Mario Party 9 is the newest addition to the Mario Party family. With new characters, options, and needed updates, will the game live up to the expectations of the different generations of fans? I, being an avid Mario Party player, will guide you through the ups and downs of Mario Party 9. Get ready to party!
Console: Nintendo Wii
Original Release Date: 3/2/12 (EU), 3/8/12 (AUS), 3/11/12 (NA), 4/26/12 (JP)
Developer: ND Cube
ESRB Rating: E
In Mario Party 9, you and up to three other players can simultaneously participate in a party. First, you must select one of several different characters ranging from old staples like Mario and Luigi to newcomers like Koopa Troopa. After choosing a character, you must select one of seven uniquely themed stages to play on. Unlike past Mario Party games, Mario Party 9 will not allow you to select the number of turns that you would like to play; instead, each party will lasts about 45 minutes. Another new feature in Mario Party 9 is the requirement of no longer needing to play with a computer player. This is a hugely new aspect of both Mario Party 9 and the entire Mario Party franchise. After you finalize your settings, it’s time to party!
At the beginning of each stage, you are greeted by a yellow toad that will answer any questions you may have about the board you chose. You progress through the game inside of the same vehicle as the other players that you are playing with. This is a huge departure from previous Mario Party games where everyone simply went their separate ways along the game board. You remain inside of the vehicle throughout the game while fighting to gain the most Mini Stars and avoiding the accumulation Zstars (dark Mini Stars which deduct points). The player with the most Mini Stars wins the party. If you do not win enough Mini Stars throughout the course of the game, you are able to win bonus stars at the end of the game for doing specific things such as using the most special dice or winning the most mini-games. However, to reach the end, you must play through the party.
When it is your turn, you become the captain of the vehicle. You roll a die and move the amount of spaces rolled. You can land on several different type of spaces. These spaces include dice spaces which allow you to pick up a special die, a Bowser space, or even a mini-game space. Unlike other Mario Party games, there is no bonus mini-game at the end of every round. Mini-games can only be played when a mini-game space is landed on or a mini-game is found inside a dice box. Regardless, the player whose turn it is when a mini-game is activated chooses the mini-game that will be played.
As with each new Mario Party game, there are new mini-games. There are over 80 new mini-games, and each mini-game is different. These games range from memorization to racing, and much more. Rather than each game requiring the motion control that Wii remote offers, you are able to play most games with the actual buttons of the remote. At the conclusion of the mini-game, you win mini-stars.
A special aspect of Mario Party 9 is that you partake in Boss Battles to proceed through the board. These Boss Battles pit the members of the vehicle against a Mario universe villain (Bowser, Dry Bones, King Boo, etc) in mini-games that are worth more mini stars than normal mini-games. The larger payout and the overall fun of these special mini-games add to the excitement of playing Mario Party 9. Shortly after the Boss Battle, the party is finished. At the completion of every party, you earn Party Points, which can be spent on special items in the Museum.
Though Party Mode is Mario Party’s focal point, there are four other modes, in which, you are able to have multiplayer and solo fun. Solo mode is basically Party Mode for people to play alone. Through Solo Mode, you can unlock new stages and characters. Mini-game mode allows you to play mini-games freely, but also allows you to partake in Time Attack which allows you to race against the clock and attempt to see how many mini-games you are able to complete. Additionally, there is Step it Up which allows you to race against friends to see who can win a certain amount of mini-games the fastest. Extras Mode allows you to play even more mini-games such as Shell Soccer and Goomba Bowling. There is even a Perspective Mode which allows you to play mini-games from a different perspective. Finally, there is a museum where Party Points are used to purchase new vehicles and Mario Party related knickknacks.
The graphics of Mario Party 9 are mind-blowing. They are superior to any current Mario Party game. Seconds after you push the power button on your Wii, you are greeted by your typical game channel, looking more wonderful than ever. When you proceed to click into Mario Party 9, you view the title screen. Though you always see Mario and his pals, each title screen gets better and better. The colors and overall aesthetics of Mario Party 9 make the experience more enjoyable and happy.
The music of Mario Party 9 are bright and match the tone of the graphics, but may irritate players that might feel that it is too happy and repetitive. However, it is easy to avoid listening to it if you find that it bothers you.
All in all, Mario Party 9 is a fun party game to play. Its improved mini-game controls make the mini-games shine more than in Mario Party 8. The addition of Boss Battles and vehicles makes Mario Party 9unique, but also makes the game seem unlike a board game which is a Mario Party’s core. The vehicles, though a creative idea, may make you and the other partygoers, seem stuck and crowded in the same area as other players. The Mini Stars are very different than past Mario Party games and fail to replace coins, a loved aspect of both Mario Partygames and the Mariofranchise as a whole. The removal of orbs also removed well-loved competitiveness that came with sabotaging your fellow players’ game. Mario Party 9 has many aspects that are different than other Mario Party games, but like all Mario Party games, offers a fun experience for all families and friends everywhere. Though Mario Party 9 is not my favorite Mario Party game, it will gladly join my shelf of Mario Party games and hopefully yours too!
Mario Party 9 receives an 8 out of 10.