Mario Party 9
Worst Mario Party So Far
Mario Party 9 takes random to a whole new level and probably won't be an enjoyable experience for any true gamer, even those who enjoyed previous versions of the game.
While it is true that I've never been a huge fan of the Mario Party series, my wife is, so I've played almost all the games. What I've come to expect from Mario Party is a casual multi-player game that you can enjoy with up to 3 friends. The mini-games are fun. One player or more gets unlucky costing them the game due to some sort of random event or roll of the die. But, usually the player who does the best in the mini-games has a good chance of winning the overall game. It can be fun in guess what...a 'party' type setting.
With that said, Mario Party 9 decides not to make it about winning AT ALL, but some sort of team concept that doesn't work because you're still competing against each other. So, the outcome results in complete randomness, less mini-games, and the winner can take no real satisfaction from the experience.
All four players are put into a single vehicle. Then, each player takes a turn, rolling a die, and moving through the game board. Everyone is together all the time. There are mini-stars located at various spots on the board, some of them good and some of them bad. Whether or not you get them depends on when your turn happens to come up. Oh, did I mention the goal in winning the game is obtaining the most mini-stars?
In previous versions of Mario Party, after everyone each took a roll, you played a mini-game. Not in this game, though. In what I can only assume is an attempt to speed up games, you have to land on a spot that initializes a mini-game, making that a totally random event as well. Not only that, but the amount of mini-stars you win by taking the mini-game or getting last is so small that in all reality mini-games have little to no impact on who wins the game.
Candy is more rare and harder to take advantage of when you get it. It's all about the roll of the die, and sometimes you want a big roll or small roll, but the candy rarely gives you a chance to do that.
The maps are set, there's no going around and around, once you get to the end the game is over.
The best part of the game is the boss battles. You take on a mini-boss half way through the game, and a main boss at the end. These are what I would call extended mini-games. They take longer, are more intense, and actually a lot of fun. However, you don't get a ton of stars from it, unless you happen to be the one that rolls the die when the boss fight happens AND you win the mini-game, then you get some random boss bonus which can vault you into first.
It confuses me what Nintendo did with Mario Party. I understand the desire to take a different route since there have been 10 previous versions of the game (including GBA and DS), but this was the wrong direction. Only little kids, and I mean LITTLE kids with no competitiveness will really enjoy this game. It's completely random, less fun since you play less mini-games, and at times just flat out frustrating because you're forced into bad situations just because of when you take your turn (which also changes randomly mid-game, too, by the way).
If I'm going to play a Mario Party game on the Wii, I'm going to throw in Mario Party 8. The mini-games are just as fun as you at least have a little bit of control of your character. I don't care that it's in 4x3, it's way better than this.