Mario Party 10 Review: X Gon Give It to Ya
Greg Johnson / Mar 25th, 2015 No Comments
Mario Party has gained popularity for providing the competitive fun of a board game with the added bonus of a video game experience in mini-games. Mario Party 9 introduced a new feature in having players travel around the board together, and that continues in Mario Party 10. While this mode has its benefits, it is not without cons. The most notable addition to Mario Party 10 is the “Bowser Party” in which one player is given the chance to truly be the bad guy.
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
While some entries in the Mario Party series had a plotline behind its mini-game shenanigans, Mario Party 10 does not fall into that category. The “story” boils down to Mario and friends trying to complete a board game while avoiding Bowser, who simply wants to throw a wrench in the system. While two new modes are added — Bowser Party and Amiibo Party — the focus is on the traditional Party Mode. The bread and butter of the game, Party Mode has players embarking together in one of several vehicles across a number of boards.
The upside to this new system is that games in Mario Party 10 are far shorter than its predecessors. The downside is that players are more easily able to screw each other over. If one player’s dice roll puts them right in front of a space that will steal mini-stars, sucks to be whoever is next. While it is nice to see Nintendo trying new gimmicks in the long-established series, sometimes it’s nice to just be separate from the other players. Amiibo Party, another new game mode, offers a harkening back to the previous iterations in the series, but in a set of one-way boards. Amiibo Party also requires that players actually own Amiibo, which is the first time a Nintendo game requires Amiibo for in-game content. While the integration of the figures is interesting, forcing players to own them seems like a step backwards.
Look Around You. Look. Around. You!
Mario Party 10 looks great. While the Wii U isn’t on the same level graphically with the Xbox One or PlayStation 4, it certainly holds its own despite its cartoonish lineup. The details of each board bring the game to life, and will allow players to dive in to each unique environment. Nintendo has really come into their own graphically on the Wii U by focusing on style over substance, utilizing a cartoonish art style to present games in a more polished form. Bowser is nothing short of terrifying with the polished Wii U graphical capabilities.
This brings us to Bowser’s sound and his roar, which is as powerful as ever. Sound effects get to shine through the Wii U as all the characters get their unique voice heard loud and clear. The musical score also boasts the traditional Mario quality as the soundtrack is unique and inviting, perfectly fitting the board it accompanies. While sadly none of the characters can be considered voiced in the traditional sense, Nintendo finds ways to show their own personality.
Enter King Koopa
Bowser Party is where it’s at. It is a one-versus-four battle for the star that is fairly matched, as long as all players understand Mario Party. The goal of the four players is keep at least one player alive and reach the end. Bowser’s goal is to knock the life out of all four players before they reach the end. Along the way, players will not only have to outroll Bowser and survive his mini-games, but deal with traps he can set on the board itself.
Bowser Party provides a much-needed unique spin on the series, and it impresses with balanced gameplay and challenging mini-games. Mini-games are inventive and challenging, utilizing the Wii U Gamepad to strike a distinct line between Bowser and the other players. Switching off between who controls Bowser will ensure all players get to have a taste of the fun, and playing on both sides is recommended for strategy.
Nintendo has taken a big chance on keeping the all-together system of Mario Party 9 in place, but not a huge one. Mario Party is not a series known for keeping any one system for too long (i.e. mini-game coin loss). Ultimately, the quicker game length works in favor of the ride together system, and the potential to use Amiibo for a more classic style is a welcome addition. However, forcing players to buy Amiibo in order to play in-game content comes off as a really scummy choice from a company that has a long-standing tradition of putting players first.
Overall, Mario Party 10 captures what the series should be and creates an enjoyable multiplayer series. Most long-time fans will find something to love, even if reluctantly on some counts.
tags: Mario Party 10 , Mario Party 10 Review , nintendo , review , wii-u