UPDATE: ONM appears to have edited the preview and removed everything pointed towards a classic mode. You can see the original preview below and the edited preview here.
The Official Nintendo Magazine has sent out a preview on the upcoming Mario Party 9, soaring us some details on the car mode that has been seen in various screenshots and the trailer. ONM confirms that the car mode will be an extra mode and the classic mode in which players collect stars and coins will also be present in the game.
“After the success of Wii Party, which has shifted more than six million copies worldwide since its release, there were understandable concerns among Mario Party fans that Miis had replaced Mario as Nintendo’s party characters of choice. Not a chance. Mario Party 9 will be released in March and the plumber is ready to show the Miis how it’s done.
With 10 previous games in the series though (including two handheld titles on GBA and DS), it should have been obvious that Mario Party would never die. That’s why Nd Cube – the development team in charge of Wii Party – is now working on Mario Party 9.
Mario Party 9, as with previous games in the series, sees up to four players competing against each other to collect as many Stars as possible on a large board game-style stage before the set number of turns runs out. Each board has a bunch of obstacles, alternative routes and other gimmicks to keep things interesting and things get mental fairly quickly.
This is partly due to the wide selection of mini-games, which appear after every turn and at various other points to give players the chance to win coins that can be spent at various special spaces on each board. That’s been the concept since the first Mario Party and it hasn’t changed here, at least not in the main multi-player mode.
There will be extra modes on top of this, however, including one in which all four characters get in a car and drive across the map as a group. Each players takes turns to be the captain of the vehicle as they drive into dice blocks to move forwards.
While some of the mini-games in Mario Party 8 felt a little devoid of character and didn’t really feel like they were taking place in the Mario universe – like the one where you stood in a generic city and had to shake a can of fizzy pop so it would explode before anyone else – Mario Party 9 has a clear Mushroom Kingdom vibe to it.
One board appears to be set in World 1 of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, complete with windmills, green hills, a fortress and a beanstalk, while none of the mini-games we’ve seen so far are set in generic locations as in Mario Party 8.
Indeed, we’ve spotted Mario, Wario, Peach and Yoshi blasting a Blooper in one mini-game while the foursome attempt to avoid being trampled by a Wiggler on another game. There’s also a Mario Sunshine-inspired level, complete with Pianta People and palm trees, in which the plumber and pals have to catch CheepCheeps in hoops.
There’s also the promise of Boss battles at the end of each stage with all the players working together to defeat King Boo or Bowser.
If we were being cynical, we’d also say this is probably the first Mario Party designed with the Wii specifically in mind, because many of the mini-games in Mario Party 8 simply used the Remote on its side like a normal controller and the game wasn’t in widescreen, leading us to think at the time it was probably a GameCube game that had been held back.
This one has clearly been designed for the Wii and if Wii Party was anything to go by, we’re in for a treat.”