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.