Minigames feels fresh thanks to new motion controls, but may not be attractive to people who are sick of the franchise.

User Rating: 7.7 | Mario Party 8 WII
Gameplay: Most are familiar with how Mario Party's board game component works, but here is a quick overview. At the beginning of each game, each player hits a over-head rolling dice block (with a flick of the Wiimote) to determine turn order. The game board consists of red spaces and blue spaces, which determine what type of minigame is played (1v3, 2v2, FFA). The board is also filled with special spaces that trigger different events. Coins are used to purchase items, and also help determine place order. A minigame wheel is spun after everyone's turn, and winning minigames is the quickest way to accumulate coins. Most minigames utilize the Wiimote functionality in some way, but a few stick to the traditional control scheme with the Wiimote turned on its side and used like a NES controller. There are really three distinctive types of minigames here. One type uses the Wiimote to point and shoot or to draw. Another type involves steering or controlling something with the Wiimote. And the final type requires the player to shake or move the Wiimote quickly. There are a few minigames that stray from these basic molds, and require several different movements to win. For example, Blazing Lassos has you waving the Wiimote like a lasso, throwing it forward to catch a barrel, and then flicking it back. Another fun one is Shake it Up; in which the players must rapidly shake the Wiimote like a can to see who's soda spews the highest. Because of Wii controls, Mario Party 8 has arguably the best minigames of the series. At the end of each minigame, the winning player(s) are rewarded with coins. 20 coins will buy you a star, given you land on a star space, and stars rank superior to coins in determining place order. Stars and coins can be taken away through various circumstances, and awarded to another player. The Bowser spaces return, and often lead to star snatching from the unfortunate player to land on them. However, these Bowser spaces are now shared by new DK spaces, which often reward players with the chance for a free star. The game also features new candy items. These pieces of candy are bought or received throughout the game, and act as power-ups for the player. Vampire candy allows you to steal coins from multiple opponents, while Thrice candy gives the player three dice blocks to roll during one turn. Games are preset to 15 turns, and the winner is decided by the most stars. There are several different modes in Mario Party 8. The single player story adventure is called Star Battle Arena. Here, the player is pitted against one computer player on all five boards, and then must face Hammer Bro. or Blooper on Bowser's game board. Star Battle is required to unlock Hammer Bro. and Blooper, Bowser's game board, and to feel like you achieved "beating" the game. Minigame Tent allows player to play any minigames that have been unlocked, and also offers game boards focusing strictly on minigame play. Party Tent is where you can just play games on any of the six game boards, and is the place for mulitplayer party play. There is also a Extras Zone that contains eight minigames in which players' Miis can be used. Now to access some flaws in the Mario Party gameplay mechanics. First off, the game board play moves are too slow a pace. Mario Party 8 adds the ability to skip minigames involving CPU characters, and also allows you to speed-up text speed. Still, the board play seems very slow. Second, the game relies too much on the luck factor over skill. Winning the game should be more relied upon winning minigames than getting lucky with dice rolls. Third, there are too many duel minigames and not enough FFA minigames (27- Duel, 18- FFA). Don't ask me why, because duel minigames don't happen nearly as often as FFA minigames. It even would have been easy for the developers to incorporate the duel minigames into FFA minigames. My last complaint rests on the familiarity of the franchise. Eight Mario Party games in 7 to 8 years! Too many, considering how far the franchise has gone...


Mario Party games never have had great graphics, and they don't need to. Still, Mario Party 8 essentially has Gamecube quality visuals. You really shouldn't be too disappointed in this though because the Wii isn't exactly known for high-quality graphics. Character models like very polished, as always. All of the game boards are decorative and creative. Game boards range from a speeding train to a lively town where you must invest coins in banks to receive stars. Minigame graphics aren't bad, but nothing special. Your Miis appear in the backgrounds of some of the minigames.

Sound: There are no voice-overs in Mario Party 8, which is a minor disappointment. Sound effects are ok, and the music tends to be repetitive. Value:

Mario Party 8 is a game with pretty good value. Star Battle Arena will take some time to beat (5 hours?). Most time will be spent playing Party Tent with other people, however. Mario Party 8 is a game that most people will be familiar with considering the TV adds and the longevity of the franchise. This is also, like many of Nintendo games, appeal to non-gamers. Once you unlock all of the minigames, you aren't likely to play this game as much, but there is still lots of good value for mulitplayer.


Mario Party 8 may be the best game of the franchise simply because of the intuitive Wii controls for minigames.