I've been playing a lot of Mario Party 10 lately. Yes, it's the 10th iteration of the same good ol' Mario Party game, but it just doesn't get old. When I have company and we're in the mood to play a fun, competitive, and at the same time laidback multiplayer game, Mario Party is one of our favorite options. Of course, up until now, we were stuck playing Mario Party 9 for Wii, but in the new era of vibrant, HD graphics, it was starting to feel quite old. So... welcome to Mario Party 10!
First things first, anything Nintendo looks vibrant and exciting in HD. We saw it in Mario Kart 8, in Super Mario 3D World, in Super Smash Bros., and even in the HD remake of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (sigh... nostalgia...). The characters in Mario Party 10 almost pop off the screen, and everything - from Donkey Kong's fur, to Yoshi's rubbery body, to Bowser's bright orange, bushy eyebrows and slick scales, to Mario's puffy hat and jumpsuit - stands out and makes you realize it's a whole new level of visuals. The game boards are also much more detailed this time around, and it's a joy to revisit classic themes like the Mushroom Kingdom, the Haunted Trail, the underwater world, Bowser's Castle, and more.
To make things even more interesting, Nintendo has added the Amiibo Party Mode, with new boards which you unlock with Mario Party Amiibo figurines. There are nine in total, and... you guessed it! You need each figurine in order to unlock their corresponding game board in Amiibo Party mode: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Wario, Toad, Bowser, DK, Rosalina. You also get daily bonus tokens for using other Amiibo in the game. I've been cashing in with Link and Princess Zelda for a while...
To tell you the truth, this game comes with game boards galore, so I'm not even close to having played each one of them. However, what I have seen so far is great, and you'll never get bored having to play the same themes over and over, like it used to happen with older Mario Party releases. The gameplay in Mario Party Mode, you know it: you move around the board aiming to collect stars and playing mini-games with or against the other players to win coins and for a chance to collect an extra star at the end. There's also Bowser Mode, which uses the Wii U Gamepad really well. Here, players compete around the board and play mini-games against Bowser. If they let him win, Bowser chases them to steal hearts from them before they can even reach the end. This is a frantic battle that strays from the old formula while still keeping its essence.
I also love the ability to just play mini-game competitions with my friends. I miss the variety of mini-game game battles provided in previous titles, but there's a very competitive coin battle where you fight for the 1st place in 3, 5, or 7 mini-game rounds. The double points incentive in the last two mini-games of the 7-game match really make it frenzied, as everyone has a good shot at winning, even when close to the end of the tourney.
Mario Party 10's mini-games are really fun, most of them based on skill and just a handful based on pure luck (you can even turn these off if they're not your cup of tea). I can't believe they still manage to come up with different mini-games after all these iterations, but they do, and they all range from cute to fun, nerve-racking, and hilarious. You have the typical obstacle courses, which sometimes are pure mayhem, a few variations of the classic arena battles, item-collecting mini-games, puzzle and memory-based mini-games, and much more.
There are also a couple of separate arcade games (not mini-games) that round out the package really nicely. We spent quite some time the other day playing a Columns/Super Puzzle Fighter-style game where colored gems roll around the screen while you make attempts at color-matching them. If you're not speedy enough, your screen starts filling up with bigger gems, which are quite hard to break apart unless you start doing combos. Very fun too, whether you play solo or against a friend.
The only warning I have about this game is, I hope you didn't get rid of your Wii remotes, because you still need four of them to play with up to three friends. Much of the gameplay is still based on motion controls. Other than that, if you like Mario Party at all and still enjoy classic multiplayer competitions in the same living room, do yourself and your friends and family a favor and go get Mario Party 10!
GameDynamo's Score for Mario Party 10 (Wii U)
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An enthusiast of gaming adventures as well as party and puzzle games. Writer, editor, translator, graphics designer, and a multitasker at heart. Maria has worked in the gaming industry since 2007, though she's been a gamer since the eighties. She proudly wore her Spain jersey when they won the 2010 World Cup!
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