You get the opportunity to earn coins by winning mini-games. When you land on a star square you can buy the star if you have enough coins. The overall winner is the player who has collected the most stars during the course of the game.