Mario Party 5 (GameCube) Preview

By James 29.10.2003 2

When a game series reaches half way to double figures the game is either extremely good, innovative and has a big following or it is just a game that should have been stopped a lot earlier but has been dragged on an on. The Mario Party idea is a good one, yet, this in theory alone will not make the games of a great standard. If you have played any of Mario Party 5's many predecessors you will have found out for yourself. The game is a very nice idea and pockets Nintendo a lot of money each year and almost always is released in the festive seasons, though the game isn't perfect. Graphically, the game looks very similar, gameplay wise, well the mini-games seem very originally yet when looked into further are just a new face on an old game, so you begin to wonder, just what has been updated and overhauled in the game?

To call Mario Party 5 a rehash of every predecessor to the series name would be correct, to some extent. The graphics are of a similar style, finish and feel and the gameplay is also very reminiscent to the previous games in the franchises. Everything seems so already-been-done about the way the game plays.

The Story of the game is very bland and makes no attempt to do anything special and original although it is a better story than the past 3 or 4 Mario games where he has to set out to find Peach from Bowser. Just because the story is ever so slightly different it doesn't make the story any better. The story, though doesn't need to be excellent but it would add more depth and initiative to complete the one-player game through with every character which I would guess none of the players who purchase the game will have enough time and patience to complete anyway. The story is as always based around the daily goings on of the large, scary Koopa King known to most as Bowser and his Koopa Kids. The one player story mode won't be such a long haul this time though as thankfully, the computer (The Koopa Kids) will all take there goes at once meaning you don't have to wait 3 times for the Computer to have its turn. This will help make the gameplay much more fun as you won't have to wake yourself up between your turn and mini-games. Completing the story mode and restoring Dream Depot to its former glory will take patience and skill as you battle your way through over 60 mini-games.

Screenshot for Mario Party 5 on GameCube

The way Mario Party plays is a very old idea that has been slowly refined throughout the series' life. The basic aim for each player is to earn the most stars. These stars can be bought and found in many different ways but for the most part you will be buying them with coins that are earned by playing through mini games, battle games and the boards themselves along with special features.

When an adequate amount of coins have been earned you have the option to purchase a number of items at the shops that are located on the maps in certain places. Different items can help you with the game most likely to assist you in your search for stars. These items may make your character extra large for one turn only, which grants you the ability to stomp on opponents and take their coins along with being able to roll 2-3 dice, help you take stars for a large fee and more. The range of items has been extended by a good amount over the last edition of the highly acclaimed Party series. Along with the excessive amount of items comes a large amount of extra ways to earn coins, stars and items. Dotted around the boards are different types of games that can be played, very nice little extras to the main game and can make all the difference to the game.

Screenshot for Mario Party 5 on GameCube

The mini-games are all very simple they all require different skills. Some may test your speed, reactions, dexterity and techniques but all the mini-games are great fun and will keep you playing the game for a long time. Sadly, old favourites such as Booksquirm, Trace Race and others haven't been placed into the sequel though there are some mini-games that follow the same principals of gameplay but with a new and updated look. There are many different types of mini-games to play through including four vs. four (23 different games for you to play), team games (12 games), one vs. three (12 games), duel (15 games), battle (6 games), and there is 4 vs. Bowser (3 games) all of which look very nice and well done and thought out. Most are fairly simple though there are quite a few that are extremely addictive and astonishingly fun at times.

Graphically the game is nothing special, nor would it be fair to call the game poor either. The games graphics fall into the uneven territory between vibrant, bright and colourful graphics and blocky, dull, Nintendo64 esque graphics. Whilst the graphics of the game may not be something that Nintendo should be using to show off the GameCube's technical power they aren't bad either. Not much has been improved over the last edition of the portly plumber's party series though there are notable changes to be found within the layout, presentation and overall finish of the game. Everything looks finished and ok to be released tomorrow but the likelihood as to why the game hasn't will be because of initial localisation problems, holdbacks and more along with adding those extra few mini-games as rewards at the end of play.

Screenshot for Mario Party 5 on GameCube

The Multiplayer has always been the core of the game and Mario Party 5 is no exception to this rule. Playing the computer time upon time will become tedious quite quickly but with a few mates round you can have great times playing the multiplayer wonder that is the Mario Party series. Whether it be battle games, duel matches, standard mini-games or even the illustrious and exhilarating 4 versus Bowser match-ups you're sure to have lots of fun. Playing round the boards themselves can become tactical as you plot against each other to swap items, steel stars, turn mega and roll two dice as well as using your team members items if they have an inability to utilize them as well as you could.

Screenshot for Mario Party 5 on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Mario Party 5 won't be the best game ever but it certainly will be a good game. With an excessive amount of mini-games that are all original and unique, all the characters closest to Mario and his enemies Mario Party 5.

Developer

Hudson

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Party

Players

4

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10 (7 Votes)

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

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