Whenever you think of gaming, there are probably a few game titles that instantly pop into you head. One may be the original Pong, maybe even the great Pac Man, but probably for the most part I would say the mainstream gaming fan would say Mario. Mario has been a part of gaming for a long time now and it is just amazing to see this red plumber go so far in the industry. Mario has been busy in recent years, doing things that he was not accustomed to doing. Instead of being in a killer platformer, Mario has made his own Party series, which has had a good deal of success in recent years. Now on its seventh outing, Mario tries to bring the gold in for Nintendo this holiday season. So does he succeed? Read our full review to find out!
If I have to give credit to Nintendo for something, it is that they are not too shabby at bringing high quality first party games to their consoles. In fact the only real success the Gamecube has had in its short lifespan has been that of its first party games. It is here that Nintendo has found success in bringing unique games to their platform, and it is here where they try and pick up as much of the market as possible. One of the series that has helped them do this is the Mario Party series, which is another name for a big batch of mini games. So how does the seventh iteration of this series hold up to the test?
For those of you who have not had the privilege to check out one of the Mario Party games, well then let me give you a little idea of what this series is all about. To say that this is a party game is definitely an accurate statement, as playing this game alone is no way to have fun. The Mario Party series is basically a virtual board game, where you roll dice and get to play a mini-game, depending on what you land on. Now what is great about this is that you really have a ton of different games to play. In fact it would probably take me a good day to explain each and every one of them to you. So instead of wasting both of our time, we will just say there are more games then you have fingers and toes, a lot more.
One thing that Nintendo has been trying to do with this series is bring a microphone into play, and thus you will receive a microphone with your game that goes for of course the mini games that require a microphone. It is good to see Nintendo is try to innovate with this game and using a microphone is a great idea, but it is also one that doesn’t bring a whole lot of enjoyment. The games that you do end up playing are what I would consider "pretty lame". It just feels as though Nintendo could have easily done without the microphone, which came of as a gimmick rather than innovation.
Mario Party 7, outside of bringing in a ton of new mini-games, hasn’t really done much else new. You get the feeling that Hudson Software is sort of running out of innovative ideas for this game. Instead of doing that, they are just overloading the game with more and more mini games. This isn’t a bad thing, but a change of pace for the seventh game in the series wouldn’t have been bad either. In the end Mario Party 7 is a good game. It is not a huge jump from 6 to 7, but the addition to a whole slew of new mini games is a very welcome addition. You just kind of wish the game hadn’t brought in the microphone.
Visually Mario Party 7 contains exactly what you would expect from a Mario based game, a whole lot of color. Mario Party 7 does a fantastic job of bringing in the typical color pallet of a Mario game bringing very bright and vibrant colors that of course promote happiness and enjoyment. The game doesn’t really go out of its way however to look great, but instead just keeps everything very smooth and solid throughout. This is not a game that will blow you away through its visuals but it will just keep you very pleased with what it has to offer.
What Hudson Software and Nintendo have yet to manage to do with this series is make it enjoyable to play alone. Sure if you have four people sitting around ready to play with you, then Mario Party 7 is just going to be a complete blast. But if you are by yourself, you will just find what this game has to offer to be rather boring and nowhere near as exciting. So in that sense, Nintendo still has a huge void still to fill. But being that it is a party game it is made to play with other people, and in this area Mario Party 7 offers an enjoyable experience.
If you are a huge fan of the Mario Party series and are looking for a game that offers the same great Mario experience with a whole load of new mini games, then look no further than Mario Party 7 as this is a game that offers a ton of mini games that if you have a group of friends ready, will be extremely enjoyable to pick up and play.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.