Since Mario Party 4 players have been rewarded for playing through various modes with simple figurines and unlockables. In Mario Party 6, Miracle Book pages could be purchased and looked through. It ends there. The same with Mario Party 7 and 8 where figurines could be purchased and each could make a taunt or action, but nothing else. We want to be able to do a little more with them. Mario Party 5 had parts as unlockables for Super Duel Mode, a fun way to use them. We need to see more of this. Unlockables from previous games had to be unlocked by completing a task or a certain objective. Now they are simply thrown into the shop and must be bought. It gets very repetitive trying to do a simple method to rack up points to unlock the prizes. Simple things like play each board once to unlock the last is still present in current Mario Party games but others can be added to unlock figurines such as getting a golden dice block figurine for managing to get 30 out of a triple dice block. This could be similar to the way figurines were unlocked in Mario Party DS.
Mario Party 6 Star Bank (left). Mario Party DS Figurines (midlle). Mario Party 7 figurines (right).
Items in the Mario Party series have greatly changed. Starting with Mario Party 5, capsuls replaced items and then orbs in Mario Party 6 and 7. Capsuls and orbs, very similar items, are just items in spheres that you can use on either yourself or on a space depending on which orb it is. Mario Party 8 brought Candy, transforming items, and Hexes, very similar to orbs were introduced in Mario Party DS. So which of these is the best? Some argue that items should have never been taken out while others say orbs gave the items a new twist. Mario Party 4, the last game to use items, had a specific item named the “Sparky Sticker”. This item would be placed on a space and anyone who passes it or lands on it will set off the item. Mario Party 9 could see the return of items, along with orbs and candy thrown into the mix. I think we can all agree that hexes were not the best of item variations.
Mario Party 7 Orb system.
Since the beginning, Mario Party has never been about graphics. The N64 Mario Party games shared the same graphics. They were not bad, but they were also nothing special either. With the first Gamecube Mario Party came a big improvement in graphics and from there on improved slightly in each Mario Party. Mario Party 8 had noticeable graphic changes, but there is still much room for improvement. Mario Party 8 also had the “ugly bars” on the side of the screen for those players playing in widescreen. This was a huge disappointment to fans and needs to be changed. Mario Party 9 needs to take advantage of the graphics. Many games on the Wii, including Mario games have improved visuals over their Gamecube counterparts and we need to see the same with Mario Party. Graphics are not that important in the Mario Party series, but its an improvement we would all like to see.
Mario Party 8 “Cut from the Team” minigame.
6. Story Mode
Mario Party 3 first introduced Story Mode. The objective was to play through all six of the boards and win a prize after winning each. Mario Party 4 had a similar Story Mode. Mario Party 5 introduced a new Story Mode in which you are challenged by three different colored Koopa Kids. If you ran into one you would duel and win or lose coins. When a player loses all of his/her coins, you lose. You win when all three Koopa Kids are out. Mario Party 6 had Solo Mode in which you played for minigames, by yourself. Mario Party 7 and 8 had you playing against a computer in a no minigames, duel to fulfill that board’s objective first. Mario Party DS went back to the basic Mario Party 3 styled Story Mode with cutscenes and a story. So which is the best and how can it be improved? My idea is a Story Mode where there is some type of story with cutscenes and each board played reflects something that happened in the cutscenes that progresses the story. Maybe you have to do a certain something on the board to trigger the next cutscene. You could also be put in pre-made scenarios on the boards and play minigames that corresponds with the cutscene. Story Mode can end with some sort of boss battle (which also need to be put in from Mario Party DS), but nothing like Mario Party 8s.
Mario Party 7 Opening (left). Mario Party DS Story Mode (right).
5. Challenge/Mission Mode
Something I have been thinking about for a while. Similar to Mario Kart DS’s Mission Mode, a set of challenges can appear for Mario Party. Some board challenges could be things like putting you in pre-set situations and completing the objective that way. Minigames could have this too with rules altered and in-game things changed. Rankings can be given out and records recorded. Different sets can appear on the type of mission like difficulty, minigame, etc. Unlockables can be unlocked this way too.
Mario Kart DS Mission Mode.
Luck has had a big toll on Mario Party since the beginning. Things like rolling the dice and landing on random spaces is all luck and will not be changed, but minigames and events do not need luck at all. Luck minigames have to go or at least have an option to turn them off. There is a lot of luck in the board play so lets have the minigames stick with skill. Recently, luck has taken over the duel spaces. Before, you could chose the amount you fight for and what, but know its determined by a dice roll or a dart throw and sometimes the winner gets nothing. If you are a player that is always winning, you should be able to continue and luck should not be getting in your way. If there are players that just need that helping hand, then there is an option called Handicap.
Mario Party 6 Duel (left). Mario Party 7 Duel (right)
3. More Boards, Minigames, etc.
With every Mario Party comes 6 new boards. Mario Party, the first in the series, had a total of 8 boards, the highest number of boards for a Mario Party to date. Mario Party 5 also had more with a total of 7 boards. Every other Mario Party, with the exception of the DS version, has had 6 boards. Even Mario Party 8, the newest Mario Party on a new system, only saw 6 boards, no more, no less. That is something that needs to change. There has to be room for more boards. Fans are craving them and just to know that there are more than 6 is enough to satisfy most of us. Over the series we have been getting new minigames with each Mario Party, usually 60-80 new minigames. It’s time to step it up a notch. We want at least 100 minigames, probably more to get the variety going. New modes would are also wanted and would help to change it up a bit. This sounds like ranting and I might be asking for too much, but I think by the ninth game, it’s time to get things going.
Mario Party 7 only had 13 4 player minigames.
2. Return of the Old
Mario Party 2’s “Bowser’s Bigger Blast” reappeared in Mario Party and Mario Party DS featured 5 puzzle minigames from previous Mario Party minigames. Its great to see old minigames and the like in new games and we want more. Mario Party 9 can feature 25 minigames from the previous games to make a retro set of minigames for minigame types. 2 boards can also return and have updated graphics and spaces to fit the current Mario Party. A Retro Mode can also appear where old modes can return such as the Duel Mode from Mario Party 3 and Super Duel Mode from Mario Party 5. Not all should be added though, since we need to keep some for future Mario Party games.
Mario Party 6 minigames are one of many that can make it to the next Mario Party.
Mario Party 9 must have online. Friends all over the world can play online together. Those who cannot regularly play together can play over the wifi and enjoy Mario Party all over again. Even our own forum and others can get together and finally play Mario Party together. Especially with the new “Wii Speak”, Voice Chat would be available, too. Mario Party 8 and DS were both missed opportunitys for online. Both could have used online, but were not present in the final product. For those of you who are worried about disconnecters, they can easily be replaced by a computer. Everyone could have a timer to decide so that no one can take too long. Minigame Mode would also have online. Battle Cup would have 5 voted minigames played in a row, tournaments for minigames, an online Decathlon Castle, rooms for free play minigames, friends only play, team endurance alley, and a lot more. The possibilities for online are endless. There could even be a leaderboard for minigame records and board records such as coin and star count on certain boards and more. Online is a must and is the most important change we need to see in Mario Party 9.
Mario Party 7 with online mode.