Mario Party 2
|Mario Party 2|
Mario Party 2[a] is a party video game developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. The second game in the Mario Party series, it was released in Japan in December 1999, and in the United States in January 2000.
Mario Party 2 features six playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Wario, and Donkey Kong from the Mario series and the original Mario Party, who can be directed as characters on various themed game boards. The objective is to earn the most stars of all players on the board; stars are obtained by purchase from a single predefined space on the game board. Each character's movement is determined by a roll of a dice, with a roll from each player forming a single turn. Each turn in Mario Party 2 is followed by a mini-game, which is competed to earn coins for the character, used to buy items and stars.
Mario Party 2 is a party video game. Like its predecessor, there are six playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Yoshi, Wario, or Donkey Kong. In the game's storyline, Mario and his friends each want to name a new land after themselves. Bowser arrives and begins destroying the land. Because Mario and the others cannot agree on the name, they take Toad's suggestion to name it after whoever defeats Bowser. Initially, the game includes five themed board maps: Horror Land, Mystery Land, Pirate Land, Space Land, and Western Land. A sixth board map, Bowser Land, is unlocked later in the game. Characters dress up in costumes unique to the board map being played, with the exception of Bowser Land. Mario Party 2 features multiplayer; each round on a board map consists of four players, including at least one human player and up to four. Characters who are not controlled by a human are instead controlled by the game as computer-controlled characters. Upon starting a board, players each hit a dice block to determine turn order, with the highest number going first on each turn and the lowest number going last.
The player chooses how long each board map game will last: 20 turns, 35 turns, or 50 turns. A full turn is concluded after each of the four players have taken their own turn around the board map. A dice block determines how many spaces each player will advance on the board, ranging from one to ten spaces. Each board map has a variety of spaces. Blue spaces give three coins to any player who lands on them, and red spaces take away three coins (both increased to six coins during the last five turns). The green-colored "?" spaces result in an event occurring on the board map; each board features different events which can help or hinder certain players. The "!" spaces result in a Chance Time game, in which selected characters must give or exchange coins or stars; the player who landed on the space is given three blocks to hit, determining which characters and prize will be involved. Bowser also has his own spaces on the board map which hinder the players' progress.
Unlike the previous game, two types of buildings appear on each board map in Mario Party 2: Koopa Banks and item shops. Whenever a player passes a Koopa Bank, they must deposit five coins. Whoever lands on the bank space wins all the coins currently accumulated in the bank. The player can also purchase items at the item shop. Items aid the player, for example by providing additional dice blocks or by stealing another player's item. One item, the Skeleton Key, allows the player to use shortcuts located on each board map.
Each player's goal is to collect the most stars. Purchasing stars requires coins, which can be earned through mini-games that are played once at the end of each turn. Each mini-game is chosen randomly. Mario Party 2 features 64 mini-games, divided into several categories:
- 4-player mini-game: each player competes against one another.
- 1 vs. 3 mini-game: a team of three players compete against a lone competitor.
- 2 vs. 2 mini-game: competing teams of two against two.
- Battle mini-game: coins are taken from each of the players, who then participate in a special four-player mini-game to battle for the jackpot.
- Item mini-game: the player tries to win an item that can be used to aid them on the board map.
The type of mini-game that is played is determined based on the color of space that each player landed on. Each player has a panel located in a corner of the screen, and each panel will become either red or blue to match the space that the player landed on at the end of their turn. Players who land on one of the green "?" spaces will have their panel randomly changed to either red or blue. If all the panels are the same color, a 4-player mini-game is played. Other color variations result in either a 1 vs. 3 or 2 vs. 2 mini-game. Some of the mini-games are edited versions of mini-games that previously appeared in Mario Party. Battle and item mini-games are new additions not featured in the previous Mario Party; they are played whenever a player lands on the battle or item spaces. In addition, each board map includes its own duel mini-game that takes place between two players whenever they land on the same space, but only during the last five turns of a board map. An item can also be used to challenge a player to a duel.
