JPN - November 8, 2007
USA - November 19, 2007
EUR - November 23, 2007
So the Mario Party series had been getting more criticism by the year ever since Mario Party 6. So did Mario Party DS follow that path or did it start a fresh path?
Well Nintendo tried not to make this handheld mp like Mario Party Advance, by far the worst Mario Party. And it worked. With the stylus and microphone, Nintendo took advantage to create 70+ minigames. Unlike the previous MPs which constantly added characters to the playable list, MPDS stuck with only 8 characters. A less variety but more originality.
The boards continued a phase that started with MP6, different objectives to get a star. There are 5 boards in all. Some people criticize that 5 boards is too little. There is also criticism that there are only 5 different spaces (6 if you include the duel space, which replaces the friend space in the last 5 turns). More criticism comes along that the boards are too small, the stars are tighty bunched in areas, and there are few intersections
MPDS brought back an idea from Mario Party 5, where you can throw spaces on the board, called hexes. An example is the -10 coin hex, the coin block, and the -1 star hex. Criticism in these hexes includes the star block hex where a player can get 1-3 stars from the block, the -2 star hex which some say is too harsh, and the coin swap hex. There are also other items that you can use to help yourself such as the double and triple dice sets, which give you extra die for your turn. Also there is the warp block which warps someone to a random space then they roll, and the snag bag which allows you to steal a random item from a player.
And just like MP7 and MP8, you can collect points, called MP Points to unlock character badges, boss trophies, and more. You also have to complete specific tasks to unlock some. One sad thing about this game is that there is no host. Its like a talking piece of air is the host. As well as Bowser who does the Final 5 turn wheel. Speaking of the final 5 turn wheel, it was messed up just like in the previous MPs. All it does is help last place. It even gives last place a star! The only option that helps everyone is the 5 coin stars. Other than that last place gets luxury. And people can duel for 2 stars, something new.
The story is kinda bad but it fits perfectly with the DS. Mario discovers a Star Shard and shows everyone. Just then Bowser sent invitations that he’s sorry for being a big jerk and has set up a bunch of food for everyone. Invitations also get in the hands of DK and Diddy. Mario and the gang (without DK) go to Bowser’s place because”free eats cant be beat”. Pretty stupid move by them to believe it. Bowser then uses his Minimizer to shrink everyone and sent them to the far side of the kingdom and steals their Star Shard and steps out to get the rest. Mario and the gang race off to Bowser’s castles, helping good friends along the way and defeating enemies.
I could have easily put a 9/10 or a perfect score, but the truth is the controls weren’t perfect. Nintendo and Hudson unfortunately didn’t take full advantage of the built-in mic, only making it where you had to blow as hard as you can (except Short Fuse). And the stylus could’ve played a bigger role in the game, but other than that the controls aren’t much of a problem with this game.
The graphics were, well to be honest, pretty bad from what expectations were. Despite the DS’s limitations over a home console, MPDS still failed to deliver respectable graphics.
All Mario Party games are fun. You can go through story mode, play a regular party board, either with 4 people, 2 teams of 2, or 2 people. You can also play minigames you have unlocked, and some in special minigame modes. You can also check out your character badges and etc. You can also play puzzle minigames from previous Mario Party games in the all new puzzle mode. Though it wasn’t the greatest idea, but it was still a nice flashback. You can also unlock a new puzzle game, Triangle Twisters, by beating story mode.
Once again, not one for the record books but they were sub-par.
Replay Value (7.5/10)
Despite Mario Party games usually having a high replay value, this game is still good for a bit but it eventually gets shelfed and doesn’t come off too often after that.
So the game wasn’t “the bomb” but it was still a decent release and one to try out if you have a few good DS games and are looking for another.