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 5

GameCube (2003)
Boards: 7
Minigames: 75 (4 are bonus games)

So many minigames! Mario Party 4 was seriously holding out! If minigames are your main attraction to a Mario Party, then the fifth game is your best bet so far. At the time of release, Mario Party 5 had the most minigames in the series (the record wouldn’t stick). Mario Party 5 also features the most board variety in the series aside from the first title; it’s tied with Mario Party 9 for second most boards.

The biggest change in the fifth party comes from the overhaul of the item system. Old items are no more, having been replaced by capsules, which are given out randomly for free. You can throw them on spaces to cause events to happen, but the randomness of the delivery means that it’s really tough to depend on capsules. It wasn’t a great system, but it laid the foundation for improvements in future parties.

Mario Party 5 is chock full of many new modes, as to be expected. There’s a more streamlined story that is much shorter to beat, and full-fledged robot fighting game where players can customize machines! Another important addition to point out is that there are three new characters for partying: Toad, Boo, and Koopa Kid. Donkey Kong fans beware, as he’s gone forever as a playable character from this game on! Still, if you are looking for variety in gameplay, Mario Party 5 is a great place to go. The music here is some of the best in the series, too!

You can get the fifth game on GameCube disc, where it sits around $25 nowadays.

The Good:

  • More minigames than any other previous Mario Party
  • Tons of new modes like robot battles
  • Three new party characters

The Bad:

  • Capsule system is too random to depend on
  • Donkey Kong is no longer playable!

Stand-out Minigames: Hotel Goomba, Sky Survivor, Beam Team, Dodge Bomb

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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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