Let's just get this out of the way now: Game Party 2 is not a fun game. From its generic title to its recycled collection of minigames, everything about it screams cash-in. Its poorly Photoshopped box sits on shelves waiting for unsuspecting grandparents and casual game players. Do not be fooled: There is nothing that sets this game apart from the dozens of other minigame collections on the Wii. There are better games out there that are more deserving of your money.
As the title implies, Game Party 2 is the follow-up to the original, which was released less than a year ago. Of the 11 minigames present in the sequel, only five of them are new; the rest are recycled from the first game. These minigames include such things as darts, shuffleboard, trivia, skill ball, ping cup, beanbag toss, quarterback challenge, and more. Most of the games are slowly paced, with only one person playing at a time. A customizable Tournament mode allows up to 16 players to compete, so if you've got 15 friends and would like to ruin their night, invite them over for a round of uninteresting games. Playing through with a created profile will unlock new modes, playing surfaces, and other extras, but investing that much time in this game is a lot to ask.
When you first turn on Game Party 2, it might seem like there is a wide variety of moderately exciting minigames, but lazy controls make most of them blur together. During a play-through of all 11 games, you'll make a total of three different gestures. Skill ball, beanbag toss, horseshoes, and lawn darts all require the same underhand-throwing gesture, making them feel more like skin swaps than different games. The trivia game features a wide variety of questions in a bunch of different categories, but the question difficulty is too erratic, ranging from extremely obscure to ridiculously easy. Some of the minigames, such as darts and hoops shoot, offer a few minutes of fun, but none of them are worth playing more than a couple of times.
Though they've been improved since the original Game Party, the controls don't do much to make you feel like you're really playing the games. Most of them don't recognize slight variations, such as twisting the remote. Many of them also have problems registering and interpreting your gestures accurately. The few games that do work well, such as darts or shuffleboard, have been done before in better packages.
Like everything else in the game, the presentation is completely generic. You can set up a profile and create a player, but the options are limited. The character design is uninspired, with stiffly animated Mii look-alikes. Games take place in backyards and funky '70s-style basements. The environments and game pieces do an adequate job of re-creating the real games, but they lack any kind of appealing flash or effects. The menus are the best part of the visuals. They're easy to navigate and feature large buttons, as well as a nice polished shine. The music consists of forgettable waiting-room music that does a good job of tying off the whole generic package.
The last Game Party was released at a budget price, which kind of made up for the low quality. Game Party 2 costs $10 more than the first game, but it includes only a handful of new minigames and middling improvements. It's very hard to justify purchasing this game when the minigame collection packed in with the system is more fun. Don't let this game take advantage of your casual-game-playing friends.