Mario Party Legacy

Mario Party 8 and Mario Party DS Retrospective

In anticipation of the release of Mario Party 10 on March 20, Mario Party Legacy is taking a look back at the Mario Party series to recount all the good and bad that has come in the last 16 years. You can see our schedule and vote in our polls here.

I was pretty surprised to see all the positivity surrounding Mario Party 8 when our initial post for the Countdown to Mario Party 10 began. Many of you said this was your first Mario Party game and some of you even said it was your favorite! It’s a bit of a shock considering Mario Party 8 is my least favorite game in the series.

Mario Party 8 is clearly a GameCube developed title. The game was released on the Wii, after breaking the usual Winter release schedule and getting a delay, but many of the design choices and other little details show the original plan for the game, and this ultimately hurt the game. The most obvious of these signs is the ugly border that accompanies anyone who tries to play the game in widescreen. The GameCube didn’t support widescreen, and as a result, Mario Party 8 was built with this in mind. Mario Party 8 was not the only game to get this treatment. Super Paper Mario and Donkey Kong: Barrel Blast (then called Donkey Kong: Bongo Blast) were also GameCube titles moved to the Wii.

Then you have the fact that many of the minigames feel like the Wii Remote was forced into the control scheme. Not only were they forced, but they also resulted in a lackluster or even broken experience (looking at you Flip the Chimp). Minigames that didn’t use motion functionality were relegated to the D-pad, and it’s clear that these minigames would be a lot more innovative if they simply used some kind of control stick.

With all that said, there are still good things to find in the game, and it’s by all means playable. Although you have atrocious boards like Bowser’s Warped Orbit and Goomba’s Booty Boardwalk, you also get unique and interesting boards like DK’s Treetop Temple and Koopa’s Tycoon Town. Mario Party 8 probably has the worst bunch of minigames in the entire series, but it does have a few that stand out, including Mosh-Pit Playroom, Specter Inspector, Rotation Station, and Cut from the Team.

Mario Party 8 also gets a lot of good credit for trying to mix things up instead of following the same pattern as Mario Party 6 and 7. The visuals and graphics of Mario Party 8 take on a more realistic look, although this doesn’t work as well as the more cartoony feel of the past games. The Candy system may be a bit unfair at times, but the transformations and the various effects are still impressive. The is the first Mario Party game to have all the character stats in the top right corner of the screen instead of in each corner. Most minigames feature some kind of unique or interesting animation and scene after the minigame ends, and the results screen appears in the minigame itself. Every board has unique space designs that match the theme of the board. A lot of firsts for this game.

Only a few months after the release of Mario Party 8 came the release of Mario Party DS. This was the first handheld game since Mario Party Advance, and once again the game was focused with the single player aspect as the main component of the game. Thankfully, this time it turned out to be a more traditional and very much enjoyable experience.

Mario Party DS retains what makes the rest of the Mario Party series so great. It has four players running across interesting boards with different objectives like Toadette’s Music Room and Bowser’s Pinball Machine, all while playing a variety of creative minigames. Unlike Mario Party 8, the minigames in Mario Party DS properly use many of the functionalities of the DS. And they’re fun! And not broken. A few favorites include Rail Riders, Camera Shy, Soap Surfers, Rubber Ducky Rodeo, Star Catchers and a ton more. We also got retro minigames! Five puzzle minigames from past Mario Party tiles reappear in the game!

What makes the single player aspect of Mario Party DS one of the best in the entire series is the rewards and the points system that makes it so easy to get sucked into. Mario Party Points are handed out for doing just about anything, especially when playing through the Story Mode. These points will automatically unlock specific figurines at certain levels giving players a incentive to collect them all. Not only that, but the rest of the hundred or so figurines and badges are earned by completing achievements and different objectives. It requires you to play each match differently or with a new goal in mind. It’s a shame this system has not returned in any future installments.

And with that, we are done with the Hudson developed Mario Party games. While Mario Party 8 was their weakest effort, Mario Party DS was a strong addition to the series and wonderful way to end off Hudson’s run of the series.

Michael Koczwara

Executive Editor and Founder of Mario Party Legacy. Head Administrator at the Mario Party Legacy Forum.

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  • maltam

    Mario Party 8 was such a bad game. I’m sorry, I guess if it’s your first game you probably have a huge bias to like it. But honestly, most of the minigames were broken or rushed JUST to show off the motion ‘controls’. The boards were eh at best. I prefer all of the boards to be star chasers, like in MP 1-5. 6 and 7 saw the decline for me, but 8 was the epitome of poor choices and bad game design. Even the environments in the game were terrible. It looks as though they literally just coded in JPEG stock images for 70% of the backgrounds, and any foreground looks absolutely terrible. Like, worse than any game had looked since MP 4, which was essentially a GC launch title. I don’t even understand how the developers could release that and not be ashamed. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the irritating soundtrack that game had. 9 was an improvement in almost every regard when compared to 8, but again, I’m not a huge fan of the car style. I prefer star chasers.

    • KoopaLover

      I use your words as mine.

    • Accj21

      So.. you were born, oh I’ll say, 1992? Am I close?

  • RafalRib

    MPDS: MY FIRST MP GAME AND DA BEST AVARRRRRRR!!!!!!! I 100% DAT GAME!!!
    MP8: Love the characters and loved to play against Hammer Bro but NOT BLOOPER!!!!
    Blooper always ruined my life when playing the story mode XD

  • MarioPartyLegacySucks

    Fuck you for saying Mario Party 8 was bad. I’m gonna hack this website.

