Rick got his hands on a copy of Mario Party 4 last week, and has been running around a few boards with his wife. Is the game any better than it's N64 incarnations?
Sometimes, you just shouldn’t mess with what works. Nintendo apparently knows when to leave well enough alone. Mario Party 4 (while being a whole frickin’ lot of the same) is still an outstandingly fun romp - provided you have more than yourself to play with. That’s not to say that Nintendo hasn’t made changes, but the overall formula is still intact: whoever gathers the most stars (by hook or by crook) wins.
Nintendo has changed the party games completely, giving us 50 new games which are pretty fun so far. Yes, this is less than the 70 in Mario Party 3, but some of the other games were terrible. Of course, the graphics have also received a significant overhaul, and look fabulous.
There is a new feature on the game-board called the Mega-Mini system. By getting either Mega or Mini Mushrooms, your character can grow (stomping characters and skipping event spaces) or shrink to take shortcuts and play special games. I’ve only had the opportunity to play a couple of the party boards thus far, but the board layouts seem more inventive now as well.
One of the most fun parts of Mario Party 4, however, has nothing to do with the game itself. Playing the game with four Wave Bird wireless controllers is an absolute blast. No cords everywhere, everyone can find a comfy place and not worry about being able to reach the GameCube. It’s fantastic. Plus, there seems to be no problem with any of the button mashing games.
Of course, despite the addition of a Story Mode and some other single player features, Mario Party is all about multiplayer. If you don’t have three friends to play along with, you’re going to hate the game. It’s no fun to smack-talk when you’re the only one there to hear it. So yes, Mario Party is pretty much the same game you’ve grown accustomed to in it’s previous three iterations on the N64, but that’s hardly a bad thing.