Mario Party 8

Bring your own cake; Mario will take care of the gold coins and bitter tears

So, Mario, we’ve got another one of your crazy parties to look forward to. Lucky us. What they ought to do is tie in the release date to Mario’s actual birthday, whenever that may be, and make it a collector’s item. There’s a Mario Party every single year anyway, so why not dress it up as a special occasion instead of just another update of a series that seems to have long since lost its shine?

Actually, since it’s on Wii and promises a whole new way of playing an annual multiplayer gaming concept that had started to smell a little stale about five years ago, it’s the first one in ages that we can anticipate with a genuine sense of optimism. No, really - we do expect this to be quite good.

The significant difference between this and all the previous Mario Party gamesis inthis version'suse of a controller that makes multiplayer gaming a real joy. The Wii remote might as well have been designed with riotous party games in mind, and it could just be the kick in the ass that the Mario Party series has been in need of.

As before, the main game takes place on a themed board. Four characters roll dice and shuffle from space to space; picking up some special items and then engaging in minigames once everyone has had a turn at the boring stuff.

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