Last call! It may be the end of Mario Party – and we will actually miss it

Like the socially inept guest who still hangs around your house even after you go to bed, Mario Party may have overstayed its welcome (Ed: actually, most of us never get invited in the first place, but you get the point). Signs are pointing to the possibility that the streamers are coming down, the confetti%26rsquo;s getting swept up, and the long-running series has reached its end.

The team that was behind the development of Mario Party has disbanded, and it seems everyone started getting tired of the series, and review scores started dropping. That may very well be the last straw for a franchise that was already missing in action for years.

Above: Average Metacritic review for every game in the Mario Party series

There's also the fact that Nintendo will soon bring the game Wii Party to the US. It%26rsquo;s a pretty blatant carbon copy of Mario Party except without the charm or legacy, but it%26rsquo;s selling fairly well in Japan and should fit well with the generic, Wii Sports/Wii Play crowd.

Mario Party 8 was released for the Wii in May of 2007, followed a few months later by Mario Party on the DS. Ever since then, Nintendo hasn't even uttered the phrase "Mario Party." It seems there's not even a chance of the original Nintendo 64 titles coming to the Virtual Console. Alas, it appears this is in fact the end of an era.

Above: The "Tug of War" mini-game in the original Mario Party required players to twirl the N64 joystick as quickly as possible. It was notorious for giving blisters to gamers who placed their palm on the joystick and spun it around while simultaneously destroying the controller

We aren%26rsquo;t the only people old enough to have the guts to say this, but we loved Mario Party, even in the latter years. It was one of our favorite games to play with friends, although we were admittedly annoyed that there was never any online connectivity in a series that practically stands up and slaps you in the face as an obvious online party game concept.

That being said, we'll never forget the terrible voice recognition gimmick in Mario Party 6, the time we spent going to the kitchen while everyone else took their turns, and of course the bloody blisters from the the first Mario Party's joystick-spinning mini-games.


Aug 06, 2010

What the new state of casual party games looks like

The forgotten former Mario mainstays still floating in the abyss

Now this is a Mario party even Mario would be jealous of