Mario Party The Top 100 [Game Review]

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Title: Mario Party The Top 100
Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: 
Nintendo 3DS
Category: 
Party, Multiplayer
Release Date: 
November 10, 2017
How we got the game: 
We each preordered a physical copy

krismii
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.

rachmii
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.

gameplay

krismii
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.

rachmii
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.

 krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

graphics-music

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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.

replay-value

krismii
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.

Rachel Mii Double Jump
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…
Video game review: 3 Lives
3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Friday (Least) Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiSo Rachel and I have Mario Party Top 100 and it’s…. Eh. We’ll probably talk more about the game a little later. It’s nice for nostalgic reasons, I suppose, but there was so much more that the game could have been, you know?

To cope with how the Top 100 was not all we were hoping for it to be, here is a least of my least favorite Mario Party mini games!

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Paddle Battle

This one-versus-three mini game in the original Mario Party was such a pain if you were the solo player. Honestly, many of the one-versus-three mini games back then were usually skewed in favor of the team with three players, but you could really tell the game didn’t like the solo player as much whenever Paddle Battle was picked to play! It was also one of the those games where you had to rotate the control stick rapidly and completely — anyone else here old enough to remember getting palm blisters from those kind of games?

Three Throw

A 4-player game in Mario Party 4, Three Throw was one of those games that I was lukewarm about. The mini games based off of sports I was never that fond of, and Three Throw was at the bottom of the list. Instead of standing in one spot and trying to find a rhythm to make the perfect shots (before another character claimed the basket, of course), I think I would have preferred to battle it out on the court with the characters, punching opponents away from the baskets in order to score some points.

Button Mashers

Button Mashers is a duel mini game from Mario Party 5. Depending on how well both your opponent and you do in the game, it can get difficult. The game makes the players catch blocks from the sky, and each block has a corresponding button on it. To avoid getting crushed by the block, one must continuously mash the button. The longer the players stay standing, the more blocks fall and the more buttons the players must mash simultaneously. It’s a bit of an annoying stretch trying to mash more than two or even three buttons at once!

 

Any Microphone Games

I really didn’t understand why this mechanic existed. It was annoying to have the extra “controller” that was the microphone, and there was a collective groaning all around. I was less than thrilled to find a game or two that has to use the microphone in Top 100…

What are your least favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones were you disappointed to see in Mario Party Top 100?

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Friday Favorites: Mario Party Mini Games

Double Jump Kris MiiMario Party is one of those series that really tests friendships, like Monopoly. Most of the earlier installments of the series were much better, in my opinion, with mini games and the boards that you travel around for stars. With Mario Party Top 100 out today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Mario Party Mini Games. It’ll be interesting to see which ones make it into Top 100!

frifavesmariopartyminigames

Mushroom Mix-Up/Hexagon Heat

Mushroom Mix-Up from the first Mario Party (and its Mario Party 2 counterpart, Hexagon Heat) was a classic. Following the colors of Toad’s flag, players had to scramble to be on top of the correct mushroom before all of the other colors fell into the water or lava or whatever danger was below the mushrooms. While you could ground-pound on your opponents, the easiest way to prevent them from reaching the last mushroom standing was to just position yourself right at the edge of the correct color — if time was on your side, then your opponents wouldn’t have any room to jump over you to safety.

Fowl Play

Fowl Play was a duel mini game in Mario Party 3. It was a silly game where you had to catch the chicken before your opponent. It was a quick little bugger that left footprints for you to try to follow if you lost sight of it. The chicken also resembled a Cucco from the Legend of Zelda series, and I always thought that the mini game was a nod to the times when Link has to catch chickens in his games.

Team Treasure Trek

Two-versus-two mini games were always fun when Rachel and I were on the same team. In Mario Party 4, Team Treasure Trek was always a favorite. Starting off in a maze, one partner would need to find a key while the other finds the corresponding treasure chest before the two needed to meet up with each other. It was an exciting race against the clock kind of game where we always hoped that our opponents would get most lost than we did!

Dungeon Duos

Another two-versus-two mini game from Mario Party 4, Dungeon Duos was an awesome obstacle course where you needed to work together with a partner to escape the dungeon it took place in. Timing was key, both with speed and precision when it came to completing the game. Not falling into the chasms helped too.

Chomp Romp

Despite usually trying to eat you, I always liked the Chain Chomp characters in Mario games, especially when they’re portrayed as almost dog-like. In Chomp Romp, you appear to be leading your “pet” Chain Chomp through a park. Your whistle brings the Chomp charging in a straight line to you (very eager to greet you, I suppose) and you need to skillfully direct your buddy through the obstacles in the park to reach a safe place to play.

