Mario Party DS Stats and Records

Stats time!

MP Points 2059

Mario Party DS Review

Mario has returned. I’s been a little while since I played my last Mario game so naturally something had to give. I needed to be able to jump back into the Mario groove and really see how the series is doing. Fortunately that was absolutely part of the gameplan. Ebay had a good price on this one so I knew it was time for the plunge.

The story here is fairly basic as you’re likely here for the minigames anyway. Bowser tricks Mario and friends into heading over to his place for some food. They are all desperately hungry so they show up but promptly get cursed into being tiny by Bowser. Bowser’s just in a whole different league thanks to his magical abilities. The only way for the heroes to make a comeback is to find the legendary shards and become large again. It won’t be easy though as Bowser is up to something.

It’s reasonably short as the game only has around 5-6 worlds total. Each world is effectively a mini party mode that lasts for 10 turns. Your goal is to complete the game and come in first place by having the most Power Stars. If you come in second or later then you lose and have to start from scratch. Naturally that is the toughest part here. Mario Party has a lot of luck thrown into the mix after all in addition to skill. You may win a bunch of minigames or even all of them but you can still lose a match due to how that all works out. The computers put me through the wringer here.

So that should help extend the game’s play time a bit. I would say the game is only a few hours long otherwise. Of course one way that can help you with this a bit is the fact that you can reset the game if you have a bad turn. This will help nullify part of the luck factor as you can keep on spinning until things go well. From minigame results to power stars, the power is in your hand now.

Outside of the story you have a lot of other modes of course like minigame mode and local multiplayer. There isn’t really a lack of content here which isn’t surprising since Nintendo always gives you a lot of bang for your buck. In this case all of these extra modes and impressive array of minigames will ensure that you can keep on playing for a long while. At 10 bucks it was quite the steal.

The best minigames here might be the hide and seek one or some of the combat types. For Hide and Seek I like the idea of running around and looking for someone even if it feels like it is heavily favored against the one person who is alone. Dodging everyone for the duration of the match sounds crazy. Of course then you have minigames like with the coins falling where if anything it is really easy for the player to get most of the coins. I’d say it balances out in the end.

As expected the soundtrack is also pretty good. Don’t expect the same level of intensity as in the mainline Mario games but it still has a high energy feel to it. This is all AAA music. The you have the graphics which have aged well on the DS. All of the characters are on point and the backgrounds are good. It would be nice if you could taunt like in the other games but it’s really not a big deal. It’s the kind of thing you notice for a few minutes and then forget about entirely.

Mario Party DS is a rather simple game which is executed well. You could even say that the title would live or die based on the quality of its minigames. A game like this can’t work nearly as well if you don’t have fun games to play. If they were to drag on then that would take the fun away right then and there. A good minigame should be short and to the point which this game really nails down.

Overall, I would say this game is a big step up from the Mario Party for GBA. It’s not quite touching any of the big console ones yet though. There are still a few more portable Mario party games I don’t have yet though so we’ll see if they continue to improve. If you like the Mario Party series then you should definitely get this one. There’s no reason you wouldn’t like the hand held version. Additionally while it may be old, I wouldn’t say it’s out dated or anything like that. You can easily plug and play at any time. Just work on grabbing those unlockables to really fill the game up.

Overall 7/10

Mario Party Advance Review

I’ve wanted to play a portable Mario Party game for a long time. I don’t know when exactly I first started to think about this, but it was probably back during the days where I played Mario Party 4 regularly. Advance is a good enough spinoff and the minigames are enjoyable although the story mode holds it down a bit. It wasn’t really constructed well so I’d advise you to focus on Minigame Mode. I do think Mario Party DS and 3DS will likely end up being better.

The plot of the series is that Big Bad Bowser has stolen all of the gadgets in the world and now Mario must steal them back. The townsfolk have taken them all, but they are willing to give them back if you solve their quests. Sometimes the quests involve going back and forth to find something or 1 on 1 challenges. Regardless, you must complete all 50 quests in order to save everything, but Bowser won’t make this easy on you. He plays for keeps!

Naturally, the plot isn’t really the key thing here. The game board is rather large as you would expect from Mario Party and you roll the dice to see how far you can move on the board. Each turn costs a mushroom and once you are out of them, it is game over and you’re sent home. Your progress is saved though as the only thing that resets is your current quest. You can earn 3 more mushrooms every 3 turns if you win a minigame and there are also spots on the board that have the same effect. Watch out for Bowser Jr though as running into him can have you lose a mushroom or be warped somewhere else. Unfortunately, there is no way to dodge him as it is luck based.

