Wii Party (Hands-On) (Wii) Preview

By Adam Riley 09.08.2010 3

Review for Wii Party (Hands-On) on Wii

Nintendo saw Wii Sports take the world by storm thanks to it being bundled with the Wii system in Western territories, whilst the game sold millions in Japan as a standalone package. Wii Fit was next, tapping into the fitness craze sweeping the world, and managing to shift more units of the Wii Balance Board in a year than PlayStation 3 consoles in Japan. Although Wii Music appeared to be a comparative sales disaster, it still shifted a considerable amount of units on a global basis, and was then followed by the heavy hitting duo of Wii Sports Resort and Wii Fit Plus. Currently Wii Party is causing waves in Japan and Nintendo does not want to keep the Western world waiting too long. Read on to see Cubed3’s first impressions of the next blockbuster.

First things first, it is highly recommended that you do not play Wii Party on your own against the computer opponents. I tried doing just that whilst Mike (Mason) and Stu (StuLaw) wandered around trying other games, and instantly regretted it. One mode placed up to four players on a large game board, with mini-games being played in order to determine who received the first roll of the dice in order to progress around the board (set on an island), whilst the other involved trying to balance various differently sized Mii characters on a large galleon. Whilst the mini-games themselves were moderately enjoyable, having to sit around and wait for the three computer players to roll the dice, trundle around the island and be faced with various bonuses, traps and extra tasks was brain-achingly boring without any of the usual human interaction that makes these sort of games so hilarious.

Of those mini-games on offer, players had to take part in horse-racing (not using up the stallion’s stamina too quickly), leap over numerous logs to reach the finish line first, and even balance a massive pile of gifts in the face of strong gusts of wind from passing traffic, new presents falling from above on a regular basis. All made satisfactory use of the Wii Remote’s motion sensor capabilities, but many of the tasks seem like they would probably become far too mundane after repeated play-time. As for the Mii-characters-balancing-on-a-ship mode, people must work together to row safely through rock-filled rapids, or float upwards through space, avoiding deadly asteroids along the way by one player tugging the other in a particular direction, and vice versa when required. There is plenty of variety included, and great potential for laughs a-plenty, yet reservations as to how quickly the whole title would become boring.

Screenshot for Wii Party (Hands-On) on Wii

Extra Thoughts

Despite the Wii’s status as a party console, the Mario Party series has only seen one Wii instalment — Mario Party 8 — since the console’s launch. Now it looks as though Wii Party will be taking over where the Italian plumber and his friends left off. The game’s setup is the same: up to four players (with computer-controlled characters filling in for any absentees) rush around a game “board”, playing mini-games with each other as they go, only this time it’s Miis doing the rushing, not Mario.

The mini-games I tried were all very light endeavours. One (a Mario Party staple) saw players rolling around in balls trying to knock each other into holes in the floor. Another involved flicking the Wii Remote in order to jump over obstacles, shaking the controller to hover in a Yoshi-esque fashion for a brief time. Neither were anything to write home about, but both were suitably enjoyable with a companion (a Nintendo rep in this instance) to play against. Both would almost certainly be more entertaining with a full set of players, too.

As Adam mentioned previously, another problem with having less than four players is it forces you to watch the progression of CPUs as they roll dice (achieved by shaking the Wii Remote for humans) and move about the board/game world. Combine this with the heavily luck-based nature of the game and Wii Party could conceivably become highly frustrating in the absence of a jovial group of players. If you’re predominantly a solo player, then, first impressions suggest you might want to steer clear of this one.
Karn Bianco, Previews Editor.

Screenshot for Wii Party (Hands-On) on Wii

Final Thoughts

Despite the game being completed, unfortunately Nintendo only showed off a small amount of the final release. However, from the short amount of time spent with Wii Party, it is clear that a considerable amount of fun can be had if the right mix of friends come together to join in the antics. Solo players should steer clear, but groups will no doubt have a blast with enjoyable mini-game collection.

Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Party

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

James (guest) 10.08.2010#1

The fact that this has already shown signs of selling far better in Japan than the Mario Party series definitely points towards the potential end of the mascot's party series.

Pierre (guest) 11.08.2010#2

Doesn't seem like many people are interested in this, does it?

AdamC3 (guest) 11.08.2010#3

I think the problem is that Nintendo hasn't confirmed a Western release date or given out many details beyond the early playtest for journos, so most people aren't fully aware of it's existence.

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