Format: Nintendo DS
Release Date: Out Now
Price: $30 (approx)
The game begins with a peaceful evening in the Mushroom Kingdom where Mario sees flying crystals in the sky. (Obviously he has been eating too many of those special mushrooms..) The next day, he gets a message from Bowser that basically says ‘sorry I have been a total bastard, please come to my place for beer and wings to make up.
Like the totally trusting numpty he is, Mario gtakes Luigi, Toad, Yoshi, Peach, Daisy, Wario and Waluigi to Bowser’s castle. Once they get there, it turns out that the invite was a ruse and Bowser was luring them into a trap (DUH!)
The big git then uses his special powers to shrink Mario and chums! Ohhh…. what a rotter!
The mini Mario and his tiny gang wake up outside the castle and discuss their options:
Should they go on a quest to find the star crystals to restore themselves to normal? Or leave the video game life behind and join the touring stage version of ‘Willy Wonka’ as Oompa Loompas?
Luckily for purchasers of this game, they choose option 1, or otherwise you would have shelled out 30 bucks for an intro sequence and that might piss people off.
So, to collect the crystals, Mario must get round differently themed boards, racking up stars that allow him to take on the end of level boss. He beats the boss – he gets a crystal. Get all the crystals – then it is back to normal size and time to take Daisy and Peach back to your place and show them a different kind of angry mushroom….
There are 4 different gameplay modes:
Story Mode: A single player must defeat the CPUs in several boards.
Party Mode: Up to four players play a game on a chosen board.
Mini-Game Mode: The player plays mini-games in which they have unlocked.
Puzzle Mode: The player plays one of five Mario-themed puzzle games.
There are over 70 mini-games to play in Mario Party DS. Most use the buttons, a lot use the stylus, and a few even use the microphone. In Story Mode, you play a mini-game after every character has made their turn on the board.
In Mario Party DS, multiplayer is an important aspect. The download play functionality of the Nintendo DS lets four people to play wirelessly using only one game card. This saves money for parents with more than one rugrat, and is a smart marketing move by Nintendo as it lets other players get sucked in, inspiring them to go get their own version.
Mario Party DS is a truckload of fun in both single and multi player modes, and if it can keep me amused on an 11 hour flight to the UK, then just think how engrossed the brats will be!
Verdict: ANNOYINGLY GREAT!