A bit late to the party?
Posted 2 years ago By - Jay Acevedo
When Nintendo revealed Wii Party for the first time, I couldn’t stop myself from laughing. After a few good compilation games like Wii Play, Mario Party 8, Rayman Raving Rabbids and WarioWare Smooth Moves, the market has been seriously flooded with an impressive number of low-quality games, which would take ¾ of this review if I decided to name them all. Matter of fact, it’s rather surprising that Nintendo waited this long to release another take on the genre. Despite its tardiness, Wii Party did manage to get a few smiles out of me, but not enough to restore my faith in these types of games to the level it once was.
With over 80 party games split across four categories, the game carries an unsurprising taste of déjà-vu. You have the Pair Games, which are designed for two-player cooperative play. Party Games with its lengthier experiences such as Bingo, Globe Trot (a board/card game) and a Wheel of Fortune-style game called Spin-Off. Then you get the quick and forgettable mini-games buried into its own Mini-Game Mode (yes, a mini-game mode beneath a party game compilation, how nice).
Most of these modes elevate the fun to respectable levels, especially those found beneath the Party moniker. However, the highlights of the compilation reside in the House Party mode. Designed for two or more players, all five House Party games go beyond the TV screen, literally bringing the fun to your living room. Animal Tracker gets you to line-up your Wiimotes on a flat surface. The first player to grab the one playing the correct animal sound gets a point. The first player to get three points wins the game. My favorite among the House Party games is Word Bomb. Acting as a memory game, players say a word within a given category, press A after saying the answer out loud and then pass the controller to the next player. If a player fails to say a word and register his answer before time runs out, the bomb will explode.
As for the Mini-Game mode…well, there is some fun to be had. But the fun/boring ratio goes straight down after realizing that most of the mini-games aren’t that responsive and tend to randomly award the victory, rather than determining a true winner. They’ve tried hard and I’ll give them that. That’s all I have to say.
While Mario Party 8 and WarioWare Smooth Moves were able to garner success by focusing on the appeal of their main characters, Wii Party banks on the Miis to carry the fun over to your living room. While they aren’t the most charismatic characters we’ve had the pleasure of meeting during the current generation of consoles, Miis remain the only representation of yourself (on the Wii) and it does feel special to see them in action elsewhere beyond than the Wii Plaza. Matter of fact, I don’t know why Nintendo hasn’t forced the hands of developers to use them more often, especially in party games. I know some folks hate these weird little avatars, but I prefer have them on-screen rather than some ugly big-headed obnoxious character. Speaking of obnoxious, Wii Party’s Beaker-like announcer is annoying as hell. Hey Nintendo, can you give normal voices to your characters? Text-based chatter isn’t fun anymore. Seriously, cut it out.
Although you can play most of the mini-games by yourself against the CPU, Wii Party was designed as a multiplayer experience and it wouldn’t be a good idea to spend the $50 if you don’t have people to play with; especially when there isn’t any kind of online support whatsoever, not even a bland leaderboard feature. Plus, some of the games offered on the disk require more than two Wiimotes, so if you were dying to bring this game at home to enjoy with your kids, consider the acquisition of extra controllers a must. This actually leads me to comment on the game’s price tag. I find it difficult to spend that kind of money for a game that will keep the group interested for an hour or two and then collect dust until the next family gathering happens. It’s common to see first party Nintendo games sell for more than usual, but I fell like the current price tag doesn’t reflect its replay value. If there was a President of Mini-Games (and I was in the position), I would try to pass a bill to put all these games under a mandatory $30 mark.
Despite a few hidden gems, Wii Party doesn’t do anything special to stand-out in the mini-game compilation realm, although it is better than most of “the rest” out there. It’s not the kind of game that your friends will ask you to put on during a cold and half-drunken Saturday night party, but we can say that I’ve been enjoying naming countries out loud while passing a timed-bomb Wiimote more than mimicking a saxophone…
+ Colorful prensentation
- Game gets old quickly
- That annoying announcer...
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Release Date : 2010/10/03
System : Nintendo Wii
Publisher : Nintendo
Developer : ND Cube
Category : Party & Mini Games
ESRB : E10+
7.0 / 10
8.5 / 10
8.0 / 10
8.7 / 10