Monthly Archives: November 2016

Question Corner #11 – 11/18/16

Question Corner #11 - 11/18/16

Hello everybody, SlimKirby here and welcome to another edition of the Question Corner.

It has been awhile since my last update, but to be fair, questions have been slow going again. Honestly, it wouldn’t even surprise me if some of these questions were asked by the same people. Regardless though, I did promise whenever I would get 20 questions, I would immediately update, and here we are!

As usual, if you are interested in submitting a question, please go to the Contact page to submit one. Just remember that I will not be answering any questions that are too personal, questions that have been asked before, most “Will you LP/Have you played this game?” questions, and other questions that just don’t seem appropriate for this section. Also, if you have a question about how to do Let’s Plays or other in-general Youtube questions, check out the SlimKirby’s Workshop section to see if I haven’t answered it there already, as there was a question I got last time that revolved around that.

Anyway, let’s get this started, shall we?

Q: “What are the occupations of your parents?”
A: My mom is an elementary school librarian/media specialist. My dad is an instructor for kids with special needs at a middle school and teaches a few social studies courses on the side. I am very proud of my parents for all the work they do to help children!

Q: “What did you think of the Simpsons and Futurama crossover?”
A: I actually looked into it recently and really enjoyed it. It was fun seeing my two favorite shows come together for a special!

Q: “Who would you save from a burning building? Princess Peach or Princess Daisy?”
A: Do “I” really need to answer that? Haha, well, as you guys know, I like Daisy way better than Peach, so I would be more inclined to save her. However, even though Peach is a big meanieface, I wouldn’t intentionally wish anything like a burning death on her, so if possible, I would try to save both. If this question came down to people in real life, just to make this a little more interesting, I would definitely save my family and friends at all costs. Anybody else? I would do anything I could to help, but I wouldn’t be as motivated to jump in the middle of the flames or anything, if that makes sense.

Q: “What is the best April Fools joke you played?”
A: One time I convinced my dad it was snowing outside and got him to actually jump out of bed early and go to the other room to look. Aside from that, I don’t play a lot of April Fools pranks. Although I do love the “One Hour of Impact” joke I did on my channel a few years ago, when I fooled people into believing I was doing a Radiant Dawn Let’s Play, when it was actually an hour of “I am Impact” from Mystical Ninja: Starring Goemon.

Q: “What do you think of Star Fox Adventures compared to other Star Fox games?”
A: Star Fox definitely does better as a space shooter than an adventure Zelda-style game. I do appreciate the attempt to try something new (although it was moreso a different game altogether that didn’t have Star Fox characters until Nintendo got Rare to shoehorn the Star Fox name into the game), but I think Assault was overall the more enjoyable Gamecube Star Fox game. I don’t think Adventures is a bad game necessarily, but it does fall flat in a number of areas that I think Zelda games overall do better anyway.

Q: “Are there any perks to being an only child?”
A: You don’t have to share any of your toys or games with anybody. That’s really about it. Honestly, I think I would have much rather had a brother or sister growing up. I think it would have been more beneficial in developing my social skills because I always felt I was a little too awkward in trying to make friends at school, and aside from my parents, I just didn’t really have anybody to talk to. I suppose it would also be a bit easier for your parents to provide for you too, just because there would be less mouths to feed, less school supplies to be bought and less college funds to provide for, if that makes sense.

Q: “Have you ever listened to the rock band Muse?”
A: I’ve heard a few of their songs. The first time I heard them was through Guitar Hero III, because their song “Knights of Cydonia” is in that game and I always thought it was a pretty fun song to play through. But yeah, they’ve made some good music. Wouldn’t say they are a favorite artist of mine, but definitely not opposed to them either.

Q: “What do you think of the Kirby and Donkey Kong cartoons?”
A: The Kirby cartoon was all right. I wouldn’t say it was anything spectacular, but for what it was, it was watchable, at least in my opinion. The Donkey Kong cartoon on the other hand; again, I can’t say it was bad, but it was definitely a show that’s easier to mock than enjoy.

Q: “What are your thoughts on YouTube’s new advertiser-friendly content guidelines?”
A: I will admit, it is very silly that people like the Nostalgia Critic and the Angry Video Game Nerd, individuals who have spent years establishing themselves as channels with mature content (AVGN especially) can now have their monetization taken away due to updated content guidelines. As far as I’m concerned though, I’m kind of biased just because I try my hardest to keep my channel clean and accessible for all ages, so I don’t think I will personally have any issues. Heck, even my Walking Dead videos have been clear of issues and there are so many mature themes in those games. Otherwise though, I can’t really support the new guidelines, just because of examples like I mentioned earlier.

Q: “Do you think Spanky from Spanky’s Quest would make a good Smash Bros. addition?”
A: No. As fun as the game is, that’s just reaching way too far beyond the realm of possibility. He would have kind of an interesting playstyle though, I guess, lol.

Q: “What are we going to see for your 10th year anniversary”
A: You will definitely see a clip show (as promised) and there will definitely be a marathon stream following. As far as other specials, I’m still thinking. 10 years is a pretty big deal to me, in all honesty. Aside from that, don’t really want to mention anything about it as to keep it a surprise.

Q: “What video game do you find confusing?”
A: The only game I can think of is a game called “Populous” on the SNES, but only because my uncle had the game, but whenever I tried to play it, I couldn’t figure it out. HOWEVER, I was also only like 6-years-old when I tried it, so I would probably have a better understanding of it now.

Q: “Can I adopt you to be my son?”
A: First of all, no. Second of all, I don’t think my parents would be down for that. Third, I think I’m way too old to be adoptable. I appreciate the thought though, I guess…

Q: “How are your workouts coming along?”
A: I stopped going to the gym because I have an exercise bike at home now, but I am keeping up with it on a daily basis, so very well! Thank you! And with the weather getting alot cooler, it’s the perfect time for me to be going outside on more walks. I hate summer and early-fall temperatures.

Q: “What’s your favorite type of cake?”
A: I am very fond of cheesecake. Shoutouts to angel food cake and carrot cake though, as they are also very good in my opinion.

Q: “What’s your favorite and least favorite character in Scrubs?”
A: Favorite character is Dr. Percival Cox. Just a very funny and down-to-earth character that I really respected and loved on the show for who he was. Least favorite character? It’s hard to say, but of the main cast, probably Elliot, just because I couldn’t connect with her as well as some of the other characters, but even she was fine in doses.

