ONLY 90'S KIDS WILL GET THIS!
First, here's some music to listen to throughout this blog:
Welcome back to another edition of the Mario Party scouting report. Can you believe that we’re already up to number 7? I know, it’s so crazy or as the kids say it today, cray. This time we will be looking at Mario Party 7 which, in my opinion, is one of the worst in the series. It was clear that Hudson Soft was running out of ideas at this point and really, who could blame them? Anyway, this time Mario and company party it up on 5 different boards and participate in 60 different mini-games. As always, we’re going to cover a couple of things in this blog:
- New Features in Mario Party 7
- Recommended Boards (groan)
- Character Specific Orbs
- Favourite Mini-Games
- Overall Thoughts
Okay, you know the drill. Let’s start off with the new features in this Mario Party.
New Features In Mario Party 7
There aren’t too many new features in this installment to talk about so let’s just cover the basics. The first thing that you absolutely need to know is that the number of coins you collect, the number of mini-games you win and the number of ? spaces you land on no longer matters. That’s because there are 6 different bonus stars that can be handed out at the end of each game. The bonus stars that get handed out are completely random. There’s the traditional Mini-Game star, the Coin Star and the Action Star (awarded to the player who landed on the most ? spaces), in addition to the Orb star which was introduced in the previous game. The new bonus stars are as follows:
- Shopping Star - Awarded to the player who spends the most coins on orbs in shops
- Red Star - Awarded (and I use the term very loosely) to the player who lands on the most red spaces
- Running Star - Awarded to the player who advances the most spaces
The way that the bonus stars are designed is to make the game more random when really, it only gives a player more incentive to try and dominate. Obviously, having the most coins will help you win 3 out of the 6 bonus stars. But again, these are handed out randomly. So who knows who will win? You won’t until the very last second.
The other new mechanic in Mario Party 7 is an event known as Bowser Time. This event happens at the end of every 5 turns. The event can be summed up like this: Bowser shows up, decides to be a dick to everyone or a particular player, and then leaves. That’s the jist of it. The more detailed version is that Bowser will wreak havoc either by placing more Bowser spaces on the board or by causing somebody or everybody to lose their money. Bowser can either be extremely cruel or very lenient.
The other new feature isn’t really new but plays a bigger role: the microphone. This handy little gadget was introduced in Mario Party 6 but was only really used in 1 vs. 3 mini-games. In Mario Party 7, you will be playing 4-player mic mini-games in addition to 1 vs. 3 mic mini-games to be ready. The games themselves aren’t bad; they just really suck because the mic is so unresponsive and lame. So yeah, be on the lookout for more mini-games involving the microphone.
Finally, the big new feature of Mario Party 7 was 8-player mode. 2 people on 4 teams promised to be all sorts of whacky, insane fun. Heck, there were even 8-player mini-games that guaranteed more fun. What could possibly go wrong? Seriously though, getting 8 people to play this game is a challenge in itself and it’s not too much fun when there are too many chefs in the kitchen. Still, it’s a new feature and thus it must be covered here. Not much to say about this one. If you and 7 friends are really into Mario Party, you should give 8-player mode a try.
We’ve covered new features. So what board should play on? There’s not a lot of choice...
An interesting thing to note about the boards in Mario Party 7: they are all based on real world locations. I just said that to make myself seems smarter so let’s just get to the recommendations.
Everyone and their mom are going to be suggesting this one. To be fair, this is the one that changes up the formula the most. In this map, you don’t buy stars. Instead, you purchase Windmills (hence the name of the board) and the amount of stars given to you is represented by how highly rated the Windmill is. For example, let’s say that you buy a Windmill for 20 coins. That Windmill is now yours and you receive a star. Here’s where the wrench comes in though. Your opponents can purchase your Windmill and steal your star; all they have to do is buy the Windmill at a higher price. So if an opponent had more money than you, he could straight up steal your Windmill. The good news is, the money that you deposit into a Windmill is accumulative. Any money you put into a Windmill stays there so you can buy it back for cheaper.
A lot of people will be suggesting this map because it’s so frantic. You have to really strategise which Windmill you want to invest in because your opponents will certainly be paying (PUNZ!!!!!!!) very close attention.
Remember Faire Square? Remember when I made the suggestion for Faire Square and nearly everybody hated the decision to listen to me afterwards? Good times. Pagoda Peak is similar to Faire Square: it’s a linear path to the star where you can buy it there for varying coin amounts. The difference is that the price of a star initially starts out at 10 coins. Every time a player makes it to the top of the peak, the price will go up. The highest a star can cost is 40 coins and you have to run a gauntlet if you want to make it to the top with all of your coins still in your pocket.
