|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: NDCube||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Oct. 3, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
House Party is, without a doubt, Wii Partys most unique component. Its an odd batch of games that will likely make most hardcore gamers cringe, but its also an inspired addition that could prove especially fun for younger players. The House Party games require players to become physically involved, either by hiding controllers around the house or passing a controller as if it were a bomb. Though seemingly hokey extras to scoff at, these games are perfect for a slumber party or the like.
In spite of the fun my family and I had with Wii Party, the game doesnt exhibit nearly as much personality as the Mario Party games. The board in Board Game Island is pretty lackluster, and as cute as the Miis can often be during a given mini-game, theyre easily forgettable. You can have a really fun time with family and friends every once in a while, but its not something youll likely feel compelled to break into on a daily basis.
If you were hoping for online play, you wont get that here, either. Theres absolutely no online interactivity included in Wii Party, not even leader boards. Before actually digging into the package, I was baffled by the omission. However, once you tinker around with Wii Party a bit, youll understand what Nintendo was going for. A party isnt something that happens between people many miles away, and considering how Wii Party comes to life when played with others in the same room, its safe to say Nintendo successfully hits their mark.
Wii Partys look and overall presentation is considerably attractive, though the game does have some noticeable highs and lows. Wii Party appears to be using the same tech as Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, which means bright skies and lots of simulated solar flare. The Miis are dolled up in quite a variety of outfits and offer entertaining expressions when they win or lose. Certain textures, however, are downright ugly, yet water effects often look on par with the HD consoles. Luckily, where it counts the most, Wii Party never really stumbles. The framerate is delightfully smooth, and the games vibe is always upbeat and relaxing.
If youve played either of the Wii Sports games before, youll recognize most of the audio features packed into Wii Party. Lots of Mii cheering, an announcer who sounds like he could be a game-show host, and the sound effects are low-impact while being subtly integral to the action of each mini-game. Though many of the games themes are a bit corny, they somehow fit right in with Wii Plays casual vibe.
If you approach Wii Party as a single-player affair, youll likely find a package that is only moderately entertaining at best. Bring it with you to Thanksgiving or some other social gathering, however, and Wii Party will light up a room. Whether it be a sleepover for the little ones or a family get-together, Wii Party is something any and all Wii owners will want as part of their collection. The mini-games arent perfect and the presentation isnt quite up to Nintendo standards, but the package is still bursting with potential, in spite of its flaws.
CCC Freelance Writer