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Gamecube Reviews: Mario Party 4


Mario Party 4 Screenshots

The Final Say!

Mario Party 4 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: 18 November 2002
Review Score: 9.1/10 
Distributor: Nintendo

Let me start off by quite simply saying that you must own this game. I normally state that at the end of reviewing a game I particularly enjoyed, however I want you all to get the idea right from the start.

Mario Party has been around for some time and is a true party game in every sense of the word. The title originates as a board game then deviates with the ability to play mini games as a means of furthering the title. There are many modes available to experience this title to it's fullest whether you are playing it on your own or with three friends battling it out together.


Mario Party 4 Features

  • Players 1-4
  • Memory Card 2 Units
  • Classification: G
  • Game Type: Board Games
  • Skill Level: Intermediate


There are 50 mini games to play in Mario Party 4 and 5 game boards to work your way through. Sounds confusing, but it isn't at all. Basically you choose whose board it is that you want to play, whether it be Koopa's or even Boo's. Each board has been set up by it's creator to reward and punish the players who dare to enter.


The game leads players by the hand so even though there are a lot of rules to take in during the actual board games themselves, you will always have all options presented to you in an easy to understand format. Once on the board, that is when the party truly begins. There are several gameplay options that present themselves to you once all players are active and on the board. Depending on where you land will determine what sort  of party game is going to be played by all the characters.


The games are also determined by the colour of the square you stopped on after the end of a round. If players all stand on the same colour, then it's every character for itself! If there is split however, then the characters will team up to complete tasks. It makes for a lot of fun and even more importantly unlocks that mini game for you to play at your leisure.


It is amazing how high the quality is for even the most simple of games on Mario Party and is a credit to Hudson, who are the developers. There are all sorts of graphical effects used to make each and every part of the game very special. Audio within the game is also a lot of fun to listen too and care has been taken to ensure that sound is almost as important to the vision of the game.

Both the board games and mini games have prizes that need to be collected to determine an overall winner on any given game. You must collect stars and coins and the total is displayed next to each character's profile on the screen. During the board games however be careful as you can also lose everything if you are not careful. There are many features integrated into the game such as reversal of fortune where you can opt to take items from another player, the only risk is that you also may lose everything you have! It's very cleverly done and makes the gameplay quite intense at times on the board. The aim on the board games is to  reach the star that is located at a predetermined location. Making it to the star is only half the fun as you also have to have a certain number of coins as well, otherwise you must continue until you have collected enough coins to purchase the star and complete the area. Players can also, for a price, hire Boos to steal things from other characters!

In addition to all the ruckus is the mini and mega mushrooms that alter the gameplay in an alarming way. If players eat the mini mushroom they can access small areas and have access to the mini mini games that are scattered about the board. Whilst eating a mega mushroom will allow you to stomp on other players and collect their coins. On some games, a genie can be hired as a warp to the star directly, after making sure of course that you have the coins to be there.

I only had two gripes about this otherwise splendid game and whilst I am going to list them, I am also going to follow up with the reasons why they would have had to be in the title for the sake of the game.

1. When playing the board games in story mode (single player), you are forced to watch the computer's characters go entirely through their turn which can get somewhat monotonous when you know it's an artificial intelligence controlling the movements of the player. On the flipside however, this also gave you a comprehensive overview of what the status was of everyone on the board and it also did make you feel a little more like you were playing a board game with three other friends. I don't really see a compromise either way and so believe that Hudson did the right thing by including the other characters turns on the board.

2. The mini games have to be unlocked when playing in story mode. I found the mini games to be the most fun when playing Mario Party 4, they are lively vibrant and most surprisingly, every one of them felt distinctly different. The board seems to be a transition point of sorts to playing the mini games. That said, it also paces out the playing of mini games nicely and not knowing what is going to happen next was pretty cool.

Mario Party 4, naturally enough, is best played with four human players as then you can have fun mocking each others efforts. Hudson have turned on all the bells and whistles to make this edition the best looking and most fun yet. Recommended!

- Tory Favro


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