Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Mario Party 9

Review: Mario Party 9

2:00 PM on 03.31.2012 // Jonathan Holmes

"Another Mario Party? Good grief. Is there really any way this game could give us something we haven't already gotten from the Mario Party series? Is there going to be any reason to buy this game over the seven other Mario Party titles available on the Wii, or Wii Party, or any of the other mini-game collections that have flooded the Wii market since day one?"

Those are the questions that filled my head as I limply held the box for Mario Party 9 in my hand for the first time. After playing the game for about two hours, I had some answers. Then I played the game for 20 more hours, and I had some fun.

Mario Party 9 (Wii)
Developer: Nd Cube Co., Ltd.
Publisher: Nintendo
Released: March 11, 2012
MSRP: $49.99

The first 20 minutes of Mario Party 9 only offer a few token changes that may not even be noticeable to anyone but diehard Mario Party fans. Dig a little deeper, though, and you'll find that Mario Party 9 really isn't like all the rest. The host of this virtual game show, Mario, is the same, but the rules are very different this time around. That comes as less of a surprise after you discover that the title was developed by a brand-new team.

This new team put together a title that feels more like a true Mario spin-off, and less like a stereotypical "party" game. As someone who has never been particularly enamored with the Mario Party series, that's definitely a change for the better.

There is a much more balanced mix of motion-controlled and "standard" games this time around. A lot of the games are played with the Wii Remote held on its side, with either Mario Kart-style motion controls or no motion controls at all. While Mario Party 8 was released when motion controls were riding high, Mario Party 9 has seen release in the post-New Super Mario Bros. Wii period of the Wii's life cycle. Nintendo has learned that over 20 million Wii owners are happy to play a 2D home console Mario title with minimal motion controls, and they've taken that lesson to heart in the development of this title.

The influence of New Super Mario Bros. Wii doesn't stop there. There are many subtle and not-so-subtle shout-outs to that title here. Remember that level in New Super Mario Bros. Wii where you were riding a raft across an evil purple swamp? You'll get that level again here, except with a Super Mario Galaxy-style 3D camera. That fusion of New Super Mario Bros. Wii and Super Mario Galaxy is pretty much the game's central theme, though there are a few smatterings of Super Mario Sunshine moments and hints of other Mario titles throughout. Buckenberry and Ala-Gold fans will be pleased.

That's really just window dressing, though. What's more important is Mario Party 9's increased focus on videogame-y elements. There are now mini-boss fights, giant boss fights, more platforming levels, and maps that feel better with more branching paths and secrets. There are some moments when the uninitiated eye might glance at Mario Party 9 and think it's an honest-to-god Mario game. That's not something I think you can say for its predecessors. The games here are still simple and kid-friendly, but many of them feel much more like Mario experiences, and not just party games that happen to feature Mario-themed skins.

A lot of other changes reduce the level of "board game logic" present in the title. All players now drive around together in a car. That places everybody on the board in the same location at all times, which puts the kibosh on the "race to the finish" mentality that was present in prior games of the series. There is also only one in-game currency now, giving players just one way to win. These factors all work to make the game feel more "fair" and logical. That may appeal to those of you who prefer the 1's and 0's world of videogames to the thoroughly analog and unpredictable world of board games.

Mario Party 9 only takes that reduction of luck's power so far; there is still a lot here that is determined by chance. All the players may be cruising around together in a car, but only the driver gets the positive (or negative) effects of landing on special spaces on the board. It's still your dice rolls, not your own will, that determine exactly where you land. You can get a special die that will help you stack the odds a bit (like a 10-sided die, or one that only has 4s, 5s, and 6s on it), but you'll still never be in full control.

Then there are the times that Bowser jumps out of nowhere and says, "Hey! You in 1st place! Fuck off, dude! I'm taking all your money and giving it to that guy!" Or the mini-game that just consists of watching a ball with your face on it fall down a hill, with the one whose ball hits the bottom first winning half your total cash. Moments like this work to remind the player that skill is important, but no one is above suffering the whims of Lady Luck.

Mario Party 9 features less motion control, fewer board-game rules, and more of a videogame feel, but there's still plenty left to chance. Those waiting for a full-scale overhaul will have to wait a little longer. If you're like me -- that is, you've always wanted the Mario Party series to be more than just Mario in name, you'll definitely be pleased with the direction in which the series is headed.



