Mario Party 9
Mario Party 9 is the ninth home console installment of the Mario Party series, and the second and last to be released for the Wii. It was the first game in the series to be developed by Nd Cube after Hudson Soft was defunct after the release of Mario Party DS. Released in March 2012, it was the last game in the Mario franchise to be released for the original Wii.
- First and foremost, this game introduced the car mechanic, which was a very bad idea to begin with and made many fans of the series upset. This was primarily due to previous Mario Party games receiving weaker reviews from critics for the repetitive concept, so Nd Cube attempted to rework the series in hope of gaining better reception from critics without any consent or care to fans.
- Because of the gameplay changes, it eliminates most of the strategy, which the Mario Party series is known for having. Most of time, the winner is the player who often rolls higher numbers, as they will be able to gain more Mini Stars quickly compared to a player who rolls low, yet performs well in mini-games.
- The boards have so many problems.
- First off, they have generic, unimaginative themes.
- Also, the boards are short and linear, but sometimes can take longer than they need to.
- The music, while not bad, isn't very memorable and easy to forget.
- Bob-omb Factory and Magma Mine are infamous for having crippling methods of losing many Mini-Stars. In Bob-omb Factory, you get a Bob-omb on your car that explodes after moving ten spaces. In Magma Mine, lava will eventually rise and rolling too low can result in getting caught in it. Both the Bob-omb and the lava make you lose half of your Mini-Stars, and it is extremely crippling to the point where having a Bob-omb explode on you or being burnt by the lava is instant loss of the game.
- In Blooper Beach, near the end you might always land on a Lucky Space 3 times which can make the game go longer than needed to.
- The Bowser mini-games aren't even original. They're just altered versions of normal mini-games where you have to lose the minigame, which had potential, but only has four mini-games.
- If Shy Guy or Kamek come first place in Story Mode, you have to play the entire board again, which while it is understandable since they're playing for Bowser, can make gameplay take even longer than it should be.
- The Coins in this game were replaced by the Mini-Stars, in which it makes no sense at all.
- The only items you can use are Dice Blocks.
- Sometimes you can go forever without getting a turn as your opponents can land on several dash spaces or you might get put last when someone lands on a shuffle space.
- The 2-vs.-2, battle and duel mini-games are gone.
- Speaking of battle mini-games, there's a battle space and you can still battle for Mini-Stars, but you just play the same old free-for-all mini-games instead of unique 4-player mini-games.
- The battles with Whomp and King Bob-omb in the Bob-omb Factory are annoying since they are mostly luck based.
- Good looking graphics that still somewhat hold up to today.
- Some music can be catchy like Battle with Bowser Jr., Toad Road or Freshen Up.
- A good selection of mini-games. Alongside, all the mini-games are unlocked by default without having to play each of them for one time, so this game is suitable for players who are more into the mini-games than the board gameplay.
- Koopa Troopa, Shy Guy, and Magikoopa/Kamek make their debut as playable characters.
- The bosses are enjoyable and fun to play, mainly Dry Bones, Lakitu, Wiggler, and King Boo.
- Good voice acting.
- The Story Mode isn't that bad.
- Has 7 boards, which while linear, can have their fun moments.
- The cars themselves are designed pretty well.
- Even if it wasn't executed in the best way, the game at least tries new things.
Despite mixed to positive reception from critics when compared to the previous Mario Party games, this game was initially panned by fans of the series for its gameplay changes and its lack of faith when compared to previous Mario Party games. Mario Party 9 currently has a critic rating of 73/100 and a user rating of 6.9/10 on Metacritic.