What are your favorite Mario Party mini games? Which ones are you hoping are in Mario Party Top 100?

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Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Mario Party Star Rush Game Review

Title: Mario Party Star Rush
Company: Nintendo 
Console: 
Nintendo 3DS
Release Date: 
November 2016
How we got the game: 
I got it as a gift

gameplay

The Main Game

I’d like to say that this game plays like the other Mario Party games, but it doesn’t. You and your opponents all move during the same turn, but not in a car. You have free reign to move where ever you want. And when I say that, I really mean it. The boards aren’t linear at all so you can run in little circles if you so choose.

That’s the main mode of the game, called Toad Scramble. You don’t choose your own character, everyone is a different-colored Toad. Along the board, there are hidden block spots. Land on one of those and you’ll get an item. The items aren’t that great, so I always wish for a mushroom (which adds 3 to your roll), a gold mushroom (which adds 5 to your roll), or a double dice block. You can grab coins where they appear and coin balloons. When popped, a mini game happens. The overall idea is to make it to the boss space, which holds a star. You collectively battle a boss and whoever gets the most points gets the star. This happens three times, the third and final boss holding two stars.

Ally Characters

During the game, ally characters appear to help you out. These characters include Mario, Peach, Yoshi, Waluigi, most typical characters you can play in Mario Party. Each ally has its own unique dice block and a certain skill. For example, if you have Yoshi on your team and you stand next to an apple, he’ll eat it and coins will appear.

The allys appear randomly on the board and you have to race your opponents to get to them. You’re allowed to have four allys with you and trust me, it helps. They’re CPUs, but they’re on your team. So, during the boss battles, you have five characters adding to your points. Plus, they roll a dice block with you. Your dice block goes up to six and while they have unique blocks, if you’re not playing as them, they’ll roll a block that goes up to two. So, you can roll a six and if you have four partners and they each get a two, you’ll end up moving 14 spaces.

Coins

Coins are super important, like in all Mario Party games, but I find them more important in this game. At the end of each game, they tally your coins. You get a star for each ten coins you have. So, if you end the game with 56 coins, you get five extra stars.

Coins are hard to come by though. The game is pretty cheap when it comes to handing out coins. Sometimes they’re scattered along the board and you just have to get there before your opponents do. Even then, it’s only one coin. Balloons will sometimes appear. That holds a small handful of coins and brings on a mini game. If you get first in a mini game, you get 5 coins. Second place will award you 3 coins, third will get you 2 coins, and fourth place will give you only 1 coin. If you land on the boss space, you’ll be rewarded with five coins.

The Boards

There are five “worlds,” but the first one is called World 0, which is mainly for practice and learning the tools of the game. So, there’s really only four playable Worlds.

Each World has three levels of the same board. World 1 has a beach theme, World 2 has a Haunted Boo House theme, World 3 has a cake theme, and World 4 is a Bowser Castle theme. So, yeah… four worlds, four boards. The third level of each board isn’t that hard and the game still doesn’t take long to play.

So, in this department, the game kind of failed for me. I was hoping for more variety in boards and for them to be a little harder. Sure, they each had some good qualities to them, but it wasn’t anything major and it really didn’t make the game any more difficult.

Boss Battles

There are ten bosses total. They’re all pretty straight forward and simple. Bowser is one of the bosses, but he only appears when you’re playing the Bowser Castle board. So, if you’re playing any other board there are only nine bosses.

They hold the stars you need to get. The first two bosses each have one star and the final boss has two stars. Get the most points in these battles and you’ll get the star. It’s simple enough, but it’s pretty one-sided.

If you have a ton of ally characters, you’re almost guaranteed a win. If you reach the space first and your opponents are far away, they have to rapidly mash the “A” button to reach the space, so you get a head start on the battle. If you get the last hit on the boss, then you get an extra 3 points, which often makes or breaks who wins.

I like some battles more than others. For example, battling Mega Goomba and Mega Blooper are kind of random. You’re not directly battling the bosses. You’re stealing apples from Goomba and you’re playing music with Blooper. Whereas when you encounter Mega Boo you have to bring flashlights to him in order to hit him and for Mega Monty Mole, it’s a big whack-a-mole game. Those are fun.

Still, the bosses can get repetitive depending on how much you play and, like I said before, they can be one-sided and you know who will win the battle before it even starts.

