Mario Party 3 had, to me, hands down the best item system in any game in the series. Mario Party 4 unfortunately followed that up with maybe the worst next to Mario Party 8. They took out some of my personal favorites such as the Reverse Mushroom and Bowser Phone. They pretty much tried to revamp the items for the Gamecube’s first Mario Party. Why? That I just do not understand. They took out the Skeleton Key, a key (no pun intended) original item from Mario Party 2, which brought good strategy to the games. They got rid of the idea of the rare items, which I personally enjoyed. The only somewhat rare item in Mario Party 4 is the Bowser suit, that can only be obtained from a Bowser space when Bowser comes out.
The key idea around the items in Mario Party 4 was the Mini-Mega Mushroom system. Now, these items require some strategy, with the mega mushroom overriding board events like the Item Shop and the mini mushroom essentially replacing the Skeleton Key to go through tiny pipes. But they tampered with the mushroom system in Mario Party 3 as well as 2 that worked so well. The risk bombed. The idea of squashing people with a big dice roll or going small through pipes or playing item games were not executed well. Mainly because the idea was not good. It would not have been so magnifyingly bad if the mushroom system from the previous games wasn’t so good. Needless to say, the Mini-Mega system did not return in Mario Party 5.
The other items were mixed as well. For whatever reason, they felt the need to rename a lot of items, such as the Lucky Lamp to the Chomp Call, the Boo Bell to Boo’s Crystal Ball, and the Boo Repellent to the Gaddlight. It could’ve been a good idea if the theme of the game fit them better, but with the theme lacking the items changed looked unnecessary. The only new item idea they came out with in MP4 was the Sparky Sticker, but beyond that it’s the Mini-Mega items and renamed items. Despite many returning items with different names, the exclusion of items like the Dueling Glove and Cellular Shopper and the bad Mini-Mega system made the Mario Party 4 item system a failure.
If you agree or disagree or have anything to say, leave a comment. If you have some sort of argument against this make it and I’ll be glad to respond.