Mario Party (1998)
Mario Party is the first installment of the Mario Party series. It was developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo, released on December 18, 1998 in Japan, February 8, 1999 in North America and Brazil, and March 9, 1999 in Europe and Australia for the Nintendo 64. The success of the game created the Mario Party series that we all know today.
One day Mario and his friends were arguing about who the superstar was. Wario says that a superstar must be strong, to which Donkey Kong agrees. Both fight to see who is the strongest and Luigi is in the middle of both. Toad says Mario would make a big superstar, or maybe Peach or Yoshi. The group begins to get closer to Toad. He says he has an idea, suggests that the group go through the green pipe in the center of the Mushroom Village and through their adventures, discover who the superstar is. He warns that the road will be dangerous and it takes not only strength, but also courage, wisdom and a good heart. They all agree and run to the pipe.
- The single-player mini-games are way too overpowered for the solo player, as they can get lots of coins without interference from the others. The biggest example here is Whack-a-plant, the player can get a whopping 36 coins just from this mini-game, and its really easy to do so! It's not surprising why 1 player mini-games were removed and never featured in every other Mario Party sense, except for Mario Party 8 which reintroduces them but are much more balanced.
- The game has 8 boards, but a lot of them are either some of the worst boards in Mario Party history or that other games did them better. Wario's Battle Canyon and Magma mountain in particular are extremely bad, and some suggest Yoshi's Tropical Island and Peaches Birthday Cake is just as bad. The latter two boards had games do their concepts better.
- There are no items in this game, which cuts out a significant amount of strategy the player can play. The closest thing to "items" are the random dice blocks and the warp block, but they only appear randomly. Due to these factors, it is near impossible for a player who is behind to catch up to the person who is in first, the only real way they can do so is with chance time.
- The mini-game selection is below average for the series. Every category has its own problems except for 4 player mini-games.
- 4 player mini-games. few problems for it. The only games that are terrible are Cast Aways (easily one of the worst coin mini-games), and Bumper Balls, where it is very difficult to knock someone off the arena, most of the time the mini game ends in a draw making no one get anything.
- Single-player mini-games, as stated above, too overpowered for the one player to the point they can easily win the coin star.
- Pedal Power is another mini-game of twisting the control stick, the Big Boo slowly chases the player as the player sits on the bike. All the player has to do is to generate power for a light by rotating. The player has about twenty seconds to generate enough power before the Big Boo catches them. If they win, the player wins ten Coins. But if they lose, they lose five coins, it's almost impossible to win this game without using your palm to twist the stick, it's quite frustrating and tired move the stick, resulting you have blisters, friction burns, and lacerations on your hands because of the uncomfortable control stick design.
- 2v2 mini-games. there are too few 2v2 games, only 5 of them. Every other Mario Party has at least 9-14 of them. Besides that, all the mini-games are good, except for Bombsketball and Handcar Havoc.
- Handcar Havoc is a terrible game to press the A button like crazy, you have to smash the A button to go faster, besides you have to handle the direction of the mining cart, because if you don't direct the mining cart, you can fall into the lava and lose,in hard mode it's worse, as it's rare for you to finish the mini game without injuring your thumb by pressing the A button too much.
- Bombsketball is a game where the teams simulate a game of basketball, but with the bomb. For the attackers it is very easy to score and win the game, and the defenders have trouble taking the ball thanks to the controls.
- 1v3 mini-games. This game easily has the worst line up of 1v3 games EVER in Mario Party. So much so that each game gets its own bullet.
- Bash 'n" Cash. This is the most infamous, unfair mini-game for the single player in Mario Party history. They are completely defenseless and they lose 5 coins every time they get hit from the three players, and the single player's hitbox is so big that its easy to get hit! The bowser version of this mini-game is even worse, the team of three can literally stand still and the solo player will lose a whopping 30 coins!
- Bowl Over. The single player only gets one shot to hit, and its really easy for the team of three to spread out and avoid getting hit.
- Coin Block Bash. The only advantage the solo player has is a giant hammer that can break blocks instantly and bash other players, it can also be stolen and used by other players. How exactly is this a 1v3 mini-game? Regardless, it's the 2nd best.
- Coin Shower Flower. Now the team of three has it bad! The solo player can collect 20+ coins while the team of three can only hope to collect 3 coins. Their only hope is that the single player is an idiot and falls off, which is hard to do so.
