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Gamecube Reviews: Mario Party 5


Mario Party 5 Screenshots

The Final Say!

Mario Party 5 - reviewed by Andrew B
Review Date: January 2004
Review Score: 7.5/10 
Distributor: Nintendo

"It's me Mario!"

Nintendo's flagship character Mario has been around for almost as long as video games and he returns once again, with his army of Nintendo friends to battle it out in Mario Party 5. Mario Party 5 is strictly a party only game and I wouldn't recommend this title to anyone looking for a great solo adventure.

The basic premise behind Mario Party 5 is a collection of small mini-games that are located on a huge board game where players must move around, collect coins and basically become the superstar of Mushroom Kingdom. The game itself boasts over 70 different mini-games that allows up to four players to join in the antics and adventures of Mario and his friends.

Mario Party 5 features a variety of gameplay modes that include a single-player Story Mode, a Super Duel Mode and a Bonus mode to keep gamers entertained for hours. The story behind Mario Party is set in the dream depot, a land where people come when they are dreaming.

Dreams are protected by the Star Guardians who ensure that people dream of nice things such as candy, sugar and spice. Unfortunately for the dreamers of the world, Mario's arch nemesis Bowser has invaded the dream depot and has caused dreams to become nightmares. The Star Guardians decide to turn to the hero of Mushroom Kingdom for help and call upon Mario to cleanse the dream depot from the insidious and extremely naughty Bowser.

The single-player aspect of the game is unfortunately a little boring as rather than playing against human opponents, you play against computer controlled Koppa Kids. Young gamers will however adore this game but for the more experienced and older gamer, I would highly recommend that you play this title with friends as this is really a party game.

Fortunately in the multiplayer mode, the game is like a real board game where you must roll a dice and move your character on the board map. When your character lands on a specific square on the board, you may be asked to perform a mini-game such as duelling other players or avoiding the tricks and traps of Bowser. The game is heavily driven around coins (in single-player model) and stars (in multi-player mode) that must be collected throughout the world of the dream depot and when you  are challenging other players in mini-games, your coins are automatically deducted if you lose a game.

The mini-games of Mario Party 5 are varied and entertaining that range from racing games, jumping games, battle games and a variety of other "special" games such as climbing magical bean stalks or popping other players balloons.

As with all core Nintendo titles, Mario Party 5 is an extremely attractive looking game that contains a plethora of bright colours, sharp graphics and of course some beautifully designed (yet simple) 3D polygon characters that appear to have been taken directly from a Saturday morning cartoon. Apart from the simplistic characters, the game also contains a variety of special effects from amazing lighting effects, water effects and a variety of colourful special effects that I'm sure the younger gamer will appreciate to no end.

The musical score of Mario Party 5 has the traditional Nintendo "sounding" soundtrack that is extremely cute but is also extremely repetitive and is basically a rehash of the popular Nintendo themes such as Mario Bros. The game also contains all the official catch phrases of all the Nintendo characters who appear in this game from the shouts of Mario to the cute squeaks and sounds of the Koppa Kids.

In conclusion, Mario Party 5 is a great game for young gamers that is extremely user friendly, easy to play and has a very delightful yet repetitive soundtrack. Graphically, the game is impressive and features simplistic yet extremely colourful graphics that are now a norm on the GameCube. If you've played the previous game in the series than I would probably not recommend this title to you, however if you haven't played a Mario game for awhile and you want a great party title, then this game is for you. Check it out!

- Andrew B

Copyright 2004 www.impulsegamer.com