Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wii: Exclusive Mario Party 8 Video

Judging from their faces, this looks about as much fun as farting in a phone booth (or perhaps they were just peed off at the crappy music?).

GamesRadar has posted a breakdown of all the mini games in Mario Party 8. More after the jump.

The rules are the same - roll dice and run through a Nintendo-themed board game collecting coins and stars. Whoever has the most stars at the end wins. It was that way in 1999, it's that way in 2007. The biggest criticism we have is the enormous amount of down time during the match. We'll obviously touch more on that in the upcoming review, but man, there's a whole lot of waiting to play, sifting through menus, reading dialogue and all kinds of other non-party related activities. Still, it's not so much about the individual annoyances as it is the overall experience, and some of us did enjoy our hour-and-a-half romp through Donkey Kong's jungle board.

If the video isn't enough, however, here are the minigames we played and our thoughts on each:

Grabby Gridiron - 2 against 2

Two teams of two try to run a football into the other team's goal. Balls are constantly being shot into the field so attentions are scattered all over the place. To play, you hold the remote sideways and use the number buttons to kick, jump and shove. It was one of the few minigames that involved all four players physically trying to impede each other's progress, so it ranks fairly high on the list. But even the best Mario Party minigame gets old after five or six tries.

Snow WayOut - 3 against 1

One player uses the remote to aim a cursor at the other three, who are scrambling across a rooftop. The point is for one player to lob snowballs at the others and knock them off the roof. You can run off the edge and lose automatically, so that kinda stinks, and the snowballs fly so slow that it's practically impossible to hit anyone. Buh.

Swing Kings - various methods

A Shy Guy tosses baseballs in the air. You swing the remote and hit them. That's it. If you can get the timing right, the game's all yours. Not much else to it. Oddly satisfying.

Thrash 'N Crash - 3 against 1

Three players skate down an alley while avoiding Thwomps and other such obstacles. The remaining player points a cursor at said obstacles and hits a button to trigger them. This and Snow Way Out both suffer from a sloooow sense of action. You almost have to want to be hit by the objects, otherwise all three will finish with relative ease.
Big Screen, Main Screen

Spector Inspector - 1 against 1

A first-person scavenger hunt for hiding ghosts. Looks a little like Luigi's Mansion, but manages to be a little more boring than even that ho-hum title. It is, however, kind of neat to see characters like Yoshi or Peach in a first-person setting, so that's a bonus.

Lava Lobbers - 1 against 1

Two players, in mine carts, on opposite ends of a lava pit, use the d-pad and face buttons to toss balls at each other. The goal is to smash them three times and apparently send them falling to a horrific, fiery death. Not too bad, but Waluigi deserves an even worse fate.

Scooter Pursuit - free for all

Everyone hops in a double barreled hover thingy and zips around trying to shoot each other. The one with the most hits wins. Movement, left to right and forward and back, is done with the remote, and shooting is the 2 button. It's basically Mario Kart lite. Fairly fun.

Boo-ting Gallery - 2 against 2

Two teams burst into a haunted house and take out a swarm of ethereal Boos, Ghostbusters style. Only slower and more boring. Yes, even this shoot 'em up minigame plods along with ghost-bullets that appear to be fighting gravity every step of the way. After you shoot enough ghosts, the big momma shows up and you kill her too. The victors then slowly, awkwardly walk out of the house and stand by a fence. After what feels like 50 to 100 years of dead silence, the "Winner!" music and animations kick in. Somebody yell "Cut!" and move the game along, please!

Rowed to Victory - 2 against 2

This one was actually pretty cool. You each control one oar and have to time your paddles in order to reach a floating flag. The first team there wins. It requires communication, actual exertion and friendly yelling to get the job done. If more minigames are like this, Mario Party 8 could definitely be a decent entry into Wii's overcrowded minigame market.

If you've missed the emerging pattern, it's the crippling pace of gameplay. Entirely too much time is spent watching stuff happen and then when you do get in a game, chances are it's going to be slow and uninteresting. They're not all that way of course, and like we said earlier, there's some fun to be had with four people gunning for first place. Best check the review when it's posted, eh?


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