Q: “Why do you play games like Walking Dead and not Resident Evil?”
A: For the very simple reason that I don’t have any Resident Evil games. Well…I guess I do have Resident Evil 4 now, but even then, I just haven’t gotten around to playing any of them yet. With Walking Dead, it’s easier because I am a fan of the show and graphic novel so the Walking Dead games appeal to me in a way Resident Evil doesn’t.

Q: “What type of car would you like to own?”
A: I really don’t care much. A car is just a device to get me from point “A” to point “B.” I would like to have a blue car (I own a silver one now since my old blue car is no longer in service), but I don’t need to have one. I guess I would also prefer cars as opposed to trucks and SUVs.

Q: “Why do you use your website as a medium to answer questions as opposed to your Youtube channel?”
A: I just think a website is more appropriate, especially since my website is kind of an archive dedicated to my online life as it is. That’s really all there is to it. Plus I’m not going to lie, it’s easier to write all of this down than get stumbled on various questions trying to think of answers. This way I have some time to think about it.

Q: “Is there a game that came out 10+ years ago that you remember initially loving, but now isn’t as good as you remember?”
A: Honestly, not really. When I go back to revisit old games, the nostalgia always seems to kick in no matter what. I remember Super Mario Kart being a lot easier than it is for me now, but I wouldn’t say it’s a bad game now because I don’t enjoy it as much. Also had a really hard time getting back into Super Smash Bros. Melee and Super Mario Sunshine when I did them for my playthroughs awhile back, but again, can’t really say they are bad games, moreso I just don’t have the same enjoyment with them as I used to.

And that will do it for another Question Corner! Thanks everyone for submitting and if we get enough questions in a short period of time, maybe the next issue will be up sooner than this one!

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#1. Mario Party 2

#1. Mario Party 2

And with that, we get to my favorite Mario Party game, ranked #1…Mario Party 2. I fell in love with Mario Party 2 pretty much from the get-go. I was already riding the high from Mario Party 1 and with the implementation of new boards, new minigames, a new item system, and various improvements to the rough-around-the-edges Mario Party 1 formula, there was very little that I honestly feel like this game got wrong. It has remained not only my favorite Mario Party game for over 16 years now, but also one of my all-time favorite Nintendo 64 games. However, I can glorify this game all day if I wanted to, so let’s get to the actual analysis, shall we?

First up we have the boards, and the one thing I will say is I am a little disappointed by the fact that this game only has six boards compared to eight original boards of Mario Party 1. However, I can’t really say this is a big glaring disadvantage of Mario Party 2 just for the sole fact that Mario Party 1 was the only game to achieve the feat of having eight boards in one game. What MP2 lacks in quantity though, it definitely makes up for it in quality as every board is unique and pretty diverse in its theme and content. After looking at screenshots, the boards are also a lot bigger than the Mario Party 1 variants, which may be another reason why the board roster was smaller. However, it’s a good thing these boards are bigger because with the addition of new spaces, new board events, and the newly introduced item system; a lot of space needed to be filled. Each board is a representation of a different type of theme or trope you can find in most media. A pirate theme, a western theme, a mystical theme, a horror theme and a space theme. Bowser also gets his own theme again as well, so the final board is pretty much what you would expect Bowser Land to be like. I think the thing that I really dig about these boards though is the fact that game quite literally puts you in these worlds to the point where you are living out the reality of each board. In Pirate Land you skim the shores of several beaches looking for treasure, in Horror Land you navigate a spooky forest filled to the brim with ghostly creatures, and even in Mystery Land, you get the feeling that you are wandering around just trying to figure out what the hell will happen next. Even the Mario characters themselves get into the spirit of the boards as all the playable characters wear little costumes representing the board you are playing on, and each board has a story centered around the notion of Bowser causing trouble and you four battling to earn the star power to stop him. In fact, the winner of each game will have a cutscene that shows them battling and beating Bowser at the very end of the game, which is always a joy to watch, no matter how many times you see them. It may not seem like much, but it shows that the developers really cared about putting a lot of charm into this title and that is something that is definitely not lost on me.

This was also the first Mario Party game to introduce items. Mario Party 1 had a few different dice blocks you could purchase that would randomly appear in the games sometimes, but this game had items you could win or obtain to make your journey around the board a lot easier. You had mushrooms to give yourself a second dice block to move, skeleton keys to open doors for shortcuts around the board, warp blocks to trade places with other players, plunder chests to steal items, dueling gloves to challenge other players to a minigame for their coins and several others that can give you a nice little boost when you may need it the most. The one downside many people see about this though is that unlike other Mario Party games, you can only hold one item at a time. I personally disagree with this statement. Yeah, having multiple items would be nice, but I don’t think Mario Party 2 needed to have that feature. There are plenty of item shops around the boards and plenty of item minigame spaces too, to the point where I feel like having only one item slot isn’t really much of an inconvenience. However, at that point it all comes down to preference anyway, so I can’t really say one way is necessarily better than the other, as I see the convenience of having 3 items, but at the same time, the one item slot never personally bothered me either. So with some solid boards and a well-implemented item system, the board game play is absolutely fantastic. I will say that Mystery Land is probably one of the weaker boards in the series though, just because like Wario’s Battle Canyon from Mario Party 1, it relies a bit on island hopping and getting lucky enough to get the right dice roll to get off an island you might be potentially stuck on. But again, far from the worst board in the series and every Mario Party game has a stinker in there somewhere.

Now let’s move on to the minigames. If you are a seasoned Mario Party 1 veteran, you will notice that there are some games that get redone in Mario Party 2. Most of the changes were purely cosmetic, but for the most part, every game does feel somewhat different in the Mario Party 2 engine and in many of the cases, better as a result. However, not to only praise the remixed games because Mario Party 2 also introduced a lot of very cool new games as well. Shell Shocked, Lights Out, Filet Relay, Look Away, Sky Pilots…the list goes on. I think what pleases me most is just seeing all the different types of minigames. You have your races, your battles, your puzzles, your tests of relexes…there’s even a game where you count enemies for crying out loud, and they’re all for the most part pretty solid. However, as expected, the game does have its weak points. Sneak N Snore, Rakin Em In, Shock Drop or Roll; yeah, I’d be lying if I said this game’s minigames were flawless. Thankfully I can’t say that about any of the Mario Party games. However, much like Mario Party 1, it did introduce a lot of classics and was a really nice line-up.

