Mario Party 8
Reviewed by Melissa Yamamoto
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2009-08-25 Wii Party E (Everyone) Nintendo

Mario Party was first available in 1999 on the N64 and since then, we've seen the party moving on to other platforms, acquiring more characters, different sceneries and more mini-games. Ten years later, Mario Party 8 becomes the first version developed for Wii and basically consists of a game board, where you hit the dice and walk the number of spots to try and get the most desired item: a shining star. If you collect more stars than your opponents, you win.

The gameplay and storyline are pretty much the same, but a few changes were made, such as the candies available throughout the board so you can steal coins, hit two or three dices at once, or even battle against other character.

As a fan, playing one of Mario's games usually equals having fun, but this time it didn't work. I played Mario Party 7 for DS and I confess I enjoyed it a lot more than the Wii version. The DS version is good enough for single players and it allows you to defeat a big boss after being the star champion of the whole round but the 8th version doesn't offer you that, making the game painful and tedious when you're playing alone. Playing against three other computer opponents is annoying because you have to wait for each one of them to hit the dice, move, choose what kind of candy they want to buy, get a shortcut, etc. The thing is, the game is not dynamic and made me not want to play more than 15 turns against the computer.

In multiplayer mode the game can be fun. But depending on the board you choose, it might abuse both your energy and patience, to the point that by the end of the round, you and your pals won't be enjoying the experience. Playing with an A.I.-controlled partner can be frustrating, since it will make wrong decisions and you'll feel like you can't count on it, pushing you to carry the game entirely on your shoulders.

One aspect that can make the game a little bit fun is the bonus minigames you get to play after each round. The minigames help you collect coins and some of them are really fun since you get to use the motion system control the Wii offers, like baseball swings and punching movements. A nice touch is the practice section and the minigame tent, so if you don't want to go through the game board you can still play the minigames, although this shouldn't be the only compelling feature presented in the game.

The game is colorful and carries the cute Mario games environment we're used to see, which makes me wonder… After seven Mario Party games released, why couldn't they concentrate more on the gameplay itself, or the storyline, create a really new version, instead of just copying the oldest ones and making small changes here and there just to fit the console? It leaves the impression that the party has reached a dead end and shouldn't continue.

It's pretty obvious that this series is successful, otherwise it wouldn't have gotten so far. But seriously, it's disappointing not to see creativity, especially nowadays when the videogame industry has become so innovative and challenging to manufacturers and as a result, of course, we demand not only quality, but also worth p(l)aying.