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Mario Party 5 Package Art
††Hudson Soft

Mario Party 5

Strangely enough, I was actually planning to review the upcoming Mario Kart: Double Dash!! as my first Nintendo-based review here at the Dojo. For some strange reason, I was compelled to check out Mario Party 5 just for the sheer pleasure of saying that I can. I wasnít too impressed by the shortcomings of the past two entries in the series, but I can definitely say that the fifth installment surpasses both of these, but still doesnít live up to the virtue and immortality of the greatest of the series, Mario Party 2. I donít think anything will ever come close to the grandeur and amazement that came with that title. This is an obvious overstatement, but in all seriousness, Mario Party 5 is able to breath new life into the series that doesnít even need the extra life. After five years, Nintendo has brought us five different installments and the latest is no slouch when it comes to party games. Mario Party has always been a staple in the history of party games and quite simply to summarize my entire viewpoint, Mario Party 5 is still no different from the rest. It provides fun, exciting gameplay but it isnít expected to blow anyoneís mind. Unlike Mario Party 2, obviously. Okay, enough flashbacks, letís get down and dirty with this new first-party title.


One of the things that the Mario Party series never needed in order to be successful was mind-blowing graphics and Mario Party 5 still upholds that thought. The day when a Mario Party title has revolutionary visual prowess is the day weíll see Final Fantasy XVI on the N64. I kid because I love, however, since like other genres such as role-playing games and strategy/sim titles, graphics really arenít necessary to convey the depth of the gameplay. Not to say that the visuals are bad, though, since most everything here looks great, well polished and runs amazingly smooth. Even though the frame rate never drops, there really isnít anything here that would produce even the slightest drop in the frame rate. No huge explosions or fast-paced action sequences. Itís all about style and substance here. Anyone who expects more is selling something... or buying something... or something.


Funny enough, Daisy sounds exactly like Nintendojoís own Charlotte Flam. All kidding aside, the audio samplings in Mario Party 5 are great and even surpass those in the last installment. Sound effects are crisp and the vocal additions give a lot of characterization to the game, even in Party mode, when youíre not too busy talking trash to the person whoís controlling Peach. The music is the greatest aspect about the audio offerings in this title, however, as each sample is filled with the charm and spunk that makes the Mario universe so undividedly unique. While itís still happy-go-lucky, itís still charming as all hell and anyone who canít fall in love with this universe needs to grow up themselves.


Hereís the catch. Mario Party has never been known for its breath taking action-packed pace. Unfortunately, it still takes too dang long to play through an entire game, especially if you donít have four complete players. The way it goes down is that players will move through a board filled with three other opponents, human or otherwise, in order to collect stars and coins. The person with the most stars gets a medal, the person with the most coins gets a medal and the person who moved around the most gets a medal. Moving through the board is atrocious as it can get, but supposedly any game can end without predicting any sort of result. Capsules can be used to steal stars from other players and landing on certain squares or circles can catapult you to any area on the board. There are 70+ mini-games in total including free-for-alls, duels, 1-on-3 games, 2-on-2 games, and more. While nothing will ever beat Mario Party 2ís Bumper Balls game, thereís still plenty of instant classics here like Hotel Goomba. Unfortunately, there are still the games of chance like Get a Rope. These games donít take any skill to master as they are just based off of sheer dumb luck.

So thereís plenty of stuff here for you. Thereís the single-player Story mode that takes the player through several dream boards in an attempt to overthrow Bowserís evil plot. Thereís the quintessential Party mode wherein you and up to three friends can duke it out any way youíd like to. Thereís the Super Duel mode where you, thatís right, duel. Thereís even a Bonus mode which offers three different diversions from the main game including beach volleyball, ice hockey, and a board game that is just as fun as anything else found in the game. The Mini-Game mode is essentially a free-form mode, which lets you play any mini-game you want. Itís nice to practice with and will probably give you just as much play time as the Party mode. So pick your character from Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Daisy, Wario, Waluigi, Toad, Boo, and Koopa Kid and start partying.


This isnít utterly obvious, is it? If youíre looking for a multiplayer game for the GameCube, itís staring you right in the face at this point. Not only is this the best party game on the GameCube, itís the best party game available on any next-generation system to date. Ultimately, Mario Party 5 and its predecessors are meant to be played with more than one person.


Mario Party 5 is easily the greatest party game on the market today. While that isnít saying a whole lot since anything that isnít Mario Party is usually schlock and unworthy of anything but the bargain bin, it still proves that thereís plenty of spunk within the series. If you still have friends who care enough to play through tons upon tons of mini-games, you need to pick this up. If youíd rather blow each other to hell and back, go for it. While youíre at it, though, you may want to check this out just for a refresher course of how multiplayer games were like back in the day. Respect. Itís all about respect. Check it out. Personally, I donít think youíd want to regret it, even if you do.

final score 8.0/10

Staff Avatar Austin Starr
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"If life's not beautiful without the pain / well I'd just rather never ever even see beauty again"

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