Mario Party 2 is much like Mario Party 1 when it comes to side content. In fact, I’d almost say it’s entirely the same. They have another Mini-Game Stadium board and Mini-Game Coaster is essentially Mini-Game Island Version Two. Mini-Game Coaster is pretty challenging, and when you get to the later levels of the Hard course, it can get a little frustrating, but the first time I beat it on Hard Mode, it was definitely one of those very memorable moments in gaming for me and I feel the same way every time I get to it. Like in Mario Party 1, you could also buy the minigames and play them as much as you want in Mini-Game Park. Unlike Mario Party 1 though, the games are all very affordable and don’t take the same amount of grinding that Mario Party 1 did. There isn’t much to unlock, but I think that could also be a good thing because you can easily get everything out of the gate and have a lot to explore on your own time. It doesn’t match Mario Party 5’s extra content, but it’s very solid for what’s there.

So yeah, that’s why Mario Party 2 is my favorite Mario Party game. It does so many things right to the point where I can’t really even be too negative about the things it got wrong. I think in a list like this, that’s probably the sign of a masterpiece to come, so whenever someone asks me what my favorite Mario Party game is, I will always answer Mario Party 2.

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#2. Mario Party

#2. Mario Party

For #2, we have Mario Party 1. That’s right, the game that started it all is my second favorite Mario Party game. I’ve been playing Mario Party ever since the original game came out in 1999 and this is a game I still go back to, even to this day. A lot of people are kind of on the fence with this title though. Some claiming that the game is a little rough around the edges and not as polished as some of the other games. I do agree with this sentiment, and I am willing to admit there is a great deal of nostalgic bias that is no doubt going into my decision here, but I think the fact that I still play this game AND my #1 choice, 15 years after they initially came out, says a lot for how I feel about these games and how much fun I am still having with them. So how could I not put them in my Top 2? Sorry, just doing the logical math here guys.

So when talking about the first Mario Party game, I should be asking myself; why did I originally get this game? Well, to put it simply, I love board games, I thought the idea of a video game board game was a cool idea, the fact that it was a Mario game only sweetening the deal, it was a game I could play with my friends…how could I not get excited about this idea? When I first played this game, I was absolutely hooked. Heck, I only played a handful of multiplayer games compared to the hundreds and hundreds of single player games I did. It was just so much fun for me. The fact that I could completely dominate a game just by winning minigames, or I could make strategic moves and steal a victory by being clever enough with the tools I had at my disposal, just gave this game a lot replayability and variance where each playthrough could be a lot different from the last, and that’s what I love about it. But let’s focus a little more on the factors I’m judging on here.

First off, Mario Party 1 has the record for having the most playable boards in one game, having EIGHT. EIGHT BOARDS! Only Mario Party 5 comes close to that with 7 and I’m not even counting Mario Party 3 since I don’t consider the Duel Maps to be regular boards. That’s a different board every day of the week with still one board to spare. To me, that’s incredible. The boards are also pretty unique too. They all have the same objective of trying to obtain the most stars and coins, but the way you approach each board is going to be different from how you approach another board. Some boards are more linear than others and others will have you going all over the place. Each board is also themed around a specific playable character in the game, or at least 6 of the boards are. The 6 characters get their own boards, Bowser gets his own board because he is the bad guy, and Eternal Star is kind of its own thing, but it’s centered around the main theme of this game which is being the superstar, so I think it works. All of the boards themselves are pretty good in their own right, with the exception of Wario’s Battle Canyon. I’m sorry, but I just do not like this board. It relies too much on island hopping and having the reflexes of a madman when it comes to the space you want to land on, making the entire board feel like a luck-based chore in execution. Maybe not the worst Mairo Party board of all time, but it’s usually a board I will skip when I’m in a Mario Party mood and want to play a lot of Mario Party at one specific time.

For being the first Mario Party game, the board gameplay is pretty simple. Items haven’t been invented yet, there are really only 3 key board NPCs along with a bonus NPC for that particular board, and you’ll notice that turns will go by ridiculously fast. Sometimes a single turn will only last 20 seconds because you don’t move very far and events are pretty quick. Overall, I do like the quick pace of this game as it allows you to move through a game pretty quickly without spending a huge chunk of your day on just one game of Mario Party. And even with simple design and quick pace, there’s still quite a bit of substance the game offers. You’d be surprised how much strategy I put into this game to the point where just choosing a right or left direction at an intersection can impact so much in the long run, and that’s what I love about it.

Mario Party 1 also introduced some absolutely classic minigames, and even if there were some minigames you didn’t particularly care for, they at least paved the way for even better minigames down the road. We have Face Lift, Buried Treasure, Bumper Balls, Tipsy Tourney, Bombsketball…the list just goes on and on. The game does have Skateboard Scamper and the very infamous control-stick spinning minigames though, which caused many gamers INCLUDING MYSELF with the very unfortunate instance of developing a bruise or breaking skin on the palm of the hand. Yeah, admittedly, the lack of polish on this game does show at times, but it’s a thing I’m willing to overlook because it was the first game of this series and is something that would immediately be remedied by just using a better controller. I don’t know why Nintendo has been so afraid to release this on Virtual Console as the control sticks on both Gamecube controllers AND Classic Controllers are infinitely better than the N64 controller, and even these days, I don’t find myself having to spin as hard on the N64 controller anyway, so I think they are just scared for nothing. This game also had the infamous quirk of having people lose coins for losing specific minigames. This is something that I am glad gets fixed in Mario Party 2, but even then, I don’t find this quirk to be that frustrating. Although, to be fair, I don’t lose a lot of minigames either, so that’s not saying too much.

As far as side content, there isn’t really a lot here. There is Mini-Game Stadium, a small board where the results will more than likely just come down to who wins the most minigames. Mini-Game Island, a neat little single player experience where each minigame is a level on a Mario World-like grid and you try to make it to the end, and an Item shop where you can take your hard-earned coins and buy extra dice blocks for party mode, sound and music tests, and various other small things that you may or may not find worth it. My problem with the Item Shop is that some of the items are incredibly expensive and if you are a single player playing through the game, it’ll take you a very long time to unlock everything unless you do the controller trick where you turn every CPU player into a human player on the last turn and reap all the benefits. In fact, 2 of the 8 boards cannot even be played until you do a lot of this grinding, so unless you have some dedicated friends on board, you are probably going to resort to that trick I talked about.