- Crane Game. Its really difficult for the solo player to grab another player as they can easily escape their grasp, and the solo player only has one shot at a grab, being a doll is worse, since there is no reward for dolls, no matter if the crane loses, besides this game makes you lose a third of your coins.
- Paddle Battle. A twisting game that will break your hands, paddling on a river, the single player must direct the inflatable boat towards the shore on the team of three's side, where Spear Guys will stab them and give the single player their coins, while the team of three must direct the boat toward the shore on the single player's side to get their coins. Players with the most coins at the river's end wins. Aside from the threat of Spear Guys, players must avoid the rocks that jut outward from and populate the river. It's quite frustrating and slow to move the control stick to get a Shy-Guy to stab the other players to lose coins, it's also frustrating to dodge the rocks, other players can steal coins by causing you to lose.
- Pipe Maze. The team of three don't do anything at all, all it comes down to is the single player picking a pipe and hope that the chest lands on them. and even if one of the three win, only the person who gets the chest gets coins. It doesn't feel like a 1v3 game at all.
- Piranha's Pursuit. If the solo player doesn't mess up or hits anything, then it's impossible for the team of three to win.
- Tightrope Treachery. Arguably the best of the 1v3 games. The team of three can struggle hitting the single player, while the solo player worries about not falling off from the wind.
- Tug o' war. Another terrible control stick twisting game, in the mini game there are 3 normal players and 1 with the Bowser costume. Both teams must pull the rope to make the one on the other side fall to the Piranha Plant. If all three players lose, the other player receives 5 coins from each. And if the player with the Bowser costume loses, all 3 players receive 5 coins each from the other player. The team's 3 players can easily make the player with the Bowser costume fall to a Piranha Plant, it's quite difficult and exhausting to move the stick and win in this mini-game due to the Nintendo 64's uncomfortable control stick design.
- The difficulty of the minigames is quite mediocre, although there are some easy and simple minigames, most are unnecessarily frustrating due to unfair AI and some are based only on artificial difficulty, in particular, the levels where you have to move the stick quickly are quite mediocre, since you have to move the stick like crazy while the AI has no problem, being Tug o' war, Paddle Battle, Handcar Havoc and Pedal Power the worst minigames of this type of minigame. There are also minigames that depend only on luck, so more than once the AI (especially Peach) will win, especially at Pipe Maze, there are also minigames where the AI is extremely horrible and unfair, such as Crane Game, Pipe Maze, Bash 'n" Cash, Bombsketball, Tug o' war, Paddle Battle and Handcar Havoc.
- The AI, while decent, can become quite unfair and broken in some mini-games, such as twisting stick control mini-games where you're spinning the stick of the control like crazy and the AI has no problems and they can easily beat you, they can also easily steal stars from you, what will make you lose.
- The worst thing is that there is no practice mode, so if you want to know how to play the minigame, the only thing there are the rules and the buttons, so it is not well known how to play a difficult minigame, which is worse for beginners or casual players, the main audience of the game.
- While this game is famous, it is also infamous for its injuries.
- Because of the experience of the twisting stick control mini-games, Nintendo never released Mario Party on the Virtual Console.
- Nintendo has created something brand new: Mario and friends having a party and Bowser wants to ruin it. This was a great game idea and worked well for the Nintendo 64.
- Good graphics by the standards of the late 1990s.
- The AI is decent (at least in the middle in minigames) and works decently, although sometimes it is unfair, which is mentioned in bad qualities.
- The game has 8 boards, each with their own events. Mario Party 3 would beat this number, but Mario Party 1 would have the most Battle Royal maps until Mario Party: Star Rush (where the main mode Toad Scramble has 15, you can say 18 if you want to count Balloon Bash, since they are similar).
- The soundtrack was good, with some of the most memorable songs being Rainbow Castle, Tropical Island, Engine Room, Birthday Cake, and Mushroom Forest.
- Introduced a great idea that would go on to be in future Mario Party games, players battling for stars, by getting 20 coins so they can buy them.
- Introduced minigames for the first time, with examples of the most fun ones being Face Lift, Shy Guy Says, and Bombs Away.
- This game was a great success, and it created the Mario Party franchise, with a lot of great sequels, and the evolution of this game to other Nintendo consoles was also a great thing to do.
- This is the only Mario Party game to have a title screen that changes depending on which character wins a board, except for one mini-game, Stadium.