Readers may recall when toy stores used to sell ten-in-one game collections; a single box that would include diversions such as chess, checkers, chutes and ladders, and backgammon. Overall, the collections were cheaply constructed with paper-based game boards, and flimsy plastic pieces. Although the sets lacked the quality and detail that a single-title board game offered, their advantage was sheer variety. Once players tired of say, Chinese checkers, they could move on to Parcheesi; these collections’ advantage was sheer value.
Which bring us to Midway’s latest collection of eleven mini-games for the Nintendo Wii. None of the individual events in Game Party 2 are compelling enough to hold a group’s attention for more than two or three consecutive plays. However, when viewed as a package, GP2’s variety may overcome some of the individual mini-game’s shortcomings. The disk contains eleven events in all, and most games have at least two variations. Darts, one of the best games in the collection, contains three variations- 301/501/701, cricket, and baseball. Gamers who purchased last year’s Game Party will get a strong sense of déjà vu, as most of the events of the previous game have been included in this release, with the exception of air hockey.
‘Beer Pong’ would have given the game a “M” rating, so instead enjoy ‘Ping Cup‘
With the exception of ‘trivia’, all the mini-games control similarly. Players first press the “A” button, and then fling the Wiimote toward the TV. Letting go of the button triggers a release of the virtual ball, dart, puck or horseshoe. Some games require underhand throws, while others necessitate an overhand gesture. Overall, it’s all remarkably uncomplicated and easy enough for non-gamers to comprehend.
However, hardcore games may be turned off by the similitude and simplicity of the Game Party 2. Lawn darts, horseshoes, and beanbags all employ the same mechanics and strategies, and are very identical to each other. Casual gamers might be more accepting of thrown horseshoes, flopping unrealistically around on the ground for several seconds, than those accustomed to accurate physics models. Experienced players might expect overhead camera shots, indicating the placement of each thrown lawn dart, while others will never notice its absence.
Based on that first toss, we wouldn’t recommend sitting anywhere near this Lawn Darts player.
GP2’s graphics range from conventional to inelegant. The title’s attempt to emulate Mii’s with their character customization option. Players have a limited palette of hair, heads, and clothes to create their personal avatars with. Unfortunately, all choices lead to awkward looking characters, made worse by crudely drawn facial expressions. Generic music from a variety of genres accompanies the proceedings; but it’s unobtrusive and agreeable. While most players will notice the requisite cheers and applause that indicate in-game success, some aural subtleties are amazing. Players can tell where a beanbag landed by merely listening to the sound effect while lawn darts create a realistic sound when entering the dirt.
Game Party 2’s gameplay is better suited to groups than to solo players. Individual gamers can collect tickets to unlock equipments skins and avatar accessories, which offers some short term enjoyment. With its simple play mechanics and universally recognized games, GP2 would perform best at gatherings attended by casual gamers. The title offers a bit of physicality when outdoor games are prohibitive, and could shine on cold or rainy nights. The title doesn’t require players to own a multitude of Wiimotes, as most games are turn-based affairs.
Aiming for the more distant ring is the typical goal in Horse Shoes.
A budget price of thirty dollars undoubtedly makes Game Party 2 a collection worth a look. For about the price of two board game, the title offers eleven activities that players can enjoy, regardless of gaming ability. For groups of casual gamers, Game Party 2 lives up to its moniker.
Good: Great for the groups of casual gamers. Variations add a bit of longevity to the collection.
Bad: The single-player experience is pretty boring. Events feel similar.
Ugly: Avatars look like blow-up dolls