Part 2 – The Reception of Mario Party (5-8 + DS)

Last time, it was the first
4 Mario Party games. This time, it’s the next five which includes
Mario Party DS and excludes Mario Party Advance. As a continuance of
the article before this one, I finished off explaining how Mario
Party 4 was received fairly well, but with the common arguments  of
relying on luck, of the slow pace, and of how repetitive the
mini-games were during the selection of mini-games after a turn was
completed. As the series took a year, Mario Party 5 was cooked up,
and here’s what’s critics said about the taste.

According to Metacritic,
Mario Party 5 received an average rating of 69%, which means that it
has made mainly positive reception, but it seems rather low compared
to the fourth. The same complaint of relying on “luck” is still
given another hand here, and I would need to agree to the idea of
that being a bad thing; however, I can also disagree on that idea
because everyone has the same amount of luck. No one necessarily has
more luck than anyone else, so why complain about that too much?
Board games aren’t suppose to be luck-less. You do need at least the
very least amount of luck to even have a chance at winning the game.
The wait times for the CPU players are were also criticized heavily.
Though if you think about it, when playing with other human players,
aren’t you also waiting for them? Why is this never criticized?
Because there’s really no reason to criticize the movement of players
other than yourself. In reality, CPU players move a lot faster than
human players because they immediately choose what path to take, what
choices to choose etc. Playing with friends actually takes longer
because they might need to read what’s going on in text bubbles, or
they need to decide which path to take before moving any further. So
really, that’s a pretty lame criticism if you ask me. Another
criticism which is said and which is also familiar, is the lack of
change to the formula. What do they want the “formula” to change
into? Haven’t they realized the completely new nature of the board
maps? They aren’t “flat” and have different forms of paths to
travel around the board. Some complained about the larger sizes of
the board maps, claiming that it makes the difficultly increase to a
further level when attempting to reach a star. Quite a lame
criticism. Everyone playing on the board map has the same problem to
deal with, and that’s what’s fair. How is that any problem? A very
odd criticism is the graphics. The reviewers have not seen much signs
of improved graphics. Yeah, a game which was being made right after
the predecessor will have a graphics explosion (sarcasm). What were
they expecting? More detail on Mario’s mustache or something? There’s
now more occurring on the board maps, so really what they should be
saying is “it’s nice that they’re able to add more ‘stuff’ going on
on the board while still keeping the nice graphics of the fourth with
respect to the graphics capabilities of the GameCube.” Well that’s
what I’ll say anyway. One thing that they forgot to praise much is
the music. The composer attempted to create the music with a feeling
of being performed by a symphonic orchestra. Not many noticed this,
but It’s true. Aya Tanaka (the composer) really showed off the nice
nature of synthesized music, with an orchestral feel. Some reviewers
felt that it wasn’t fitting for Mario Party. Orchestral music is
pretty universal, it can work with almost any mood or setting. Well,
what would I myself give Mario Party 5? 73/100. Why? Well I didn’t
really like how some parts of the board maps were, but that’s just
me. The mini-games were pretty great, like Shock Absorbers
and Pushy Penguins.
The story, well at least the Koopa Kids (Mini-Bowser’s) moved pretty
quick. The item distribution was terrible here, and that was one of
the few criticisms I really agree with. That’s all I need to say
about this game, and I won’t go into further detail because covering
every criticism is time consuming.

Mario
Party 6 was released about a year after the 5th,
and really nothing much has changed regarding how much different it
is with comparison with the 5th.
The average score is 71%, slightly higher than Mario Party 5. I would
agree that it is better, especially when speaking of item
distribution. The reviewers agree with me as well. The way items are
used aren’t much different than from 5, but there are some newer
items which are pretty useful when planning villainous schemes. This
installment also included the new Mic peripheral, which I found to be
extremely useless. To tell you the truth, I only used it 3 times
because I never liked it. It felt so weird to a point where I had no
idea what the developers were thinking when they thought this up.
Then again, no one besides the developers know what they’re thinking.
Anyway, moving on. The boards are in a similar style of Mario Party
5, and reviewers stated that it was something that wasn’t good at
all, that it had a lack of change in the formula. Though I agree that
the boards formats haven’t changed much, I don’t agree that the
formula in this case needs to be changed. How would you change this
formula? There’s no reason to feel the need to change the formula.
(how many times have I said that?). The story is also criticized and
I can’t emphasize enough, party games don’t need any real story! If
anything, the reviewers should really keep this category really low
when speaking of rating the story of this or any party game. What
would I rate it? 81/100 would be pretty fair. It’s a better game than
the 5th,
but maybe not as good as the 4th.
The story is what it needs to be, not important. The mini-games are
what they need to be, mini games. The items are pretty well designed.
Progression through the boards may have been slowed down a bit when
compared to the 5th
game. The music has reverted back to the style of Mario Party 4;
happy and exciting, and that’s not a bad thing.