So overall, Mario Party 1 is far from a perfect game, but for the first of its series, I absolutely loved what Hudsonsoft did with it and looked forward to any future iterations they would have down the road. And thankfully for me, near the end of 1999, a new game was announced, and that game took my love of Mario Party to the next level.

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#3. Mario Party 4

#3. Mario Party 4

And at #3 we have the final Gamecube game that’s yet to be listed; Mario Party 4. Mario Party 4 was a game that really got me excited about the Gamecube during its first full year of launch. On the way we had a new Mario game, a new Star Fox game, a new Metroid game and a new Zelda game. Not to mention, Super Smash Bros. Melee was already a huge success as it was. For me, the only other thing I wanted was a Mario Party, and when I first saw Mario Party 4, safe to say, I was blown away. The game looked as if it was on another level than the first Mario Party games. The graphics looked impressive, the minigames looked cool, the new items looked interesting. I was ready to get this game and play the hell out of it. Now, as you can see, it wasn’t the absolute masterpiece that I was hoping for, but it still definitely hit the mark pretty high up, at least in my opinion. So let’s get into why this game is worthy of being in the Top 3.

Now, I’m gonna get the negative stuff out of the way first. While the graphics were really nicely done and the game itself looks really well-polished, I was a little disappointed by the board design, and it’s kinda hard to describe why. The best way I can put it is that all the well-designed elements in the game kind of serve as background animation while the foreground is just an incredibly basic and plain board. It’s like, there is all this cool stuff happening in the background, yet in actual game, you’re just walking above it all, not really interacting with anything. I guess if I could make a comparison to another game, just look at Mario Party 5, where you climb up towers, jump over blocks, and just get involved with the world around you. I feel like in this game, it didn’t really matter what was in the background. It was just there. It looked cool, no question, but I would have liked to see a little more integration. This is still just a minor nitpick though.

With that being said, the boards themselves are fine as they are. Each board is unique with its own kind of gimmicks, different events you can access based on what part of the board you are on, and then there is the item system that works pretty well with the game too. The items are very similar to items that you would find in Mario Party 2 or 3, but they are not the same, exact items, which I appreciate. The developers went out of their way to change things up, but not in a way that made it too foreign or too stale. You have your standard movement items, your warp items, your stealing items; all the ones that have become classic items of the Mario Party formula. Mario Party 4 does put the spotlight on two specific items though; the Mini and Mega Mushrooms. These mushrooms are VITAL for getting around the board and accessing specific events and beating your foes to the star space. The Mega Mushroom turns your big and gives you more than one dice block. And as another bonus, whenever you pass someone, you squish them and take 10 coins. This may seem broken, but its counteracted by the fact that you can’t participate in most board events, use Boo to steal coins or stars, or even purchase a star from the star space, so you have to use it strategically so that you don’t miss out on more beneficial plays. The Mini Mushroom turns you small, gives you a 1-5 dice block only, but still allows you to do any event on the board, including going through mini-pipes to access remote areas on the board you can’t normally access, or participate in mini-events that can give you some pretty awesome items, a lot of coins, or even a star. You could say the game relies too much on this mini/mega system, and I can understand why, but I think the game handles it in a very good way where it has advantages to each and disadvantages as well. It’s also a nice change-up to the Mario Party formula without completely changing up the game like OTHER installments in the series did, so for that, it gets my respect.

The minigames are also pretty well done in this game as well. I gotta say, there are very few minigames in this game that I would call bad. Sure, there are a few I would rather not get when there are other alternatives available, but you take what you can get. I think it also helped that they removed Duel minigames in this game and focused a little more on the battle games; a wise decision considering that battle games are often a weak point when it comes to minigames due to the heavy potential losses at stake and how some of them rely heavily on luck. In this game, I can honestly say I don’t have a lot of issues here.

And to continue not having issues with things in this game, the side content is not bad either. First off, in my opinion, Mario Party 4 has the best Story Mode in any Mario Party game. You go straight through all the boards, play a minigame with the owner of each board, and then take on Bowser at the very end for glory in the name of being a Party Star. The boards feel long enough, I don’t feel like I get as cheated by the CPUs, and the only trouble spots seem to come at the board host minigames which you have infinite tries on anyway, so it’s really not a big deal. I wouldn’t say the other side content has as much flair as Mario Party 5, 6, or 7 did, but it had a few things worth checking out I think and that is what I think is important, as the main focus should be on the main part of the game anyway, with the side content being there as a bonus.

So overall, Mario Party had a pretty successful jump from N64 to Gamecube and I think the Gamecube games overall were a pretty strong era for the Mario Party series. They introduced a lot of cool features, and while I wouldn’t say any of the games are my all-time favorite, I can at least acknowledge that each individual game excelled in something. However, there are still 2 games left on my countdown and if you have been keeping track, the first two games haven’t been named yet. Which game will be runner-up? And which game will be the top spot? Let’s find out!

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#4. Mario Party 6

For #4 we have Mario Party 6, pretty much as expected from my last two analyses. To be honest, I’m actually kind of surprised this one made it so high up because I am very back and forth on this one. When I first got Mario Party 6, I was very impressed with all the improvements it made over Mario Party 5, pretty much taking everything I disliked about the capsule system, refining it into the much simpler orb and character space system, while also introducing some other unique mechanics as well. Over the years though, I find that I really don’t go back to this game very much, and I really don’t understand why. Like I said, it’s probably one of the more refined games of the series and I can’t really find a lot of faults with it. At the end of the day, I think it’s just because while the game is solid, there are just 3 games I enjoy playing a little more. And after all, remember, this list is not a reflection of what the best Mario Party game is, it’s my personal list of how I feel about them.

