Nintendo's favorite characters are back. Join in as they take on 50 new minigames on fully rendered 3-D game boards. When you win games, you get to purchase stars; collect enough stars and you win the coveted birthday present.
It’s a pretty bold claim but for many, Mario Party
is the best multiplayer game series ever. No need for guns or complicated role-playing elements here--Mario Party
is fun because it’s simple. The original N64 game created an entirely new subgenre--an unlikely combination of traditional board games and lots of ultrasimple arcade titles. The idea is that you travel around the board trying to collect stars, which must be paid for with coins, and you get coins by competing in minigames, which occur at the end of every round. These minigames generally don’t last longer than a minute or two, and many are based on old Game & Watch
titles. There are over 50 minigames in Mario Party 4
, and each involves either a free-for-all, two players against two, or one against three (depending where you land on the board at the end of your turn). These can involve anything from skydiving to basketball dunking, or car racing to hide-and-seek, to name a few.
Admittedly, this basic description of the gameplay might not sound too exciting, and indeed if you’re playing with less than three human opponents it can be pretty tedious. But play it with the full complement of non-virtual rivals and the game’s infinite capacity for cheating, backstabbing, and ganging up allows it to completely transcend the humdrum sum of its parts. There’s nothing terribly new in this third sequel except that the graphics are much improved and the minigames are all new, but that really misses the point: get this game out at Christmas instead of Trivial Pursuit and you’ll wonder how you ever got through the holiday without it. --David Jenkins, Amazon.co.uk