Title: Mario Party The Top 100
Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Category: Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: November 10, 2017
How we got the game: We each preordered a physical copy
Mario Party is one of those game franchises that makes or breaks friendships. It was one of the games that were a stable in our childhoods as we grew with the generations of Nintendo consoles. We have lots of fun memories with the earlier installments of the games, but the newer ones were disappointing to us. We were hoping for the Top 100 to bring back a little fun to the franchise.
I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much for this game, but I was excited nonetheless. They were bringing back old school mini-games, what could go wrong? Well, they did some wrong… but it was still nice to replay some of the old mini-games again.
Mario Party The Top 100 celebrates the top one hundred mini-games from the main franchise. With several modes, the Top 100 allows players to compete and play mini-games either alone or by linking up wirelessly with friends. Each mini-game has been updated with their graphics and controls to bring it up to speed with today’s modern handheld technology, and they all use simple controls to play, usually only a couple of buttons and the control stick to move.
There are five main modes of the game, one being only for the single player while you can play the other four modes with friends. 100 Minigames, Minigame Island, Minigame Match, Championship Battles, and Decathlon. Minigame Island was probably my favorite mode, but even that wasn’t too great, to be honest.
100 Minigames is a free-for-all mode, where you can play whatever mini-games you’ve unlocked whenever you want. Minigame Island was the single-player mode, where you would go through a series of little “islands” connected via warp pipes and defeat minigames as levels. As a single player, you would choose your character at the beginning and the character you would like as your partner during two-versus-two games. Your opponents in the game are randomized, as are their difficulty level. Each minigame win earns you ten coins, which earns you a life after you collect 100, as well as star points similar to those in Mario Party 9 and 10. If you lose a minigame, you lose a life.
Well, if you come in fourth you lose a life. If you come in third, you get one mini star. Second gets you two mini stars, and first place gets you three mini stars. You want to collect all the mini stars you can (300 total) so that you can unlock something at the end. I liked this mode because it was completely random and it was all minigames, but it definitely would have been more fun playing with other people rather than alone.
I wonder, if you play through the Minigame Island again, if the mini-game levels would be random? I agree that the island would have been more fun if that was a mode you could link up with friends to play. The modes were you could link up with friends weren’t too bad, however, what fans seemed to really want were boards like the original series had. Instead, Top 100 reuses the Star Rush board with some tiny updates, a small board where everyone moves at once one to six spaces, and you play a mini-game only if someone catches a mini-game balloon. It’s… not the most fun experience.
It’s boring, to put it bluntly. The board is small and not exciting at all. Not to mention that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Star Rush. It probably won’t be a mode I’ll play again. Another mode is Championship Battles and that wasn’t as great as it sounded. You play 3 to 5 minigames and see who can win the most. It sounds fun in theory, but they only allow 3 or 5 minigames. What about 10? What about 20 or 50? That would certainly raise the stakes and have a longer playtime with friends. It was easy for the games to become one-sided, especially when playing with CPU characters.
Decathalon was similar enough to Championship Battles, but players would compete for earning the most points depending on their ranking in the mini-game as well as time or your score, if they applied. The higher ranking you are in the mini-game, the more points you earn. After so many mini-games, the player with the highest amount of points wins. It seemed pretty skewed, to be honest. The mini-games were random and, once you become in first place in a couple, you seemed golden on the road to win the Decathalon. With players that are fairly even in their mini-game skills, it’s not much of a challenge.
The Decathalon wasn’t too bad. But yeah, I don’t think I’ll be playing that again anytime soon. The game also had minigame packs as well. Each pack was its own category of minigames from the various Mario Party games. (Gamecube Pack, Nintendo 64 Pack, Action Pack, Sports Pack, etc.) This is a cool idea in theory. When playing Minigame Match (similar to Star Rush), you choose a pack. Then you and the other players vote from your respective pack on which game to play. This is a cool idea, but you can only choose from the five games in your pack. I would have liked to be able to vote on a set of 30 or something, that 30 would be random each time you played. I would have liked to see more variety.
The graphics and music weren’t bad. They weren’t spectacular, but they weren’t bad. Graphics-wise, the game’s images are clear and crisp on our 2DS handhelds.
It’s certainly interesting to play minigames from Mario Party 1, 2, and 3 with updated graphics. I enjoyed seeing the characters and games in a new light, especially with their updated voices and such.
While the music wasn’t bad, as they seem to be reminiscent of the Mario Party series, it has changed. Many of the minigames have “updated” music, which are different tracks rather than merely updated versions of the original songs. We did notice that, in Minigame Island, the victory song matches the song that was played in the Mario Party game that the minigame came from. It was a cute, nostalgic-inducing touch.
I didn’t mind the music at all. I found it upbeat and lifting like any other Mario Party game. Also, there were the nostalgic tunes thrown in there. While updated, like Kris said, they were still nice to hear.
The Top 100, while not what we wanted it to be, was decent for nostalgic purposes. It may be a game that I pick up once in a while if I have a little time to kill. Once you unlock all the minigames, it can be fun just to go around and replay your favorites.
I agree with Kris. However, Mario Party is the kind of game you want to play with your friends and I felt as though this game was better in single player mode than with friends only because there was more to do. Still, I’m glad I could revisit old games again.
Mario Party The Top 100 gets…
3 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!
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