As some of you may already know, the latest entry into our beloved little plumbers minigame franchise, Mario Party 9, hit store shelves yesterday for Wii. This marks the last entry of the series for the system, and from what I’ve played so far, the creators definitely decided to go out with a bang. Almost everything has changed, but in all honesty, that’s a good thing. The entire experience has a faster pace, more fun, and is has more variety than ever before. And considering how many releases we’ve all seen over the years, it was about time for a change.
One of the first things I noticed was the difference in how the game was played. Instead of each player having their own space on the board, every participant rides together in the same vehicle. Now some of you may be thinking, “Wait, doesn’t that take away the strategy aspect of the gameplay?” The answer is no, not really. Just because people are all together in one spot doesn’t mean that they have to make decisions together; there will always be opportunities to sabotage your opponent. A change like this actually works out for the better because now each match can move along at a brisk price without feeling simplistic and dull.
The other thing that grabbed my attention was the addition of boss fights. While this may seem like a dull idea at first, believe me, the amount of strategy poured into them adds that much more to the challenge and excitement of the experience. In theory, the main goal is to work together to defeat each one, but in practice, collecting as many points as possible in order to achieve a higher rank than everybody else is the key to victory. It encourages you to be a little bit more of a competitive gamer instead of a casual one, which is a nice change of pace for titles.
Overall, my initial impressions of Mario Party 9 are positive. The streamlined gameplay keeps things from getting boring, boss fights offer a competitive edge, and all of the minigames are simple and easy to understand as well. Be on the lookout for a full review of the game soon right here at TQCast.com.