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Mario Party 8 – Wii

Mario Party 8 – Wii

Mario Party 8Platform:  Nintendo Wii

Developer:  Hudson Soft

Publisher: Nintendo

Release Date (NA):  May 29th, 2007

Genre:  Party Game

Rating:  8 out of 10




Mario Party 8Now we are really getting somewhere with Mario Party.  Excluding Mario Party-e and Advance (which are different games altogether and too estranged from the main series to compare), Mario Party 8 blows everything that came before out of the water, including the original.  In terms of gameplay and concept, it closely resembles Mario Party 7however, with the power of Nintendo’s Wii behind it for the first time in the series, every aspect is enhanced, improved upon, and given a whole new look. The motion controls play a large role in mini-games, a good showing of the Wii Remote’s capabilities without becoming excessive or annoying due to the games’ short structure.  We don’t have the microphone from 6 and 7 anymore, but let’s face it, Nintendo more or less wasted the potential of the peripheral anyway.  While it’s likely that I’ll ultimately end up rating Mario Party 9 as the stronger game, 8 might be my favorite to play.

Mario Party 8Like 6 and 7each game board in Mario Party 8 requires a different method to collect stars.  There is of course the standard moving star, the linear path introduced in 7a star-seeking maze in a Boo house, a train where the cars are constantly changing order, a sort of real estate game where the player invests in hotels that produce stars (like Windmillville in 7), and a cutthroat star-stealing free-for-all on Bowser’s spaceship.  Each course is a truly unique experience that necessitates differing strategies and plays off of various skill sets.

If you’ve been following my other Mario Party reviews, you’ll know that one of my most prolific complaints is in regards to the multitude of time wasting events that seem to pop up in several games in one form or another.  Mario Party 8 harkens back to the simplicity of Mario Party 4 and does an absolutely fantastic job of keeping up the pace.  Random single player events still exist, such as the all new “lucky spaces,” the use of powerups, and chances to instantaneously move to far away parts of the board, but they are handled efficiently without feeling rushed.  Fluffy dialog and slews of pointless, drawn out animations that have plagued nearly every event in games past has been all but done away with.

Mario Party 8Instead of orbs, powerups are now available under the guise of candy.  Most will be recognizable from past games, but a few new ones have been thrown in, mostly at the aim of stealing or otherwise acquiring coins.  Candy can be both bought and found during the course of play though it is far less abundant than the orbs of Mario Party 7.  This cuts down on even more time wasting and ensures that the candy that is obtained is used a little more carefully and strategically.

Mario Party 8

Mario Party 8The mini-games in Mario Party 8 are easily some of the best in the series.  Full advantage is taken of the Wii’s motion controls making for all new mini-games beyond anything previously imagined.  Still present are games that rely on traditional skills such as jumping and rapidly pressing buttons, but there’s also a whole slew of games that make use of the Wii Remote in every possible way.  Shaking, turning, balancing, and pointing are Mario Party 8a few of the techniques used.  One mini-game involves pointing at the screen with the remote, holding A, and drawing shapes with spray paint by moving the remote.  Another requires the player to tilt the controller in order to turn the hands of a clock.  One of my favorites entails tipping the remote in order to pour a correct weight of sand onto a set of scales.  So many new concepts are introduced that it’s safe to say Mario Party 8 in combination with the Wii has totally reinvented the definition of a mini-game.

Mario Party 8

Mario Party 8Another element carried over from 6 and 7 is the attainment of a sort of currency after completing games.  This time, carnival cards are awarded.  Hammer Bro. and Blooper exist as unlockable characters available for purchase.  A set of rather interesting items can also be bought which form a sort of animated parade that can be viewed.  It doesn’t serve much of a purpose, but my son loves watching the parade.

Mario Party 8

Mario Party 8As one would expect, graphics have taken an appreciable leap forward.  Environments are clear, vivid, and given a true 3D perspective as opposed to the top down view of the game board in past titles.  So many small details are greatly enhanced; the rippling of water, floating mist in the Boo house, amazingly colorful light effects, and so much more.  Every bit of Mario Party 8 is a treat for the eyes.  The music is among the best in the series as well.  In previous games most of the music was unobtrusive but forgettable.  Mario Party 8 employs catchy, memorable tunes.  The tunes played when obtaining a star and when announcing the winner of the game are especially memorable.

Mario Party 8Perhaps the Wii’s hardware finally allowed Hudson Soft to do what they always intended with Mario Party, or perhaps Nintendo brought the hammer down and insisted on more originality.  Either way, this is not only a great entry in the Mario Party franchise but a great video game period.  The focus is truly on the board game itself instead of countless digressions and unnecessary single player tangents.  So many other titles in the series have added event after event for each player to encounter while traversing the board that the importance of the board game aspect has been chipped away at and become almost secondary to the various and numerous specialty spaces.  Finally we have a game that embraces the idea of playing a board game and it works beautifully.

And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Mario Party 9 changes everything…

Reviewed by The Cubist

Mario Party Series
Main Series

Written by The Cubist

The Cubist

Co-founder, Head Author, & Site Technician

Find out what these ratings mean and how I rate video games.

I collect as much video gaming paraphernalia as I can get my hands on, especially when it comes to hardware. With over 40 systems including oldies like the ColecoVision and Intellivision, obscurities like the CD-i and 3DO, and the latest and greatest including the Wii U, PS4, Xbox One, 3DS, and PS Vita, I get easily overwhelmed. Most of the time you can find me firmly nestled sometime between 1985 and 1995 when it comes to my games of choice, but I’m also having a great time seeing what the 8th generation has to offer.

Currently in love with: Mortal Kombat

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