  • MarioManiac01
    • RafalRib

      OMG OMG OMG!!!!! ANOTHER I CANT SEE!!!! XD

      • MarioManiac01

        It’s appearing at 2:30 Pacific Time.

        • RafalRib

          I’m portuguese and i have test tomorrow 😛

    • Know-it-all-star

      Yeah, as much as they probably don’t want to, they should do Mario Party for those who actually want to watch them do it, and at least TRY to have some fun with it.

  • anthony

    Mario Party 8 was the first Mario Party game I played, and while I do really like it, I will admit that’s it’s one of the weaker games in the franchise.

    Mario Party DS was freaking awesome though.

  • Mother4EverX

    OMG I LOVED 8 AND DS SO MUCH THAT IM GONNA PUT THEM BOTH TOGETHER. 8 had a huge roster unlike any other MP game before and the boards were pretty okay, DS had a fun board and minigam selection, it was the best handheld game for the DS (well one of the best) MP8 had pretty nice graphics and lots of modes, why is this game getting so much hate for some reason? I never had a problem with it that much 😛 Even though DS had only 10 turns for each board (I didn’t like that) but I must remember that it was a handheld but it did a good job on everything else. They were both good games that I grew up with in the Wii and DS Era and I love them still 😀

    • MarioManiac01

      YOU ARE AWESOME! Also, how are you gonna put them together?

      • RafalRib

        He was talking about putting them together on the comment tho

  • LemmyKoopaDude2001

    I feel like Mario Party 8 is very underrated, it was a big part of my childhood during the Wii era.

  • Mercenary AD

    Mario Party DS was probably the second Mario Party I ever played, and I can just feel the nostalgia every time I play it. I mained Toad constantly (until Inwatched Game Theory) and was terrible at Story Mode, but Indodn’t care. The minigames were fun, and it was a rememberable experience
    Mario Party 8, on the other hand, was still amazing, perhaps even more so than DS. There was an amzing character lineup (my favorites being Dry Bones and Hammer Bro) and the boards each added a gimmick to throw even the experienced players off (I enjoyed King Boo’s Castle).
    Overall, these were amazing Mario Parties, and it was a shame to see Hudson leave Nintendo 🙁

    • MarioManiac01

      My found out that my copy of it was in the hands of my sister’s friend…AND SHE STILL HASN’T RETURNED IT!!!!! But once I do get it back, I’ll main Luigi.

  • Guest

    I don’t feel so fond of the GameXplain channel, Andre is always getting free games before release, which sucks, and Mario Party 10 has drawn the line.

    • Luigiguy567

      I thought you were being serious for a second there.

      It’s your opinion if you don’t like Gamexplain, but saying you hate them because they get games early is very stupid. They’re reviewers! They get games early to REVIEW them!

  • I’m not going to make a deal about this, but MP8 is my favorite MP. I think you guys are being a little too harsh with the graphics, because graphics aren’t what make a game good or bad (I’m not saying that the only complaints are about the graphics) It was still the 4th Wii Mario game. Mario Kart Wii also didn’t look so good (well,at least not the characters) but still it’s one of the best Mario Karts and it’s my favorite one.
    Of course, it still have it’s cons: The minigames that I hate are:
    Kartastrophe, Treacherous Tightrope, Bob-ombs Away, Rowed to Victory, Cardiators, Eyebrawl and Cut from the Team.

    And I think some of the candies are unfair.

    • RafalRib

      My fav candy is the BitSize Candy 😛

      • Mine is the Thrice Candy.

        • MarioManiac01

          Mine is the Thrice Candy as well.

          • What’s your favorite board? Mine is Shy Guy’s Perplex Express and I always buy the Thrice Candy in the shops!

          • MarioManiac01

            Booty Boardwalk or Perplex Express.

    • MarioManiac01

      For the Mini-Games, I agree with 3.5 of your picks.

    • king_austin95

      my main issue with it is that they dropped the orb system and switched to candy. i LOVED the orb system. i miss it 🙁

  • SuperZambezi

    Glad to know people are actually reading my articles! Most people just jump to the comments. 😛

    And I didn’t think I would have to make this clear, but these retrospectives are opinion articles, specifically my opinion.

  • I like and dislike Mario Party 9. My favorite (and probably the least luck based and unfair) boards are Toad Road and Boo’s Horror Castle. My favorite item is the slow dice block.
    The minigames I don’t like are:
    Goomba Village, 10 to Win, Bumber Bubbles(sometimes even the easy cpu wins against me! This minigame is too long and it isn’t very balanced), Don’t Look, Pit or Platter, Pier Pressure(I hate luck minigames), Block and Roll(this minigame is unfair to the trio, the solo player always win!), Hole Hogs(same as Block and Roll), Ruins Rumble, Zoom Room, Bombard King Bob-omb(It’s so annoying, the cpu always choose my bombs, it’s also sort of luck based as you have to guess which bombs the other cpus will choose. and Whomp Stomp(same as Bombard King Bob-omb, but a little more fair.)

  • Spongyoshi

    I don’t like MP8. First the minigames are bad but also… It’s like a downgrade of MP7… No chance time, candy which are downgrades of ords, Bowser and DK spaces only does 1 set event and a lot more and it makes it too simple and i don’t like that much
    And MPDS i played it so much that now,it became boring to play it xD Im trying to have 99999 MP points for the third time and almost done it again!

  • Accj21

    C’mon, why are you hating on MP8? It is pretty easily my favorite of the series. Sure some minigames were sub-par (cough “Flip The Chimp” cough), but most were great. The boards are without comparison the best of the ones I have played, the character selection is pretty good, and the candies are very creative. Overall, I love this game so much that it is not only my favorite Mario Party, but also in my Top 10 Mario games of all time.