The fifth, and by no means final game in the series.. the original Mario Party was unique in the sense that it wasn't a game, but a selection of Mini-Games (yet not in the same way as Super Mario Allstars)... Four games down the line.. is it still going so well?
My answer would only be YES, Mario Party 5 is the biggest and most colourful Party yet! In this game you are guided by the star spirits, each star spirit will be your guide through the different game modes, the guides are as follows: Story Mode - Misstar, Party Mode - Eldstar, Mini Game Mode - Muskular, Options Mode - Kalmar, Bonus Mode - Mamar, Super Duel Mode - Skolar.
With a selection of more than 70 mini games on different skill levels how can players not love this game? Anyone old enough to press a button on the controller, will have a game suited to their ability, games range from "How fast you can press the button" to more advanced, strategic and just downright fun mini games... Despite there being so many of these mini games, VERY FEW are repeated or even similar to other games in this series.
I was a little frustrated to lose continually at a game that only involved how fast you could press the button, this was a game where pressing the button built up pressure on your jump pad, and the faster you pressed the higher you'd go... but the game as with all Mario games, redeemed itself beautifully with the Heat Stroke game, in which you float in the air and have to knock the three mini-Bowser's off the blocks into the lava, I also quite liked the Fight Cards game... but I'd better continue the review, If I listed all the games I liked I'd be here all day...
Well as with all the modern Mario titles, the graphics on this game are flawless, with the power of the cube driving them they both look awesome and run very smoothly, Mario Party 5 is a graphical masterpiece and Nintendo will do well to ever improve their more recent titles graphic-wise. An example of why I admire the graphics so much, again using an example would be on the Fight card game, the player is situated in the ring with the three mini-Bowsers, and there are hundreds of rendered 3D Goomba's around, all jumping and doing their own things, this is very rare in games even on the cube for the background to be real characters, and really moving, rather than just being a 2D GIF look-alike animation... This is like all Mario games in the sense that it looks colourful and inviting all the way throughout the game, both on the game boards, and in the duels and mini games themselves. Overall the graphics of this game get full marks from me!
Sound and Music
At first I didn't think much of the title theme, however, it is one of those classic themes that do grow on you after hearing it the first few times! And this impression wasn't changed at any point throughout the game, a particularly cool theme would be the one that's on the screen where the rules of the mini games are explained before you start, really original and cool... The character voices, as always are right on, and never fail to make you smile. The only way I could knock the sounds is, as I used to watch the Super Mario Bros. Cartoons, I would have preferred the voice to be done by Lou Albano like in the Super Show, but non-the-less, he still sounds pretty good!
Gameplay & Lifespan
The best feature of Mario Party 5, is not the graphics, nor is it the sound, it's the value for money and the lastability... Any game that contains as many different modes of play, difficulty levels and mini-games as Mario Party 5, is very much worth being part of your collection, It's one of those rare games which are actually worth the money you pay for it. Not only is this game great in single player however, but in multiplayer this is more competitive and fun than electronic-monopoly! Another great thing about the whole series of these games, is the playable characters, you have the choice of Wario, Daisy, Princess Toadstool, Yoshi, Luigi, Mario and Waluigi.. the only thing that dissapointed me a little was that Donkey Kong was no longer playable, but he isn't out of the game completely, oh no.. he has his own Square on the game boards, sort of like Bowser's, except DK is on your side. You and up to three of your friends can all play on a game board together, and believe me it is serious fun!
There is nothing comparative to having three friends flying after you in UFO's and trying to abduct you.. and still beating them! All in all whether you play this game with one player, two players, or all four, your going to have great fun.. and with the number of mini games and modes I'm sure you'll be having fun for a long time. Overall Game Summary As you can probably tell by what I said for each subsection (Graphics, Gameplay, Sound etc) I'm going to give this game a very good overall rating, despite that I've always considered myself a bit of a game critic, even to the Mario series.
I have to give this game a very high 9 out of 10, the only games I've EVER rated higher are: Super Mario World (SNES) and Super Mario Kart 64 (When played with friends)... It's rare I give a rating this high, it's also rare a game with such unique features and great lastability and game play arises. This is one you should all get out and buy, if you don't believe me, perhaps you could borrow a friends, or even play it with them first....