Mario Party 9 Wii
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Released on 02-Mar-2012
The party is back and bigger than ever in the Mario Party™ 9 game for Wii™, featuring all-new ways to play! For the first time in the franchise, boss battles crash the party and challenge players to compete to defeat a common enemy. In addition, players now travel across stages together in a vehicle towards a common goal - overcoming obstacles, battling bosses, and collecting Mini Stars stolen by Bowser™ and his minions.
Featuring 80 new minigames, adventurous new stages, and all-new ways to play that blend cooperative and competitive action for up to four players*, Mario Party 9 is the perfect way to get the party started.
Mario Party 9 on Nintendo Wii Features:
- For the first time in the Mario Party franchise, each stage culminates in a Boss Battle. Collectively, players must combine their strength to defeat classic foes such as Bowser™ and King Boo while still playing competitively to boost their own individual scores.
- In another first for the series, players ride across stages together in special vehicles. Players take turns as Captain of the vehicle by hitting Dice Blocks to move the party forward, hoping to land on lucky spaces. The vehicles also help to streamline game play and keep everyone involved in the action.
- Unique Captain Events on each stage give players a new way to change the shape of the game.
- In Mario Party 9, each themed stage has a clear destination point but with multiple paths along the way, so no two games will play the same. From Toad Road to Boo’s Horror Castle, players will encounter a wide variety of familiar Mario™ franchise elements in new environments that can be enjoyed solo or with friends.
- Includes 80 outrageous new minigames that find players making pizzas, escaping haunted mansions, and racing snowmobiles.
- No time to play through an entire stage? New minigame modes let players enjoy the action in smaller chunks of time. They can hone their skills at any minigame in Free Play mode or try the Extras mode that includes Goomba Bowling and the puzzle-based Castle Clearout.
- Every time they play, players can earn Party Points that are used to unlock special items and features.
It wasn't so long ago that suggesting the family gather around the TV to play a video game together would have been greeted with grunts of confusion, if not howls of dismay. That all changed when the Wii came along, and suddenly mums and dads, grannies and grandpas all understood what the fuss was about. Today, putting on a game to pass the time before the turkey is done is just another part of the festivities, so with that in mind here's our pick of the five best party games of 2012.
If you want to be at the cutting edge of communal gaming, then Nintendo's Wii U is the must-have hardware of the season. Its touch-screen tablet controller, combined with the traditional Wii remotes (you can use the ones you already have) mean that multiplayer games can venture into areas never seen before. For the perfect illustration, pick up Nintendo Land, which offers twelve mini-games ranging from competitive action to cooperative puzzling. Luigi's Ghost Mansion, for example, has one player playing as a ghost, using the tablet controller to escape from up to four other players who are chasing them around a maze. With racing games, shooting games and rhythm music games, it's a brilliant showcase of what can be done when one player has their own screen, and it'll keep you playing together well into 2013.
Maybe you're not quite ready to take the leap into Wii U? Don't worry - there's plenty of life left in the original Wii, as Mario Party 9 proved earlier this year. Reinventing the evergreen virtual board game series, you'll travel with the other players across various zones in dinky vehicles, rolling a dice to see how far you'll go. There are multiple routes through each area, cooperative boss fights at the end, and with eighty mini-games to try no two games will ever play the same way. Of course, you can play any of the challenges separately if you want to practice, or if you just don't have time for a full game. Bright, breezy and effortlessly entertaining, it's a game that everyone can enjoy.
Perhaps your family and friends are a little more game savvy, and prefer a more focused experience? In that case, PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale (PS3, PS Vita) should keep everyone happy. Played one-on-one, it's a thunderingly good fighting game (as you'd expect with former Street Fighter man Seth Killian in charge), but with more players it becomes a manic and hilarious romp as characters from SONY's biggest and coolest franchises run, jump and duke it out in wild interactive arenas. If you ever wondered what it would look like if Nathan Drake and Kratos had a fight with Sackboy and Parappa the Rapper, here's your chance.
All that fighting might go against the spirit of the season, so why not try a competition that's a little less in-your-face? Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U, 3DS, PS Vita, PC) is another massive character crossover game, but this time you'll be battling in cool vehicles that shapeshift from cars to boats to planes depending on the environment. There are weapons, but it'll take more than crazed aggression to win these races around the glorious arcade-bright tracks. No matter who's playing, there'll be a character you'll love - whether it's Sonic himself, Shinobi's ninja hero Joe Musashi or movie star Wreck-It Ralph.
