Review

Mario Party 4 (GCN)

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Mario Party has a good following, this being it’s fourth version of the game.

Being a party game its best played with more than one person. You can play with computer players but the AI is terrible and you’ll find you will win very easily. Each player chooses a character and they get placed on the “game board,” which is similar to a boardgame. Players take turns to roll the dice and move along the board. Each square has different properties; it could give the player that lands on it coins, steal coins from them or it could even be an event tile such as a shop to buy items at or a shortcut to another part of the board.

After each of the players has moved, there is a mini-game in which all the players perform in. The colour they have landed on will determine whether it is a free-for-all game, a 2-on-2 game or a 3-on-1 game.

The mini-games range in quality from games that are really pathetic and boring to play, such as a button pushing game that at random kills off a player, to games that are quite good such as running around inside a book and as the pages turn you have to see where the holes are and make sure that you get through it as the page closes.

In theory this game should be great, I mean it carries the name of Nintendo’s flagship character, Mario. It’s disappointing to see it fail so dismally.

The main problem that I have with this game is that each player’s individual turn can take up to three minutes (a long time when you’re playing with four people) and all the other players have no input and just have to sit around and wait. Another disturbing part of this game is the shockingly long load times for the mini-games! Come on, this is meant to be a GameCube title, it is not supposed to have any load time, and now we are waiting around while it loads up a mini-game of all things!

The mini-games themselves are even more reason to despise the game. There are maybe five or six that are good, the rest are so random that it’s a waste of time to play them, the game should just choose a winner and award them the coins.

Another thing is that towards the end of the game, the gameplay gets juggled up so much that all of what you achieved in the first three quarters of the game means nothing. The main objective is to collect coins and then buy stars (the stars act like points) but at the end of the game, players randomly get stars for landing on a square on the block, or a wheel spins and everyone’s stars move over to the next player. It’s insane, I really cannot understand how something like this passed the play testers! No before that, the game designers, what were they thinking?
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Pros: It has Nintendo characters.
Cons: Where do I begin? Too many to mention.

Final thought: One word can sum up this game, disappointing. I always say that if Nintendo puts its name behind one of its games it is sure to be great, but then a game like this comes along and totally throws off my theory! Sad but true, this game is bad and even if you see it in a bargain bin – avoid it.


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