This is where the story mode flops a little. Towards the end of the game Bowser Jr starts to appear everywhere. It’s just not very fair as you can be super close to ending the quest, but suddenly find yourself back at the start. It’s not cool to have to retread the ground that you’ve already covered. The last mission that I did before the final Bowser battle was also a little cheesy and I head to check with Gamefaqs to see what the game wanted from me. The characters kept stating that King Bob Omb was hiding in the Condo, but it only had 3 floors. Apparently you had to hit an invisible option and then you can enter the basement. That’s a bit of a low blow if you ask me.

The majority of the missions were fine though. The trek could just be a bit tedious so I am actually glad that there were only 50 missions. Any more would have been a little excessive. The minigame selection was designed well though as you would typically get a new minigame every time you played. Collecting them all was actually pretty easy for a change so that was a pleasant surprise. Most of the minigames are pretty easy to understand, but some of them will likely take you 2 shots to fully understand.

They’re not made to be overly difficult or anything like that so you should breeze through them. My DS has a weak L button so the Chain Chomp game in particular took a little longer than I would have liked to complete, but the actual game was fair. I didn’t care much for the luck ones, but since when do I ever like those? Mario Party does succeed with its minigame selection and while people have mentioned that the games have gotten worse over the years, I have always liked them. The old games certainly had the best selection, but so long as the newer ones still have that classic fun factor, I’m satisfied. Mario Party’s made to be the kind of game that you can just boot up and play. This one fits the bill although I don’t see why I’d ever choose it over one of the big titles like Party 4.

I enjoyed the retro sprites here. The victory celebration after every minigame was a little annoying after a while though. Once you’ve seen it 50 times, you don’t want to see it anymore. Other running gags were more fun though. I liked Bowser’s little laughing sprite that he’d play whenever you’d go to his lair. It made the whole cutscene a little more enjoyable. His line “*sniff* I really liked that gadget too!” was also pretty endearing. You couldn’t help but feel bad for Bowser as he comes across as a kid who just wants some friends, but doesn’t know how to express himself. In the end, he turned out to be a pretty honorable guy and at least he admitted that he had fun. It was a nice ending for the whole cast. I liked the soundtrack as well. The main Bowser theme was a lot of fun and the rest of the tunes also aged well. There’s just not much to dislike here. It’s a standard Nintendo soundtrack, which means that it is well above average.

There isn’t really any replay value to speak of once you complete the game, but as I mentioned before, the 50 quests should be more than sufficient. It’s certainly a long enough game for the low price that you will have gotten it for. It’s just a fun game overall and a good way to spend a few afternoons. I do hope that the story mode is redone for the sequels though. It should just be a little more fluid and less time consuming to get from mission to mission. I don’t even think that a mission mode is completely necessary as a normal Party Mode would be cool although I guess it’d be hard for the GBA to process. Perhaps by the 3DS game as that one certainly has the specs for it.

Overall, Mario Party Advance is another good party game to add to the collection. I’ve played a lot of party games over the years so trust me when I say that the games here are a lot more varied and entertaining than most. If you haven’t played the game yet, then you should check it out. It’s aged pretty well and just take care not to let yourself get burned out on the story. Play it in batches and you should be just fine. As for the Mushroom Condo, just make sure to look at the invisible option and you’ll also be okay. The Christmas batch of games is roughly at an end now. The only two games left are Buu’s Fury and Kirby’s Mirror, but it could be a little while before I finish those two as I’m working on the New Year’s batch and other games may pop up on the side. Regardless, they will be completed though and that means that the GBA era lives on!

Overall 7/10

Mario Party 10 Review

I really enjoyed the original Mario Party games. The mini games were well crafted and it was a great way to spend a few hours. There was a lot of luck involved of course, but a good amount of skill and tactics were mixed in as well. Unfortunately, Mario Party 10 stomps on all of this and does its best to destroy the legacy of Mario Party. Luck is now 99% of the game and the skill part has been lost to oblivion. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact that this has happened…or the fact that I’m not surprised. This fits Nintendo’s MO to a T and that’s pretty sad.

