Mario Party 7
Reviewed by Megan Parker
Review Date Platform Genre Rating Production
2005-12-19 GameCube Party E (Everyone) Nintendo

Mario Party has hit its seventh edition. When I saw it was coming out a few weeks ago, I jumped at the chance to play the latest version. So did some of my friends, which is good, since it is Mario Party. It wouldn't be much of a party if I played alone.

The format of the game isn't much different from the other versions. The difference would be in the theme, in which this one is on a cruise. There are different boards and you and your friends can team up, go head to head, and of course, play against the computer. For those who haven't played Mario Party before, the boards are laid out like a board game would be, but more extensive. Different spots to land on have different effects, from gaining coins, losing coins, playing mini games and various surprises.

There are all the usual characters to choose from as your game pieces. I am partial to Toadette (I love her pigtails!), but of course there is Mario, Luigi, Princess, Yoshi and most everyone's favorites. If you're playing with a partner, you switch off turns at rolling the dice and making decisions. Each board has a different way of reaching the goal, which is to have the most stars at the end of the game.

The games themselves are set up by the player, so you can easily set how many turns you want the game to last. After each person has their turn, there is a little head to head mini game and all players are in it.

There are quite a few mini games, all pretty unique and most of them a blast to play. After a few games though you will start to repeat them, and occasionally some will just keep coming up, which can get a little annoying, especially if you see the ???? of the games you haven't been able to play near it. Some of the games allow everyone to win by just collecting coins. The rest are more competitive where the only one who gets coins is the winner.

You can also pick up these orbs with special abilities to them, from stopping the opponent dead in their tracks, switching places, or many other various things to hold up the opposition.

There are other sets of mini games as well, a few that Bowser has and Donkey Kong has a few as well. All of the mini games allow you to practice them before you choose to do them for real.

The entire game itself is a blast to play and is clearly a great game to play with friends or family. In fact, it's best to play with other living beings as opposed to the computer which bounces from incredibly lucky to amazingly idiotic. For example, a Donkey Kong mini game you can play is crossing bridges. To get across the fastest, you have to choose the right bridge and hope the trap door doesn't drop down. You can easily win each time by going to the same bridge Donkey Kong does, if it doesn't work for him, it won't for you either, and you can just turn back and use the other one. DK is a little slower and even pauses in the middle for some reason.

The graphics and voices are pretty much the same as those you'll see in the other Mario games out there, such as Mario Kart. Which is actually pretty nice, it kind of gives it that uniform feel.

An added bonus with the game is a mic that you can use for certain mini games. Unfortunately, if you rented the game, you don't have the mic, so you end up having to turn that off and miss out on those mini-games.

After the end of a game, you get some money you can spend in the shop. Some of them are just souvenirs, others are things you can use in the games, such as two previously locked characters.

This game is perfect for its intent, parties. On your own, you could probably go through it all fairly quickly. That's not really the intent of the game though. When it comes to parties, the hours of fun are pretty much unlimited. It's a game that never really seems to get old when you're playing with others. With a good variety of boards, mini-games, and challenges it's sure to be a hit at the party. Yes...I did just use that cheesy phrase.