Nintendo’s most popular party game is getting a lot crazier in Mario Party 8. It’s the 10th game in the series (11th in Japan) so this time the big change has to be the new controls, as well as the 80 new minigames that use them.
Whether you’re shaking up cola cans or lassoing barrels, Nintendo promises you and your friends will be drawn into the action like never before by using the Wii Remote. With its minigames it’s set to appeal to both casual gamers and long-time fans of the series. Update: As a result the game has sold 2.89 million copies worldwide in the four months since release.
Release dates: May 29th 2007 (USA), June 22nd 2007 (EURO)
Developer: Hudson Soft
Game storyline: In Mario Party 8, a hyperactive emcee has invited Mario, Peach and the rest of the crew to his carnival, a perfect setting for the dynamic spectacle of the Wii game play. Mario Party 8 keeps the surprises coming with minigames that draw upon the Wii Remote’s motion, pointing and button control in a variety of ways. Players always know how to jump into the action by watching an animated tutorial that shows how to use the Wii Remote.
How to progress through the game: Following tradition, Mario Party 8 takes the social, strategic game play of board games and adds breaks for quick, action-oriented minigames. In the main mode, players travel across six boards in search of Stars, landing on spaces that are helpful (example: giving coins) or a hindrance (example: sending Bowser in to mess with the player). Several variations for these boards tweak the main goals to enhance game play for solo sessions, two-player games and three- to four-player games. In addition, Mario Party 8 includes four more minigame-infused kinds of special games, such as Tic-Tac Drop, where players earn the right to put the next mark on the board by winning a minigame.
Characters: Mario Party games are a celebration of all things Mario, so you can play as 14 classic characters, the widest selection yet for the series, including newcomers Hammer Bro and Blooper. You’ll also bump into many old friends and foes that span 20+ years of Mario games.
Special powers/weapons/moves/features: Beyond using the Wii Remote’s motion and pointer control, this new game in the Mario Party series goes its own way with two changes:
* Players can transform their character using candy power-ups. Examples: When Peach eats Bowlo Candy, she’ll turn into a Peach-faced ball and bowl over characters to get their coins. When Wario eats Vampire Candy, he’ll sprout wings and fly off to suck the coins from all other players.
* There’s also a more engaging view of the action puts the player “on the board” with his traveling character, no longer far above the whole board looking down.
Watch Mario Party 8′s launch trailer.
So what are Mario Party 8’s main features?
* Play with motion control: Players row their way through a river race, punch a statue to pieces, steer race cars, mopeds and go-karts and handle a balancing pole while walking a tightrope.
* Play using the Wii Remote as a Pointer: Shoot at Boos in a haunted house, drag and drop toppings in a cake-decorating competition, select the correct answers in game show challenges.
* Play using the Wii Remote’s buttons: Players jump and pummel their way through a football brawl, and hop and run across a field of spinning platforms
* Mario Party 8 also includes dozens of new minigames, six new party boards and many new game modes. In a series first, players can transform their characters into many forms, such as player-smashing boulders and coin-sucking vampires.
* Mario Party 8 also includes “extra-large” minigames like Star Carnival Bowling and Table Menace. One to four players can play Mario Party 8, each with a Wii Remote.
Watch some Mario Party 8 multiplayer mayhem.
As a conclusion let’s rate this game on its fun-basis.
FUN FACTOR – 7.5
With this being the first Mario Party game three friends and me ever played, the majority of the minigames were fun. I think it’s very important that many of these games make you laugh as you try and beat your family and/or friends in a race to the star. I can definitely imagine the fun of yet another new game fading away if you’ve played a few too many of these games in the past. But the game kept us entertained for many hours at a time, because outside of the fun minigames, the candy powerups will keep you guessing as to who will win till the last minute; all adding to the “Who will win?” element of surprise that’s so enjoyable here. If you want to skip the somewhat slow progress of the board game setting, you can visit the minigame section and jump straight into the minigames and even use your Mii as a character. All in all you can expect some crazy fun in multiplayer.
Graphics – 7.0
Well put together game, visually, it looks like a GameCube game. But I suppose it fits with the game’s style. The effects are nice, even if they seem lifted from Super Mario Sunshine. Regardless, complaining about about the graphics would be like saying your Monopoly board game from ten years ago has “old graphics”, makes no sense and it doesn’t need to have it, even in the minigames you’re occupied with beating your opponents and not what it looks like while you’re having fun.
Audio – 7.5
Fun upbeat tunes and all the Mario universe voices and sound effects are present. There are even unexpected surprises that pop up, like the character you picked will shout an exclamation through the Wii Remote speaker you are controlling, to let you know it’s your turn to play.
Ingenuity – 8.0
Loads of different gameplay modes and minigames are designed to use the Wii Remote in various different ways, which is great to keep the game diverse. Everything is well explained from rules to controls, and from practice to the actual minigame.
Replay Value – 8.0
The game has 80 new minigames that all use the Wii’s capabilities as well as 6 new boards, and 12 different modes of play. The addition of collectible Carnival Cards to trade for and unlock a new difficulty setting, additional minigames and extras like collectible figurines and music tracks, will keep you coming back to see it all. While you can set CPU players to accompany you in single player, it’s highly recommended for group play, which is where the game shines like the bright star you’re out to get. Too bad there’s no online multiplayer, maybe in Mario Party 9?