Finally, dancing games are still the default party game and with good reason. From sprightly kids to game-for-a-laugh grannies, everyone can have a laugh with Just Dance 4 (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3). There's a dance battle mode for those who want to prove their moves, a deep "Dance Quest" system for those who want a solid gameplay structure, and a track list that offers something for all tastes. The kids can get down to Justin Bieber, Jessie J and Carly Rae Jepsen, while mums can wiggle their posteriors to timeless hits from Rocky Horror Picture Show and Dirty Dancing, as well as pop classics from Rick Astley and Britney Spears. There's even pomp-rock classic The Final Countdown, which might tempt brandy-sozzled dads off the sofa for a quick shimmy.
Whichever game you choose, you're guaranteed a great time and great memories. Just remember to share the embarrassing pics on Facebook, OK?
The Mario Party series has enjoyed a long and successful run, with the ninth instalment on shelves now. Nintendo could have played it safe with Mario Party 9, just adding in new boards and a few mini games and calling it a day, but instead they've taken a different route and injected the series with a refreshing boost we didn't even know it needed.
The Rules Have Changed
This time around Nintendo developed the game internally, using the very capable team behind Wii Sports and Wii Party games who have used their party-honed skills to freshen and remould the Mario Party formula - and it works brilliantly.
For starters, you now tackle the board as one unit - you still select your individual characters and take turns rolling the dice, but you now all move around the board together in a huge cart. When it's your turn to roll you become the captain and it is up to you to land rival players in trouble whilst on the way to the board's end goal.
That should really read boards' end goals - instead of making several circuits of the same game board, you now different boards with their own start point and end goal, complete with a boss to defeat. For example, Toad Road's layout is akin to a map screen from New Super Mario Bros Wii, with beautiful rolling hills, windmills and a tall mountain complete with a castle at the summit. Oh, and a beanstalk that stretches into the clouds leading to a sneaky secret bonus game!
Boards now have both a mid and end level boss, so you feel like you have a task to conquer to truly 'beat the board'. There are some interesting mini-game twists on the boss battles. When it comes to taking out Dry Bones, for example, you find him standing on a specific coloured and shaped platform. A deck of cards, which have coloured shapes displayed on them, will be revealed and hidden. You must then chose the corresponding card to the platform Dry Bones is standing on to chip away the bony brute's health bar, with things getting hectic as more coloured and shaped platforms get added into the mix. All in all, it's an interesting approach to boss battles, and these end goals helps freshen up the experience, rather than just feeling like you are endlessly circling the same board.
Maximum Mini Fun
The mini games are still very much part of Mario Party 9, although they now only occur when you land on special mini game spaces around the board. Again, each has its own theme and challenges, and some with unique gameplay. Here's a quick run-down of some of our favourites:
- Loggerheads - You must have lighting quick reactions if you want to bag all of the stars at the end. Holding your Wii remote horizontally (or if you have played WarioWare then you may know it better as 'The Umbrella Form'), you must swing it downwards in order to make your character chop a block of wood. It sounds easy, but with pieces of wood being placed in between all of your characters at random intervals, swing too early and you might just miss out on the chance to earn a point!
- Mobsled - This one plays a lot like the ChaseMii demo that has been shown on the Wii U, with up to three players controlling bulky bobsleds which can only move along pre marked tracks. The fourth player must then dodge in and out of the way to avoid being hit - it is a lot of frantic fun and players on the opposing team must coordinate to come out victorious!
- Billistics - We just love the pun in the name... Billistics shoves players on a small circular platform, as waves upon waves of Bullet Bills blast towards you from every angle! The last player standing wins all the juicy stars and the dodging action is addictively fun, as mini-games should be.
- Bowser Jr - One for the old school gamers out there, tasking two players to capture 'his growliness' Bowser Jr as he climbs along metal fencing. It's a retro throw-back to Super Mario World on the SNES - complete with spinning gates which move from one side of the fence to the other.
There are 80 mini games in total. And we haven't even mentioned the different dice blocks you can accumulate. Or the Captain Events that are available on each stage which give you a mid-level chance to boost you star count. And then there's Party Points which you earn each time you play the game, which unlock more features and content!
