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Mario Party 3


mario party 3          mario party 3

Are you ready to PAR-TAY!? 

Mario, Nintendoís own resident party animal, has sent out the invitations to join him and his partying friends in the latest (and likely last on the Nintendo 64)
installment of the Mario Party series, Mario Party 3. 

The first two Mario Party games, which are essentially home console board games, have proven to be big hits for Nintendo, so it was inevitable we would see another sequel. 

If you have never played a Mario Party game, up to four players set out by rolling dice and moving their selected player around the board, collecting coins, buying objects and collecting, buying or stealing (from other players) the ultimate goal: stars. 

After each player rolls to complete a turn, there is a mini-game battle amongst the four players in 4-player free-for-all, 1-on-3 or 2-on-2 modes, depending on which space each player landed on. 

The third installment improves on the first two in many areas. From the 70 new mini-games, to the crisper graphics, Nintendo has given its party fans reason to yet again plunk down their money. 





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First off, we have the new mini-games, which are the life of the Mario Party. 

Some of the best new mini-games are:

Fowl Play: Catch a runaway chicken before your opponent. 
Snowball Summit: Roll the biggest snowball to knock your opponents from the mountain. Chip Shot Challenge: Similar in design to Mario Golf, you must hit the golf ball closest to the pin (hole-in-ones are the ultimate goal). 
Marioís Puzzle Party: Essentially Mario Tetris. Rockiní Raceway: Ride a 


hobbyhorse to victory quicker than your opponents. Hey, Batter, Batter!: Which hopefully is a harbinger of a future Mario baseball game. Boulder Ball: Roll over your opponents with boulders before they reach the top. 

Many of the mini-games copy closely previous mini-games from the first two titles, but are improved and upgraded for the most part. 

The overall increased difficulty of the mini-games could turn off some previous Mario Party players. It isnít as easy to just pick up the game and win at the mini-games. You need to practice this time out in order to party hearty with Mario and his crew. 

Much of the graphics resemble the recently released Paper Mario, which isnít a bad thing. Nintendo never skimps on the eye candy when it comes to their flagship characterís games, and MP3 is no exception. With a combination of 2D Paper Mario and 3D Mario Party/Mario Tennis elements, Mario Party 3 gives gamers some of the best graphics to ever grace a N64 cartridge. 

The MP3 control setup wisely follows the second installment, smartly eliminating the need to quickly twirl the N64 controller joystick to perform mini-game functions. This was done by placing the joystick in the middle of your palm and turning repeatedly in a fast circle. This caused enough minor carpal tunnel hand injuries to MP1 gamers that Nintendo actually offered (free of charge) to supply players with a gaming glove to alleviate the pain. 

The biggest change over the first two games is that instead of buying mini-games, they are earned by playing them during the board game play. Coins donít serve the same function. In MP 1 & 2, you collected them to secure enough change to buy the various mini-games, making them available to play in Battle Mode. 

In MP3, coins really serve no purpose outside of the board game play, when you can use them to buy in-game items such as the Warp Block, Boo Bell, Skeleton Key, or Bowser Phone, which can help you turn the balance of the game to your character if they are used strategically. 

You still have the Battle Mode, which, as in the previous Mario Party games, is the best way to get your party groove on. This is the quickest and best way to get a good four-player battle going and a good way to bone up on the mini-games skills necessary to win on the board game. 

The single-player Story Mode follows some ďbeen-there-done-thatĒ plot line involving a quest for the Millennium Star. Itís not bad, but simply cannot match the fun
factor involved when three other players join in for Party Mode. As usual, itís the multi-player action that makes Mario Party an enjoyable gaming experience. Gather three of your friends or family around the N64 and youíre ready for a party, Mario-style. 

There are two new characters available from the Mario universe, Daisy and Waluigi. They join the usual cast of returning characters: Mario, Luigi, Donkey Kong, Peach, Wario, and Yoshi. 

Everything comes together to give the gamer a very enjoyable ride. But let me make this clear: although this is a very good title, this game isnít for everybody. If you donít like games like Monopoly, Bust-a-Move, or the recently released Dr. Mario 64, you should stay clear of the party. Any of those who would rather prefer sports, racing, fighting or shooting games will quickly tire of MP3. 

But if you like the board or puzzle game genre, you should look no farther than MP3. This is one of the best games in this particular category. Even if you have already bought one or both of the previous Mario Party titles, this game is worth the money simply for all the new mini-games. 

It looks like the N64 Party is over after this version, but you can bet the invitations will go out again once the GameCube is released. 

- Lee Cieniawa 

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