There’s no story mode of course so it’s all about the Party Mode and the minigames. There are two main ways to play this so let’s start off with normal Party Mode. You can gather a group of friends and then launch into the festivities. There are an array of minigames to try out and most of them are inspired by the classics. You may have to jump, run, or shoot at things in order to claim the Gold. The actual minigames are fun as always, but they simply don’t mean much this time which is unfortunate. The very first time that I played Party Mode, I managed to win every single minigame. That’s right…I won them all, but I still did not come in 1st. How is this possible? Well, the sad fact is that the game puts more emphasis on the whole car system. It simply wasn’t my turn when the car would approach the star so there was nothing that I could do. Trust me when I say that I was a little salty about the whole thing and I still hold it against the game.

Whoever thought up the idea of having everyone trapped in a car should be fired. It takes away any strategic elements that the game once had as you can no longer make decisions for yourself. It’s a crying shame if you ask me. I just can’t believe that they would do such a thing. I’ll never like the car system as it simply breaks the game. Remember the good ole days where you could choose to visit an item shop or the Boo manor from Party 4? Those were the good days and 4 is still the greatest Mario Party game of them all. It shall never be surpassed and I don’t think that the upcoming Party titles will even be close.

There is also a Bowser Mode, but it is just as bad if not worse. This is due to the fact that the mode isn’t balanced at all. Bowser must chase the players and stop them before they reach the goal. The problem with that is the fact that they get 4 turns and can make it to the goal very quickly. You get 4 rolls of the dice so you technically always have a chance to catch them, but the whole thing is luck based, which is pretty sad. The mini games also aren’t very favorable for Bowser as the team can easily ensure that they survive. They simply have too many hearts to shave down. There are some gimmicks like Bowser Jr spots which can help with that, but the odds of landing on them are fairly small. Not to mention that there are hearts all around the board as well, which gives them even more of an edge. At least you can make Bowser roar, but then he can’t move so you won’t be able to use it too much or everyone will wonder why you’re wasting time.

Oddly enough, the game doesn’t support the Wii U All Pro Controller. You are forced to dig up the old Wii Remotes as well as the Gamepad if you want to play this one. Another bad move on the game’s part if you ask me. Nobody wants to use the Wii Remotes, they were abandoned for a good reason. Motion Controls were simply a failed experiment. The sooner they are extinct, the better off we will all be. The game can’t really afford to have much more against it at this point.

At least the graphics are solid as you’d expect from a big Nintendo title. Everything is bright and colorful. The backgrounds all stand out and the character designs are great. I don’t think that the game can quite stand up to the latest Sonic titles, but Sega has always had better animation than the Mario series. (OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!) The soundtrack is all right, but a little more bland than what you will be used to from Mario. It’s not quite the award winning soundtrack from the days of old, but compared to something like Anubis, it’s a masterpiece.

There is a good amount of replay value here at least. Going back and unlocking all of the minigames is definitely fun although it will probably get tedious by the end since it comes down to luck once again if you are able to get the right minigame to show up on the roulette. You can imagine how difficult this is once there are only about 10 or so left. The game is also multiplayer of course so that in itself should help add to the replay value as well. This is certainly not worth 50 dollars or even 40, but if you can find it for a cheap price then it’s not so bad. The series has just lost a lot of the flair that it once had and is now a shell of its former self.

Lets at least end this review off on a more positive note. (Aside from the conclusion anyway) I do think that the minigames were very well done. I didn’t get to play all of them unfortunately as unlocking them is a big grind. I got a glimpse of them through the wiki though and a lot of the minigames are heavily influenced by the big platformer games. They involve crisp jumps and dodging obstacles. Those tend to be my favorite mini games along with the combat ones. I could do without the “Press A as fast as you can!” battles, but it is a good workout. There’s a decent amount of variety here and that’s why you’ll want to just stick to Minigame mode after you finish unlocking the various minigames. That way you can just have fun playing all of them to your heart’s content.

Overall, Mario Party 10 definitely does not do the series any justice. Removing the skill from the equation just isn’t right. Minigames shouldn’t be 100% of the winning formula of course, but it should matter at least a little. It’s just no longer the case since the roll of your dice is really the only thing that matters anymore. I’m hoping that Nintendo gets their act together soon. At least you can still see that the game is well made on a technical level and avoiding Party Mode will really help you appreciate this game more. I believe that the new Mario Party game coming out (Or is out already) goes back to having everyone walk individually so that’s good. Implement that into Mario Party 11 and we’ll be back in biz. As it stands, I recommend just going back and buying Mario Party 4 again. You really can’t go wrong there. Also, Spike should never be a playable character again. Just seeing him on the menu reminds me of the dozens of other characters that should have gotten in instead.

Overall 5/10