Developed by Nintendo Published by Nintendo of America Reviewed on Nintendo 3DS
Mario Party and its best 100 mini games are now available for the Nintendo 3DS. You can go into the game and just pick whichever mini game you loved from the Nintendo 64 era to the Wii U generation and several in between. After all of these years, what is considered the best of the best is all available to now play on the go. Does it hold up? Well in a single word: kinda.
First of all, when you first open up the game to play, you can actually only play half of the games available. The only way to get access to the other games is to go through the somewhat interesting single player mode where you travel through four worlds and play each mini game to earn coins, a staple in every Mario Party games. Much more common in every Mario game are the also mini stars, the point system used since Mario Party 9. Coins add lives to your single player game and mini stars give you unlocks such as character profiles and music.
Outside of the single player mode, you can play a mode where you go through a gauntlet of mini games to try to get the most points and/or coins. There’s also a mode where you play on a simple board with other characters. When they announced the collection, they did announce a board mode and you’d expected that meant that it will go back to the original style of Mario Party. This board however, while it is the closest we’ve been to that style since Mario Party 8 in 2008, it’s still not quite in that style. How it works is, once again, all of the players are separate but can still move at the same time as they collect items, coin balloons, and Star Balloons.
Each coin balloon activates a mini-game. When a mini game is triggered, whoever has more coin balloons has a higher chance to get the mini game they want. At the start of the game, you choose from mini game packs that have a common theme based on which system they premiered on or whether or not it’s a luck based game. Whoever passes through the Star Balloons can get a Star for every 10 coins they possess. For example, if you have 50 coins and pass a single Star Balloon, then you get one star. However, if you have 50 coins and pass a square with five Star Balloons, then you get five Stars at once.
For the most part, many of the mini-games that put onto the 3DS play well with its button layout. There are a few games here and there that didn’t port well from their original console to 3DS. The worst offenders are the motion control games that originally involved titling the Wii remote. Since the 3DS is the controller you use, screen, and all, it can feel really jarring to use. The same problem occurs with mini-games where you have to mash several buttons at once since it shakes the very screen you’re supposed to be looking at. Playing some of the mini-games from the Nintendo 64 era where you had to spin the joystick to win are also hit or miss.
At the end of it all, I can only recommend Mario Party: The Top 100 if you love to play any and every Mario Party game and get more enjoyment from playing the mini-games more than moving around a game board. The main focus of this release is the mini-games themselves and very little else. Getting this game intending to play Mario Party 11 will leave you disappointed. But if you want a grab bag of several favorites like Shy Guy Says and Bumper Balls all in one game, then it’s worth getting. There wouldn’t even be a need to convince your friend to get the game either since the game allows for Download Play to get all of the multiplayer game modes with only one copy of the game.