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Platform: GameBoy Advance
Genre: Party Game
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Hudson
ESRB: E (Everyone)
Released: March 2005

 

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Mario Party Advance

Score: 6.0 / 10

 

Pros:

- Some good mini-games

- Lots of multiplayer options

 

Cons:

- Single-player game is yawn-inducing

- Uninteresting game boards

- Extremely limited number of available rolls

 

 

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"Squeezing the fun out of Mario Party Advance is a tough slog..."

 

The most surprising aspect of Mario Party Advance (MPA) is that it has taken until now – six years after the N64 original – to appear on the GameBoy Advance.  Connectivity was a big selling point of the GBA and the Mario Party franchise seems like a natural for being “connected.”  Anyway, it’s here now and if you’re a fan, MPA is a welcome addition – but if you’re neutral on the franchise, MPA is likely to bore you within about ten minutes.

 

mario party advance review          mario party advance review

 

The single-player unfolds unlike the most recent GameCube versions.  Rather than play against computer-controlled opponents, it’s just you, the board, a limited number of rolls, and an assortment of mini-games to unlock by completing quests scattered across each sprawling (and largely unexciting) board.  And it sure as shootin’ ain’t easy.

 

To begin, you have exactly three mushrooms, which translate to rolls of the dice.  There’s the chance to earn more mushrooms but until you master a few of the mini-games you’ll be starting a new game every five minutes for at least three-quarters of an hour.  There are not enough mushrooms to start!  If you’re unlucky enough with the roll of the die, the game can be over even faster.  It doesn’t help that the The single-player game this is almost a game killer, particularly if you want to unlock the full potential of multiplayer.  The mini-games (and gags) are pretty good and there are quite a few of them, but it just doesn’t feel like a… party.  Squeezing the fun out of MPA is a tough slog if you’re not dedicated.

 

mario party advance review

 

The manual indicates that there is a 100-player mode.  My mind reeled with the possibilities and the notion Nintendo hadn’t been entirely truthful about the GBA’s full potential.  Of course, I was wrong.  One person takes a turn then physically passes the GBA to the next person in line.  MPA features full link support but it’s still nice to have the 100-player feature if you’re too cheap to splurge on some link cables.

 

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I have no problem recommending MPA to fans of the franchise of to those needing a good entertainment package for a long trip with kids.  Everyone else can safely give it a miss – it’s just not much of a party.

 

- Omni

(April 23, 2005)

 

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