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Mario Party: Island Tour is a game for the Nintendo 3DS, released first in North America in November 22, 2013 and the second Mario Party game to be developed by Nd Cube. It is the twelfth main installment (nineteenth overall) in the Mario Party series, the third installment for a handheld console, and the first Mario Party to be developed for the Nintendo 3DS. Mario Party: Island Tour has gameplay objectives unique to it compared to other entries in the Mario Party series. Rather than traveling around a board to obtain the most quantity of a particular item, either separately or together on a vehicle, players need to race their opponents to the finish in a linear, one-way board, with certain objectives in the race differing depending on the board played on. The game additionally retains several key elements from other Mario Party titles, namely obtaining and using items to gain an advantage over opponents and playing a wide variety of minigames.

Due to the platform being the Nintendo 3DS, some of the minigames take advantage of the system's features, such as the stereoscopic 3D, gyroscope, mic, augmented reality (AR), and the touch screen. The game additionally uses StreetPass where players can play minigames if their system has picked up signals from other Nintendo 3DS systems that also have the game and unlock special items from it. Up to four people can play together either with local multiplayer or Download Play using only one game cartridge, similar to how Mario Party DS and later Mario Party installments for the Nintendo 3DS handle multiplayer.

The game was eventually released as a Nintendo Selects title in multiple regions including North America, Europe, and Oceania, being one of the best-selling titles for the Nintendo 3DS.

Plot

After a relaxing day around Peach's Castle, Mario and the gang notice a strange letter in a bubble saying they are happily invited to the Party Islands. The gang then cheers about it but then the letter suddenly traps the gang in bubbles to carry them though the sky to the Party Islands. While Mario and the gang are partying and playing games, Bowser shows up, feeling jealous about why Mario and his friends are invited, so he builds Bowser's Tower, saying that anyone can join him at his evil party. He begins locking all the fun from the Party Islands in bubbles. He also puts evil magic in the bubbles made by the bubble machine to make bubble clones of the gang to guard the tower. The player's selected character and Green Toad advance up the tower and defeat the bubble clones as well as various bosses. After defeating Bowser in Bowser's Sky Scuffle, the player's character then defeats the Mario bubble clones guarding the bubble machine and then destroys the bubble machine with a ground pound. Shortly afterward, Bowser reappears and boots the player's character and Green Toad out of the tower, inviting them to challenge him any time and that he won't be done.

Gameplay

Unlike the direct preceding game, Mario Party 9, where all four players travel together through a vehicle and aim to obtain the most Mini Stars, Mario Party: Island Tour uses the traditional independent four player gameplay as seen in previous Mario Party entries. The ultimate goal of the game in most of the boards is to race opponents on a linear-designed board to the finish line, unlike other Mario Party games where players are required to amass the most amount of a certain item to win in all boards. In order to advance through the board, players roll a Dice Block numbered from 1 to 6 to dictate their movement. Each board has its own play style with different rules from another: one board, Star-Crossed Skyway requires players to amass the most Mini Stars while Kamek's Carpet Ride requires players to land exactly on a particular space, called a Just-Right Space, by using numbered cards. Another feature of these boards is to replace the "6" on the Dice Block with another feature, such as a Banzai Bill icon on Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain that causes players to fall back to the halfway point or the start of the board or a 0 in Rocket Road, meaning the player cannot move at all. Prior to starting out, Yellow Toad explains the board's play style and after players are done viewing the rules, they roll a Dice Block to determine their turn order: players who roll a higher number than others will move earlier. In this game, a Round, similar to turns from earlier Mario Party titles, is taken once every player has rolled a Dice Block and moved accordingly, and while in earlier Mario Party titles had a limited amount of turns to take until the game ends, Mario Party: Island Tour proceeds until all players have reached the end goal. When starting their own round, players can either opt to use an item if an item is available for use or look around the map to plan out movement. If players end the game in a tie, a Dice Block roll determines who wins the game. At the end of the game, various stats are recorded such as how many spaces a player has landed on, a line graph depicting the players' progress, and other recordings depending on the board the players were playing on.

