Mario Party 9
|Mario Party 9|
European box art
|Release date(s)||EU March 2, 2012
AUS March 8, 2012
NA March 11, 2012
JP April 26, 2012
|Mode(s)||Single player, multiplayer|
Mario Party 9 (Japanese: マリオパーティ9 Hepburn: Mario Pāti Nain?) is a party video game for the Wii. It is the second and final Mario Party game for the Wii, the ninth for Nintendo's home consoles, and the twelfth overall. It was officially announced at E3 2011 and was released in Europe, North America, and Australasia in March 2012, and in Japan in April 2012. It is the first of the Mario Party series to be developed by Nd Cube, as they took over development of the series from Hudson Soft, which was absorbed by Konami on March 1, 2012. Mario Party 9 is followed by Mario Party: Island Tour. It is also the final Mario game for the Wii, due to the release of the Wii U in November 2012.
Like previous Mario Party titles, two to four players move around a virtual board and play minigames. A new gameplay element in all of the boards is that all four players move around together in one vehicle. The number of spaces the player moves is determined by a roll of the dice block found within the game. Instead of trying to collect coins to buy stars, players receive Mini Stars if they pass by them. While doing that, players must also try to avoid Mini Ztars, which deduct their current amount of Mini Stars. Mini Stars and Mini Ztars are replaced with bananas and Z-bananas on the board "DK's Jungle Ruins."
Minigames have a larger focus on the gameplay than they did in the previous game. However, the minigames don't appear after everyone moves, but only when a player ends up on any of the spaces or events that triggers a minigame. A person can play on solo mode to unlock the final stage, as well as two playable characters.
Another new feature is that each board culminates in a boss battle that is played with all players in the vehicle. There is also a boss battle at the halfway point of a board. There are 82 minigames in Mario Party 9, divided into five categories: Free-for-all, 1-vs.-Rivals, Bowser Jr., Boss Battle, and Extra.
At the end of each stage, the number of Mini Stars the player collects is converted into Party Points, which can be used to buy new stages, constellations, vehicles, difficulties, and sounds in the museum.
Mario Party 9 features twelve playable characters, with two being unlockable.
One night outside of Peach's Castle, Mario and his friends come to watch the Mini Stars glitter in the sky. As Mario searches through the telescope, he notices that the stars suddenly begin to get sucked through a vortex. It is then revealed to be Bowser and Bowser Jr. on a spacecraft, who are using a vacuum-like machine to suck the stars in the sky. Upon witnessing this, Mario and the gang set out to defeat them and save the Mini Stars. After they start their journey, Shy Guy and Kamek are seen coming out of the woods and start following them, as part of Bowser's plan.
The character that the player chooses will have to clear six courses in order to complete Story Mode. Unfortunately, they can only advance to the next course if the player with the most Mini Stars, aka being the "Superstar," is not Shy Guy or Kamek. Either Shy Guy or Kamek will follow them in all six courses, except the last two, where both of them will start following the character. If one of them becomes the Superstar in a course, they'll take all the Mini Stars and the player must start the course all over again. Luckily, the player only has to start from the course they last reached if Kamek or Shy Guy wins.
Upon completing the final course, Bowser's machines trapping the Mini Stars will be destroyed, and all the Mini Stars will return to the sky, where they rightfully belong. The player's character and its teammate (if it joined the player for the final course) will wave goodbye to the stars as they depart for the night sky. Bowser and Bowser Jr. is seen flying in their Clown Cars. Bowser shows that he's mad and sad that he lost his opportunity for a "castle decorated with Mini Stars." Upon seeing the stars pass him, Bowser tries to grab a few, but ultimately falls from his Clown Car and Bowser Jr. goes after him. The story ends with: "And so the adventure came to an end. Rescued by (the character that the player chose), the Mini Stars were free to glitter in the night sky forever."
German magazine N-Zone gave Mario Party 9 a 75% score for single player mode, and 85% for multiplayer mode. Nintendo Power gave it an 8/10, saying that "the majority of the game's 82 activities are fun", while commenting that "some may be discouraged by the game's radical changes". Nintendo World Report gave the game a score of 8.5/10. Gaming magazine Famitsu gave the game a score of 34/40.
IGN gave the game a 7.0 "Good" rank, praising its graphical improvement and its control style. Like previous Mario Party games, IGN strongly criticized the luck-based factor of the game. UGO Entertainment gave the game an A-, criticizing the game's single player mode, but praising its multiplayer and improvement from previous titles.
MyNintendoNews gave the game an 8.5/10, criticizing the game for not having an online mode, but stated that the game is "immensely entertaining" and an improvement from past Mario Party games. GamesRadar gave the game a score of 8/10, praising Mario Party 9 for being balanced, but criticized the predictability of the boards. NintendoLife gave the game a score of 8/10.
Ashton Raze from GameSpot awarded the game a 6/10, stating that the game is too "predictable" and "much too familiar". However, he praised the game's wide variety of fun mini-games and cheerful, colorful visuals.
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