Mario
Party 7, it’s the last Mario Party game on the GameCube, and it’s a
really good one. Well, that’s what I think. In regards to the story,
they state that Bowser is just weird. I agree, why the h*ll would he
care if his enemies are partying or not. Either way, he’s gonna ruin
the party in some way for some party people so how does this make
things any different? Maybe it’s the cruise… 64% is what Metacritic
says. 64% Is it really that bad? Well, some say that it adds some
nice features to the formula, so complaints about that aren’t as bad.
Heh, are you kidding? I’ll refer to that later. The mic mini-games in
this aren’t too exciting, and I almost never use it even if I get to
play a mic mini-game. But they are used in this installment in a much
better manner. Some claim a very slow pace for the travel on the
board maps. Well, actually in some cases, that is something I agree
with. It’s filled with mini-games though, lots of them. The largest
praise is the amount of mini-games here, it’s the Mario Party game
with the most mini-games, and there’s all sorts of them with good
variety. Repetitive mini-games are actually a rare site to see upon
because of that large amount. Now for a quick quote. 1Up states

“in a game where the sole purpose is to entertain you in a
party-like environment, sitting out for periods of up to 10 minutes
at a time, waiting for everyone to roll the dice, run around, shop
for items, use said items, complete in stale, single-player
mini-games, pointless microphone games and other random events
drives one to tears of boredom”

Um,
is that mentioning while waiting for the CPU or for people? Because I
would imagine they would be referring to the CPU like these critics
usually say. Microphone games aren’t necessarily pointless because
they help you out if you do happen to win in Micro-mini-game. The
person who wrote that review really doesn’t know what Mario Party is
if he/she explains his/her complaints in those manners. Some would
like a speed up option, but wouldn’t that make things odd? I don’t
mind if the developers add in a speed-up option, but it would look as
weird like in Mario Party 3 where the characters walk extremely
awkward when using the “fast” option. And since Mario Party is
now in a different perspective, a “fast” option would be
weird……Now, what would I give this? 78/100. Why? The story
doesn’t matter, as I would say. There’s tons of mini-games, the
boards are pretty large and full of excitement with the animations
and nice environments. Movement is sort of slow since the board maps
are actual land-marks (not in reality though), but it isn’t something
that’s not handle-able.

Mario
Party 8, the first Wii Mario Party game, and some dub it as the worst
console Mario Party game. 62% is the average, and a lot of the
complaints come from the change in the formula. Most people believe
that there was a change in the formula, but one in particular
describes the change as “the series’ biggest step backwards in its
lifetime,…” (GamerNode). OK, they wanted a change in the formula,
and now they’re complaining about the change. I like the change in
the new board perspectives, but I hate the slow progression and the
terrible on-board frame-rate. And that’s not just me. The mini-games
are a bust “…with a few moments of motion-controlled inspiration”
(games(TM)). Unfortunately, I agree with that because it’s true. Some
motion-controlled mini-games are so short to a point where you can
finish it in 20 seconds. The graphics are also highly criticized, but
mainly for the on-board graphics, as the mini-game graphics do seem
to have improved a bit from the previous installments.  The use of
the Wii-remote is terrible and is a “…criticism: ignorance of the
Wii-remote.” (IGN). Yes, it’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and
hope to not see anything like that ever again. A lot criticize the
story. I cannot emphasize this enough, A PARTY GAME ISN’T SUPPOSE TO
HAVE A DA*M GOOD STORY! YOU’RE PLAYING A PARTY GAME, NOT A GAME
INVOLVING THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE! What would I give this game?
After some other considerations, I decided with a 74/100. My views on
this game have changed a bit, but not because of the story. Mainly
because of those lame mini-games that only last 10 seconds. Are the
graphics bad? Yes, well for the in-board graphics. The lack of proper
widescreen is a problem, but nothing I cannot handle, but apparently
some can’t handle that situation. However, the ideas do fit in
pretty well with the new board perspectives. The items aren’t too
bad, but they take up too much time to load up and transform. Enough
with this now.

Mario
Party DS, the most recent Mario Party game released almost 4 years
ago. It’s a bit different in the rating department. 72%. I would
normally agree for it to receive such a score. It has quite a bit of
mini-games and the board turns move pretty well. The same type of
“not feeling new” criticism is still alive as it “…just
doesn’t feel new enough to be its own game” (CCC). It does seem as
if nothing new is presented here, maybe with the exception of the
invisible host. But that’s no reason to think of this as a bad game.
No online multi-player is a drag, but that also isn’t something that
would make me say “It has no Wi-Fi play, it’s immediately bad!” .
It would have been a nice addition if indeed online play was added
though. The storyline was criticized as “basic”. I don’t feel
like saying it anymore. Just, not a good reason to bring down a party
game rating. If they are professional reviewers, then they should act
as such, not like children constantly complaining about something
over and over again. It is a “step in the right direction,”
(Digital Entertainment News), but there’s still some more to be
fixed. This isn’t a review, so I won’t go into further detail. I
would rate this a 79/100 because it’s better than the 8th
game in some cases when compared to the console it’s running on, but
the lack of voices really makes this Mario Party the most dull when
it comes to voices. Of course, that’s only a small part of the
reality involving the game. The story is cute and colorful, nothing
too exciting and it doesn’t need to be. There’s good amounts of
mini-games that use the stylus and mic, but nothing too extreme.
Overall, it’s a good game that takes Mario Party in a step into the
right direction, but the developers better not get too cocky. They
might cough with what they could accomplish with Mario Party 9.

(sorry that it was late)

Written by: madstarr.