Bowser's crashed this party. It's recommended
that you go ahead and crash it, too.
Mario Party games used to be like Maroon 5. It was everywhere, and you couldn't get away from it no matter how much you'd want to and how many times you'd smash your head against a brick wall to suffer enough brain damage to forget it forever. However, over the years and with a change of development team (Hudson to ND Cube, which to be fair is made up of former Hudson employees), Mario Party has dialed it back a bit. For instance, the Wii only had two Mario Party games released for it when the Nintendo 64 and GameCube had three and four respectively. Now, over 15 years later since his very first party, Mario is back with friends (and a ticked off Bowser) in Mario Party 10, the first entry to hit the Wii U. Does this party deliver a fiesta of fun?
Mario Party 10's main mode, the aptly titled Mario Party, is structured similarly to Mario Party 9's. It has all four players riding along a fairly linear board, occasionally offering a duo of paths to venture down, in the same vehicle. The player whose turn it is controls the vehicle by rolling a die, and whatever spaces they land on or events they pass through happen solely to them. The goal of the Mario Party mode is to possess the most Mini Stars by the end of the board. This is performed through playing mini-games which happen sporadically through landing on special spaces, collecting coins from special event spaces, and a myriad of other means.
|Mushroom Park, the first of only five boards.|
|The player in control of the vehicle is about to get|
that bundle of Mini Stars laying there.
|The Mushroom Kingdoms crew will do just |
about anything for their daily dose of Vitamin C.
Halfway through and at the end of each Mario Party mode board is a fortress that serves as a place in a game for one of two boss mini-games. These pit four players against one boss with the goal of earning the most hits against the boss to earn the most points. There are mini-games where you try to memorize and avoid the locations of Boos to traverse a series of tiles leading to one of many spotlights to shine in King Boo's naught face, and games where you try to stumble your way through a maze to reach one of four cannons first to blast a colossal Monty Mole.
|A barrage of bombs are blasted in Petey|
Piranha's unattractive mug.
Each player on the competing side begins in the same vehicle with a set amount of hearts. Each player rolls a die, earning a special and quite helpful dice block when they land on a blue space. These can be used strategically to gain create some distance between the players and Bowser. Once the players roll, Bowser gets several dice blocks to roll at once. Depending on how well or poorly the Bowser player does, the always loyal Bowser Jr. either assists his father with the addition of more dice blocks or to cause havoc for the other players.
|Faced with the other option of being destroyed|
by Bowser, I think it's understandable to run away.
|Careful, Mario and friends, or Bowser|
is going to hand it to you-- literally!
|Depending on the Amiibo used, the board in|
Amiibo Party will have different properties to it.
Mario Party 10's mini-games are one of the best batches in series history. There are a lot of things you can slight developer ND Cube for with their installments of the Mario Party series (9, 10, and the Nintendo 3DS's Island Tour), but the mini-game selection is not one of them. Games are played in a free-for-all setting, 2 vs. 2 team setting, or 1 vs. 3 setting. Thankfully, the majority of these are skill-based with maybe just one relying a little on luck.
|I don't want your honey-- honest! Leave me "bee"!|
|Mario fans finally get that paintball game|
that they have been wanting.
|This mini-game looks simple enough,|
but then you get tilt controls to worry about.
|Ground pounds are a hazard to your butts, kiddies.|
Make note of this.
Mario Party 10 might not be the great game that fans were hoping for the milestone tenth installment, but it's a fun game in small doses and solely if you have other friends to play with. A lack of online play of any kind-- even if just for mini-games, is pretty much inexcusable in 2015, once again showing Nintendo's archaic stance on online play, and hiding Amiibo Party behind a $12 paywall is sort of slimy. However, with some of the best mini-games ever seen in a Mario Party game, great boards, and a wide selection of playing choices, Mario Party 10 manages to make for a hearty party.
[SPC Says: C+]