Level-Headed: Waluigi's Island - Destructoid

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Ah, Mario Party. We all know the series, and, for the most part, we detest it. In the same vein as Madden games, a Mario Party generally comes out every year or so, with no new innovation (or, if there is any, itís god-awful) and the same tired gameplay. But, people tend to forget about the heyday of MP games. Mario Party 3 is, still, to this day, one of the greatest multiplayer party games ever created. Screw Castle Crashers. Throw Rock Band out the window. A true video game party isnít complete without Mario Party 3. With that said this weekís episode of Level-Headed looks at one of the strangest, confusing, destructive boards in the game, a little place called Waluigiís Island.

For the 3 of you who havenít played Mario Party, the basic idea is you, as one of the seminal Mario characters (Mario, Luigi, peach, etc.), and 3 friends, go around a board, getting stars and coins, and playing mini-games at the end of each round. The winner is whoever has the most stars at the end of each game (games last anywhere from 10 to 50 rounds).

Now, on to Waluigiís Island, the craziest level in the game. Itís made up of about 5 islands, but 3 of them are created entirely to wreck your life, or ruin the coin/star count of your opponents:

1. Dynamite Isle: The first big island you reach after leaving the initial island. If you play MP3 regularly, you will learn to fear this island. See the number in the middle of the island? Thatís a timer, rigged to a large amount of gold-stealing dynamite. As you make your way around the circle, thereís little ? spaces you can land on. Each landing on the space ticks the timer down one number. Once it reaches 0, everyone on the island looses every coin theyíve got. The worse part is, though, if you want to ruin someone's coin count, you have to be on the island at the same time, to hit the ? space. That's right; you can, in a sense, suicide bomb the coins out of your oppoents.

2. Gear Atoll: Donít like Dynamite Isle? Itís ok, you can easy make the leap off it, but, what you leap onto might be worse. Gear Atoll branches off the top of Dynamite Isle, and consists of a single space that spins you around at varying speeds. The goal is to get off the island by pressing A. But, the roulette action of the island means you could go in any of 4 different islands, including back to Dynamite Isle! Iíve seen more people get pissed off and ruin the chance to get stars simply because of an imprecise jump off this island.

3. The Insane Asylum: Ah, my favorite part of the level, and, if used correctly, the perfect way to win the game and lose all your friends in the process. This island, in the upper-left-hand corner of the board, is accessible from one of 2 hard-to-lower bridges on 2 different islands. But, once youíre on it, prepare for some fun. Every space on the island (save for 2 Shop spaces) is the exact same space, but changes each level. So, one level, every space can give you 3 coins, or become one of those ? spaces, or, if youíre lucky, initiate a Chance Time. Chance Time takes you and puts you in a room with 3 slot machines, 2 with a characterís face, and 1 with a coin or star value, and an arrow. The goal is to steal as much stuff as possible from your opponents, completely ruining any chance of winning. For instance, if you hit the first block, placing your characterís face on it, then hit the 3rd block with the lead-star-carrierís face, then hit the middle block to say ďtakes all stars from,Ē you have just fucked over your opponent. Of course, this can work against you, since each time you hit a slot, the other 2 speed up, until the last one is almost impossible to judge. So, with that in mind, one of my favorite things to do was make my way to the island early on, then stay there the entire game, landing on randomized spaces, and getting at least 4 Chance Times to take everything possible away from my opponents.

Along with those islands, the top of the board housed the Boo space, a valuable space in the game. Landing on it allowed you to pay Boo to steal coins or stars from an opponent, depending on how many coins you gave him. While all boards had this space, Waluigiís Islandís space was a hassle to get to. Before you got to it, there was a forked path. After choosing a path, you either went forward, or fell down a hole all the way to the start of the level. The order was randomized every time you took the paths, so, it was pretty much a coin flip as to whether you could reach Boo or not.

Hands down, this is my favorite board in any Mario Party game. Everyone had the chance to steal all kinds of coins and items from everyone. Most of the board was randomized, sometimes leading to total chaos. And, if that wasnít enough, the most valuable space on the board was near-impossible to reach. Have fun playing this board with friends, but donít be upset if you donít have said friends the next day.

Report 5: Evil In The Galaxy Revealed! (Space Channe l 5)
Fort Frolic (Bioshock)
Airport 1001 (Mega Man X)
Crescent Isle (Skies of Arcadia)
Chainsaw Hedgemaze Mayhem (Zombies Ate My neighbors)
Temple Of Ice (LoZ: Phantom Hourglass)
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