Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2).

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I have returned fellow SamaGameeros, to bring you the conclusion of this analysis to one of my favorite sagas from all over the world, one that was once so entertaining, but is now in decline. One that can cause all kinds of emotions in us. Obviously I’m talking about … Mario Party!

Okay, I’ll stop the nonsense a bit. I haven’t made any new contributions since the last year (sorry) and I don’t want to leave this topic in the air for a long time, so here is part 2, which will include all the remaining games in the franchise, minus the 3DS ones as already I said before. And since I have nothing to clarify this time … Let’s continue the party !!

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

Mario Party Advance

The party is over …

Oh well, I have to continue. But this game is, is, very boring. Let’s go in parts. It was released in 2005 for the GameBoy Advance (obviously) and its big problem stems from that. Remember how “fun” MPs are playing alone? Well, this game comes almost completely in that format since to have multiplayer in the GBA you needed at least two of these with two copies of the same game and a Link cable. So this option is almost non-existent in this title. How do you make up for it? It actually doesn’t. There are few characters, a decent amount of minigames to play alone, and a strange adventure mode. The latter consists of going through a SINGLE and colossal board, in a car (Hmm, it sounds to me) buying objects, playing minigames and completing submissions to finally … I don’t know. I’m sorry, but the game bored me very quickly and I couldn’t find any information on the net.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

In fairness, this MP is somewhat entertaining as its minigames are well made for GBA and it really tries to be a good single player experience, but at least in my opinion it doesn’t quite pull it off and doesn’t really compare to the experience. to play in company. Next.

Mario Party 7

With this title I have different opinions, because on the one hand it is a game that came out shortly after 6 and that hardly innovated anything, but it seems to me one of the best MPs that there has been. Why? Well…

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

At first, it has a host of new characters, items, and minigames. And of course the latter shine with fun and quality. There are also a large number of game modes such as the classic party, free mode, challenges, puzzles, etc. But that is not all. Another thing that makes this title stand out is the handling of its subject matter. So that you understand me, I will summarize the story: Master Kinopio invites Mario and his friends on a world cruise trip, Bowser sees them and since he has nothing better to do, he follows them to “ruin the party” (ehhhh ). Although it seems inconsequential, the history of these games gives them an identity and a direction as it defines some maps, mechanics and the environment in general, as it happens in this case. All the menus and screens outside of the boards are located on the cruise to give the theme more feel and also, each board is based on a famous place (no copyright). Hollywood, China, etc. All have their own style and mechanics, as well as a great level of detail, which together with the above make them a much more memorable game than their predecessors. In closing, I mention that there is an EIGHT PLAYER mode (before it was popular). And no, it is not with 8 controls. Actually, each player has half command, something quite rare but that somehow works to make the party EVEN weirder, although that is; the amount of things that can be done in this mode is limited.

In conclusion, it is a great game in the saga with many hours of fun for the whole family, but in the end it is not very innovative and honestly, it is not worthy of the number 7.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

Mario Party DS

What to expect after the GBA PM? Well, a VERY GOOD game, not only for maintaining the good level of fun and excitement of the saga, but also for recovering something from the first installments that I considered lost and raising it TO THE TENTH POWER.

That was what he did? Let’s see, it’s a “small” game, made for a portable console, right? Well, absolutely EVERYTHING in this title revolves around that theme. The story is very typical, Mario and company are calm until … and Bowser does his thing, but this time he shrinks everyone in the style of several Hollywood movies. And what do they do with this? Let all the scenarios take place in small places, such as a garden, a music room, etc. The game takes great care of its theme, both here and in its minigames. Seriously, 90% of these play with the theme of being small in so many ways that, better look at the image …

And speaking of these, THEY ARE FANTASTIC. I’m sorry to use so many capital letters, but most of them feel very fresh not only because of the theme, but also because of the mechanics, since there are many games, both new and old, and also several use the stylus and the microphone to work. Even the story mode is great, with various mini-stories, fast-forwarding, and some excellent boss fights (right? MP10). The title is very careful with all its elements, and in my opinion it does not lack or spare anything. This is what for me had been lost with the move to the GameCube and that I am glad that it flies for MP DS: an identity and a creative spirit eager to work.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

Although, that doesn’t save the game from having some glitches. For starters, this content is somewhat limited, unlike MP7 and you need several consoles (although only one cartridge) for multiplayer. But all of this can be forgiven, being a DS game. Something that I do think could be improved was the intelligence of the CPU, because with some practice it is quite easy to win all the minigames when you are alone, that is almost always. Anyway, great, great, GREAT game (irony) for the DS and one of the best MPs ever. Too bad his desktop brother was not very good.

MP 8

Released in 2007 (same as DS), this game is important for 2 reasons: it was the first in the series for the wii and also the last made by Hudson Soft. But what about the other titles? I’ll explain later. The important thing is that these two installments were something like the farewell of the company, in several ways and … How did he do it?

