Mario Party 1 and Mario Party 2 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.

The original Mario Party was released on the Nintendo 64 all the way back in 1999 (’98 in Japan), and the lead up to the game was unlike what we would see for any of the future installments in the series. For what must be the first and last time in the series, Nintendo fans had no idea what was coming their way. It wasn’t easy trying to figure out what Mario Party was about. Even the title didn’t make it clear, unlike other games like Mario Kart and Mario Golf.

As it turned out, and as many of us know so well, Mario Party ended up being a video game version of a board game, along with several minigames within the main game itself. Move around a board trying to collect as many Stars as you can before the game ends, all while collecting coins in mingames after every full turn. The game was a blast to play, but it came with its own set of problems.

Mario Party is, as anyone would guess, based a lot on luck. A roll of the die determines your next turn of events, so it’s expected that a lot of things will simply not go your way. As future entries in the series show, a good mix of luck and skill makes for wonderful experiences, but the original Mario Party spilled a little too much over into the luck category. Events on the different board maps had not only ridiculous outcomes, but pricey ones too. In Peach’s Birthday Cake for example, one player will always end up heading for the Bowser Cake, an area that will cost you 20 coins at a minimum. Mario’s Rainbow Castle features a good number of happening spaces that will instantly change the Star to a Ztar, an item that will cost you 40 coins. Being able to change the events of the game so radically and so rapidly is certainly an issue.

And then there are the minigames. First things first, three of the minigames would give players massive blisters are trying to rotate the control stick as fast as humanly possible with the palm of their hands. People had to wear gloves if they ever wanted to get anywhere with these three minigames. With that said, Mario Party did feature a number of strong minigames. Just to name a few, you had Platform Peril, Mushroom Mix-Up, Key-pa-Way, Running of the Bulb, and plenty more.

It was clear that the original Mario Party was a success. It’s sequel, Mario Party 2, was released just a year later. The game took everything that was wrong with Mario Party and improved on nearly every aspect. The boards were fair, the minigames were even better (and no gloves required!), the modes were much more interesting, and the overall game was so much more creative and unique.

There’s little to complain over the boards in Mario Party 2. You have classics like Western Land and Pirate Land, as well as the day and night changing board known as Horror Land. Although the game only had six boards compared to the original Mario Party’s eight boards, each one was designed in such a way that made this fact nothing more than trivia. Items were also a big factor into changing the gameplay of the boards. Mushrooms gave you extra dice blocks, the Boo Bell brought Boo right to your space, and the Magic Lamp took you right to the star.

The minigames were also another great factor for the game. While many returned from the original Mario Party, the new batch of minigames proved that the team behind the games had plenty of new and innovative ideas left to explore. Games like Toad in the Box, Bumper Balls, Honeycomb Havoc, Move to the Music, Shock Drop or Roll, and plenty more all showcased just how fun the series can be.

The original Mario Party and Mario Party 2 had their share of ups and downs, but it’s hard to deny that you’ll have a good time when getting together with your friends and starting up a round of either game. Both games paved the way for many more Mario Party games to come, both the good and the bad.

Michael Koczwara

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

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king_austin95
king_austin95
March 2, 2015 6:42 PM

what are we supposed to be talking about here?

SuperZambezi
SuperZambezi
March 2, 2015 10:51 PM
Reply to  king_austin95

You’re not required to comment. πŸ˜› If you have something to say regarding MP1 or MP2 or any of the things I mentioned in the article, leave them here.

king_austin95
king_austin95
March 3, 2015 8:56 AM
Reply to  SuperZambezi

oh ok. thanks. sorry >_<

Yoshiman355
Yoshiman355
March 2, 2015 6:48 PM

Mario Party 1 in particular hasn’t aged well IMO. It’s Mini-games not only some are rotating games, But I felt a lot of them are too luck based. (Even more then MP9’s car itself!) The boards however were pretty good designed even when there’s so many chance time spaces everywhere! MP1 is not the game I go back to nowadays but I understand it was the first in the series so I’ll give it that.

Yoshifan355
Yoshifan355
March 3, 2015 2:38 PM
Reply to  Yoshiman355

Mario Party 2 I’m just gonna say… It’s overrated. Now don’t get me wrong I do like the game for being a step up from the original and fixing everything with it but the boards I felt they still had some problems intact. The Question spaces kinda ruined the boards for me like Space Land for having too many around and moving you further away from the star & Mystery Land is a worse version of Wario’s Battle Canyon because Question blocks do not make a board good! Complaining aside MP2 does have some pretty sweet Mini-games and there’s not… Read more »

Luigiguy567
Luigiguy567
March 2, 2015 6:48 PM

I agree, both of the first Mario Parties were outsanding games, but the first Mario Party was downright infuriating at times. The reason I love Mario Party 2 is because everything that went wrong in the first game was improved (except for Slot Car Derby and Mecha Mayhem. And maybe a few luck portions of the game). I actually got Mario Party 1 first, and I didn’t get 2 and 3 until about a year later. That ment a year full of hand blisters. Also, keep in mind I first started playing video games in 2002 (I was 3 years… Read more »

Kirbylover490
March 2, 2015 6:59 PM

I’ve never played MP1 or MP2 πŸ˜›
But I have seen lots of vids on Youtube about MP1, great game I’d love to try but yeah luck was a huge part and I agree

KoopaLover
KoopaLover
March 2, 2015 7:06 PM

MP2 was, is and aways will be the best one.

