Thursday February 2, 2006 3:06 pm
Playfeed’s Mario Party 7 Review
So, Mario and his gang have come together once more with a planned activity (this time, taking a cruise) with the end result turning out to be the madhouse that is Mario Party. This is the seventh iteration of the popular party game series - the fourth one for the Gamecube. We took Mario Party 7 for a spin, and we report back with our full review after the jump.
First things first - looking at the box, you immediately have the information that Mario Party 7 features eighty-six brand new minigames, two hidden characters, and includes the Gamecube mic (which was also a part of the Mario Party 6 package.) It seems that the biggest change, though, is the addition of an all-new eight-player mode. With four controllers, and eight friends, you can have an even biggest Mario Party gathering it seems.
Mario Party 7 enjoys the same gameplay scheme that the previous iterations featured, but most closely resembles Mario Party 6. In the normal game, players take turns traveling the game board with the intention of having the most stars at the end. The microphone returns this year, as do the orbs (which can be used to change gameplay on the fly.) The unfortunate thing in all this is that, despite the new minigames and board, there really isn’t much innovation in Mario Party 7. I mean, Hudson did add an eight-player mode, but it is extremely limiting in that each player only ends up with have a controller. Yes - in eight-player mode everyone shares a controller.
Aside from that, the rest of the game is as you would expect. Roll the dice, move, and after everyone does that, compete in a minigame. Rinse and repeat. Bowser makes his appearance after every five turns, randomly causing havoc on the game by doing something like switching everyone’s position on the board, or adding a bunch of Bowser spaces to the board.
One thing we have to mention is the insane amount of text. I have yet to meet anyone that reads through all the text that is displayed while playing a game of Mario Party. Kids don’t have the patience for it, and adults are annoyed by it. The game can be just as good with half the amount of text, and no one will miss anything. The cute sayings do get old quickly, and it breaks up the flow of gameplay.
Now that we are seven years into the Mario Party series, we are starting to see the age of the series. While the game is mostly fun at times, the series does need something new and different to spice it up for it’s next showing. There are many things Hudson can do for the next title that would make it a big hit. For years, people have been asking for a “Best Of” title. Give us the top 200 minigames from the past seven years, and let us go at it Party-style. Better yet, what if you did something where everyone got this uber-cool controller that you just waved at the screen in a Revolution-ary manner, adding a whole new dimension to the Mario Party universe? Anything is possible.
Now that we’re seven games into the series, we think it’s safe to say the Mario Party is in desperate need of a paradigm shift. Mario Party 7 holds its own in comparison to earlier outings but frankly, we’re getting very tired of the series. Maybe if they come up with a whole new way of playing the minigames the series will get back on track. Like some kind of wand controller that let’s players gesture at the TV screen, perhaps? Now that would be revolutionary.
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