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Mario Party Hits

Farewell Nintendo 64

In November 2001, it was goodbye to cardboard boxes, three-pronged controllers and games you could estimate the quality of by weighing the cartridges. Mario Party 3 marked the end of a rather glorious era, having had the honor of being the final N64 title released in Europe. A continent wept.

Mario Party-e

The Game Boy’s import-only e-Reader peripheral forms part of an interesting and unusual card game. Collect coin cards to buy items cards and - best of all - special challenge cards encoded with microdot patterns that contain minigames. Swipe the card through the e-Reader, complete the challenge on the GBA and win more cards from the other players.

Advance

Taking its cue from Party-e, Mario Party Advance includes a real board (well, a fold-out paper one) that can be used in place of the in-game one. It might have been more fun if it instructed players to act out the minigames, but those were all still played on the GBA.



Mini Bowsers

Possibly related to Bower Jr., or possibly not - there’s no consensus among the Mario community and no official word from Nintendo. Wherever they may come from, the Mini Bowsers - or Koopa Kids as they’re commonly known - were playable only in Mario Party 5 and 6. They come in red, green and blue varieties, and none of them have proper names. That is all.

Donkey Kong

Having been featured as an ordinary board game contestant in the first four installments, Donkey Kong was ousted from Mario Party 5 in favor of Boo. He took his revenge by becoming a bonus item square, thereby having a disproportionate effect on the outcome of the game, and cropping up as an unlockable character in Super Duel mode. After that, playable DK was no more.

Is this thing on?

Mario Party 6 introduced the GameCube microphone accessory - a lightweight plastic tube that clipped onto the controller and supposedly picked up voice commands for use in a quiz mode. In practice, the voice recognition was flaky and answers were repeatedly misinterpreted until the game gave up and asked you to select the answer you wanted using the analog stick and buttons.

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