Nostalgia 101: The Wonders of the 90's: Too addicting to put down
Published: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Updated: Sunday, October 13, 2013 22:10
It has been called “The Ruiner of Friendships” even though it’s just a game. It could very well rival Monopoly for the amount of relationships ruined amongst friends and family.
I’m talking, of course, about “Mario Party.” The game is, on the outside, a simple N64 cartridge, but on the inside are smiling characters ready to rip out each other’s throats for stars.
As a reminder, the object of the game is to make your way around a board by rolling a digital die. The strategy is to make it to the “Star Space” first and buy the star with 20 coins. Whoever has the most stars at the end of the 20 turns wins.
You can play for more turns, but 20 is deceptively long. If you have ever played a 50 turn game, I salute you for you are a stronger person than I.
Even a 20-turn game can take close to an hour, because while all you may be doing is rolling a die, you still have to wait for the other three people in the game to take their turn, get a single player mini game, decide which way they might go at an intersection or land on a Happening Space which could change the entire board in an instant, probably messing up whatever you just accomplished on your last turn.
When all of that is said and done you still have to (or get to, however you want to look at it) play a mini-game after all four players have rolled.
The mini-games in the original “Mario Party” were much shorter and could generally take under 30 seconds.
But as the games progressed, they started to become longer and more complex, especially around “Mario Party 4” which was the first version for the Gamecube.
But with longer mini-games there is a greater chance to turn the game around in your favor. Winning mini-games isn’t always about the 10 coins that you get for winning.
It could be a number of reasons. First, maybe you need to deprive someone of coins so they can’t buy the star or steal one. Second, since the original there has always been a star awarded after the final turn to the person who has won the most mini-games. Finally, you probably just want to piss off your friends.
Occasionally, a player might find himself or herself in a rare opportunity to be on a team for a min-game with a person in the lead and intentionally throw the game to hold that person back. Now, you can see how this game ruins friendships.
As the game series progressed, everything became more complex. The game added lottery shops, item shops and status dependent routes through the map.
These add-ons made the game take even longer but also made it more strategic. But sometimes a player must sacrifice strategy for justice.
If another player had stolen a star from you, it is not out of the question to abandon attacking the person in the lead just to know that that player should never have messed with you and proceed to make the rest of their game a living hell.
Now you can see why I get heated just talking about it. Even though the games may change over time. One thing stays the same: “Mario Party” transforms friends into enemies.
I love this game. We should play sometime. Tweet at me @GiGantos and we can set it up and never speak again afterwards.