Mario Party: The Top 100 Review
Mario Party titles have been on the downswing in recent years, with things beginning to fall off the rails around Mario Party 6 or 7. While the final three instalments of the franchise have still been great fun – and we reviewed them all fairly well – there was still something missing that the previous titles all had. Once thing, though, that Nintendo has never stalled out on within the Mario Party franchise, are the mini games. When compared to any other home party title, Mario Party has some of the best – if not these best – mini games available, and to have them all in a Top 100 collection is absolutely phenomenal. That being said, does Mario Party still work if you strip away the game boards? Read on to find out!
Despite the traditional Mario Party game boards being omitted from this title, there is still plenty of modes to take for a spin, all with their own unique and enjoyable characteristics. In my opinion, there are no lackluster modes within this stunning package. Everything has a time and place, and they are all fairly enjoyable experiences. Let’s take a look at the various modes.
Minigame Island – Mario Party has never had a great single player experience as the AI is never all that great; however, in Mario Party: The Top 100, I think Nintendo really improved the AI capabilities and put together a single player mode that’s really enjoyable, and has a bit of meat to it too. You will embark across 4 worlds, playing mini games as you go, and earning stars, coins, and more, all in an effort to…No spoilers here! Beating the single player mode is paramount, as it will be how you unlock mini games to play as one-offs later on in Top 100 mode!
Each level is grade out of three – except boss fights and character duals which are ranked out of 4; you will get one star for finishing 3rd, 2 stars for finishing second, and 3 stars for finishing first. In 1v3 titles, you must place first to earn stars, and the same goes for 2v2 events. Should you fail at any given challenge, you will lose one of your lives, but don’t have to replay that level if you don’t wish. Not having to replay a level after failing is phenomenal, especially when you roll up to one of the ‘Lucky” mini games, were there is no rhyme or reason to why you might win or lose. It’s just pure, dang, luck.
All 100 of the minigames feature in this single player mode, and although you won’t be forced to play all of them, there is a benefit to knowing exactly what to expect if you decide to jump into some multiplayer matches with friends. Like any good Nintendo title, there is also a good amount of amiibo support for this game; most amiibo will grant you extra lives when you run out, but for those who own the koopa or goomba amiibos, 50 coins can be earned should you scan that amiibo when next to a koopa or goomba figure on the board. 100 coins nets you an extra life, and these lives become very valuable as the competition steadily gets tougher and tougher.
In world one, all the enemies you fight will be on normal, while world 2 will nudge that difficulty up to hard, and then to very hard, etc. The AI are no dummies either, so expect to battle for those stars as you near the end of the single player experience.
Other Game Modes – Multiplayer Enabled
100 Minigames – This mode should speak for itself. This is where you can play any of the top 100 Mario Party minigames, if you have unlocked them by playing the games other modes. For those wanting to practice a specific event, this is great for doing that!
Minigame Match – Minigame Match does as good a job as possible at returning you to traditional Mario Party boards and modes, by allowing you to play minigames while traveling around a simple board. You can play as few as 15 rounds, or as many as 50. I found this a pretty enjoyable mode for just kicking back, and putting the AI on Hard gave me a fairly good challenge along the way. Again, this mode allows you to perfect your timing and maneuvers for when you go toe-to-toe with other human players, so it’s a worthwhile experience!
Another great feature of this mode is allow each player to choose a ‘pack’ of minigames they feel they are the best at; after each player has chosen their pack, a collection of games is compiled and those are the games you will play throughout your game. 10 Coins can be used to trade in for a star, and in true Mario Party fashion, the most stars win! Everybody moves at once, so you’ll never be able to base your decicions on what others will do!
For added depth, there are other things you can do with your coins, but I found going for the stars is almost always the best option.
Championship Battle – Again, a fairly basic mode here, like 100 Minigames. I didn’t find a lot of reasons to return here, as it’s just a 4 way battle to see who can be the first to 3 or 5 wins, depending on how long you want to play. It’s a nice additions as some people will relish the challenge, but it wasn’t for me, personally.
Decathalon – Nintendo has always been great about giving us game modes we never knew we wanted, and I’d put the Mario Party Decathalon in that category. Many of the minigames you will play are based on time, whether it’s a race, how long you can keep your head above ground before being pounded by Monty the Mole, or the like, competing for the best times and earning points based on your own personal performance is outstanding. No one is ever out-of-it in this mode, which makes for a great experience, every time!
The Reason Why You’ll Buy – Multiplayer
I would rarely say a Nintendo game should only be purchased if you plan to play with friends, but I do think Mario Party: The Top 100 falls into that category. The downfall of so many of the Mario Party titles on Nintendo 3DS is because it is often hard to find and play with friends. While this game can definitely fall down that dark hole as well, having download play as an option – so only one player actually needs the game – and because this title is so accessible to all players, I think it stands a fighting chance. The above game modes are all compatible in multiplayer mode, and while battling AI players can be fun for a while, whether this game stays in your 3DS for a week, rather than months, might depend on how man friends you have available to play with you.
Mario Party: The Top 100 isn’t a game without faults. A lot of questions still remain, like whether or not these are the best 100 games ever released? Until we know how these games are selected, we might as well assume they were picked for their ability to mesh well together, rather than being the actual top 100. That being said, outside of the ‘Luck” minigames – which I detest with a passion – the collection here is still pretty good, with only a handful of duds in my opinion. That said, these duds could be the favorites of other players; no one will walk away 100% happy with the selection, but I think everyone will agree Nintendo did a pretty good job.
Mario Party has, and always will, live and die with your friend availability. If you have friends who are willing to play – and remember, only one copy of the game is required, although there are a few restrictions to that – than Mario Party: The Top 100 is a must buy. After that, unless you are a huge Mario Party fan – which I am – this might be a pass for you.