Mini Games

This game only has 53 mini games total. The includes the boss battles, the Bowser games, and the coin games from the Coinathlon mode. I think the amount of mini games you can play for the main mode, Toad Scramble, is 26. It’s not much at all.

The games that are available aren’t that great, either. No mini games compare to Mario Party 2 or any of the older Mario Party games, but I felt as though they could have at least added more.

The Other Modes

I have to say that I had more fun with the other modes than the regular party mode. I didn’t enjoy Toad Scramble as much as I should have. There are six other modes: Coinathlon, Mario Shuffle, Balloon Bash, Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party. Some are pretty out of place for the Mario Party game (like Rhythm Recital, Challenge Tower, and Boo’s Block Party). However, I had more fun with those modes than the others.

My Overall Thoughts

Toad Scramble was one-sided and little boring at times. It was an interesting concept, but I think they could have done better with it. I unlocked the master difficulty setting for the CPUs, which is the hardest setting for them, and I still dominated them. It was too easy, especially with the ally characters and the final hit on the boss battles.

Sometimes you don’t get all the stars, but you get most of the bonus stars as well as have a lot of coins at the end. You still end up winning. I think I only lost one or two times and I played a lot of this game to get my points up. (The more points you have, you level up and unlock things such as new characters. There wasn’t even much to that though… I’m on level 11 about to get to level 12 and the unlockable is the staff credits.)

This game is worth playing, if only for the other modes.

graphics-music

The graphics in this game are great. They’re 3D, going along with the 3DS and modern times. The characters run smoothly and they each have their own facial expressions, though it’s not very varied. Still, it’s a Mario Party game, so they really only need to happy to win, sad to lose, or neutral.

I played multiplayer with Kris to try it out and that ran smoothly as well. I wanted to show her a lot since she doesn’t have the game, but through the download play on the 3DS we were limited to three modes: Toad Scramble, Balloon Bash, and Coinathlon. I only enjoy Coinathlon, but we had fun either way (I think she had fun). Still, it ran nicely through the Wi-Fi so I can’t complain about that.

The music was good, as always. I always enjoy Mario Party music. Especially through the Rhythm Recital mode and even Bloopers boss battle. I was always bopping my head to that music.

replay-value

Now that I’ve made it as far as I can go in this game, I’m not sure how much I’ll go back to play. I can’t see myself getting “in the mood” to play this game. If I want to play Mario Party, I’m going to play one of the older games. If I do ever go back to this game, it won’t be to play the main mode. I’ll be playing Boo’s Block Party or trying to beat the Challenge Tower.

Mario Party Star Rush gets…
Video game review: 3 Lives3 out of 5 lives.

Have you played this game? What did you think? Let us know in the comments! 

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Party Star Rush Modes

Happy Tuesday!

Since I just recently “finished” Mario Party Star Rush, I thought I’d talk about the modes I enjoyed playing!

 

Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Party Star Rush Modes5. Rhythm Recital

This game is exactly what it sounds like. You choose a character, pick an instrument, pick a song, and then you play the song in a Guitar Hero type way. Except, each note is just a tap on the touch screen and it’s super easy.

I enjoy this game because I like listening to the various Mario songs from the different games and I’ve always liked the musical type games. The only thing about it is the notes can be fickle sometimes. It’ll rank you as “great” instead of “perfect.” I’ve gotten a “B” on all songs, except one, even if I have 20-something “greats,” and over 100 “perfects” with no “okays” or “misses.” When they say perfect, they really mean perfect…

4. Challenge Tower

I find this game to be a little out of place. I feel like it would have worked well as a mini-game for the main mode. You choose a character and climb a tower. Each floor you get to will light up a different color.

Blue means it’s safe, yellow means there’s an Amp nearby, red means there’s two, and purple means it’s surrounded by Amps. You hit an Amp, you fail. The point is to get to the top without hitting any Amps. It’s an interesting puzzle challenge. I managed to beat the 30-floor tower, but I have yet to beat the 50-floor tower.

3. Mario Shuffle

When I first played this game, I didn’t enjoy it. After playing a second and third time I started to appreciate it a little more as I realized there was a strategy for it.

You play as three characters your three opponents are at the opposite end. You want all three of your characters to make it to the other side before the opposing team. You roll two dice blocks at once, allowing two of your characters to move at a time. If you roll doubles, all three of your characters can move.

