Mario Party 9 Review
Mario Party 9 Box Art
System: Wii
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: March 11, 2012
Players: 1-4
Screen Resolution: 480p

Though the game runs smoother, it's now even more random than it was before. In previous Mario Party titles, doing well in minigames gave you resources that you would then inevitably spend to gain the advantage. In Mario Party 9, most of that is taken out. Instead, all you really have control over is rolling the die when you are captain. Sure, you can use high-block or low-block items to skew your die-roll, but obtaining these items is also essentially random, as you have to land on a die block space to get one.

Mario Party 9 Screenshot

Yes, you get to prove your skill by winning minigames, but these are only triggered randomly when you land on one of their spaces. The captain gets to choose the minigame, but from a random selection. Not only that, but the game gives you far fewer choices than you had on the roulette wheel in previous Mario Party titles. You can pick mini-stars up or lose them by moving past certain spaces on the board, but, once again, you have very little control over this since the die-roll is always random.

Essentially, a single player could play everyone's turn outside of the minigames and nothing would change. It's nice that Nintendo has shifted the focus of Mario Party to the actual board game itself, but since there is so little strategy is involved, it feels like you are just rolling dice at each other for about an hour and then arbitrarily deciding who wins. Actually, that's basically all you are doing.

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Is Mario Party 9 fun? Sure. In fact, its new gameplay formula is probably one of the most refreshing changes to hit the Mario Party franchise to date. Still, it hasn't addressed the main failing of Mario Party titles: the replay value. In the past, the long length and random nature Mario Party games made gamers forget them shortly after their release in favor of more strategic and skill-based party games like Rock Band. Now Mario Party moves quicker, but has even less of a strategic element. This makes the game less frustrating, but no more appealing than any other Mario Party title. After playing through each of the boards twice with a group of friends, I was ready to put this title on my shelf until the next Mario Party release.

By
Angelo M. D'Argenio
Contributing Writer
Date: March 12, 2012

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.6
Graphics
The graphics are a marked improvement over previous Mario Party titles, but the Wii is definitely showing its age at this point.
3.2
Control
The minigame controls work well enough, but there is still an overreliance on the Wii's motion controls.
3.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The soundtrack is as whimsical as you would think a Mario Party soundtrack would be, though it gets tedious after a while.
3.5
Play Value
It's a fun game, but you'll get bored with it pretty quickly.
3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Players ride across stages together in special vehicles. Players take turns as Captain of the vehicle by hitting Dice Blocks to move the party forward, hoping to land on lucky spaces.
  • From Toad Road to Boo's Horror Castle, players will encounter a wide variety of familiar Mario franchise elements in new environments that can be enjoyed solo or with friends.
  • In Mario Party 9, each themed stage has a clear destination point but with multiple paths along the way, so no two games will play the same. Every time they play, players can earn Party Points that are used to unlock special items and features.
  • Each stage culminates in a Boss Battle. Collectively, players must combine their strength to defeat classic foes such as Bowser and King Boo while still playing competitively to boost their own individual scores.
  • Includes 80 outrageous new minigames that find players making pizzas, escaping haunted mansions, and racing snowmobiles.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge Mario Party 9 Screenshot - click to enlarge

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