The sun and the moon have had a lovers quarrel and Mario and co are the only ones that can save the dayâ€¦ by uhâ€¦ having a party? Ok, ok, so when has anyone really needed a proper excuse for a knees up, yet alone that party animal Mario?
If you have played the previous Mario Party games, skip to the next paragraph for the new features, however all socially reclusive readers that havenâ€™t had a party at Marioâ€™s before had better read on for basic party etiquette. Mario Party is essentially a board game where each player takes turns to throw the dice and progress around the board to gather coins and stars. You can set the amount of turns for the game with games ranging from half and hour to a couple of hours. At the end of each turn players compete in mini games to earn extra coins.
Mario Party 6 is essentially the same as any of the games before it. There are a couple of new features however. First up the game comes complete with a free microphone hinting at new ways to interact with mini games. The microphone is not at all necessary to play the game but there is a special mode set aside for dedicated microphone play. Here you can either play a TV show style game (which seems aimed at the younger players). This is at most a distraction and really could have done without such long interruptions between questions. We also had a few laughs when the game scored us wrongly due to misunderstanding our answers. Certain mini games can be played with the microphone but I only actually ended up enjoying one of these. Sadly the microphone in this game at best is an underused gimmick.
The other main addiction to Mario Party 6 is that the time of day changes from daytime to night time as the game progresses. Each board can alter quite drastically whenever this switch happens. My favourite example would be when you have to chase Donkey Kong to buy stars off him, but as soon as night falls, DK changes into Bowser and starts to chase you. All of a sudden the tables are turned keeping players on the edge of their seats, a very cool twist that adds a lot of variety to each board.
Itâ€™s the mini games that are the highlight of the gameplay of course and fortunately you can opt to play these on their own with no rude interruptions. Whilst Nintendo have at times gone for quality over quantity in this area in previous games of the series, most of the games on offer are a blast. These games are often all on all but will sometimes be 2 vs 2 or 3 vs 1. Often these games are fresh and creative but just as often feature button mashing or mimicking which I donâ€™t find as much fun. I did however appreciate the games with platforming elements players must negotiate to be the first to the finish.
Graphically the game was never going to make anyoneâ€™s jaw drop. While it will be â€˜too cuteâ€™ for many, the visuals are bright and stylised with each character being well animated and each level featuring a unique look and plenty of moving parts. Audio is your standard Mario fare with repeating voice samples and music loops that will drive you up the wall with extended play.
Mario Party has never been a game for everybody with itâ€™s slow pace and candy coated cuteness but this said it is perfect for certain groups of gamers. Itâ€™s perfect for younger gamers, casual gamers and of course, it makes for much better drinking games than almost any set of cards. Just be warned this game is seriously lame in single player mode but gets much better each time you replace a dumbass computer player with a real person.