Wii Party, is yet another mini game driven game for the Wii. This time around they threw in the board game elements reminiscent of Mario Party. In fact, this is Nintendo’s step away from Mario, choosing instead to utilize the Wii’s Mii avatars and locations more in the vein of Wii Sports or Wii Fit.
Control wise the mini games are much more fluid versus the controls we saw in Mario Party 8, the only Mario Party game released on the Wii. This isn’t to say the games are less gimmicky just that the controls are picked up better than the previous. What instead seems to have been taken away is the sheer number of boards. You have the option of a board that is simply a race to the finish or one that has you collecting the most “keepsake photos” in a set number of turns. Now there are other play modes such as Bingo, which has random mini games mixed into the standard game but it lacks the polish of the sheer number of boards in Mario Party. The nice addition however is the optional games designed for less than four players. In the past you simply had to deal with a computer player. In this one there are games that are much shorter but available to smaller parties. Don’t mistake this as a one player game though as then no matter what you are playing with the computer or playing games designed to pass off the remote to someone else.
Graphically the game is what you expect, Wii Sports with some polish. Example of this polish is Mii-ivied animals and vehicles. The overall motif is a lighthearted cheery one. This can sometimes clash with the atmosphere of a particularly competitive group, but maybe that is just my circle. The movements in the game are not exceptionally complex so there isn’t any choppiness to the animation. This makes me wonder why the MC is the Wii’s equivalent of a Muppet. Which in all reality is pretty funny.
Overall, if you need a game that you can play with a group with varying degrees of experience this is the game. The mini games can be practiced and easily grasped by even the most non gamer audience member. While it is a step up from the control issues in Mario Party 8, the missing Nintendo iconic characters, as well as more themed boards, is what keeps this game from being perfect in my eyes.
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