RELEASED: December 1999
AVAILABLE ON: N64, Wii Virtual Console
DEVELOPER(S): Hudson Soft
Mario Party was a commercial jackpot and it called for a quick sequel, which arrived just in time for the Christmas market of 1999. The developers fixed the most major mistakes they made with the first game, and added just enough exciting new features to the game to once again rake in the cash and moderate praise from critics. It's not that different from its predecessor, there's a disappointing amount of new minigames and it's even less of a fair game to a single player altogether than the first one, but there's no question about it: Mario Party 2 is fun.
"AWW, COME ON!!!"
|Toad in the Box.|
I don't really have anything deep to discuss about Mario Party 2, so I'll get right into the game. The graphics haven't been updated in the slightest. The game looks different due to the different surroundings, technically it's completely unchanged - in other words, it's one of the nicest- and smoothest-looking games on the Nintendo 64 just like its predecessor. The voice samples are exactly the same as before - in other words, horrible - but the music is slightly better. Yasunori Mitsuda is once again in the lead, but this time he's assisted by a group of three. I believe each and every minigame has a different theme song.
|It's a tank battle to the death!|
There's a lot more going on on the maps than in the first game - which means you're in for a potentially, and very likely, extremely unfair game. To prove my point, I was playing as Mario, and winning by four stars and a decent amount of coins. I lost at many minigames and Luigi had pretty good chances of getting the Mini-Game Star as a bonus reward in the end of the round (you can turn off the bonus stars this time to improve your chances). Well, Luigi didn't have one single star by the end of the game when there were only three turns left, and I was very sure he would be the ultimate loser. Well, he stole a star from me and he had a Magic Lamp, which allows the player to be transported straight to Toad. Check another star for him. Then, he got two bonus stars in the end of the game - Luigi was the winner. This game can, and probably will, turn on you at ANY point. Success is not to be taken for granted even if there are only a few turns left, and you're lightyears ahead of the opposition. It took four games for me to finally win, and it was out of pure luck.
|The new item games are quite entertaining, not |
to mention rewarding.
The most important new feature in Mario Party 2 is without a doubt the inclusion of a sensical Item Shop, which is to be found on each map. From there, you can buy items that further improve your chances of winning, or simply screwing at least one of your opponents over and shoving a ten-foot pole up their ass. Perhaps the most essential item is the Golden Mushroom, which works the same way as the regular one, which was already present in the previous game, only this one allows you to hit the dice block three times in succession. You can carry only one item at a time, and as expected, players can steal items from each other by using a special item called the Plunder Chest, so they need to be used carefully, but urgently - the CPU just LOVES buying and using the Plunder Chest.
So, once again: you need to play through every map in the game at least once to have the best chance of unlocking everything in the game. After passing a certain point, you will unlock the Mini-Game Coaster within the Mini-Game Land, which is very similar to the Mini-Game Island in the first game, but more of an extra for you to conquer. In any case, Mario Party 2 was made to tide the franchise's followers over right up until the release of another sequel, so it has a lot in store for lovers of multiplayer mayhem, not much more or less for a single player than the first game, though.
Mario Party 2 is another good game in a unique franchise, and fit for everyone, from the cradle to the rocking chair. It's very accessible, diverse and features a basketful of highly entertaining minigames; I just wish unlocking those minigames would be little less time consuming and frankly, dull.
GRAPHICS : 9.1
SOUND : 7.2
PLAYABILITY : 7.5
LIFESPAN : 8.0
CONCLUSION : 7.7