Mario Party 8  (Nintendo Wii, 2007) Reviews
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Mario Party 8 (Nintendo Wii, 2007)

518 ratings (28 Epinions reviews)
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Get the Party Started with Mario Party 8

Jun 4, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:easy to learn, silly carnival, board games, unlockables, mario characters, fun twists, 1-4 players

Cons:long ringmaster segments, semi-annoying music, cluttered flashy graphics, can get boring for adults

The Bottom Line: Team up with a princess or a mushroom to collect stars and coins and win Carnival Cards all in a board game battle against friends and foes.

I bought Mario Party 8 as part of a bundle package about two years ago when we first got our Wii. One of the main draws of the Nintendo-created system was being able to play some games with those kooky plumbers again after years of Sony Playstation-loyalty. I also wanted a game that my kids stood some chance of playing with the grown-ups. This party-style game sounded up our alley.

Rated E for mild cartoon violence, Mario Party was one of the earliest releases for the Wii system back in 2007. It is a game for 1-4 players with a festive, colorful, carnival theme. Familiar characters from the Super Mario world such as Princess Peach, Yoshi, Toad, Wario, Boo, Shy Guy, DK, and Bowzer all make appearances. There are tons of mini-games, several board game-style activities in which you choose how many turns are played, and tons of extras to unlock in the Fun Bazaar with the Carnival Cards you collect by winning games. 
The main play occurs in the Party Tent, where 1-4 players can compete in a Battle Royale, two teams can battle in Tag Battle, or two characters (1 player vs. the computer or 2 players) can participate in a Duel Battle. We generally play the Tag Battle so that two players can team up and face two computer-controlled characters. This is a great way to inspire some teamwork in your kids.

My daughter who is five and a half was starting to show some fierce competitiveness against a friend while playing a different Wii game and we've found that having the two girls play on the same team in Mario Party 8 works out so much nicer. They are able to do most of the games without any trouble though they do need some help reading the instructions for the numerous mini-games. But they love the board game style of turn taking, eating the candy boosts along the way, collecting coins and stars, and all the kooky fun and mischievous carnival antics. I enjoy playing this game with my daughter, too. Often I sit my little guy (he's 2 1/2) on my lap and can play this game with him alongside my daughter. It's not hard to play and the turn-taking gives me breaks to start dinner, change a diaper, or throw a load of laundry in the washing machine.

The graphics are cartoonish but well done. I do suggest you have a good quality large TV to play on since the colors and clutter of the screen can be a bit much on a lower-end set. The first few times we played, the bright colors, chimey music, and abundance of screen visuals was a bit overwhelming for my eyes. But I tend to hate real carnivals for pretty much the same reasons.  The music gets stuck in your head but not in a catchy, melodic way. It's just high-pitched and semi-annoying, but tolerable.

We play this game sporadically so we have not unlocked all of the mini-games, Fun Bazaar extras like having a "very hard" setting, or even all of the characters to select. We haven't even tried playing the Extras Zone mini-games with our Mii characters. Still, there's enough to begin with and enough that unlocks along the way that we're happy with this game. There are lots of weird twists in the board game play, such as DK popping in as the driver of Shy Guy's Express train and handing out free stars (the player or team with the most stars wins), King Boo shaking up the layout of his game board to confuse players, or Chump Charity awarded to the losing player toward the end of gameplay. The bonus stars awarded at the end of the board games also add an element of surprise as to who the winner will be.

Most of the mini-games are controlled similarly so there's not much difficulty in learning how to play. The instructions, controls info, and practice allow even young players the ability to quickly pick up the needed skill. The mini-games vary from shooting ghosts to scooter races to swinging baseball bats to cutting ropes that may or may not fling the character off a mountain. There's tons of variety and all have cute, fun elements such as seeing the loser being chased in the background in the ghost shooting game or having the winners shoot paintballs at the losers in the mushroom-color-changing activity. It's silly fun that's appreciated by my little ones (ages 2 ½ and 5 ½) as well as my husband, myself, and our friends. After a while, a lot of the Big Hat ringmaster dialogue gets annoying but it's easy enough to click through.

We only have two controllers but this is a great party game if you have four. A friend of ours does and it makes for some good times. This is a game the whole family can enjoy. There is a lot going on in the screens so make sure you have your glasses on and you're not easily confused by the commotion and music of a carnival atmosphere.

Recommend this product? Yes

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