Mario Party 8, the newest addition to the 8 year long franchise has arrived for the Nintendo Wii. This year, the party takes place at the Star Carnival which is ran by MC Ballyhoo and his top hat, Big Top. This game has one area where it really shines; its ability to handle the Wii Remote. On the other hand, Mario Party 8 does not have as many mini-games as Mario Party 7 and it does not even support eight players! That would actually be O.K. if Nintendo added online play to this title, but guess what? It didn’t.
The gameplay is generally solid and the game does shine in the way most mini-games are played. You will quickly find yourself swinging at baseballs, shaking cans of soda, paddling boats, walking tightropes and lots of other crazy situations all by simply moving the remote. Bring a couple of friends and you are guaranteed a good time until you start screaming at each other for losing the game on one turn after dominating from the very beginning. On a good note, the game is extremely easy to pick up and most of the mini-games have virtually no learning curve. The only problem with that is that you will find yourself not wanting to play some mini-games after owning the computer ten or twenty times without even breaking a sweat.
Hey, look what I can do!
The six gameboards are quite innovative and unique. Each provide a different gaming experience. The haunted mansion for example, will have you running around corridors hunting for stars in a mystery style setting. Another board takes place on a moving train that requires you to impress a movie star who’s onboard. Unfortunately, no matter how fun and, at first glance, strategic the boards seem to be, you can, and trust me, you will find yourself moving from first to last in an unexpected twist of fate that no one can explain. That is where the game gets frustrating. The strategy and skill involved seem to be a very small part of this game. Honestly, you can have anyone who has never seen the game play with you and they will have a good chance to beat you.
One of the best aspects of Mario Party 8 is the game boards MIDI’s and the game’s soundtrack. They make the game more enjoyable. Overall, Mario Party 8 is loud, enthusiastic, and for a while, keeps you hooked. Unfortunately, and like almost every aspect of this game, most of the sound effects get boring after a while. The most noticable blunders are in the character sound effects. They are simply repetitive and become annoying after a while. As far as replay value, steer very far away from this one if you don’t have anyone to play with. It will get old very quickly. If you have a couple of friends over, the game becomes that much better, but every game is better with friends anyways.
Aside from all the negatives, this game would still be worth an addition to your library if the presentation wasn’t so terrible. Don’t get me wrong, the graphics are colorful and creative, just like all the Mario Party games have been. The only problem is that the graphics seem to be from a GameCube game. To add insult to injury, the game can’t, for the life of it, fill a widescreen display. To compensate for the extra space, you get some fruity borders around your screen. What the heck was Nintendo thinking? The borders look absolutely terrible and they simply don’t belong there.
Wii Would Not Like to Play…
Mario Party 8 for the Wii has to many flaws to be a great game. The game shines in a few areas, and some mini-games are extremely addicting. At the same time, Mario Party 8 leaves you dissapointed and sometimes frustrated so much that you will simply loose interest in the game. If you have some friends over it will be fun for a while, but you could get that in Rayman: Raving Rabbids along with some strategy and a better replay value. In the end, all you will get is the same thing you got the other seven times, with no real improvement on any crucial aspect of the game. At most, I would recommend this game as a rental for a couple of hours of fun with your friends, but otherwise, don’t bother joining this party.