You might remember me getting really pissed at the last Mario Party game I reviewed. It's because the plot played a mean trick on us, and as a result all of the player's efforts were for naught, making the game a complete waste of time. That problem does not show up here, so I'm already a little happier. There will be moments of anger. I seem to have a lot of triggers these days. But I don't think this review will be as negative. In fact, I will be a LOT more positive for this one.
|Even princesses get in on the fun!|
There's only one difference this time: The boards are a LOT smaller than usual. No, not the way you think. What I mean by this is that the boards aren't bigger than, say, a room in a house... because the characters are tiny! Yeah, that might sound off, but there's a theme in this game. A theme that will be explained as I take a look at the plot.
|Make a wish!|
"I wished Peach would upgrade
her castle's security system, for once!"
|Honey, I shrunk the partygoers!|
|Guess that Venus Fire Trap is playing King of the Yard.|
...Wow, it looks a lot smaller on this picture...
Now that the plot has been explained, I should give just a little explanation of this game's special elements. Mario Party games like to have a defining feature that isn't in the other games. Mario Party 2 had the Koopa Bank and the alternate costumes on every board for all the heroes. This one has Hexes. When you pick up a Hex, it is instantly added to your Items if you don't already have three (the maximum). The Hex pickup isn't a Space, so don't count it as one. When you have a Hex in your items, you can select it and place it on a blue or red space near yours. If you step on your own Hex, it will disappear, but you'll gain 5 coins. If another player steps on it, an effect will happen. The effects range from “Steal 10 coins” to “Swap coins” to “Steal one Star” to “Swap positions”, and there are a few other effects. On the boards in this game, there are also Friend/Duel Spaces. Those are Friend Spaces for all turns except the final 5, and when a character lands on the Friend space, it will pick another character and both will earn 5 coins. (CPU characters will usually pick the character in fourth place when giving coins.) Five turns before the end, though, Bowser will show up! He will give a bonus to the player in fourth place (not that it will help much, most of the time), and then all Friend Spaces will turn into Duel Spaces. When you land on a space like this, you pick a character to duel against, then the stakes are decided (both players put the amount of coins or Stars, which is chosen randomly with a roulette), and then the winner gets the coins or Stars.
|Eat mah bomb, meanie!|
And there's a mini-game like this after each board. Once the match on the Wiggler's Garden board is over, the winner goes to battle the Venus Fire Trap. In the battle minigame, it is fought by catching the explosive balls it inhales and then spits at you, and throwing them back in its mouth while it's open.. Oh, by the way, you must stay in the air or else the plant will eat you. Still, the plant is defeated quickly, so the heroes move on to the next board... but not before Wiggler hands the Mario crew an odd thingy – a Sky Crystal!
|How much money does she have to own all these instruments?|
And so, the board is played, and the winner goes to battle the Hammer Brother in an epic... Simon Says super showdown. He smashes drums and you have to smash the same drums to hurt him. That summons a large golden note that will destroy his evil black notes and punch him in the face. Again, I'm not kidding.
|Poor DK, being relegated to background decoration...|
On this board, there is only one location for the Star, so it never moves... but when you reach it, you can buy as many as you want! Reaching it can be a difficult task, however. Anyway, ten turns on this board, and a half-hour later we get to see who will fight Dry Bones. The winner will have to defeat the skeleton by smashing enchanted buttons around it and creating a spell that will go and hit it, thrice. Once Dry Bones is defeated, it literally falls apart (Magic kept it alive as a skeleton? That might explain a few things, actually), DK is freed, Diddy hands the team a Sky Crystal, and the two primates run towards Bowser's Castle. The eight tiny heroes continue on their way.
|Oh God... Just thinking about this one triggers my|
It doesn't matter anyway, as you still need to win to access Kamek. You fight the Magikoopa in some kind of shoot'em up where you shoot ink at incoming flying books in a large hallway, in which there are also moving book shelves. ...No, really. And the fight against Kemek is pretty fun too: You shoot ink in the Magikoopa's face and blind him... after which he swings madly his magic wand, which causes a huge book to fall on his head. Hah! After three hits, Kamek is defeated, the Koopa's grandfather is freed, they give you another Sky Crystal and you can move on to the final board.
Or rather, the heroes reach Bowser's Castle and are immediately picked up by Bowser and put in a giant pinball machine...
OH NO, IT'S MARIO PINBALL LAND ALL OVER AGAIN!
No, not quite. There is a party board in that pinball machine, how convenient. And Stars and spaces and everything. This one is HARD. Very difficult. The theme? Gambling. A lot of gambling stuff around that board. It's like Hell, a casino and a Monopoly board all rolled into one. ...Not like there are many differences. And since I'm an unlucky guy... Oh, whatever. I said all I could say about this board, so now let's get to the boss.
After the board's winner was decided, we get a cutscene. Bowser gets pissed and menaces to shrink the heroes even further... but then the Kongs run in the castle! They run by Bowser, knocking him to the ground and breaking the scepter. As a result, the heroes are back to their normal size! Your character must fight Bowser. But the turtle-dragon has another secret weapon: The Megamorph Belt!
...No, not that one.
With it, he turns into a mass of steel blocks that can reshape themselves into a larger block, a pyramid or a snake. You have to repeatedly kick the block with the Bowser symbol to hurt this boss. Once you've hit him enough times ahile he's in his third form, he reverts to normal and faints. Yay! You got the last Sky Crystal! What happens when you put them all together? They morph into a diamond-like Nintendo DS! ...one without buttons, ain't that weird. Anyway, Bowser reveals that he wanted this new thingamajig, and he didn't want them to get their hands on it... but to his (and his son's) great surprise, the heroes invite him to play with them! The new game, Triangle Twister, can be enjoyed by everyone!
Go Triangle-Twisting with Bowser, indeed! And Heck, he actually looks happy to play with them! The group gets together to twist some triangles, and we get a big group shot (Heh! Mario's gang is full of hipsters: They did group selfies before it was cool! Take that, Ellen DeGeneres!).
As for Donkey Kong and Diddy, they ate the entire buffet. Huh, guess the food was safe. The end.
Oh, but wait... that's just the plot! Next Monday, I will continue this review with everything else that is in the game!