Mario Party 9 feels like it has risen from the fountain of youth refreshed and rejuvenated, ready to tackle a whole new generation of gamer for years to come. The improved pacing and frantic mini games makes this the perfect game to bust out when you have your friends over, with plenty of different skills required to keep the game varied and interesting. If you have never jumped on board (no pun intended) then make sure you RSVP 'yes' to Mario Party 9 and grab your copy today!
- Gameplay flows better so there's never a dull moment
- Large variety of FUN minigames
- Classic Nintendo polish and outstanding attention to detail
- Will make you turn on your friends.
- May take older Mario Party fans a bit of time to get used to new concepts.
2011 has been a fantastic year for gaming most recognisable face, Nintendo Mario, and 2012 looks set to be another. From platforming to kart racing, tennis, Olympic sports, role playing and party games, the portly yet agile plumber is clearly a highly versatile character who can do it all. Here, GAME takes a look back at a couple of the best Mario games from this year, in case you missed them, and looks ahead to some of 2012 undoubted highlights.
3DS hasn exactly been lacking in quality games in its first year on the market, but the arrival of Super Mario Land 3D (3DS) in November and the launch of Mario Kart 7 earlier this month have really made the portable console a must own system. Mixing the best elements of older Mario games with new ideas and technology, the former is perhaps best described as a blend of the more straightforward, accessible 2D Super Mario Bros. games for Wii and DS and Wii more challenging 3D Super Mario Galaxy titles. Its magical worlds are essentially made up of left to right dashes through obstacle courses, which see players running, jumping, hovering and gliding to master the environments with the aim of reaching a flagpole at the end of each level. With simple, intuitive controls, it instantly accessible and there always a clear path to completing each stage, usually littered with coins to collect, question blocks to bump and enemies to stomp. But Mario can also wander around a little in the game 3D environments, and only explorers and the most skilled players will locate all of the secret areas, items and unlockables ingeniously hidden away in the expertly designed levels.
Mario Kart 7 is another must-play title for newcomers and series veterans alike, mixing old and new to great effect too. It offers 16 new courses and 16 classic ones from older MK games for players to compete on, all based on environments and characters from Nintendo Mushroom Kingdom. The best showcase of the console's 3D screen yet, theye absolutely gorgeous to look at and just as well designed, featuring exciting new airborne and underwater sections to compliment the on-track action. With basic accelerate, brake, fire and jump buttons, the game easy enough that anyone can pick it up and play instantly, but itl take months of practice to master the multi-route tracks, learn all of the shortcuts and become an online karting king.
Looking ahead to 2012, Mario will be joined by a host of Nintendo stablemates as well as characters from Square Enix popular Dragon Quest series in January release Boom Street (Wii). A Monopoly-style board game that challenges players to play the real estate and stock markets to win,here are 27 characters to choose from 13 from Mario games, 13 from Dragon Quest and your Mii and over 15 boards based on memorable areas from each series, with different shapes and layouts providing loads of replay value. Players race around the board trying to accumulate wealth and hit a target value while buying, selling and trading property to see who can be the first to cash out, and with both beginner and advanced settings, it could be the perfect game to get the family huddled round the telly on those cold winter nights.
Mario Tennis (3DS) also looks set to be a smash hit next year. If previous games in the series are anything to go by, itl do its best to nail the balance between realism and zany, fast-paced tennis action starring all of your favourite Mushroom Kingdom characters, as well as a few surprise ones. Wee expecting a mixture of tactical tennis gameplay, special moves and plenty of mini-games that should make a great title for Mario and sports fans alike.
Mario and friends, including Sega favourites like Sonic the Hedgehog, will keep things physical in Mario & Sonic At The London 2012 Olympics on the Nintendo 3DS, which launches in February 2012. Players will go for gold in over 50 Olympic events that make full use of the handheld different control methods, serving up a wide variety of ways to play. Competing for the top of the podium alone or in head-to-head games with friends, players will frantically slide the Circle Pad round and round to row, tilt the system to keep their balance on the beam, and blow into the microphone to keep breathing at the right time while swimming.
Also in 2012, players will see the moustachioed, genre-hopping plumber embark on an exciting new role playing adventure in Paper Mario also on the Nintendo 3DS. It will feature frantic, turn-based battles set in a colourful and varied 3D world that takes in weapons, locations and items from Mario past and present,. It will also require clever strategic use of a range of ability-giving stickers, which can be used to carry out attacks on enemies or to fill in missing parts of the levels.
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