KoopaLover
KoopaLover
March 2, 2015 7:15 PM

I would love to see MP2 with the graphics that we have nowadays. I could pass out with the amazing view hahahaha

Person McPerson
Person McPerson
March 2, 2015 7:23 PM

all the Mario Party fans should list one thing they like about Mario Party, and one thing they hate. Then they should exclude the bad parts, put their good ideas and good parts together, and make a game called NEW SUPER MARIO PARTY!

KoopaLover
KoopaLover
March 2, 2015 8:57 PM

Love: Board Mini-games
Hate: Things based on your Luck

TwoDreamy Luigi
March 2, 2015 7:43 PM

I only played Mario Party 2 for Virtual Console. For what it’s worth, it’s a good game. Some minigames like Bumper Balls and Hexagon Heat are charming as heck. Good thing I was a able to experience a N64 Mario Party game. πŸ™‚

Mario_Comix
Mario_Comix
March 2, 2015 9:16 PM

I played Mario Party 1-3 on Project 64 (the computer emulator) and I’ve got to say, Mario Party 2 was my favourite. Mario Party felt too primitive and undeveloped (granted, it IS the first game), while Mario Party 3 didn’t have the same charm as Mario Party 2.

BlazinJReturns
BlazinJReturns
March 2, 2015 10:31 PM
Reply to  Mario_Comix

I agree with you completely

maltam
maltam
March 2, 2015 9:58 PM

“but it’s hard to deny that you’ll have a bad time when getting together with your friends and starting up a round of either game” I think you may have misspoken here, just letting you know πŸ™‚

SuperZambezi
SuperZambezi
March 2, 2015 10:50 PM
Reply to  maltam

Fixed. Thanks for the heads up!

CuriousUser
CuriousUser
March 2, 2015 10:43 PM

MP10 has a Minigame very much like Mario Bandtsand from the first Mario Party, and I see that they’ve brought over a Minigame that has something in Common with Bob-omb Barrage from MP2.

CuriousUser
CuriousUser
March 2, 2015 10:51 PM
Reply to  CuriousUser

What this Minigame has in common with Bob-omb Barrage, the one with the Arrow Lift and the Bullet Bills, is that the single player is the Victim, unlike the other 1vsRivals Minigames in the series where the Trio are the Victims. Another thing is that Bob-omb Barrage had no HP Metre, so we wouldn’t get a “Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hot Hoooooooooot!!!” right away.

XelaFury
XelaFury
March 3, 2015 12:19 AM

So many childhood memories comes to mind when I think about the first 2 Mario Partys. Really had a lot of fun times with my brothers while we were playing those games and we would play on Pirate Land and Yoshi’s Tropical Island most of times. MP 5,6 and 7 also brings me some great memories, but they don’t make me feel as nostalgic as MP 1 and 2 does. Remembering this really makes me miss my N64 so much.

Vipsoccermaster
March 3, 2015 12:47 AM

Mario Party was really a great party game, despite its flaws. Rotating the control stick mini-games were awful. And Mario Party 2 was another great party game, it has great mini-games, too. These first two Mario Parties bring back memories for sure. Boards were great, having them based on characters (Mario Party) and themes (Mario Party 2). If only we could go back to those games in a modern look, rather than graphical capabilities they were limited back in the late 1990s.

Rosie the Dress Troller
March 3, 2015 5:10 AM

I miss the board themed costumes from MP2! These are my favorite Peach ones:

Rosie the Dress Troller
March 3, 2015 5:14 AM

I love those 2! The beggining of one of my favorite Mario series! (My favorite Mario series are: Mario Party, Mario Kart, Mario & Sonic, Mario sports(only tennis and Mario Sports Mix tho) and New Super Mario Bros(only Wii and Wii U tho))

RobinFTW
RobinFTW
March 3, 2015 6:15 AM

I never got the chance to play MP and MP2. so that’s a great way to get informations and opinions about these games! Thanks for posting this πŸ˜€

OhMyToad
OhMyToad
March 3, 2015 6:37 AM

Aww the memories. Although I really like the other mario parties too, these two have to be my favorites. The minigames in these two games are the best in the series imo (excluding the horrible blister minigames :p). The boards felt creative and interactive and I loved the costumes from MP2. MP(1) was a bit luck based, but I didn’t find it annoying at all and you could still win the game by mainly winning the mini games.