Getting back to that item system, as I said before, Mario Party 6 fixed all the issues I had with the capsule system of Mario Party 5. While essentially keeping many of the same events, they programmed them in a way where when you used an orb on a space, that space would become a character space with your image on it. That way, if you landed on it, the space wouldn’t activate and you would get a nice 5 coins for landing on it. If someone else landed on it, the event would happen, they would get screwed over, and you would get benefit of what they had to lose. I like this because it gives kind of an aura of Monopoly, where if you are smart and know how to use orbs effectively, you can completely cover the board with your spaces and reap a lot of the benefits. Some may argue that it doesn’t mean much, because if you see a character space coming up, you can just choose to go a different direction, but that’s why I said “being smart” about using the orbs. Try putting them in the path of upcoming stars, or make it so no matter what way they go, they land on a space of yours. Honestly, I like that aspect of this game and it’s a reason why I praise it so much. It’s different from what we are used to in a Mario Party game, but not too different.

As far as the actual boards are concerned, with exception to Snowflake Lake and maybe Clockwork Castle (I’m always kind of mixed on that one), honestly I like them a lot. Faire Square is awesome, E. Gadd’s Garage is pretty cool, Towering Treetop is a nice beginner board and Castaway Bay is pretty much Mario’s Rainbow Castle in an island beach setting. This is when Mario Party really started trying new things, mostly in terms in how stars are distributed and obtained. This is when fears of Mario Party starting to drift away from the classic formula started developing, but unlike 9 and 10 which completely changed things, at least the core objective didn’t change here. Get as many stars as possible and get as many coins as possible; and I think that’s absolutely fine if they try something new as long as that doesn’t change too much. I should also mention that the game has a day & night system, where every 3 turns, the time of day will switch on the board and different things will happen based on what setting it currently is. Night usually has a bit higher risk/reward scenarios while daylight is generally safer. But at the end of the day, I don’t really feel like the system impacts the game too much, and I mean that in a good way. Honestly I’d say it’s most annoying in Clockwork Castle where it literally switches direction of which way you are moving. But even then, there are ways to counteract that if you try to play smart.

When it comes to minigames, thankfully Mario Party 6 eased up on the luck minigames that Mario Party 5 incorporated, but there are still some very ugly offenders. Yeah, I’m talking about you Pitifall, aka: Get a Rope – Version 2.0. However, there are still some really cool ideas here. Another feature I’m actually quite enamored with is the fact that the day/night system of the game also impacts certain minigames as well. Some changes are as simple as just changing the species of Mario enemy you are collecting or fighting against, but others can change the entire dynamic of the minigame. In a 1 vs. 3 minigame, during the day, a team of 3 players may be trying to eliminate the single player, while at night, the single player may be trying to eliminate the team of 3. In another minigame, you may be climbing to the the top of a stage during the day, but trying to reach the bottom of the stage during the night. I like this because it makes one minigame feel like two different minigames, and I think that’s getting slightly more bang for your buck.

As far as side content is concerned, I can’t really go any further without mentioning the Nintendo Gamecube Mic accessory; a microphone peripheral that came with Mario Party 6 and 7 and allowed you to play a few microphone minigames and side games. The mic is not at all required for the game, you can play Mario Party 6 and 7 without it for the most part, but you can’t play the Mic content without it. Most of the games put the player with the microphone in a position where they speak vocal commands into the mic that will try to inconvenience the other players. It’s an interesting concept for sure, and it works, but I wouldn’t say it’s anything ground-breaking either.

The game also has a lot of the same type of side content as Mario Party 5 and 7 as well. It’s got some good modes, and that’s really all I need to say about it. Instead of a Story Mode, it has Solo Mode, a mode where you play three different linear boards and try to rack up coins and other goodies for a high score. This was an interesting take on a Solo Mode this time around, and honestly, I don’t hate it at all, but it is a bit one-dimensional in terms of execution. You basically stall, win as many minigames as possible, grab a slow shroom, and end the game one space before the final square.

When it’s all said and done, I can’t really be too negative about Mario Party 6. I don’t like Snowflake Lake, and there are a few features that seem a bit unnecessary, but I can’t really say I’ve ever had a bad time with this game. Overall, it’s just a really solid game and that’s why it’s in the Top 4.

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#5. Mario Party 7

#5. Mario Party 7

And with that, I think it’s time we move on to the upper-half of this list, and at #5 we have…Mario Party 7. Now, when it comes to Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7, it’s pretty much a toss-up for me. Mainly because I feel like the two games are very, very similar. Honestly, if it wasn’t for the day & night system of Mario Party 6, I’d probably be mistaking these two games A LOT. Heck, there are times when I get a Mario Party 5 minigame confused with these two games as well. However, these games had very short development cycles, and let’s be real, Hudsonsoft & Nintendo both knew that these games were going to sell because Mario was on the cover. With that being said though, despite having these short cycles, they are still pretty solid games in my opinion. But as far as what sets 7 apart from 5 & 6, let’s take a look.

As I’ve said before, Mario Party 6 made a lot of improvements to issues I had with Mario Party 5’s item system. And Mario Party 7 pretty much continues incorporating the same improvements. The only real new addition is the inclusion of character specific items, where when playing as a certain character, you have a chance to get an item that others will not be able to get. Most of these items are movement based with some secondary effect that will definitely benefit you in some way. Most of these items are pretty broken though, aside from maybe Wario and Waluigi’s item, which can be pretty crap if the luck gods are not in your favor. However, because they are very good and everyone has one, I wouldn’t say it improves or makes the game worse. I just feel kind of neutral about them.

As for the actual boards, this is probably where Mario Party 6 clenches victory over Mario Party 7 in the overall standings, because while I do like the idea for the boards in this game, due to very specific board events which eat up time and in general makes gameplay so much longer, some boards can absolutely drag on for really long periods of time. One of the main causes of this is Bowser Time, where every 5 turns, Bowser turns the spotlight on him and does a ridiculously long event that eats up precious minutes of your time. And even though I should be saving this for the minigames section of the analysis, this is also especially true of Bowser Spaces, which will more than likely take you to a Bowser Minigame, which are actually pretty fun games, but because of how long they take and due to the possibility of another character landing on one not long after, mixed in with ridiculously long board events, and Mic spaces, which take about a minute or two to wrap up as it is…some turns could end up taking you at least ten minutes to get through, and that’s such a huge pace breaker. Again, a lot of these events are actually fun, and I don’t mean to sound so negative about them, but they can just be time consuming sometimes, and that’s really my only issue with the board game aspect of Mario Party 7. The boards actually look really cool, even Pyramid Park which features the chain-chomp stealing mechanic I hated from 6. Plus, just the idea that each board is a representation of a real-world locale was kind of a neat idea. Again, I just wish the games didn’t take as long as they do in this particular game.

