Of course when I found out that there was a Mario Party for the Wii, I knew that I had to play it. Being a huge fan of Mario Party 5 for the GameCube, there was no question that this was going to be the first Wii game that I ever purchased.
Although the Wii version of the game is fairly similar to the GameCube versions, there are still notable differences. Mario Party 8 is characterized by six unique game boards, fourteen playable Nintendo characters plus the Wii Mii, special spaces that advance or obstruct the player’s progression towards obtaining a star, edible candies that can used to attack other players or benefit the character who eats the candy, fun mini-games, shopping for additional features, and different game types.
Personally, I absolutely loved playing as a team because each combination of characters receives a special team name. For example, Princess Peach and Princess Daisy are “Damsels in Success” or Princess Peach and Waluigi are “Sweet ‘n’ Sour.” Discovering each new team name was so much fun because each name was unique and special to the combination.
I started shipping characters that made no sense, specifically Waluigi and Princess Peach. I always play Mario Party as Princess Peach and Waluigi somehow consistently came out as a strong and winning CPU whether on my team or the opposing one. Waluigi became Princess Peach’s boyfriend in my mind, always winning when at her side.
Furthermore, another aspect I really enjoyed in the game was the bonus stars at the end of the game, an option that can be enabled or disabled as the player wishes. At the end of the game, players can have a winner and loser or be tied and that would be the end. However, with bonus stars, the game’s outcome can be completely turned around.
The winner can become the loser and vice versa. Even more interestingly, the bonus stars are randomized so there is no guarantee on who will receive the bonus stars. Examples including eating the most candy or landing on the most red spaces. Additionally, the mini-games are great with the integration of movement allowed from the Wii.
My personal favorite, only because I always, without fail, win this one, is Shake It Up, which requires shaking the Wii remote up and down as fast as possible. Moreover, the mini-games can be one-on-one, two-on-two, or one-on-three. It’s refreshing not to have my loyalties lie with the same person for the entire game.
Mario Party 8 is a fresh take on the Mario Party series. Especially with the utilization of the Wii remote, this version goes above and beyond my expectations.
One thing to keep in mind is that this is a party game, a great one at that. It is extremely fun to play this with others. Sometimes even playing alone is okay because the CPUs can be challenging. I loved that every game board was played differently with a distinct story line.
However, after playing this game for a long time, it can be exhausted because all of its individual features become known. To be honest, when I first got this game, I was addicted and played it everyday and explored every feature; however, after I unlocked all that I could and knew every nook and cranny of the game, Mario Party 8 did not come out unless I wanted something fun and casual to play with friends. Nevertheless, Mario Party 8 will always hold a special place in my heart for being my first Wii game.