Saturday, 2 August 2014

Mario Party Island Tour Mini-Review

So things have been a bit weird considering my graduation and my resignation from TehPwnShop as well as how I've kind of sort of been trying to manage myself on the things that I have to and want to do before I head off to the big school in the other side of the cold tundra that is Canada. I have shit planned and hopefully if all goes well I can get to posting it here. And hey, since this is a blog I shouldn't worry too much about length! Unless I'm posting this somewhere else...but that's besides the point, LET'S TALK VIDEO GAMES

Ah, Mario Party. It is a game that many have participated for their own amusement. Mario Party has the unifying power of marriage, being able to bring people of various walks of earth together for one reason and one reason only. And much like marriage, half of Mario Party games end in constant yelling, people throwing things at each other and bitter exes. It's a very intense game to say the least. Now usually the good Mario Party games are ones played on home consoles as they bridge the experience a lot better than the handhelds. It's just a fact. That's not to say that the handheld games can't still be fun. I think Mario Party DS was capable of not using the touch screen in interesting ways but making the game enjoyable both as a singular experience and as a multiplayer experience. It certainly had the formula down pat down too, with exciting and memorable minigames, helpful items and blurring the line between luck and skill that Mario Party games are so known to do. All Mario Party Island Tour has to do is meet those expectations. The question of course is does it meet those expe-no. 

With any franchise comes an evolution and certainly Mario Party has gone through its own. There are some positive aspects like how you could buy the minigames instead of have to wait on chance and some single player experiences that can make the game fun for a little bit before your friends come and that's about it. The negative aspects then come with how the game goes about it's business. You know how there was one entry where all the characters were in the same car as they played the game? That kind of decision is what I'm referring to because it's not a change for the better. It doesn't add anything to the experience, it takes away from it. Mario Party Island Tour does the same by taking away something from the experience but what it takes away is the skill of the game.

Yes, against my better judgement, I'm complaining that a Mario Party game requires very little if not any skill at all. But you see, it's not against my better judgement at all because as I stated before, these games have a blurring of how much skill and how much luck is involved. And if you have bonus stars you are more rewarded for your skill...or maybe your luck, it's a bit of a throw of a hat. This game on the other hand involves you racing from point A to point B. With a regular 6-sided die. In a turn-based game. YOU RACE!. Oh sure there's items, but that's only if you land on the right space. And maybe an event can happen that can help or hinder your progress but that's if you land on the right space. There is a little bit of skill. If you win a minigame you get an extra die (if you're in second you get one that goes up to 4 and if you're in third you get another that goes up to 2), but if you roll two ones having the golden 6-sided die that you won for doing good in a minigame it don't mean jack. Oh sure by having the dice still give you a chance to not get a big number you make it fair for the ones who lost to get ahead but then what's the fucking point of HAVING THE MINIGAME IN THE FIRST FUCKING PLACE?! And to be even more funny there's one course where the idea is to have the smaller role because it's the Bowser board and you gotta play to backwards logic. OH SURE there is one board where you have to get ahead not by the roll of the die but rather the draw of the cards from the goddamn OPPPONENT OH MY GOD THIS IS SO FUCKING STUPID.

Look, I'm all for changing the game up, but removing the star/coin method and changing it for this bullshit does not work for a game. This works wonderfully as some sort of casino video game, it really does. It fools the player into thinking they can win with skill but it's really just about luck. You know, like poker. But even poker, for as much as I like to make fun of people who think there is a decent amount of skill involved, at least that can be proved with the whole bluffing and raising that goes on. Mario Party Island Tour offers nothing with it's main game that makes you feel like what you're doing meant something. It's just a big ol' mess of chance. And what fun is playing a game that is more about chance than anything else. The answer to that is of course the minigames and I can tell you that they are the most uninspired and boring things imaginable. They were relatively fair and whatnot but they had nothing really substantial to offer. The only ones that did were the boss minigames, the puzzles and that pachinko one. And the pachinko one is really all about chance but at least that feels fun. You get like a thrill seeing the ball go and hoping it doesn't hit you. Unlike the game which just makes you feel like no matter how well you do in game you could get beat by the guy in fourth place because he rolled better than you. It's not like the guy in fourth place couldn't get in first place either but at least he needed a little bit of skill to trigger the events. At least there is more enjoyment from the sudden tumbling of the infrastructure and all the minigames you mucked about in than just seeing a die roll and end up not in your favor.

Here is a list of reasons of why you should play this game:
  • Because you liked some of the minigames
  • Because you liked the puzzle minigames
  • Because you thought Rosalina would be playable (she's not)
  • Because you wanted to spend your money in the worst way possible
  • Because you don't want to tell your parents that the game they got you is terrible
  • Because you have a gun pressed against your head by a sadist
  • Because you have a gun pressed against your head by someone from Nintendo
  • Because you are an idiot
  • Because you are a paid-by-Nintendo idiot
I give this game 3 faces of Peach after I shoved this game up her ass out of 10. 

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