Does the 10th installment of the festive Mario Party series make you want to raise your hands in the air like you just don’t care?
The short answer? Sometimes.
In particular, three games really rock. Bowser himself is a kooky, semi-fearsome behemoth who sometimes lurches and leaps at you from above as if you’re in a movie action scene. While playing as the big beast via the Wii U Game Pad, Bowser’s Bad Breath asks you to defeat players as he spews his awesome fireballs.
Then, Painball sees the growling dragon trying to hit the others on a wide field filled with flippers, bumpers and a Bowser-controlled spiked pinball. Clawful Climb is true button mashing mayhem. You have to press the Game Pad’s triggers a bunch of times according to the numbers that appear on the screen. Do it right and you’ll smash others with your mammoth hands as they scale a skyscraper.
Using the Game Pad has rarely been such a joy. The only other great use of the Game Pad has been during Nintendoland, a game published when the Wii U debuted in 2012.
There’s also the impressive amiibo functionality. With nine amiibo boards, there’s plenty of fun for the tiny figures. In fact, a Mario figure comes with a Mario Party 10 bundle (which costs $10 more than just the game, saving you about $3 if you bought them separately)
The idea of the amiibo boards is to beat your friends by accumulating the most stars, but going around and around the small board iskind of monotonous. Adding the popular plastic figures does add more gameplay. But you have to tap the amiibo on the Game Pad a lot to use it. That can get annoying if you have four players playing and tapping. I really wished I could use my amiibo more during the main board games, too.
Of the five main boards, two standout. Mushroom Park re-imagines an amusement park and Haunted Trail offers some mildly scary delights like a graveyard and King Boo as the final boss. Along the way, you’ll find extras like a shop to buy newcharacters and vehicles (like a locomotive). Purchase them with the stars you’ve won. And in Toad’s Room, your Mario can mug for the camera in a Photo Studio.
There have been so many Mario Party games that Nintendo really needed to add something completely new the series to make this a cut above. The truth is, there’s so much more that they could have experimented with. Sure, the game is enjoyable and sometimes lots of fun. But it’s not a truly great game. It needs more innovation. It needs to make us feel like we’re not only in the world of Mario Party. It needs to have games that feel like they’re inspired by some of the cool things happening in our real world right now. It needs to break the mold.
|Mario Party 10
(Nintendo, Wii U)
Replay Value: 8.5
Overall Score: 8.1
Pros: Bowser Party rocks, Use your amiibo, 70 mini games.
Cons: Long load times, needs more new stuff, no online play.