There are certain spaces that make you go back or move extra. The halfway spot is a pitfall that makes you go back to the beginning. If you land on the same space as your opponent, you send them back to their start and vice versa. If you pass by them on their spot, you knock them over and they skip their next turn and vice versa.

It’s definitely an interesting, quick game.

2. Coinathlon

This is a fun race game. You get put on a board with an opponent and whoever makes it three laps around the board wins. There are no dice blocks involved, you move by the amount the coins you collect. You play three coin games, rotating the three if you don’t make three laps by the end of the playing all three games.

Collect as many coins as you and move along the board ahead of your opponent. I found these games to be a lot more fun than the mini games in the main mode. Plus, they were more intense because your character moves as you play so you’re actually racing your opponent.

1. Boo’s Block Party

I can’t stop playing this mode. It’s kind of like Bejeweled where you have to get at least three in a row. Each block has four sides, numbered one through four. Get the same number at least three in a row and they disappear. Boo blocks will build up to try to get in your way because if the blocks build up too much, you lose.

It’s challenging and I often play the endless mode. There is a versus mode and I’ll admit, I can easily beat the normal CPU, but I have yet to beat them on hard. I don’t want to imagine how difficult they’d be on very hard or master.

Have you played Star Rush? What were some of your favorite modes? Let me know in the comments below!

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Top Tuesday: Favorite Mario Characters

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

Have you gotten your Nintendo Switch? We haven’t…

With that said, I decided to talk about my favorite Mario characters because… Well, why not?

Kris and I watched the Super Mario Bros movie with Bob Hoskins the other night (it’s such a bad movie, but we love it anyway!) and I think that’s what got Mario stuck in my head.

It’s hard to narrow down just five characters from the Super Mario world, but these were the first five that I thought of. I figured they must be my favorite if I thought of them first.

5. Chain Chomp

Chain Chomp always had a soft spot in my heart. He’s the “dog” in the Mario world and who doesn’t love to have a dog? Sure, Chain Chomp can eat you, but I’m sure he would make a lovely pet.

4. Bowser

In games such as Super Smash Brothers, Mario Kart, or Mario Party, I never play as Bowser. I don’t know why I just don’t. But Bowser is such a great character. I love his personality, especially in the Paper Mario games. He’s witty and funny and I enjoy that he actually joins Mario in some games. He’s not bad, he just makes the wrong choices.

3. Boo

I’m afraid of ghosts, but I love Boo. I don’t know what it is about Boo, but he’s adorable and his voice is funny. I’ve always enjoyed the Boo houses in any Mario game and especially love Luigi’s Mansion. I’m drawn to those kinds of games for whatever reason.

2. Luigi

Who doesn’t love Luigi more than Mario? No offense, Mario. Luigi is my spirit animal. He’s afraid of the world, but is strangely drawn to ghosts for whatever reason.

1. Yoshi

Do I really have to explain this one?

Who are your favorite Mario characters? Let me know in the comments below!

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Games I Have To Finish

Rachel Mii Double JumpHappy Tuesday!

With the Nintendo Switch coming out right around the corner, I’ve come to realize that I’ll be spending all my time playing new games.

Yet, there are so many other games that I’ve started, even reviewed on here, but have yet to complete them.

games-i-have-to-finish

1. Yoshi’s Woolly World

Kris and I have been playing this game together. We bought it with a love of Yoshi deep down in our hearts. And what’s better than a Yoshi? A plush Yoshi! This game was so much fun and adorable. However, once we posted our review of the game, we stopped playing to play some other games for review. It’s been a while and I would love to get back to it for some casual play.

2. Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones

Kris and I decided to “challenge” each other and picked out a game for the other play. A game we wouldn’t normally play. She chose Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones for me. I enjoyed the game and got about halfway through it (I think), but our deadline got the best of me and I have yet to complete it. I still plan to finish it in the near future. The game is hers, but it’s still mixed in with all my handheld games.

3. Mario Party Star Rush

This isn’t exactly a game you can “beat,” though I do want to do some more exploring of it. I also want to try my hand at the multiplayer mode because I think that would me much more fun than playing alone. I’ve played through all the boards and such, which is why I stopped playing. It was beginning to get repetitive and, in turn, boring. However, before I write my review of it, I want to play through as much of it as I can.

There are plenty of other games that I need to play through and beat, some that I haven’t played in a while (meaning, before we started this blog a year ago), but for now, these are the top three that I hope to finish soon.

Are there any games that you started and haven’t finished yet? Do you plan on beating them soon? Let me know in the comments below!

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