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Platform

GameCube

 

Genre

Party Game

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Hudson

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

Q1 2005

 

 

- Easy to play with friends

- Some new additions from previous installments

 

 

- Microphone is a gimmick

- Minor additions from last year

 

 

Review: Mario Power Tennis (GC)

Review: Mario Party 5 (GC)

Review: Mario Party 4 (GC)

 

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Mario Party 6

Score: 7.9 / 10

 

In 2003, I ended my review of Mario Party 5 with the line, "another solid addition to the Mario Party franchise."  Well, you can pretty much say the same thing about the latest addition, Mario Party 6.  And while you're at it, say it into the microphone.  Louder!

 

mario party 6 review          mario party 6 review

 

Maybe the most notable addition that Mario Party 6 brings to the table is a microphone that plugs into a free memory slot.  Gimmicky, you say?  Yep!  But there's also something else to consider, it's only used for a handful of the mini-games.  So, not only is it a gimmick, it hardly gets any use.  While future applications might yield some kind of breakthrough gameplay innovation, Mario Party 6 certainly isn't a must-purchase item for the microphone alone.  The multiplayer fun is the main draw again and fans of the series will be pleased with the minor changes to the overall Mario Party formula.

 

The story behind the proceedings is mostly inconsequential -- this is after all a board game -- but what the hell.  Brighton and Twila (we know them as the sun and the moon) get into some petty argument that hastens the arrival of the Apocalypse of the Mushroom Kingdom, fiery demons and gore included.  Okay, so it doesn't happen quite like that, but basically Mario and the gang get together to compete in mini-games to bring the feud to an end.

 

Without a doubt, the single player game pales in comparison to the mayhem and good times afforded by the multiplayer.  There are plenty of mini-games -- too many to list -- and none are reused mini-games from previous Mario Party games, which is great but there are quite a few similar mini-games.  This means there's zero learning curve when matching reflexes (and a little luck) against human opponents and makes it accessible for all ages.

 

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The board design this time around is just as good as Hudson's previous efforts, but they've added a few wrinkles to keep things interesting, including a day/night cycle that can change the layout of a board, in some cases drastically.  You're still trying to out-collect the other players: stars, power-ups, you know, the regular Mario Universe things.  If I had a complaint about the boards it's that they're packed with squares that can bog down an otherwise brisk game.  Having the interaction with live players 

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mitigates this somewhat because you can talk, drink, joke, etc. when you're not competing in a mini-game.  But when you're playing on your own -- which I just can't recommend -- the pace of the game is painfully slow, which is something that has plagued the series for as long as I can remember.  Like I wrote when reviewing Mario Party 4, "As a single-player experience MP4 lacks in excitement and any kind of addictive fun factor."

 

mario party 6 review          mario party 6 review

 

Stylistically Mario Party 6 maintains the same big and bright vibes of the previous installments.  It's pleasant to look at, but it's about time that Hudson broke through to different areas or completely revamped the boards to speed up the time between turns.  Or even go to the M-rating and see what ideas that shakes loose.

 

Mario Party 6 isn't a bad game.  It packs a gimmick to be sure and the improvements are really only skin deep, but it's still a grand party game.

 

- Omni

(January 27, 2005)

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