Boo3DSmashBoo
Boo3DSmashBoo
March 3, 2015 6:51 AM

This were the games that started it all and are both amazing (I’m a Mario Party fan, for me kind every of Mario Party is amazing *cough* except the advance *cough*). I didn’t play much of the first one, but I played a lot of the second, it showed me the glorious path to Western Land and to the tricky Shy Guy minigames.

CuriousUser
CuriousUser
March 3, 2015 7:18 AM

I find it strange for these games to be using the Poor Qualitied Unfitting Voices of Luigi, Peach, Toad and Wario from the Japanese Version of Mario Kart 64, which Nintendo of America did not like the sounds of.

MagiKooper
MagiKooper
March 3, 2015 8:02 AM

Ah sweet and bitter memories of Mario Party 2….So much fun and so many fights. It took me 3 weeks to get my friends to forgive me after endlessly trolling them.

Boo3DSmashBoo
Boo3DSmashBoo
March 3, 2015 9:13 AM

I actually always wanted to make this question: Mario Party Vs Mario Party 2

My answer: MP2

RafalRib
RafalRib
March 3, 2015 10:01 AM

Oh my Arceus that Captain Shy Guy Minigame is the worst ever πŸ˜›

Vipsoccermaster
March 3, 2015 12:32 PM
Reply to  RafalRib

Shy Guy Says was fun back in the day. My father loved playing that mini-game.

CuriousUser
CuriousUser
March 4, 2015 1:17 AM
Reply to  RafalRib

It was also in MP2, with Archer Shy Guy. I’ve not really played the N64 MP Games before, but what do you think about the one with Archer Shy Guy. Keep in Mind, no time limit, it goes on until there’s 1 person standing.

RafalRib
RafalRib
March 4, 2015 10:13 AM
Reply to  CuriousUser

I prefer that one! πŸ˜›

Mother4EverX
Mother4EverX
March 3, 2015 1:35 PM

Awww I never played 1 or 2 but they were right there playable on my Xbox emulator :/ I skipped them and went straight to 3, I mightve played 2 but these were actually really fun to play….I miss the old Mario parties ;_;

SpiderStaryu
SpiderStaryu
March 3, 2015 3:08 PM

Mario Party 1 started it all, so we got to have respect. However, judging it individually, Mario Party 1 had SOOOOOO much luck, that it’s not even funny. The boards were nice concepts, just not funny executed well. I agree with what you listed, things like the Green ? Spaces were able to change things so drastically and so easily that it wasn’t fair. Lots of the Mini-Games were unbalanced, 1vs3 Mini-Games were too heavily in one favor for either side. And then of course there’s Bash’n’Cash. That’s reason enough, you don’t need to explain, just say the name, Bash’n’Cash… Read more »

Kirbylover490
March 7, 2015 8:08 AM
Reply to  SpiderStaryu

Beautiful.

VideoTanooki
VideoTanooki
March 3, 2015 6:39 PM

I remember I accidentally broke the cartridge for Mario Party 1 and had to duct tape it back together(it still works, even today). I also recently tried Mario Party 2(it’s the only Mario Party I don’t physically own) and I enjoyed that a lot.

king_austin95
king_austin95
March 3, 2015 6:52 PM
Reply to  VideoTanooki

how do you break a n64 game cartridge?

VideoTanooki
VideoTanooki
March 3, 2015 6:58 PM
Reply to  king_austin95

I tripped down the stairs with it and landed on it. I guess it hit the edge of the step in the middle of the fall or something like that

Player 1
Player 1
March 4, 2015 6:36 PM

I love all the Mario Parties 1-6, especially 5 and 3. Party 1 is amazing though.

TermFox
TermFox
March 4, 2015 8:24 PM

Mario Party 1 is my first Mario Party that i have play it (I start playing since as a little child), this Mario Party take longest time to complete all progress and love all boards have colorful style.
In Mario Party 2 love character various costumes make me some funny imagination.

Spongyoshi
Spongyoshi
March 11, 2015 6:11 AM

I really love Mario Party 1! I know the luck and simplicity is bad for a lot of people… But personally,it’s exactly what i love in it! It makes it chaotic and different to the others Mario Parties! The game is really cheap and brutal and i think it makes it even fun (but more frustrating sadly) And i love how a lot of the minigames isn’t just “You win=10 coins” it’s awesome! Mario Party 2,even if they had recicled a lot of minigames,is awesome too! Especially the items and the ending to each board! It looks really well made… Read more »