RELEASED: December 2000
AVAILABLE ON: N64
DEVELOPER(S): Hudson Soft
As tradition went, Mario Party 3 was released just a few days shy of a year after its predecessor. It included 70 all-new minigames, while the very basic gameplay remained untouched. As much as I'd like to look at it gratefully due to its awaited departure from the last two games and its usually effective basic formula, the truth is that the final Mario Party game for the Nintendo 64 is pretty much a miserable failure. Over a half of the new minigames are not much to look at, and extremely good luck is nothing less of a mandatory trait if you want to beat Mario Party 3 - or even one round of it.
This game is not for sore losers
|There are plenty of new item games, not just |
one per board. It's not much of a positive,
since the Story Mode sucks.
The graphics are still exactly the same, there's no change whatsoever. The music has gone through some changes since the composer's different (Ichiro Shimakura), but the feel of it is still the same and it's not too bad. The new voice samples are a bit more tolerable than those in the previous games.
The game has two different modes: the Party Mode and the Story Mode. For all intents and purposes, the Party Mode is the better mode of the two. It gives you access to all vintage Mario Party content: a minigame room, all the maps, and a whole new Duel Mode, whatever you can scoop up from the earlier games. Like I said, the minigames are not really that good. There's a fair deal of entertaining games among the 71 whole new ones, but I guess that at some point, somewhere at or after the halfway mark, the developers ran out of good ideas, because some of them just simply suck; whether they're once again wholly luck-based games of assrape, or just dumb ideas, rejected during the development of the previous titles. Did it ever occur to Hudson that if they were to make a completely new and fresh Mario Party title, maybe they should not have hurried so much? It's not like every Christmas wouldn't be complete without a new Mario Party game.
|Ridiculous Relay sure is ridiculous.|
I like many new innovations in Mario Party 3 and I'm not saying the game is all bad, but after two such solid efforts by Hudson and Nintendo, it is a disappointment. First of all, the maps aren't nearly as straightforward, there are many choices of route. No longer will you have to just watch as the star space moves right in front of your opponents while you have just passed that point, you can often try to find an alternate route and hope that the dice block is on your side for once. The happenings can be avoided in a sequence called Action Time. For example, if someone triggers a giant snowball to roll across the field, you can jump over it with good timing. However, the oh, so clever CPU usually uses this particular happening for his/her own benefit, since being chased down the board by the giant snowball often takes them closer to the star space. You'd do well to remember that, as well. There are two different shops that look identical from the outside; once you stop at a shop, either Baby Bowser or Toad appears at random. Baby Bowser sells tools for mischief (like those extremely annoying Boo Bells), while Toad sells stuff that also helps, but leaves the opposition be (such as Mushrooms). There are many different Duels - this time, they're not just simple, brief bonus games, but fully loaded one-on-one minigames in the vein of the rest, that are essential to the Duel Mode.
|Now this is one good minigame. I like games |
that test your memory.
Mario Party 3 is the worst whole experience in this sub-franchise I've had thus far. It has so much to go on, but it lacks so much more. The Story Mode's cool and addictive at first, but once you realize good luck's the one and only thing on your side, and that you have to win seven rounds on different maps to get to the end, that addiction wears out very quickly.
GRAPHICS : 9.1
SOUND : 7.3
PLAYABILITY : 6.4
LIFESPAN : 6.5
CONCLUSION : 6.4