Parties aren’t just about partying…?
Not a great opening, but what I’m trying to say is that Mario Party-esque games are not the only possible choice when hosting a gathering. This may have gone without saying, but if there’s one thing I’m good at, it’s belaboring a point over and over and over again.
There are a lot of games that lend themselves to local multiplayer, but as most of my friends are hardcore dorks, it’s FPS’s that we regularly start with, since they’re one of the few game types we basically have parity at. If we were gonna play Street Fighter, I would dominate way too hard, same with somebody else if we played an RTS, or Smash Bros., and so on.
You know what game we all dig playing as a group? Pretty much any game from the Tales series. It works better now that the camera pays attention to more than just the first player. In fact, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m purposefully playing through Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World slowly so that we can have more multiplayer sessions with it.
Any of the WarioWare console games do well in a crowd, too. Some time last winter, a gaggle of people and I ended up staying awake until 5 AM playing WarioWare: Smooth Moves. It’s not like we were even playing one of the multiplayer modes. We were just taking turns playing the single-player levels over and over again, laughing at the lame Flash animation and even harder at people failing at the fourth straight microgame in.
The Marvel: Ultimate Alliance games also offer something unique. Since the screen doesn’t split, everybody’s basically got the same view on things. Except it’s lame when you forget whether you’re playing as Iron Man or Moon Knight. Just kidding. It’s always Moon Knight, ’cause he is hella awesome.
Of course, I would be remiss if not to mention the actual Mario Party games, like Mario Party 8, which has been out for — can you believe it? — over three years already. It took me the better part of one to unlock the final game board, partially because I didn’t realize you had to play the single-player mode to do it. I figured if we just kept playing more and more multiplayer games, it would eventually have to unlock, right? Ummmmm… Anyway. Stop laughing!