Game Review: Mario Party DS

January 6, 2009


TL;DR version: If you have lots of friends or siblings who own a DS, this is a great game for one of you to own.

Wall(s) of Text version:

Since I have two siblings, both with a DS and eager for multiplayer competition, this was an easily worthwhile purchase. Mario Party DS features over 70 different minigames of all shapes and sizes: 4-player duels, 2v2, even some 3v1, which surprisingly seems to be fairly balanced. Only one game card is needed for up to 4 players, and unlike most games which allow multiplayer with only one card, Mario Party doesn’t limit the available content. (This is part of the reason why Nintendo is awesome.) Minigames must be unlocked before you can choose specifically to play them, but again unlike many games, it’s possible – preferable, even – to unlock them by playing in multiplayer “Party Mode,” a 4-person board game where the object is to collect the most stars. At the end of every round, a random minigame is selected to play, and that minigame then becomes unlocked. Other multiplayer activities include 2-player puzzle games, or simple minigame competitions: best out of five, or whatever settings you choose.

As for the minigames themselves, they’re quite fun in an extremely simplistic sort of way. Games may require you to fling leaves out of your way with your stylus (but watch out for the bees), or move in tandem with a partner to control a clothes hanger flying down a line. Hardcore gamers may be disappointed at the pretty much nonexistent learning curve, but for me and my siblings, it actually turns out to be an advantage. My sister, whose strengths are not in the least video game-related, is on even ground with myself and my brother, which makes playing together more fun for all involved. And even for gamers like yours truly, there’s something strangely satisfying about knowing that you’re the best at rapidly mashing the A button.

Mario Party DS does, of course, have a few cons. If you’re a friendless nerd who can only play singleplayer mode, it isn’t nearly as much fun. The CPU-controlled characters do have different difficulty settings, but they’re still only CPUs, and they won’t feel like losers after you destroy their sorry rears in a zucchini-slicing competition. Also, from what I’ve played, the game seems to strongly favor you over the CPUs whenever luck is involved – as it frequently is, since Mario Party is, after all, a board game. The character selection is mildly disappointing after becoming accustomed to SSB: Brawl, although that’s probably true of any game other than Brawl; Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Wario, Waluigi, Yoshi, and Toad are available. Finally, as previously mentioned, the lack of a learning curve may be either a complete turn-off or a benefit, depending on the person.

To sum it up: Buy this (or get a friend/sibling to) if you have friends or siblings. If not… Well, sorry. Go make some friends.



One Response to “Game Review: Mario Party DS”

  1. superdayv said

    Hey Thanks for the comment! Just wanted to let you know I was just kidding about the origin of “flipping someone the bird”. Actually I don’t really know where it comes from :) Thanks for reading though!

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