Some of you may be convinced that I ate a Poisonous Mushroom as I recently decided to purchase the digital version of Mario Party 10, and I’ll be honest, half of me is thinking I had a nibble at that aforementioned shroom. I’ve been able to have a good play around with it, so let us get on with the review. I think the easiest way to do this, is to separate the good from the bad, so let us begin with the good (yes, there are still good factors in a Mario Party title) right after the break!
NOTE – A lot of the review contradicts itself… YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Here is a video review for those of you who are too lazy to read the next 1500-ish words!
The first thing which should probably be mentioned is the Bowser Party mode. This is definitely a very interesting mode that makes SOME good use of the Wii U GamePad. It’s very unique and I bet if I actually had some friends to play it with then it would be much more intense. Some of the mini-games are pretty decent and make good use of the GamePad, such as the one where all the players are on on a small pinball table and Bowser tries to hit them with spiked balls, or when you have to move the GamePad and blow into the mic to breathe a fireball to hit the other players.
Talking about mini games, Mario Party 10 definitely has some brilliant new additions. One of my favourite mini games is Fruit Cahoots. In this game, there is a conveyor belt with apples and Bob-Ombs. There are seven rounds and each player has to decide whether or not to push the button to move it to the left by one and you have to try and get the most apples but avoid the Bob-Ombs. What I like about it is that it really makes you think on your toes to make a choice as you have to make sure your opponents get the Bob-Ombs but you get the fruit. I’ll be honest, there are only a few mini games which I don’t like, and that is a lot less than most Mario Party games.
Unlike a lot of people, I actually like the Car concept of Mario Party. I see reviews that constantly go on about how it doesn’t have any strategy to it… I call bull**** (or perhaps they are just too stupid or lazy to bother). There is actually quite a bit of strategy involved, you are constantly thinking about how many spaces you need to roll to make sure your opponents will get Mini zstars (they take away Mini Stars), what path you should take on so forth. I do quite a bit of forward planning on several boards.
Some of the boards are quite creative (structurally), maybe not as creative as boards from previous games, but they are still a lot of fun. One board has you jumping from airship to airship, but after every roll the ships will move and this can have a devastating effect on you or your opponents as some ships will have loads of Mini Stars whereas others will have loads of Unlucky spaces and Ztars. Later in the board, Bowser will board his own airship and will target certain squares to shoot bullet bills at. If you land on one of those squares, your Mini Star count will be halved. The nice visuals boost the enjoyment of each board in my opinion (was playing Mario Party 8 yesterday and either my TV is crap or whoever was in charge of the visuals were incredibly drunk)
Some of the mini-bosses and bosses are very creative and act as extra long mini-games… is that the biggest oxymoron you’ve heard today? One of my favourites is the Mega Cheep Chomp mini-boss. At the beginning of each round you have three shells to shoot at the mega cheep, and every time he has been hit, he rotates clockwise. Once the timer runs out, whoever he is facing will get attacked and will loose two points.
Finally, the whole game has been streamlined so that players can jump right in without any faffing around. One thing I particularly like, is the fact that you can now drop up to two Computer players, so if there are only two or three players, you have more time to play rather than waiting for the CPU to take their turn.
There is nothing really to unlock. One thing I loved about previous Mario Party games is the fact that there were quite a few things to unlock such as special mini-games and such, but the only things to unlock are two characters, a new mode, some vehicles, music and models for photo mode (which isn’t very fun). This may seem like a lot for those who haven’t played, but it really isn’t, the only thing worth unlocking is the music and new characters.
The interfaces are TOO simple. Yup, the thing which was a pro also has a dark side. First of all, the menu is way too bland for my liking, there’s no theming whatsoever, that was one of my favourite parts of playing a new Mario Party game, finding out what the theme looks like, but this doesn’t have one ARGH. Also, the mini-game instructions are too simple, some people may like it, but I don’t. It will give you a brief objective and video with controls that overlay from time to time, I like reading all that about, controls and advice mumbo-jumbo, but sometimes it throws you in clueless.
Though I said that the boards are creative, I only thought so in how they are designed, but the theming is a bit… meh. It’s just too general… like the levels to every New Super Mario Bros game pretty much.
Though I do like the car mechanic, I still prefer the old style gameplay. I think it is more fun having the boards loop like they used to do and players being separate from each other. I like collecting coins and normal stars. I like having a mini-game at the end of every turn. I’m sure I am not alone on this point.
The content is pretty lacking. I think this is the least content filled Mario Party game to date, there is even more to do on Mario Party 1. There are only five boards in this instalment and all of them are unlocked from the beginning (I am not including the Amiibo boards as I have not had the chance to do so (I don’t have the right Amiibos)). There aren’t many extra modes, there are three mini-game modes, free play, tournament and coin battle (there is also a Bowser challenge mode but that’s literally just all ten Bowser mini-games in a random order). There’s no story mode, pretty every Mario Party game has a story mode of sorts. MP1 had the Mini-Game Map thing and Island Tour had Bowser’s Tower, yet there is nothing like those in Mario Party 10, and I loved those story modes.
The mini-games don’t really take advantage of the Wii Remote, most of them are either point and click, select or hold it on it’s side like a regular controller. I actually liked some of the motion controlled games from the other MP titles, it made added that extra fun factor. Plus, some of the games which use motion controls have broken controls. For example one mini-game requires you to flick the remote up to jump, but whenever I do so, it is hardly recognised.
The majority of the Bowser mini-games are boring. A lot of them feel very uncreative and hardly make proper use of the GamePad. For example, there is one where the four players choose a bingo card, then Bowser rolls the dice five times with a flick of the wrist. That is it.
There’s not really much replay value. After you play every board and play around for a while with the mini games, there’s not much else to do really. You would probably only get repeated joy from it if you have had a few drinks with a couple of mates and wanted to play something, but even then there are probably funnier choices for those who like to become intoxicated… though I don’t think that’s really the target audience for this game!
As I do not have the right Amiibos, I haven’t been able to try out Amiibo Party.
Overall Mario Party 10 isn’t a terrible game, it does do some things right, but also does a lot of things bad. I really wish I could love this game but I can’t. If I were you guys, I would probably wait until it goes on sale or purchase a pre-owned copy, £34.99 is too much for it, I would say about £20 is a more reasonable price. On a scale from 1 to 10, 1 being absolutely trash and 10 being the best thing since sliced bread, I would rate Mario Party 10 a 6.5
Obviously, this is all my own opinion, some of you reading this may have other opinions on the game.
What do you think? Have you played it yet? If so, would you agree with me, or have a missed something out?