Five years ago Mario Party 8 came to the Wii. The mario party series is best known for its crazy fun elements, including the often-unpredictable multiplayer modes that allow play with up to four (and sometimes eight) human players. The series currently holds the record for the longest-running mini game series. Mario Party 9 was announced for the Wii at E3 2011, and it will be released in 2012.
Every game in the main series has a standard Party Mode in which up to four players play through a board, try to collect as many stars as possible. In every turn, each player rolls a die and progresses on the board, which usually has branching paths. Coins are primarily earned by performing well in a mini-game played at the end of each turn. On most boards, players earn stars by reaching a star space and purchasing a star for a certain amount of coins. The star space appears randomly on one of several pre-determined locations and moves every time a star is purchased, usually occupying a blue space.
In addition to Party mode, Mario Party 9 has a mini-game mode in which mini-games are played without the board game. Mini-game modes vary from game to game, but later games have many different variations. In one such example from Mario Party 5, each player tries to fill a board with as many spaces as possible in his or her color by winning mini-games. In 6 and onward, there is one game in Mini-game mode intended for single-player. Mario Party 9 has 80 different mini-games. Four-player games are a free-for-all in which players compete individually.
Duel mini-games pit two players against each other. In Party Mode, one player initiates the duel, wagering coins or even a star against another player. The winner of the duel receives all coins or stars wagered. Starting with Mario Party 7, the player no longer chooses the wager in a duel, rather, the duel takes place and the prize to the winner, if any, is randomly determined. At the end of the game, bonus stars can be awarded to players. Three specific stars are awarded in Mario Party through Mario Party 6. All later games have six possible bonus stars, but only three of those stars are awarded per game.
Mario Party 9 gameplay is simple. Players take part a game composed of a virtual board, and move around a variety of themed lands to collect stars, while avoiding certain spaces. A gameplay element in one of the boards is that all players will move around in one vehicle. Mini-games will reappear, and have a larger focus on the gameplay than they did in the previous game.
by Chip Searl 10/02/2012
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