When players land on a Space, an event occurs depending on the type of space landed. Their function and design appears to be based off Mario Party 9; for example, if players land on a Green Space, nothing occurs while if a player lands on an Item Space on a specific type of board, they receive an item from a pool of randomized items. These items can either benefit the player directly or obstruct opponents. Players can carry up to two items, and players can use only one item per round. Only a few boards have an item system, however, and the type of items players receive varies on the board selected.

Some boards have players participating in minigames, either after every turn or if a Free-for-All Space is landed on. These minigames are small, short activities that have players competing against each other in defined, simple rules, most of them within a time limit. Some minigames involve players surviving a horde of enemies, some involve players racing against one another, some require the player to obtain the most points within a time limit, etc. If the player performs the best in the minigame, depending on the board played on, they receive priority when deciding which prize item to take or how much items are rewarded to them. The lower the rank players are, the lower the priority for selecting items and the less of a reward they receive, with last place players either receiving nothing or the worst rewards. If minigames end in a tie, a Dice Block is used to break the tie.

Mario Party: Island Tour supports local multiplayer if players have multiple cartridges or Download Play if there is only one cartridge. Up to four players can play the game, and they can participate with the player in Party Mode and Minigames Mode.

Minigames

Main Article: List of Mario Party: Island Tour minigames There are 81 minigames in total. 69 General ones, 6 Boss ones, 3 Puzzle minigames, and 3 Extra minigames.

Streetpass Minigames

In StreetPass™, players can win some matches against other people playing Mario Party: Island Tour, unlock special collectables, and more.

Bowser's Tower

The game's solo mode. Consists of 30 floors. Beating each floor requires beating a set of computer players in 1 or 2 minigames with every 5th floor being a boss battle. Completing this mode will unlock Bowser Jr.

Collectables

Using Mario Party Points earned from playing the game, purchase bubbles. Bubbles can contain stuff like voice clips and music tracks.

Reception

Critical reception

Mario Party: Island Tour has received generally mixed reviews. The game currently averages a 59% based on 28 reviews on GameRankings[1] and a 57 based on 47 reviews on Metacritic[2]. As with most Mario Party games, Mario Party: Island Tour was praised for being fun to play with other people rather than playing alone and some of its mechanics were praised for being innovative, though general criticisms of the game include its short length, poorly implemented gimmicks, as well as the lack of online play.

Scott Thompson of IGN gave Mario Party: Island Tour a 5.5 out of 10, criticizing its motion control, "uninventive" minigames, and its "poor" single-player campaign unlike Mario Party 9, but praising its unique board rules and use of Download Play.[3] While expecting this game to perform around the same level as the console Mario Party games due to the inventive touchscreen implementation and unique, new rules for the seven game boards compared to previous Mario Party games, Thompson felt that the "lackluster single player experience", Bowser's Tower, was a slow-paced repetitive grind, and the "bland minigame design" was a step back, due to the similarity of the minigames from the past entries in the Mario Party series and the only category of minigames being Free-for-All type minigames. Caitlin Cooke of Destructoid gave the game a 4 out of 10,[4] disappointed that the game's board gameplay did not play as the original titles did and that the boards felt like chopped up variations of a single mode from previous Mario Party games. She additionally pointed out that the game has a too heavy hand with hand-holding players. She, however, enjoyed the single player mode of Bowser's Tower, the minigames, and the single-cartridge local mulitplayer, though criticized the lack of online play.

On the other hand, Kimberly Keller of Nintendo World Report gave the game the highest critic review, an 8.5 out of 10.[5] She has praised the innovation of the boards, which has each their unique play styles, the usage of the Nintendo 3DS capabilities in minigames, as well as noting that the single player modes Bowser's Tower, StreetPass Minigames, and Collectables being engaging, with Bowser's Tower being the best of the single player modes, though she had criticized the lack of setting a difficulty setting for Bowser's Tower. She also praised the Download Play multiplayer, though criticized the lack of online multiplayer.