As far as minigames go, there’s not really a lot I have to say here, because overall, the list is pretty solid. There wasn’t anything I was particularly bothered by, but I’m not exactly praising the game for anything too spectacular either. It does have Camp Ukiki, which is probably the best duel minigame in the entire series (at least in my opinion) and it’s got some pretty unique ideas for minigames as well. And hey, that for a seventh installment is pretty impressive, you have to admit.

For side content, once again, this is going to be pretty brief. Don’t think it’s as good as Mario Party 5’s, but still pretty high up there. Again, these games had a lot of the same production values and are often confused for another one of the 3 games (5, 6 and 7). I did enjoy the somewhat recreation of Mini-Game Island in the form of King of the River, and the I did like the direction they went in with the Story Mode; giving you a somewhat unique objective based on each board’s individual mechanic. The one out of place thing in this game for me though was the 8-player mode. That’s right, this game did have an 8-player mode, but don’t get too excited if you were unaware of this existence. Even though 8-players are technically accounted for, it’s more like 2 players playing on the same controller as a team, where one player takes the buttons on the left side of the controller, and the other one takes the buttons on the right. There are some mini-game modes you can play, and you can also play on one of the 6 boards as a team as well, but I was not a fan of this mechanic. Sharing a controller in this fashion just felt very awkward and I did not see the appeal. Might be an interesting idea for a recording between me and the folks over at PuddlePlainsHD, but I dunno…this just felt way too gimmicky and unnecessary. I don’t think it’s something that will dock points away from this game compared to others, but it’s not doing the game any favors either. I just feel incredibly indifferent towards it.

So yeah, that pretty much does it for Mario Party 7. With all the similarities between the last two games on the list, can we expect to see Mario Party 6 next? Or did the game manage to score some other points over the other remaining 3 titles? Let’s find out…

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#6. Mario Party 5

#6. Mario Party 5

With #6 we reach a Mario Party title that I feel has a lot of extreme opinions on both sides. In other words, I know people who really love this game and I know people who are easily annoyed by this game. I’m more in the neutral crowd, because when it comes to Mario Party 5, while there are things that disappoint me, there are equally a lot of things I really love about it too, so middle of the road seems like a perfect place for this one.

When looking at the boards of Mario Party 5, the thing that immediately connects with me is the fact unlike the first four games of the series, in this one you’re not just walking on a flat board with several pathways. The developers integrated the boards in a way where the characters kind of interact with the background a little bit, so if there was a ladder in your path, you’d climb up the ladder and if there were little pitfalls in between spaces, your characters would jump over them. It’s a very miniscule change that doesn’t really influence gameplay too much, but it’s still a nice little feature that I remember from the first time I played this game. In a way, it kind of pulls me into the game a little more and was a nice inclusion.

And speaking of development, MY GOD, did they make a lot of changes in this game, particularly to the item system. Now, here is where I feel like Mario Party 5 made a big mistake, a mistake they later fixed with Mario Party 6 and 7, but for this game, this is probably the sole reason why this game doesn’t make it into the Top 5 or even Top 3 for me. The capsule system was completely chaotic, in all the worst ways possible. It introduced this mechanic where you could lay a capsule on a space (or yourself) and it would give that space an effect. Most of these were negative, as they are meant for your opponents to land on them and have something bad happen to them. However, if you landed on the space, that effect would happen to you as well, so it’s kind of a risk-reward scenario. You could argue that it makes the game a little more interesting and a bit more open-ended with who will benefit from the causes, but another problem I have is that as the game goes on, in a lot of cases you will have no idea what space is what, making the effects feel pretty random. There are some obvious spaces, like the Chain Chomp and the Koopa Bank, but whenever you see a coin space, something will happen with your coins. If you see a capsule space, something will happen with your capsules, and so on and so forth. You just don’t know what’s going to happen, and in most cases when I’m trying to win, that can be pretty frustrating. I don’t like paying attention to every single item that gets thrown down on each individual space, especially when the game gives you so many to begin with. With all that being said though, I do think the developers had the right idea. The orb/capsule system of the Gamecube games is my favorite item system in the whole series. Mario Party 5 just had a really rough start with it, but I’ll get into that more when I talk about Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7.

While I’m at it, notice how I haven’t really been talking much about the boards, but moreso talking about the items? That’s because I love the boards in this game, but the item system completely overshadows the boards, which is kind of a shame. There are a lot of really cool board themes and all the boards are honestly really well designed. The items just kind of take over the game a little bit. It’s like…suppose you have a delicious cake, but someone puts a bunch of blueberries on top over the entire cake. If you like blueberries, that’s great, but if you don’t, you’re probably going to spend more time picking off the blueberries than you are going to be enjoying the cake, and that can be kind of disappointing. It’s why I really wish this game had the item system of 6 and 7, because if it did, this could easily be one of my top favorite Mario Party games.

Moving on to the minigames, this game had a very weird obsession with luck-based minigames. I think of all the Mario Party games, this one probably had the highest percentage of luck-based games, most of which happen in Duel minigames, which are the ones that arguably have the highest stakes involved. Not only that, but I also feel like a lot of the minigames lack substance as well, and I think the biggest example of that is the game “Get a Rope,” probably my least favorite minigame in the entire series. Not only is it a luck-based minigame, but it’s also a game with the most ridiculous and laughable concept, where you pull a rope and someone wins. That’s absolutely dreadful and I hate when Mario Party does that. Not only does it throw skill out the window entirely, it’s just freaking lazy and only serves to frustrate people. If I ever got into a Duel Minigame when Get a Rope was a choice, and if stars were on the table for me to lose, I would freaking go off the deep end faster than any one-coin loss (and yes, I had to mention that during the Mario Party 5 section). On the positive side though, this game does have Mario Mechs and Hydrostars though, two very excellent minigames, but that’s really all I feel like mentioning as far as pros are concerned.

