Another fun Mario Party but the main game still relies more on luck than skill.
-Fun for parties
-Great selection of fun mini-games
-New motion sensing / pointing features (with Wii Remote) are fun
-Main game still relies too much on luck
-Some unlockables are pointless
Mario Party 8 is a crazy but fun party game for all ages. You get to play as all your favorite Mario characters like Mario, Luigi, and Peach. The setting of the game takes place at a carnival with your host Ballyhoo. Ballyhoo is a weird looking fellow with a blue hat which looks to be alive too. He introduces the carnival to everybody at the Mushroom Kingdom. Now everyone was having a good time until Bowser finds out about the festivities and ruins all the fun. Now all the Mushroom Kingdom characters have to try and not only stop Bowser but compete against each other while they do that because Ballyhoo is giving a life-time supply of candy to the winner. In order to defeat Bowser you must play through each of the board games at the carnival and win.
Mario Party 8 plays similar to its predecessors with some slight differences. So, if you've played Mario Party before, it will be easy to get up to speed with this one. In this carnival you have different "tents" to enter which let you do different things. There is the Star Battle Arena, Party tent, Mini-game tent, Fun Bazaar and Extras Zone.
The Star Battle Arena is the "main game" where you square off against another computer player as you play through each of the six board games. With Bowser waiting for you at the end. Each board game has different rules and layouts. The object of each match is to collect more stars than the computer. Stars are obtained by landing on the star space and have enough coins to purchase the item. Each player takes turns rolling the dice and along the way they can pick up candy power-ups (like twice candy for extra dice rolling, bowlo candy to steal coins, and dual candy to dual your opponent for coins / stars), land on special spaces to advance further on the board, or just simply collect coins. Unfortunately, the Star Battle Arena has too much of the game based on luck and not on skill. Most of your success is based on how well the dice roll. The only skill involved is with purchasing candy at stores, using candy and playing dual games against the computer.
The Party tent lets you and three other people play against each other or on teams. It plays similar to the Star Battle Arena where you can battle each, on the six board games, in your quest to obtain the most stars. The difference is that between each round (which is everybody rolling the dice once) everybody plays a mini-game to earn extra coins. These mini games have simple controls and objectives but can prove to be tons of fun. This is the part of the game where you get to show off your skills in a variety of contests. Another added feature to Mario Party 8 is that there are some mini-games that use the full range of the Wii Remote like pointing and motion. There isn't as much riding on chance in the Party tent than the Star Battle Arena but enough to frustrate people. But the good thing about the Party tent is that you can customize the game to put more emphasis on skill.
The Mini-Game tent is the place to go if you want to compete against friends or the computer in all the Mini-games. This is my favorite part because the object is to defeat your opponents in each mini-game and guess what? It is all skill here. Now you start off with a nice selection of unlocked mini-games but you have to play through the Star Battle Arena or Party Tent to unlock more. There are different types of matches you can setup here, plus you have the option to select any mini-game freely.
The Fun Bazaar is the place where you can take the points you've earned from the main game and purchase mini-games, characters, souvenirs (which are stupid and pointless), and look at mini-game records. You won't spend too much time here but it is essential to making certain parts of the game better.
Lastly, the Extras Zone is a place where you can play extra mini-games. The difference is that there are special mini-games that you can only play here and you get to use your Mii. There are some great mini-games to play here so don't forget about this place.
GRAPHICS & SOUND
The level design for each board is fun. The graphics are decent. There is nothing really good or bad about the visuals in Mario Party 8.
The sound effects are OK and the music is decent. Like the graphics, the audio is nothing much.
Mario Party 8 is another good party game. Even though the main game relies a lot on luck, there are other things that you can do in the game to make it fun. I would recommend it to anybody that has played and liked previous Mario Partys but to people who hate games based on chance, steer clear from here.