There really isn’t anything special to this board: it’s fairly linear with a few exceptions and it’s generally one of the more “easy” boards to play on. The only interesting thing to note is what I like to call “Duel Alley” aka three duel spaces in a row. It’s really the only interesting thing about this board because it has the most effect on the outcome of the game.
Basic, bland and totally uninteresting. That is the perfect way to describe this board. Let me be clear: nothing interesting or fun or any sort of enjoyment will be found on this board. It is a giant blackhole of suck and it should have never seen the light of day in the first place. I’d rather vacation in Qatar wearing nothing but a speedo and a bitchin’ pair of sunglasses than play on this board.
That being said, if you want basic, droll, boring boards, this one was made with you in mind.
I’m bored (GET IT?! I JUST TALKED ABOUT BOARDS!). Let’s discuss character specific orbs.
Characther Specific Orbs
Mario Party 5 was the first to introduce Orbs (then called capsules) and in Mario Party 7, there’s a somewhat newish twist that is put on the mechanic. Every character now has a specific Orb that only he/she may use. And when I say “every character”, I mean characters that are similar. (note: I couldn't find pictures of said orbs so text will have to do. Sorry everyone.)
Mario and Luigi: Fireball Orb
When either Mario or Luigi use this Orb, they will be surrounded by fire (duh) and every opponent they pass or any opponent who passes them will lose ten coins.
Peach and Daisy: Flower Orb
When either Peach or Daisy use this Orb, they will receive 3 coins for every space they move and bypass all traps until the effect of the Orb wears off.
Yoshi and Birdo: Egg Orb
When either Yoshi or Birdo use this Orb, any character space (an Orb placed by an opponent) will be removed and replaced with a Yoshi or Birdo space.
Wario and Waluigi: Vacuum Orb
When either Wario or Waluigi use this Orb, they will attempt suck coins from the other players. The amount coins received depends on the spin of a roulette wheel.
Toad and Toadette: Triple 'Shroo Orb
When either Toad or Toadette use this Orb, they will hit two dice blocks instead of one for three turns.
That’s it. To be honest, these Orbs are either really helpful or really lame depending on who you’re playing as. But now that we’ve covered Orbs, let’s get into some of my favourite mini-games!
There are 60 brand new mini-games in Mario Party 7. While they are a weaker bunch than the previous game, I still have the ones I like to play the most.
Track and Yield
Remember Pokemon Stadium? Remember that mini-game Run, Rattata, Run? That’s basically what this is. Since it’s such a successful clone of a super fun mini-game, it gets my thumbs up (but Run, Rattata, Run is still way better).
Again, this is another simple mini-game where the object is to reach the goal before your opponents do while avoiding obstacles blah, blah, blah. It’s a fun mini-game that requires fast reaction time along with patience. Is there really more you can ask for?
Gee, I wonder what this could be trying to emulate. In all seriousness, this is probably one of the best mini-games in Mario Party 7. Four people racing like mad men to reach the goal before the other do is always a blast. Just make sure you don’t fall off the wooden bride!
This game involves one person controlling two tops while trying to knock their opponents out of the arena. The catch is that only the large top will actually knock players out of the arena while the smaller top will just stun them. Use both tops wisely!
One player has a flashlight. For some reason, it’s a really bad thing to shine it on the three opponents because when the single player does that, they are eliminated. If even one person avoids detection, then the three-player team wins.
Two teams work together to try and guide a large sphere to their respective goal. The first team that does so wins. Teams will have to work together to avoid running into Monty Moles and Whomps.
The Final Countdown
4 players battle it out on a platform divided into 9 different tiles. When the number on the tile reaches zero, that tile will collapse, sending any player to a watery grave. Strategy is important here.
My favourite mini-games have been covered, now it’s finally time for my overall thoughts on Mario Party 7.
Poor Hudson Soft. They were probably worked to the bone with each new Mario Party and while all of the preceding Parties have some special place in my heart, this one sadly does not. The mini-games are fun, the action is similar to 6 (which, again, is one of my favourite entries into the series), but something doesn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because at this point, everything feels forced and there seems to be little to no creativity. 8-player mode sounds like a gigantic you-know-what (rhymes with busterluck) and the mic is overused to point where it’s not fun at all. Mario Party 7 was were the series went down the toilet to me and it’s such a shame because the previous entry was, at least in my opinion, a step in the right direction. No matter, what’s done is done and the past is past.
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