Since the dawn of video games, there have always been games that really put your friendships to the test. Sometimes there are co-op games where players, instead of working together toward a goal, opt to screw each other over constantly. Other times, it’s racing games that tend to bring out the animosity…particularly Mario Kart and the ultimate destroyer of friendships known as the Blue Shell. Then there are the fighting games where accusations of spamming and not knowing how to play always fly around. There are even board game-style video games that have come around like Fortune Street and Dokapon Kingdom that can really bring out the hostility.
However, all of those pale in comparison to what I deem as the ultimate destroyer of friendships– something that people all over the Internet tend to agree on. Just mentioning the game will bring back flashbacks full of thrown controllers and expletives that you never knew existed. Some may not see it as a big deal, but to those who have played, we know all too well.
That game series is Mario Party.
It seems so innocent enough. “Oh cool, a board game-style video game with Mario characters!” you’d think as you first encounter the series. You think nothing of it as you fork over the money to either rent or buy it. You call friends over and you think this is just going to be a good time. I mean, it has the word “party” in it, right?! It can’t be that bad.
And then you experience the game.
No matter how many turns you put it on, it’s always a gamble that you take on the friendships you’ve held so near and dear. Frustrations and hostility come out in full force. You seriously consider punching your friend in the face at some points in time. You hurl expletives and hear expletives from the most unlikely of people. By the game’s end, your friendship is in tatters as you stand there arguing over whether or not you or your friends truly deserved the win. It’s madness. Sheer madness.
How can something so cute be so evil?!
You want to know what makes Mario Party the ultimate in friendship-challenging games? It’s a little thing known as luck. In other games, there’s usually a chance for some kind of compensation. Mario Party, however, is absolutely unforgiving. At any moment you can get stars taken from you, find stars at random, step on a chance time that leaves you completely bankrupt. Having any skills in video games does not apply here. You’re just a puppet being pulled by the strings of Nintendo and whatever sadistic developers that have their hands in this game. All we can do is just let it play out.
We all have our Mario Party war stories, too. We all have had at least one experience where your hostilities toward your friends or the game have taken you too far. Maybe it was a thrown controller where you nearly destroyed your friend’s Nintendo 64 because you couldn’t figure out how to control that stupid Wacky Relay contraption. Maybe it was the masochistic idea of doing 50 turns and getting sent back to start just as you were about to get the star due to some ridiculously unfair dice roll. Perhaps it’s a friend stealing a star from you in order to maintain their lead. No matter what your story is, the rage and animosity at the time are still felt deep within your bones.
Despite the horror, people still come back to it. People still want to play and they all go about it thinking that this time will be different. They think that maybe if they play only 10 turns, they’ll be okay. Or they think with the new style of the series with the ninth and now the tenth installment, that perhaps it’s not so bad anymore since the board is more linear. They think that maybe they’ll get that genuine enjoyment with friends that they are looking for. Yet every single time they experience the game, it’s always met with the same anger and rage. It’s like Nintendo took all its deep-seated hatred of its fans, especially those who doubted the company, and put it into game form. This game is an evil and sadistic maiden that thrives upon the anger and frustrations.
As someone who has experienced multiple Mario Party games with friends, please be cautious. You may play these games at your own risk, but know what you’re getting into. Don’t get yourself mixed up in this sadistic experience of greed and anger. You’d be better off playing Mario Kart or New Super Mario Bro. U. It’s that bad. I’d say that your best bet would be to play Kirby’s Epic Yarn, which is too happy to make you rage at each other with.
Enter at your own risk with Mario Party. Just say that I didn’t warn you…