Moving on to even more positive notes, Mario Party 5 probably has the best collection of side content of any Mario Party game. The Mini-Game Mode is filled with loads of different modes, each one pretty unique from the others. My favorite one to play is Mini-Game Wars where you have to come prepared for the fight of your life…at least as far as minigames are concerned. The Extras Mode is also nice, featuring Volleyball, Ice Hockey and fan-favorite mode Card Party. I don’t know why, but whenever I hear about side games in this game, Card Party is a name that seems to come up a lot. But hey, to be fair, I like a good game of Card Party as well, despite how simple it is. The only mode that seems out of place is Super Duel Mode, which isn’t an extension of Mario Party 3’s Duel Mode, but rather a mode where you build your own mechanized vehicle and use it to take out…other mechanized vehicles. So freaking out of place…

So overall, as I’ve said, Mario Party 5 is a game that had a lot of potential, a lot of potential that was just kinda misplaced. If they refined the item system like they did in Mario Party 6, and if they worked a little more on the minigames, I think this easily would have been one of the best party games of all time. It’s probably why I’m being a little easy on it and putting it at #6 as opposed to #8, but as I’ve mentioned before, these middle five ranks could easily be swapped around in a number of a ways.

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#7. Mario Party 8

#7. Mario Party 8

And now that we’re at #7 it’s time to go back to the latter half of the series because next on my list is Mario Party 8. Mario Party 8 was the last game to stick to the traditional style of Mario Party and honestly, it is a game I am actually quite fond of for what it is. It also happened to be the first Mario Party game to integrate the functionality of the Wiimote, and while I do think Mario Party 9 perfected it, I don’t think Mario Party 8 missed the mark that much either. As a side note, I do think Mario Party 8 has the most unique look to a Mario Party game. It looks like the developers put a lot of work into the graphical presentation of the game to make it look somewhat evolved from the Gamecube installments, which all looked pretty similar. Everything in this game, with exception to the characters, looks quite impressive and almost a bit realistic…as realistic as you can get in a Mario game anyway. And for that, I have to give the game props. However, that criteria is not going to be a factor in my analysis for this game, but it was something I felt like pointing out because it’s not something that really gets called attention to much.

As for the boards, I do quite enjoy a majority of the boards that were introduced in this game. In fact, with exception to King Boo’s Haunted Hideaway and maybe Bowser’s Warped Orbit, all of the boards are pretty solid and pretty unique in terms of how you approach your objective. One of the boards is just a giant linear path forward and almost a race to see who can get to the end while using items and board events to make your run faster or more advantageous. Koopa’s Tycoon Town is also pretty interesting because it’s more about investing in and improving property that will ultimately give you stars for being the highest investor. All in all, Mario Party was already kind of changing the formula at this point, and a majority of these ideas were already used in Mario Party 6 and 7, but Mario Party 8 did a pretty good job of at least making boards that used these mechanics quite well. And for that, I have to give credit where credit is due. Also, the item system, or rather, candy system, was actually kind of fun to play around with. It wasn’t as extensive as it was in the previous two Mario Party games, but it at least had something unique and charming for what I was. Plus, looking at all the different forms of all the characters was kind of cool aspect of the game as well.

Moving on to the minigames, while I think this game did all right with the boards, I kinda feel like the minigames lost a little bit in the evolution from Gamecube to Wii. While I do think the Wii motion controls are responsive and they work very well, there’s just something that bugs me about them when it comes to this game. There are some games where the Wii Motion just doesn’t work as optimally as it could, and by that I don’t necessarily mean in terms of making the game too difficult, but there are also cases where the Wii motion just makes the games too easy. For some games, all you have to do is just wildly shake the Wiimote around and you pretty much win. It just feels like they spent too much time trying to integrate the Wii Motion when they really didn’t have to. Hence, another reason I bring up Mario Party 9’s minigames as being better than this ones. Nintendo just seems to have that habit though, feeling like every game needs to integrate every feature of a console in order to be acceptable, when really, people just want to have a good game to play; a game they can get into without feeling limited or restricted to playing in a certain way. Back to the minigames though; another reason why I don’t rank the game too highly is just the fact that, there aren’t a lot of minigames that come to mind when I think of great minigames from this title. There are if I look at a list or look at pictures of the game again, but an absolutely great minigame doesn’t need a reference because you remember it.

Finally, as far as extra content is concerned, I don’t think this game achieves anything great, nor do I think it fails either. If for some reason you don’t have Wii Sports, there’s a Bowling game you can play. Moped Mayhem can be good for a few laughs as WAY TOO MANY Mario characters get on mopeds and race around different tracks, and the game also features a lot of the same extra content (with upgrades to this game’s engine and with this game’s minigames) that was featured in the Gamecube era titles as well.

So overall, if you have a Wii or Wii U and don’t have a Gamecube controller, you really can’t go wrong with Mario Party 8. But as you can see from the list so far, I mean, we haven’t seen a single Gamecube title yet, and knowing that all 4 of them will be on here no matter what, safe to say, I would recommend them a little more over this title. However, if you have no other options, I wouldn’t say you are scraping the bottom of the barrel either. It may be only #7 on the list, but to me, I absolutely love Mario Party and to be frank, we still have a few games to go before I feel like my decisions get easier to make again.

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#8. Mario Party 3

#8. Mario Party 3

And for #8, prepare the salt because I know some people are going to be very up in arms about this; we have…Mario Party 3. Ok, so before you throw your N64 controllers at me, allow me to explain. Like I said in the intro, the top of the list and the bottom of the list was the easiest part of the list to do. Making a decision between the middle five was an absolute nightmare. So while I was looking at all the criteria and weighing out the different possibilities, Mario Party 3 had the common denominator, at least in my opinion, of not really scoring very high in any area of the game. Not saying that it scored low or was the absolute worst in any criteria, but there was no one area that I was incredibly mesmerized by, and I think that holds a lot of water in doing a ranking video like this one. I think I’d grade it very similarly to choices I picked #4-#7, but in looking at all the nitty-gritty details, this is what made it to the bottom of the giant clump of games in question. So while I know some of you might be angry about this choice, it’s my opinion, and if you disagree, please do so in a constructive, but kind manner.

