Mario Party 9: Is the Party Over?
Mario Party 9 Video Game Review
Mario Party 9 is yet another game in the highly popular franchise from Nintendo. The Mario Party Series has been in the homes of gamers since 1998 and since its introduction on the Nintendo 64.
A large group of gamers, old and young alike, have become fond of Mario Party and its fairly predictable style of gameplay. Mario Party 9 attempts to re-imagine some pivotal aspects of the game, but there's a fine line between ingenuity and failure.
This article will point out a few of the reasons why Mario Party 8 may be the better choice of the two video games.
Both Sides of Mario Party 9
Mario Party 9 remains a highly creative and fun collection of minigames that are reinvented with every new installment. This game doesn't fail to include new minigames that are often reminiscent of the old games that players to this day still revisit on occasion. The introduction of new aspects of to the minigames system is the most innovative in this series since the introduction of Mario Party 8 on the Wii. With new additions of boss battles, reverse minigames (where you race to lose first), and more thought-based challenges, this is by far the most diverse game when it comes to minigame options.
However, getting to play the minigames is where the game falters a bit. Many fans of the Mario Party series have grown to know the simple dice and board game style of every game so far. You roll a dice, decide where you want to move, land on a spot, and something happens. Then everyone joins together at the end of the round to play minigames for coins, and another round starts again.
For this installment, Mario Party 9 opts to remove the solo character movement style instead using a team movement style to move around the board. There are no rounds, instead relying on a common goal at the end of the board to decide when the game is over. Since there are no rounds, there are also no group minigames at the end of each round either.
The predictability of the previous style is lost with these changes, along with any strategy that may come with it.
Mario Party 9 Video Trailer
What Happened to the Coins and Candy in Mario Party 9?
Another big change involves removing any coins and candy and instead using ministars and blocks for advantage. This results in a dumbed-down game that relies more on luck than strategy. Considering that ministars are found on the board (and lost too), there is less reliance on winning minigames and using candy to your advantage.
You can win the game without ever even coming in first for minigames if you stumble upon the right luck, for that matter. In other installments, receiving bonus stars at the end of the game for various reasons can often turn an entire game around. Instead of using this same method, the designers decided to use bonus ministars that have very little effect on the ending unless the game was close in the first place. Which it usually isn't.
Playing the game with other people is much more enjoyable than playing the one player mode, mainly because the computer gets so "lucky" at times that it is plain suspicious in solo play. It can be very frustrating when you spend the entire board in the lead, then an uncontrollable event happens and you lose a great portion of your ministars.
Final Verdict on Mario Party 9
Mario Party 9 still gives players a great group of creative and fun minigames.
New aspects of the game help to refresh the experience for those who are long-term fans of the game. However, the dumbed-down feeling of the game can leave fans unsatisfied when comparing it to memories of previous games.
The new group movement style is a major downgrade for the game, taking out strategy and replacing it with luck.
This game seems more directed at younger players, which is very unfortunate for gamers who have made very positive memories off of the games earlier in the series.
Mario Party 9 rates out at 6 out of 10 (on a good day).
While there are redeeming qualities of the game, the new aspects bring the overall experience down greatly.
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© 2012 Hal Gall