Mario Party + eight players = eight times the fun.
Why play Mario Party? Mini-games. That is one thing for sure. No one plays a Mario Party game for the outstanding graphics or the unbelievable surround sound. The latest installment to the Mario Party franchise is number seven. Not many video-games have gotten to seven, except for the Final Fantasy series. Anyway, the mini-games in Mario Party 7 are the best to date. I might go so far as to say that Hudson has taken some cues from Sega (Super Monkey Ball) in creating some of the mini-games. Some of them have you flying through the air collecting points like in Monkey Target. An example of a tough one is a Donkey Kong mini-game in which you challenge DK to a mock-up of the classic Donkey Kong arcade game (jumping over barrels as you make your way to the top of the level).
Since the first Mario Party, Nintendo and Hudson started with a basic formula of putting up to four Mario characters in a board game. Let the players roll the die, play mini-games, and race to collect the most stars. For Mario Party 7, the developers have almost gone back to the drawing board for a welcome new feature. They have added support for an eight-player party. Each player holds half of one controller, and the players need to work together as a team playing the game. There are a total of twelve eight-player mini-games. If you prefer to play the Party Cruise (basic mode) with eight players, they can still can play ALL of the mini-games, but each team just chooses which player will play the chosen mini-game. If you ever want a challenge: open the Party Cruise, play a team game with just four players, and see how good you really are at Mario Party! (Each player will control two characters with one controller.)
This time around, the Mario Party takes place on the MSS Sea Star, a luxury cruise ship. You will travel to many different boards/lands including: Grand Canal, Pagoda Peak, Pyramid Park, Neon Heights, Windmillville, and finally Bowser's Enchanted Inferno. The objective of each board changes depending on whether you are playing a Party game or taking the Solo Cruise. No matter which way you play, you will earn Cruise Mileage points to use at the Duty-Free Shop, where you can purchase anything from rare mini-games to figurines of characters in the game. The following are objectives of each Party game. Grand Canal: Collect 20 coins, then buy the star. Pagoda Peak: Collect 10, 20, 30, or 40 coins to get a star at the top of the mountain. Then begin again at the bottom to get another star. Pyramid Park: Use coins to purchase rides on Chain Chomps to steal stars from other players. (Not good if you want to collect many mileage points.) Neon Heights: there are three treasure chests (one has a star, one has 20 coins, and one has a Bob-bomb). Choose wisely, then repeat to collect the most stars. Windmillville: Buy windmills (1-star, 2-star, and 3-star varieties). Outbid another player on a windmill, and you now own it. Bowser's Enchanted Inferno: Buy stars for 20 coins each. The player with the most stars wins! The Solo Cruise objectives change slightly; for example, you may need to be the first to collect two stars on a specific board or scale Pagoda Peak and have 100 coins at the top. The Solo Cruise mode saves the number of turns (rolls of the die) it took you to obtain that goal and places it in the Records Book so you will always have a challenge to beat.
There are 86 new mini-games in Mario Party 7. All of the mini-games are divided into categories such as 8-player, 4 Vs., 3 Vs. 1, 2 Vs. 2, Duel, Bowser, and mic games. Set the game settings to 50 turns and get ready to have a blast! Be cautious, since some of the mini-games are TOUGH! After each five rolls of the die, it is Bowser's turn to shake some things up. There are multiple things that Bowser does, although the majority of them take coins or stars from players who are not quite up-to-par on their mini-games. NOTE: Mic games still aren't quite the best, but they might be fun if you incorporate drinking. If you have a different accent, these games may not work well. (My girlfriend is Japanese and it sometimes doesn't recognize her voice.)
Mario Party 7 is great fun for the whole family; it can be tough for younger children, but you may just need to adjust the star handicap. Overall, the game is very challenging, and trying to collect all of the mini-games is rewarding. I will be playing this one even on my Revolution next year.