Released just a few days ago on May 30, 2007, Mario Party 8 for the Nintendo Wii was a match made in heaven. Mario Party for the Nintendo 64 seems to have just been waiting for an opportunity for the Wii’s motion sensing controls. This game is absolutely amazing. Led by two wacky characters, your carnival experience is full of unlockables, new control schemes, new mini-games, and more fun than you can handle.
With almost all Wii-owners looking forward to the game, it was an absolute smash-hit as soon as it released. It has the same board-game feel as the previous Mario Party games. However, it has incorporated some new styles of boards, like a “real-estate” board. For example, you put coins that are earned elsewhere into hotels. The person with the most coins invested can earn the star for that hotel. Once a certain number of coins are invested, it can grow into a two- and three-star hotel. In the same fashion as the old Mario Party series, mini-games are played after every turn.
Next, there is another type of game, called “Star Battle.” In this mode, you must take one character and play a dueling style game against 1 opponent at a time. This goes on for 6 boards, and then you can unlock new characters.
Another different feature or Mario Party 8 is the introduction of “Carnival Cards.” You earn cards for just about everything you do. In turn, you can spend these at the “Fun Bazaar” to buy new unlockables, or the right to play certain mini-games in the mini-game tent.
The mini-games are somewhat new. Most have familiar relations based in old Mario Party games, but some are entirely original. Some have you lassoing barrels, throwing snowballs, riding skis, or even playing ping-pong and driving mopeds. With the introduction of the Wii remote, most of the games are played by waving, tilting, twirling, or flicking the Wii remote. However, the developers at Hudson have made several games that use the Directional Pad and the 1 and 2 buttons. To do this, you hold the Wii remote just like the original Nintendo’s controller, on its side. Playing Mario Party with these controls has never been more natural. Most of the mini-games are almost completely natural to video gamers. For example, in “Pour to Score,” you must pour sand into a scale. How do you do this? Act like the remote is the container! Tilt it to its side, and it will begin pouring.
Another good point of this game is the option for a tag-team board game. Mario Party 8 is great for multiplayer. However, if you only have two people, you can play a 4-player, every man for himself style game, or you can play a 2-on-2 game. Team yourself up with a friend, and beat the competition in certain mini-games and share stars and coins.
The only bad part of Mario Party 8 is the single player. Star Battle can get old, and it is not too much fun without another person. However, get Mario Party 8, and you will have fun for hours!