Mario Party: A 15 Year Celebration

Take a trip through each of the Mario Party games in this anniversary jamboree!

By Kyle England. Posted 02/10/2014 09:00 3 Comments     ShareThis

Mario Party 3

Nintendo 64 (2001)
Boards: 6 Party Boards and 6 Duel Boards
Minigames: 71 (3 of these are bonus games)

Mario Party 3 finishes off the original Nintendo 64 trilogy with a bang. It’s all about more, more, more. The third party has over 70 original minigames (no duplicates from the other titles), two new characters, a story mode, and an entirely new dueling board game for two players. Waluigi and Daisy fans (however many there are) are able to play as the two B-list characters for the first time here. That’s a lot of features!

In party mode, the item system has been revamped, and players can hold three at a time, which stayed with the series for a while. However, there’s no way to turn off certain items, so be ready to see people abusing the magic lamp left and right. Another troublesome space to mention is Game Guy, who takes all of your coins and forces you to gamble in luck based games. Sure, you can win big– but it’s more likely you’ll lose it all.

This third game introduces two new modes to play: story mode and the duel boards. Story mode is a single player experience that takes you through each of the boards against computers. This can be kind of a bore, because Mario Party is meant to be multiplayer. Imagine having to sit through three computers’ turns 15 times, and then you lose from an unlucky space and have to play the map again. Plus, in order to get 100 percent, you have to beat the story six times…

What really sets Mario Party 3 apart are the duel maps. In these, you play a two player match where both of you harness the power of creatures from the Mario universe to do battle. It involves some of the most strategic thinking in Mario Party, a welcome change from the luck dependent party mode. When it comes down to it, due to the variety of great minigames and modes, many hardcore Mario Party fans consider 3 to be the pinnacle of the series (along with 2 of course).

Like the original Mario Party, the threequel is only available in the original N64 cartridge format. However, this one can be tougher to find, because it was released late in the Nintendo 64’s lifespan. Expect to drop $40 or more on a copy!

The Good:

  • Two new playable characters
  • More items and options for more possibilities
  • Strategic Duel Mode adds a lot more to the game

The Bad:

  • Story Mode can be kind of a drag
  • Items can’t be disabled or changed
  • Game Guy!

Stand-out Minigames: Snowball Summit, Ridiculous Relay, Eatsa Pizza, Mario’s Puzzle Party

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3 Responses to “Mario Party: A 15 Year Celebration”

  • 111 points
    roykoopa64 says...

    Wow, excellent job stepping through the whole (console) history of the series! I remember hearing you mention you would be working on this feature when I listened to a recent episode (10, I think) of the podcast (oops, I’ve missed some of the newer episodes). My experience with the Mario Party series is rather limited, so I found it interesting to read about the changes made along the way.

    So DK is not a playable character starting with Mario Party 5? I was wondering why he showed up on the box covers in some of the later games. Looking it up online now, I see he becomes a non-playable character you interact with on certain boards. I wonder why they did that? Even Mario Kart 7 still has features the burly ape as a playable character.

    • 819 points
      Toadlord says...

      Removing DK as a playable character always bummed me out, too. Especially when they go to great lengths to make you hate the guy, like when he gives a free star to someone who doesn’t need it. I know when I was playing the GameCube Mario Party titles, I viewed him on-par with Bowser in terms of annoyance.

      Truth be told, there’s not much that could get me to buy a new Mario Party nowadays. I’m just not in the position to play with many people for local multiplayer, and online would have to be done really well for me to consider it.

      • 285 points
        Kyle England says...

        Glad you guys liked the feature! I was never a huge DK fan in Mario Party, but it was odd that he became an event guy from 5 onwards. His minigames were always tough to unlock if you wanted 100% as well.

        80% of the fun in Mario Party does come from being with your friends. I can’t see that level of energy being replicated through online play any time soon. The fact that I can still play Mario Party 15 years later and have fun with it now that I’m older really speaks to that.

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