THE VERDICT

7.5

Mario Party 9 - Reviewed by Jonathan Holmes
Likable - That's a seven, which is actually a different number than five. It's more than ok. We like this game. I don't want to play it every day forever and ever, but it's definitely worth the time I invested in it, and I'll be picking it up again to relive the fun sometime down the line.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Jonathan Holmes, Bad Joke Uncle
 Follow Blog + disclosure Tips
"Where do dreams end and reality begin? Videogames, I suppose."- Gainax, FLCL Vol. 1 "The beach, the trees, even the clouds in the sky... everything is build from little tiny pieces of stuff. Ju... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Mario Party 9


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Gaming's Beautiful People #4: Valentine's Day Special OR Love Multi-Kills

Exist Archive: The Other Side Of The Sky Import Review

Stupid Teens Do Stupid Things: An Oxenfree Critique

A blog test. Brought to you by Buckner & Garcia

Cblogs of 2/11/16, 2/12/16 + Firethoughts

PS+ Games of the Month January 2016 - Feat. GajKnight and SolarPonyDjango

Your Opinions On Racing Games Are Stupid

The Nerds Have Won

Emily Wants To Play has come to mobile (and I wish it would go away again)

Six Reasons Why YOU Should Buy Soul Sacrifice Delta For $8!

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

TysonOfTime avatarTysonOfTime
The first thing I do when I see clickbait is click on it and complain about clickbait.
LinkSlayer64 avatarLinkSlayer64
Wow, uh, after having a lovely time with Kirby Air Ride, I decided to try playing some melee, for old times sake... I pretty much disliked my whole time with it. More details in a comment if I get around to it.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Help me gather games for a new blog series - "Worst Sequels Ever"
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
The backend code on the site so fun to read. Going through some of Julio's old stuff: if($vars["fappers"]){ $fappoids = 0; $_xt_loop_name = "fappers"; $vars["fappers_cnt"] = count($vars["fappers"]); reset($vars["fappers"]);
BaronVonSnakPak avatarBaronVonSnakPak
Watching the second Guyver Movie: Dark Hero, starring David -Solid Snake- Hayter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Roie47-Cuk
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
You didn't think I forgot what day it is did you?
Nathan D avatarNathan D
Gonna retire the MOARgasmic avatar for awhile.
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Will you be mine?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
Got out of Deadpool. It definitely was a movie with Deadpool in it. Some parents were shocked to learn it was also rated R for a reason.
Sarah Jane farron avatarSarah Jane farron
So... gender and biology. All I'll say here is please respect people and their identities and don't try to push assumptions as fact. It doesn't need to be said to most here but denying people their identities is pretty harmful and very unpleasant.
Niwannabe avatarNiwannabe
Any PS4 recommendations for a guy who can't afford PS+, since all I've got is Battlefront and there's next to nothing to do in that game?
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
if you were experiencing lag with the dev site today, can you please try again? I moved some js around and am loading smaller avatars for people. some quickpost photos are scaled from gigantic raw uploads so we are optimizing those next to zip things up
Terry 309 avatarTerry 309
It's happening people... they're gonna kill off my favourite character... but he's taking someone else with him *massive spoilers in video*
FakePlasticTree avatarFakePlasticTree
Can I just say that I really dig the intro music for Yakuza 5? It's pumping!
Fuzunga avatarFuzunga
Hmm... yeah, this seems right.
Dreamweaver avatarDreamweaver
Would anyone be willing to help out dear ol' Dreamweaver with Destiny? Need a partner to tackle 7+ matches of Crimson Doubles for that 320 Light Ghost Shell. Will have to work on Comments of the Week first, but will be on later. I suck at the game though.
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
I'm not digging Trine too much. It has really screwy controls.
ShadeOfLight avatarShadeOfLight
Sonic the Hedgehog's Twitter account gave dating advice here: http://www.gamesradar.com/dating-advice-real-sonic-hedgehog/ I am now significantly less bitter about Valentine's Day.
absolutfreak avatarabsolutfreak
Tried out The Lost Vikings for the first time in Heroes of the Storm. Lots of fun, but I've got a long way to go before I could consider myself remotely good with them.
Malthor avatarMalthor
Dear Lord, I think I've stumbled over the most bullshit boss fight I've seen in a long time. "Here, let me summon 2-3 mnions each turn. They inflict all of the status effects btw, as do I. Have fun!"
more quickposts


Contest!


Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -