Mario Party 10 is the most recent installment of the Mario Party series and once again it engages us into many of its exciting minigames and board maps, but this time Bowser is directly brought into the mix to ruin the player’s day. New to the series is the promising game mode “Bowser Party” which allows a fifth player using the game pad to play as Bowser and cause trouble to the other players. In addition to Bowser mode, players also get to play the highly advertised and promising amiibo party which pits your favorite characters on their own themed board map, and lastly the third and final mode of the game is the classical Mario party that once again follows the previously installed formula from the Mario Party series in which up to 4 players can move around the board map with a shared vehicle.
Most players will likely dive into Bowser mode. The mode begins with the set up of either having four players fight off an AI controlled Bowser, or having a fifth player jump in the gamepad to ruin the other players day. You’ll begin with one of three board maps which range from simple maps like Mushroom Park to the precarious Chaos Castle. Regardless of where you start, the game opens up with players taking turns to roll the dice cumulatively and scoring as high as possible in order to outrun Bowser.
The real chaos begins when Bowser wielding 4 dices rolls and attempts to catch up with the player. During our gaming experiences, we were always terrified as Bowser inched closer and closer. If Bowser successfully catches up, the players will be forced into a minigame in which they play to survive with hearts. Bowser succeeds by attacking the players and depleting their hearts until they run out to 0, which is then game over. In the board map players can find hearts which will give them a fighting chance against the giant rampaging Bowser.
For those who are playing as Bowser, they will enjoy the empowering experience the mode offers as they take out their fury on the unfortunate players while the players are in a terrified anticipation of his unpredictable and chaotic nature. Eventually the game ends either when the players reach the goal and correctly pick the Bowser underling wielding the star or when Bowser succeeds in taking all of the hearts from all 4 players. Bowser mode will bring the most chaotic fun among the three modes. It offers solid strategy, a real element of tension and intense gameplay.
This mode takes advantage of the amiibo function by letting certain Mario franchised characters engage in a certain board map. The players included in the amiibo roster includes: Mario, Luigi, Peach, Yoshi, Bowser, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, Wario, and Toad, each coming with their own unique board map. Fortunately most copies of the game carry a Mario amiibo from the get go which goes great with this mode. Scanning amiibo to your gamepad in Mario Party 10 unlocks amiibo mode which encourage players to obtain an amiibo.
For this mode to be played, at least one amiibo must be present, though the rest of the player can work as 2D cardboard cut substitutes. Though this could be another incentive to get players to collect and use their own amiibo so they can play as complete 3D characters.
Other notable differences includes the ability to collect tokens which contain assorted goodies from character maps to customizable bases where cutout characters are often time excluded from gaining these additional content or making use of what these tokens offer.
The gameplay itself begins with either one simple themed board map or, if multiple amiibo are present, then it will become a randomly generated board map from 1 of the 4 possible pieces of each respective character. Every amiibo themed board map has their own special features and twists. This mode stays more true to the roots of the franchise since all the players have to do is collect 20 coins to buy a star from a specified board space on the map.
The game begins with 4 players taking turns to roll a dice and naturally the highest number determines the order. Depending on where the player lands will determine the type of game that will be played once all turns pass. The game mode is pretty straightforward and generally remains stable compared to the other modes. The player with the most stars win and the board map is relatively simple with no new mechanics that drastically changes its basic formula as the game progresses. amiibo party is unique since it rewards you for collecting amiibo and you can customize the game to either be simplistic and contain as little content as possible to a much more dynamic style of gameplay with copious content. amiibo party brings simplicity and depth in one game mode with various levels of excitement.
This mode is the one that you are used to. It is very straightforward as it reintroduces the formula that was previously introduces in Mario Party 9. Once again players are dragged into a vehicle moving through a board map. There are five different board maps, each with its own gimmicks and twist.
If this is the first Mario Party for you, then you should know that the game begins with players being assigned into an order and they roll a dice which allows them to progress. The goal of the game is to collect the most mini stars which are being offered as they play and battle in minigames. During our gameplay, there was a lack of strategy as most of the events in the maps were too dynamic and randomized. Because we all share the same space on the board map, this causes all players to simultaneously progress, thus preventing us to formulate any legitimate plans as the situation tends to change at moment’s notice since the game favors luck over skill. Additionally another layer of difficulty was also added because even the minigames where determined by hitting a rolling die. Despite the frequent use of the randomized system within this mode it also offered a greater comeback mechanism which was great because players that were losing were all of a sudden bouncing to second place and preventing those in first from maintaining a more solid and stale victory. This mode best coincides with casual players who do not seek to play competitively, seek strategy and ultimately favor a much simpler gameplay that the Mario Party mode offers.
Aside from the three main game modes, Mario Party 10 boast additional content. One that quickly caught our eye was the Bonus Game section. This segment let us play additional games, mostly between two player, which allowed us to play games independent from the three main game modes. Unique to this segment was that it contained short but intense games such as Badminton Bash, a game both tedious but simplistic in its style.
The more strategy oriented game included Jewel Drop as it took Tetris mechanics and made good use of the wiimote by shaking the jewels, matching them and applying pressure to the opponent. Overall the gameplay was exciting, had fairly good replay value and kept adding heavier marbles to keep the players focused and tense.
Lastly, other games it offered was Bowser Jr Challenges which included very short minigames that allowed you to attack and take down Bowser Jr, either by jumping and hitting the blocks beneath Bowser Jr’s platform, or obtaining and hitting him with his own hammer. What was odd about these two game modes was unlike other villains in the story, Bowser Jr doesn’t even attempt to fight the player, which is odd since in Bowser mode he causes a substantially large amount of nuisance to the players.
Other modes include Bowser minigames with a scoring record or minigame tournament where eight players play minigames in a tournament based fashion. As with the usual Mario Party games there was a shop–Toad’s shop that allowed players to buy a lot of assorted goods from customizable vehicles to use game modes, to music, and photos. This segment includes the list of challenges completed for those seeking to beat every obstacle that the game offers. Additionally it was rewarding to accomplish some of these challenges during our gameplay such as a double KO in Bowser party. Finally Toad’s room contains photo studio where players can use characters or screenshots, look at their picture, and make use of the Miiverse function by uploading their selected picture to share with others. Furthermore, amiibo bonus, a feature found on the main menu, makes use of the players amiibo by allowing them to retrieve n extra goody once a day which can be saved to the amiibo.
Mario Party 10 is unique due to allowing players the ability to play as Bowser. Throughout the series we have always been the protagonist trying to evade Bowser’s clutches, terrified that upon his appearance an unfortunate incident and impending doom will befall us and shortly after, half our stars are gone or most of our coins are stolen.Thanks to this new installment of the series players get to become the villain.
By playing as Bowser the player is given the uncommon opportunity to see the game from the villain’s point of view. This is magnificent as it allows the player to set the heroes in motion, set up traps, and do everything in their power to slow down and defy the protagonist. Lastly it gives the players the chance to overtake other players in the Bowser minigames.
Thanks to its amiibo function players should also pick up Mario party 10 because it rewards those who collect and frequently play with amiibo including those who wish to make the most out of the amiibo function. If neither Bowser party nor the amiibo function appeals to you, but you happen to be a fan of the series, the classic Mario Party mode allows players to play a straightforward game but with the additional twist of challenges to keep the game mode fresh and exciting.
By: Rinaldy Gomez and Everrett Colon