As far as my reasons for why this game is so low, let’s go through all the points, starting with the board game play. In the interest of time, I’m going to try and go through this as quickly and concisely as possible. The boards themselves, honestly, I just don’t find them to be all that interesting; the one exception being Waluigi’s Island. The only reason I can give this board a pass is you pretty much know the type of board you are going to be playing the moment you select it. Waluigi isn’t exactly winning any Pulitzer prizes for being a straight-up honest guy, and if Hudonsoft was going to make a board where there is nothing but absolute chaos, you may as well as go all out and that is exactly what they did. Aside from that, you have your standard snow board, desert board, water board, forest board and cave board, all tropes that are handled in other Mario Party games and handled better in my opinion. Again, it’s not bad, but it’s not really that great either. One thing I will give credit to Mario Party 3 for doing was introducing the 3-item system, where you could hold up to 3 items instead of just one, like in Mario Party 2. While I feel like Mario Party 2 didn’t need three items, it’s always nice to have extra options, and I’m willing to admit that. For me though, I really only find a handful of the items that useful and some of them only being good to have in very specific circumstances. I think the one thing that really does kind of kill my motivation when playing Mario Party 3, is really just the randomness. Which, I know is kind of a weird thing to say, just because it’s a board game with a lot of randomness already programmed into the game, but I’m moreso speaking in terms of how that randomness is delivered to the player. There are SO MANY THINGS that can just mess with the flow of a game in a matter of seconds. Whether it’s the awkward-to-time Action Time events, Hidden Blocks, random board events, the results of an item questionnaire, Game Guy…OH MY GOD! GAME GUY! Never have I hated a Shy Guy this much as I hate this jerk who can take every single coin you own, throw you into a luck-based minigame and toss all of your hard-earned cash down the toilet, when you have NO WAY to even choose otherwise. It’s just frustrating! I understand wanting to make a game where anyone can feel like they can win, but there should be some kind of balance here, a balance I personally think was more evident in other titles, and if not, still felt more tolerable than in this game. But again, that’s just my opinion. If you’re able to tolerate the chaos and thrive in it, more power to you.

As far as the minigames are concerned, I think we have an interesting case here. Honestly, I think Mario Party 3 has some of the best minigames in the entire series. Chip Shot Challenge, Mario’s Puzzle Party, Water Whirled, Picture Imperfect, Toadstool Titan; absolute classics that would be impossible to leave off of any list. On the flip side though, the game also features some minigames that can be absolutely unplayable. Cheep Cheep Chase, Bounce N’ Trounce, Bowser Toss, Motor Rooter, Stacked Deck, Merry Go Chomp; games that still give me issues and annoyances to this day. So it’s like, as much as I want to give this game a higher rating, there is always something that just kind of brings it down again. I guess you could almost say that Mario Party 3 was a very experimental Mario Party in a lot of respects, especially when we get to the next paragraph, but as far as what I’ve talked about so far, I just feel like there is way too much hit or miss going on.

Finally we have the extra content, which for Mario Party 3, definitely put a lot of faith in the Duel Mode. Not to be confused with the ultimate mech battles of Mario Party 5’s Super Duel Mode, this duel mode was more about two players visiting a small board and battling each other with classic Mario enemies while competing against each other in duel minigames along the way. Honestly, this feature was pretty well implemented in the game, and during my first experiences with the game back in 2001, I really did spend a lot of time playing this mode because I thought the idea was actually kind of cool. These days though, I can’t really say I have the same opinions. I think it is fun for what it is, but I don’t think it’s really enough to save itself from the issues I do have with this game. This was also the first game to introduce a Story Mode into Mario Party, which was a nice little attempt to play through tiny samples of the Party Mode and Duel Mode, but to be quite honest, I much preferred Mario Party 4’s rendition a bit more. It was shorter and had a bit less randomization to it.

So yeah, at the end of it all, I don’t hate Mario Party 3. Honestly, I can’t really say I hate any of the games on this list. It’s just the fact that of the games that follow the traditional and classic Mario Party gameplay, this is the game I had the most issues with. It’s still a game I can play and go back to every now and then, but there are many other games that I would choose to go back to first, and I think that’s what is important in a list like this.

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#9. Mario Party 9

#9. Mario Party 9

Moving on to #9, we have…Mario Party 9! Now, I’m sure this is also not a very big shocker to a lot of people because even though Mario Party 10 scored very low ranks, a lot of people kind of blame Mario Party 9 for starting that trend of declination. While I do agree to a very small extent, I’m willing to give Mario Party 9 a pass because at least the game knew what it wanted to be. Mario Party 10 missed a lot marks just because it tried so hard to include little bits of everything, but the “everything” was so watered down that it felt very unremarkable in comparison. So in other words, I would choose Mario Party 9 as a whole over the Party Mode in Mario Party 10.

Now, with all that being said, yes, I do prefer the classic style of Mario Party over the newer “everybody in car” system. However, I do think the modern system can work in doses and I think Mario Party 9 does a very good showing of that. The boards are tailored around the game’s gimmick very well, each board has something unique and interesting going for it, and although I would say quite a bit of luck is required, moreso than other Mario Party games, skill in minigames and a small bit of strategy is still required as you make your way to the end of the board. I think it also helps that these boards are longer than the Mario Party 10 boards, so even though there is luck involved, at least you have some time to make up the difference if you get a bad start. I would have almost like to have seen a “# of Cycles” option as well, where you have the chance to go through the board a number of times before the game ends, almost akin to selecting the number of turns in a classic Mario Party game. I think that could have easily fixed a lot of the problems people tend to have with this style of play, mainly because the games are just too short and sometimes all it takes is one board event to pick the winner.

The minigames were also pretty solid as well. One of my main issues with Mario Party 8 was that the Wii Motion was a bit too integrated with a lot of the games, and in somes cases, very clumsily implemented. With Mario Party 9, after a few years of experience with the console I imagine, the games feel a lot better to control, and in a lot of cases, they stick to just using the Wiimote as a controller, which works because the Wiimote is simple and easy to manage. As usual, there are some games that I hate, but I feel like that’s going to be a recurring statement for every game, so let’s try not to put a lot of emphasis on that.

The side content in Mario Party 9 was also a lot better too, compared to Mario Party 10 I mean. I wouldn’t place it near the top, as I don’t think there was anything too incredible, but there were some things that were good for a few thrills. So while this game only scored one place higher over 10, if I were to actually review this game, I think that 9 would easily score several points over 10 for sure. It’s not the type of gameplay I want for a Mario Party game, but it was still able to give me some enjoyment with it as well, and I think that is what is most important here. It’s for this reason I was actually really optimistic and interested in Mario Party: Star Rush. Trying something new doesn’t have to be harmful for a video game series, as long as the developers stay confident in what they are releasing.

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