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Excitement Around Mii- Wii Party Review

Although most people think of Mario as an industrious hero, the renowned plumber also has a hedonistic side: the guy just can’t resist a celebratory gathering. With eight iterations of Mario Party on consoles (in addition to several portable versions) our hero has offered nearly as many board-game based titles as platform titles. While critics seemed to consistently adore his koopa-stomping adventures, they’ve been increasingly disparaging of the mini-game collections.

Wii Party sees the venerable protagonist on a short hiatus, his starring role given to Mii’s- Nintendo’s ubiquitous avatars. Along with the switch in lead characters, a number of other changes have been made, endowing  the title with both a dose of variety and a distinctive personality. Regrettably, a few small but troubling oversights prohibit Wii Party from earning a place in the first-party pantheon.

The game wisely complements the familiar board-based structure with a number of other meta-games. From a variants which tasks players with circumnavigating a globe, a Wheel Of Fortune-like contest, and even a quick bingo-based competition, a robust range of matches await players. Those favoring a cooperative test may opt for one of three ‘pair games’, which demand a delightful collaborative effort from participants. Of these, a quick favorite became Balance Boat which required players to stabilize an increasing population of Mii’s across three horizontal sailboat beams. As each mini-game was successful completed, teams were given two identically-sized avatars, while failure met with Miis of wildly different proportions. Wisely, deciding on a diversion is never difficult, thanks to Wii Play‘s clear indication of time and player requirements; the game can even offer suggestions upon answering a few questions. 

Given the healthy roster of eighty mini-games on the Wii Party disk, there’s surprisingly few clunkers. Generally, the games which require players to turn their Wiimotes sidewise work well. One competition had players steering remote control cars around a dirt track in an attempt to pop balloons. While inherently simple, with spot-on controls- the contest was undeniably amusing. Challenges which utilized the IR functionality of the controller were nearly as gratifying, especially the title’s shooting gallery-esque tests. Where Wii Party stumbles is with the odd gesture-based trial; rocking a crying baby or throwing a ring in a carnival game often lacked precision. Since a single mini-game can occasionally determine the match, getting the infrequent dud be truly frustrating.

Whereas Mario Party presented frequent opportunities to upset the player standings- by giving trailing gamers a helping hand, Wii party does little to balance the rivalries. A few matches pushed participants into such a dominating lead, that the other players began to lose interest. More puzzling is Wii Party’s lack of player handicap- while players can choose the level of AI aggressiveness, they can’t make adjustments to balance to the proceedings. For a family-friendly game where players may have very different levels of skill, this omission is inexcusable.

Visually, the title offers a familiar Wii aesthetic- modestly detailed characters set in wonderfully vibrant environments. Like other first-party endeavors, The game is bolstered by a fluid sixty frame-per-second delivery, embedding Wii Party with a velvety sheen. While the title forgoes the appeal of Nintendo’s popular characters, seeing your likeness participate in each component of the game has its own charm. Players who have a console full of family, friends, and celebrity lookalikes should enjoy the constant inclusion by familiar faces.

For households with  several gamers who share a similar level of ability, Wii Party has the potential to be a catalyst for a rousing multiplayer romp. While the title’s focus on both competitive and cooperative events won’t hold much interest for solitary gamers, this compilation of eighty mini-games should provide hours of enjoyment for groups. It’s a shame that a few small additions weren’t added to make the party accessible for mixed groups. 


About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert ‘DesertEagle’ Allen is Tech-Gaming’s resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

38 comments

  1. As someone whose played all the MP games and bought this on day one, this is one of the fairest reviews I have read. Thanks for not bashing this because of the subject matter.

  2. Rocking a baby? really?

  3. I like that is not just board games anymore. That was getting old.

  4. Good review. You’ve proved you’re better than those too cool sites which gave this a bad review for being a mini-game compilation.

  5. I heard one of the big complains was that you didn’t play mini-games often enough. You were just rolling dice or moving around.

  6. Cool, but I’d like another WarioWare: Smooth Moves game for Wii. Some of those games were really fun.

  7. So out of 80 minigames, how many are bad?

  8. I think I’ll be getting Kirby instead of this, unless there’s a B1G1 free sale soon.

  9. Not my kind of game. I never liked the Mario Party games.

  10. fair nuff. You guys always seem to nail the Nintendo reviews.

  11. Any unlockables or is everything out there in the open?

  12. Just saw this last weekend. I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it before.

  13. They beat Mama to the punch.

  14. I’d rather be Donkey Kong that the things thats supposed to look like me.

  15. I like these kinds of games. They’re fun to play with non-gamers. I don’t know why every review site dismisses them.

  16. Its got a disco minigame and burping babies? Wow, that covers it all.

  17. Thanks. I am think about getting this.

  18. A fair shake on this one (get it?)

  19. Does this support the Wii+ thing at all?

  20. Too bad Nintendo never drops the drops on their own games.

  21. Just want to say I bought this when it came out. I totally agree players should have difficulty levels. When playing with my daughter, I have to occasionally let her win. Which means it’s a little boring for me.

  22. I stopped being interested in the series after Mario Party 6. The games just didn’t feel fresh anymore after that.

  23. Yeah Nintendo holds tight, but you can find deals at retailers. Check KMart, they’ve had some great deals. Also with BF approaching there will be more sales.

  24. I’m enjoying it do far. Some of the minigames are a little too simple. Just pressing a button on doing a single move.

    Rocking the baby IS awful.

  25. Just picked it up. I don’t skip ANY Nintendo first party titles.

  26. Sound alright, not not worth $50 for me. Kirby will probably get my money.

  27. Wait doesn’t Hudson make the Wii Party games? They didn’t make this?

  28. Whiskey for breakfast

    I get some of them, but I’m on the fense for this one. Most sites werent as nice as you were.

  29. Deagle loves some casual games!

  30. I might have to break down on this one.

  31. Yeah, most tore the game apart. Not fairly, either.

  32. I’ll be skipping this for sure. It’s stuff like this that gave the Wii a bad name.

  33. Exploding Testicle Monster

    No interest. None at all.

  34. Sounds like it might be fun with at least three people.

  35. thanks for the review.

  36. I’m with you, Warrior. B-minus is the right grade for this. Mixed-ability levels would have boosted it to B-plus.

  37. wii party iz great!!!!!!!I wait MY wii party to come!!!!! bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!