Acceptable? To begin with, it presents the same lack of innovation as other deliveries. Also, the minigames in general are more boring, although I will give you points for trying to use the wii controller in some of them, but with worse results those of the DS stylus. The most notable are the objects and boards. The first to simplify the concept, replacing the capsules with “candy”, which is not bad, because in MP7 although fun, there were too many objects. Moving on to the boards, they are quite varied and entertaining, but they also use ideas from the latest installments so they don’t feel too fresh. Otherwise, add characters, make some slight changes, etc. It’s just another MP.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

Sorry to be pessimistic, but the saga did not give more of itself, because even the game of DS is partly more of the same. And although MP8 is passable, it does not stop feeling that the formula is already spent. It seemed the saga could no longer innovate, but …

MP 9

This game, produced and released by Nintendo itself in 2012 (5 years after MP8) came to revive the saga. Yes I know, many did not like the change, but I think they underestimate this title and now I explain why, but first; Hudson Soft stopped making games in the series because it was absorbed by Konami, but Nintendo had certain “rights”, so it decided to make its own vision of the series and this was the result:

MP9 introduced big changes to the formula, because now on all boards you advance along a semi-straight path until you reach the end. How do you play? Well, all the players get on the same vehicle in which they took turns to shoot and instead of coins and stars, the objective is to gather more mini-stars than the rest to finally become the great SUPER-STAR (euphoria). In addition, there are a couple of “boss” minigames in the middle and end of each board where you compete, more than with the latter, with the other players to get mini-stars, which gives you a little more variety at the start. Because, in general it is a simpler formula. Even the items were limited to just dice. And this simplicity is what the most critical people, which I understand but, looking at it well, an important change, although not as good as the previous thing, sometimes it is better than stagnating in the same thing. And the game, is it still fun? Of course yes.

The minigames improved a lot compared to their predecessor (who better than Nintendo to work with the wiimote) and the games have once again felt fresh and entertaining, although with some problems, such as the lack of strategy or that they can become somewhat boring due to the linear structure of the boards, but they are things that could be fixed, if his successor had not screwed up. In general, MP9 is a much simpler and funnier game than the last installment (desktop) but which still lacked maturity.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

MP 10: Bowser Party

I had a strange relationship with this game. When they showed it and I saw what it offered I was excited and when I tried it it was very disappointing. But now that I have replayed it I realize that it has certain merits. Well, let’s go in parts.

What did they do right? At first, the boards are quite creative and varied. I had a lot of fun on the boats and at Bowser Castle. By the way, in this game there are three main modes: Mario party, Bowser party and “AMIIBO”. The first is the same as in MP9, but Bowser’s party puts an interesting twist on the formula by turning it into a 1 vs 4 survival race where one player controls, surprise, Bowser. When it reaches us we play against him, and then we continue, losing “life” depending on how it went there. The joke here is to get to the finish line before losing all lives (4). The third emulates a board game and at the same time a classic Mario Party using the amiibos as tokens and it is quite fun. Otherwise acceptable graphics / sound and entertaining minigames, but somewhat slow.

What did they do wrong? Most. Look, all three modes are good IDEAS, but Nintendo has executed them poorly. The first is still linear and not very strategic, and the second is EVEN MORE simple, since it only consists of running away from Bowser and little else, since there is hardly any interaction with the board and it becomes boring after a couple of sessions. The amiibo mode would have no problem except because you NEED ONE to play and if you can’t hold it. I really don’t like this type of “DLC” and here they use it somewhat badly. In addition, its boards are too simple, something understandable for being an “extra” mode but that takes away some grace to the games. In general, it feels like this game was not made lovingly, as there is not even a story mode.

Analysis: Mario Party Saga (part 2)

I know it seems a little trivial, but this is important, because it represents the current focus of the franchise and here you can see that they wanted to make a title with fast and accessible games, and I understand that, but it seems to me that they have discarded part of the identity of the series and have simplified it so much that it loses its appeal to a larger audience, making it one of the most boring games in the series.

MP 10 had the potential to be great. I really think so, they added a lot of interesting ideas and having three ways to play a board could have been great. But in the end this game is more an amalgam of ideas that do not quite fit together and a sample of everything that the saga can do well, and badly.


To finish, I can only emphasize that the saga lost strength for a long time to produce several sequels with few differences between them. It’s really a shame that Mario Party hasn’t had a good evolution and, as far as I know, 3DS games aren’t that big of a deal. Should the saga end? I don’t know, but if it wants to relive the “magic” of before, Nintendo is going to have to put effort into the next game and think of a good way to innovate without changing the formula too much. I just hope that MP is renewed one day and brings us a “GREAT PARTY”.

That is all. For now I will not put more “options” for future articles, as I am working on a small idea for next month. For now…

See you in the next post!