Partially to celebrate the topic being brought back from the dead, partially to thank Steeler and them for the excellent video they posted today, and partially to show off my own knowledge, I will cover the handheld games I own. (Which means not GBA.)
Mario Party DS
: Surprisingly legitimate. The boards are kinda small (and I'm not talking about the game's shrinking gimmick), but varied enough to make each board's strategy different enough. Wiggler's board is standard for the series, Toadette's board changes star prices via pattern, DK's board lets you buy as many stars as you can afford when you reach the official shop space (think of it as laissez Faire Square), Kamek's board does the multiple star space thing from 3's desert board, and Bowser's pinball (yay) is standard but with a lot of coin-earning minigames and an evil gimmick where ending up in the wrong area and failing to escape on your next roll zeroes out your stars and coins.
Items are odd, though. There are traps ("hexes"), which you can only get by passing item spaces, and there are dice bonuses and the typical "warp to the star" item, which you can only get in the shop. But the items are ridiculously
cheap (the equivalent is three coins for a mushroom, seven coins for a golden mushroom, and fifteen coins for a magic lamp) and you can buy as many as you want during a single shop visit.
The minigames are strong, with duel variants of many of them, and they take advantage of each player having their own screen. A few DS gimmicks among them, but nothing that feels out of place.
All in all, I recommend it for DS owners. Not the best in the series, but I imagine Mario Party TV putting this alongside games like 6 and 7, or at least above 2.
Mario Party Island Tour
: I expect them to put this below 9. Seriously.
Minigames are similar to DS, although less inspired and doing the 9/Wii thing where there is no actual denouement to the minigames themselves. More problematic, they are only
free-for-alls, with no 2v2s or 1v3s. (Duels only exist in the sense that you can play a two-player game without computers.)
More annoying are the boards. While there is no longer a single car for everyone, most of the boards fall into the "get to the end first via lucky die rolls" method used in Wii, though the Bowser board is clever enough to do the Reverse Minigame thing and make it so the goal is to make as little progress as possible. The "main" board adds simplified Mario items (unchoosable a la 5, though there's one nice space type where everyone plays a minigame for three listed items and the winners get to choose one in order) that lend themselves okay to small advantages but not to strategies... except for the Kamek items, which can be summarized as itemized Chance Time, with all that it implies when it comes to undeserved comebacks. One board is a quick die multiplier management game, one's an even shorter game of chicken, and there's a Kamek board devoted to exact progress racing via items that work like 9's items if they were put into Wii's World Tour mode. The only board I'd actually call an improvement is the ministar-collection one, as it does a better job of strategic positioning than 9, even though there's no item use at all... so it's a bit more like playing the Mario or Yoshi boards in 1
, but without quite so much turnaround compared to the happening spaces back then.
There's also a multiplayer-only board I haven't gotten a chance to try out yet, but I'm told it's basically Mario Party Old Maid. I'll post again if it turns out to actually be fun, but my expectations are low.
But to add one positive, at least you're playing minigames more often than in 9. On the longer boards, anyway.
edited 28th Nov '13 9:23:11 PM by FalconPain