Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback
After reviewing several games in the series there is one thing I realize. Mario Party could be a genius title for a handheld system. Multiplayer fun with your own screen and a mega amount of mini games means fun with the family, where ever you might be. Like other titles in the franchise Mario Party: Island Tour for the Nintendo 3DS takes us to the top-down view of seven different Mario-themed boards where our heroes converge into a series of 81 mini-games and a lot of fun. Like other games in the series the player rolls virtual dice which triggers on-board events and mini-games which can advance the characters forward to win the game. This being the third game to release on the handheld system means any issues should have been resolved, let’s take a look at what kind of party Mario has for us this time.
The boards have always been a central aspect of Mario Party and in this installment each of the seven boards play slightly differently than the others. For instance, one of the boards focuses on bullet bill, he is involved in the dice rolls and will fire to send you back to the start, so while you try to make it to the end of the game you are also up against bullet bill as a separate challenge. This game is a bit of everything when it comes to boards. Like in older versions of Mario Party, some boards are based on obtaining the most among of starts while others focus on getting to the end. One of the boards doesn’t use dice at all but instead replaces the moves with cards. So really there is something for everyone.
The argument for Mario Party fans over history has been how much of a combination of luck and skill is actually involved in beating your opponent. The cool thing about this version of Mario Party is that each board is broken down into the amount of luck, skill, and mini-games so there is no guess-work involved. If you are feeling any one of the components over the other, it is easy to choose the right board for you. That being said, I prefer skill over all else so those were the boards I tended to choose. It seems like the boards based on skill ended in just a few rounds which didn’t leave much room for me to even use my skill to win. Gone are the days of rounded board games that could go on for up to 100 turns. I miss having that option and I can only hope it is something they will bring back in the future.
The mini-games in this title are on point! They may be some of the most fun I’ve had with Mario Party in a while. They not only make good use of the Nintendo 3DS features but they are designed with nothing but fun in mind. From flying around a snow-covered slide to parachuting down to a small platform the games are challenging and addictive. The games themselves do need a good amount of skill for the most part and it creates a competitive atmosphere when playing with other people. This version only requires one copy of the game to get a Mario Party on with your friends so it makes the mini-game madness even more appealing.
Overall I had a lot of fun with this title. While it doesn’t hold a flame to some of the original Mario Party titles, it is still a pretty fun contender when it comes to current Mario Party console games. I would say this is definitely a better installment than the last three released for console. It makes good use of the system it’s on and the download play makes it easy to pick up and play with your friends. I would have liked to see more online features but for a quick thrill, this title isn’t half bad.
Mario Party: Island Tour
3.5 Out of 5
+Well designed boards with varying features
+81 Mini-games that are mostly fun
+Download play, only need one copy of the game
-Lame single-player mode
-Some boards end in only a few turns