Sales

Mario Party: Island Tour is the 20th best selling game for the Nintendo 3DS, selling 1.14 million copies worldwide, as of March 31, 2014.[6] It has become a Nintendo Selects title in various regions, including North America, Europe, and Oceania.

Pre-release and unused content

Mario Party: Island Tours changes from the pre-release version to the final version ranges from minor aesthetic details to gameplay tweaks. Perilous Palace Path originally did not contain Moo Moos as ambient characters and a Whomp blocking the path. Originally, characters also used cards rather than regular items in Perilous Palace Path. In Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain, multiple Banzai Bills could get launched at once as opposed to only one in the final version of the game. In Rocket Road, more varieties of Lumas were added rather than just one type of Luma, the Yellow Luma. The game was tentatively called simply Mario Party before the subtitle, Island Tour, was decided upon.

References to other games

  • Super Mario Bros. - The main theme is rearranged in the minigames Xylophone Home and Goomba Tower Takedown. In Amp My Style, a rearrangement of the underground theme appears. In Perilous Palace Path, while in the Bowser Zone, a rearrangement of the castle theme appears. Also, the Starman theme is used for the Perilous Palace Path board whenever a player uses a Super Star.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3 - The song "Slowly Bubble Up" sounds similar to the Card Game/Spade Bonus music. Also, part of the athletic theme is remixed into "Hurry Up", one of the minigame themes.
  • Super Mario 64/Super Mario 64 DS - The "Koopa's Road" theme is rearranged for parts of Bowser's Peculiar Peak. King Bob-omb appears as a boss in this game as he did here, and Bowser makes a reference to his interest with his mustache from the remake saying, "My next guard has an even more formidable mustache than Mario!"
  • Mario Party - Mario's artwork is based on his artwork from this game.
  • Mario Party 6 - Daisy and Waluigi's artworks are recycled from this game.
  • Mario Party 7 - Luigi and Boo's artworks are recycled from this game.
  • New Super Mario Bros. - Dry Bowser returns with his ability to throw bones.
  • Super Mario Galaxy - Rocket Road is based on this game, and Rosalina appears as a cameo along with the Lumas and the Comet Observatory. Additionally, the theme of Good Egg Galaxy is rearranged in a part of Rocket Road's music and Toad and Bowser Jr.'s artworks are recycled from this game.
  • Mario Party DS - Wario's artwork is recycled from this game.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii - Banzai Bill's Mad Mountain is based on World 6 from this game. Additionally, Peach's artwork is recycled from this game.
  • Super Mario 3D Land - The minigame Blown Hover features Flip Panels and the square mountains from World 4-5 from this game. Also, Dry Bowser's voice clips are borrowed from this game. Para-Biddybuds also make some cameos. The background of Fuel Me Once is very similar to World 1-1.
  • Mario Party 9 - The voices of the characters and minigame announcer are borrowed from this game. Music such as the minigame intro and results screen are rearranged from this game. Mini Stars and Mini Ztars return in Star-Crossed Skyway.
  • New Super Mario Bros. 2 - Bone Goombas and Bone Piranha Plants return.
  • New Super Mario Bros. U - Waddlewings make some cameos.

Trivia

  • For a time, the Nintendo 3DS eShop mistakenly stated Mario Party: Island Tour to be a title on the Nintendo Entertainment System.
  • A female announcer is used for minigames in the Dutch, Portuguese and Russian versions, a practice that had not been seen in non-Japanese versions since Mario Party 5, and would not be seen again until Super Mario Party.

References

  1. GameRankings score for Mario Party: Island Tour. GameRankings. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  2. Metacritic score for Mario Party: Island Tour. Metacritic. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  3. Thompson, Scott. (November 22, 2013) Mario Party: Island Tour Review. IGN. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  4. Cooke, Caitlin. (November 27, 2013). Review: Mario Party: Island Tour. Destructoid. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  5. Keller, Kimberly. (November 22, 2013). Mario Party: Island Tour Review Nintendo World Report. Retrieved December 5, 2017.
  6. "Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2014 (Briefing Date: 5/8/2014) Supplementary Information". (May 8, 2014). Nintendo. Retrieved December 5, 2017.

External links

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