Each board map features several characters, each of whom can have an effect on players who reach them. Stars can be purchased from Toad for 20 coins. Baby Bowser takes five coins from anyone who passes him, although he sometimes mistakenly rewards the player five coins instead. For a fee, Boo can steal coins or a star from another player on behalf of anyone who requests it. Three bonus stars are awarded at the end of each board map: two are given to the player(s) who collected the most coins in mini-games and throughout the board map game, and the third is given to the player(s) who landed on the most "?" spaces.
The game includes the single-player Mini-Game Coaster mode, in which the player must beat several mini-games across various worlds. Mario Party 2 also features the return of Mini-Game Stadium, in which four players compete on a board map (different from the main party boards) for a set number of turns; the player with the most coins at the end is the winner. Coins earned from the main board maps or Mini-Game Stadium are deposited into a bank, and the coins can be used to purchase the mini-games, allowing the player to play them whenever they choose.
Development and release
Mario Party 2 was developed by Hudson Soft and published by Nintendo. Development was underway as of July 1999, several months after the release of the original Mario Party game. A playable demo of the game was unveiled at Nintendo Space World in August 1999. The game was 70 percent complete at that time. Mini-games that involve rotating the control stick, as in the original Mario Party, are not present in this installment due to potential injuries, such as blisters, from rotating the stick too quickly; this was the subject of a lawsuit in the case of the first game.
In Japan, Mario Party 2 was released for the Nintendo 64 in December 1999. It received a U.S. release the following month, on January 24, 2000. Shortly before its U.S. release, Nintendo donated copies of the game to the Latin American Youth Center.
In Japan, Mario Party 2 was re-released in November 2010, as a downloadable Virtual Console game for the Wii. The following month, it was released for the Virtual Console in North America and Europe. In North America, Mario Party 2 was re-released as a Virtual Console game for the Wii U on December 22, 2016.
Mario Party 2 received a 76 percent score on the review aggregation website GameRankings. Some critics praised the game's new features, particularly the mini-games. However, some critics who disliked the original game were also critical of the sequel, despite the improvements. Some critics believed the graphics were an improvement over the previous game, while others considered the graphics to be largely the same as before.
Scott Alan Marriott of AllGame wrote that Mario Party 2 "does what a sequel is supposed to do: address the original's shortcomings while offering enough enhancements to make even the jaded among us take a second look." Marriott concluded, "When the books are closed on the Nintendo 64, it will be the multi-player aspect that players will remember most about the system, and Mario Party 2 ranks as one of the system's best."
GamePro stated that the game was not fun unless playing with friends. Game Revolution wrote, "If you try to play by yourself or with a friend, the computer will take charge of the other two/three players. This means you'll find yourself staring blankly at the screen as the computer takes its turn." Peyton Gaudiosi of Gamecenter wrote that playing alone "is as subpar as that in the first game thanks to its repetitive turn-based nature."
Game Revolution stated that the game, like its predecessor, relied too much on random luck. Levi Buchanan of GameFan believed that the mini-games were not as good as those in the first Mario Party, and also stated that the game's new features "actually detract from what I consider the selling point of the original Mario Party: its simplicity." Joe Fielder of GameSpot said the game has much more replay value than the previous game. He also praised the variety of mini-games and wrote "even the worst of the minigames is endurable." Matt Casamassina of IGN said that while the game had more content, and it "sticks with the same winning formula...there really isn't enough new here to warrant another purchase".
Several critics wrote positively of the Wii re-release. Chris Scullion of Official Nintendo Magazine UK called it "arguably the best in the series", writing, "It's packed with fun mini-games and keeps the boards simple, rather than the convoluted messes that eventually emerged over the course of the Mario Party series." Corbie Dillard of Nintendo Life stated, "There's just something about the simple fun of Mario Party 2 that makes it so difficult to put down at times," but wrote, "It's definitely a game you'll want to have extra players on hand for, as the game can be a bit tedious sometimes as a solo experience." Lucas M. Thomas of IGN praised the re-release but noted that it was only compatible with the GameCube controller or the Classic Controller.
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