Mario Party 2 (also called MP2) is the second game in the popular Mario Party series, for the Nintendo 64. It's not too different from the original game, though it does have some new features. Some of the new features include different costumes for each character on each stage, buildings where you are allowed to buy items or pay Coins, new spaces, and others. Mario and the gang are fighting for the rights for a new amusement park. The objective is simple and similar to the previous Mario Party: obtain Stars and defeat Bowser. This game introduces the first use of collectible items in Mario Party's history; the first game had items, but they simply added optional rules or game modes to the game. Each board has its own tricks and turns, and the playable characters, as well as Bowser, wear different outfits based on the theme of the board.
Battle, Item, and Duel minigames are introduced in Mario Party 2. Battle Minigames give every player a chance to win 70% of the stocked jackpot taken from players (usually a set amount). The top two get a 70/30 share, while the bottom two get nothing; a leftover Coin is given randomly. Additionally, players can no longer lose Coins in normal minigames. Also, the players now have the option to practice minigames, which would later be featured in all the future installments.
Mario Party 2 is the first Mario Party game released on the Virtual Console, first released on the Wii's Virtual Console in November/December 2010, and later released on the Wii U Virtual Console in 2016. It is currently the only home console Mario Party game to be available through Virtual Console.
The slogan for the game was "Get the place jumping!"
The game opens on a stage where Toad comes out to welcome guests and introduce the story of the play.
The story, from the instruction booklet:
Story: The Legend of Mario Land
Mario™ and Luigi, Wario™ and Peach, DK and Yoshi® all gathered in speech. Sharing their wishes for all they had seen, saying "Let's make a world built on all of our dreams!" Combining their talents, they sweated and strained, completing that world, Mario Land by name...
Alas, but Wario stepped forth and said, "This world should be named for a Super Star, instead. Wario Land is a far better name!" And so they all argued the depth of their fame, "Peach Land is better!" And "My name is best!" Toad could not believe the words of the rest!
But as they debated who was more grand Bowser invaded that Mario Land!!! "There's no time to argue and no time to fight! "The task is before us" Toad said with a fright, "This land shall be named for the Super Star who defeats evil Bowser and saves us all, too!"
So Mario and friends took on this new quest, to defeat the King Koopa and prove who's the best! They went deep into space, met ghosts, and pirates, but always on Bowser their keen sights were set. No adventure more trying, no reward more grand... So speaks the legend of Mario Land!
One day, Mario and friends (save for Wario) decide to create a new world. They name this new world Mario Land. But Wario is unhappy with that name, and introduces his own name; Wario Land. Thanks to Wario, an argument breaks out on what to call this new world. Peach suddenly interrupts the group claiming she has a name they can all agree on. She reveals her name to be Peach Land and the characters double over in irony. As the group continues to argue, a sinister event is taking place on the other side of the unnamed world.
Bowser has set his sights on this new land, and quickly begins invading it for himself because the group is still arguing. A lone Koopa Troopa sees his invasion and then arrives to warn the group about Bowser's plans. However, since they are fighting they do not hear him. Toad then gets everyone's attention by saying whoever can beat Bowser will have the new land named after them. The cast quickly runs off to defeat Bowser and claim their prize.
The story then takes the characters across six lands ending in Bowser Land. Bowser meets the group in a showdown showing his Metal Bowser power up and claims he is invincible. The character (depending on who won the board) then fights Bowser and with the power of the stars, is able to throw him into orbit.
The game then resumes to the stage format with Mario and friends triumphantly standing over a defeated Bowser. Toad exclaims that they live in peace in the new Mario Land (which does not change depending on the character). The curtain falls and each character comes out for one final bow, followed by the whole cast.
The six boards are: Pirate Land, Horror Land, Western Land, Mystery Land, Space Land, and Bowser Land; with the last being unlockable. The main goal is to defeat Bowser in each board and retake control of the amusement park in which the game takes place.
Mario Party 2 received mostly positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its additions to the original game's foundation and generally considered a moderate improvement. This praise, however was somewhat offset by the unchanged formula from the first game - in particular, the somewhat important factor of luck and lack of enjoyment playing alone.
GameSpot gave the game a 7.8/10, stating that it has much more replay value than the previous game, and that the minigames are much less annoying. IGN rated the game 7.9/10 (the same score they gave the first game), saying 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."
Mario Party 2 is the 20th best-selling game for the Nintendo 64, having sold 2.5 million copies worldwide: 1.27 million in North America, 1.07 million in Japan, and 160,000 elsewhere, as of December 31, 2009.
- Despite all the characters wearing an outfit for a specific board in the last group picture, showing three characters with the flags and balloons from the mini-game Shy Guy Says, and three others with balls from Bumper Balls, characters only wear their regular outfits in all mini-games, except Duel mini-games.
- The Goomba House shows up on every map in the game.
- This is the only Mario Party game where the playable characters wear a different outfit depending on the theme of the board.
- When choosing Bowser Land, when selecting 2 players, it will say "3 Computer Characters" instead of 2.
- Mario Party 2 is the first Mario game to be officially translated to Spanish and Italian.
- Luigi and Yoshi, usually green and blue respectively, often switch colors, such as in Bumper Balls. In the later games, Luigi was assigned blue and Yoshi green, until character-specific color coding was dropped entirely in Mario Party 7.
- This games refers to Bob-ombs as aliens.
- Mario Party 2 has been the first Mario game to be translated in Italian.
- This is so far the only console in Mario Party, other than Mario Party 5, not to add any new playable characters to the series.
- This is the first Mario Party game in which the characters can store items. Though, in this game, the characters can hold only one item at a time.
- Ryckert, Dan (September 18, 2000). Replay - Mario Party 3, Game Informer, Retrieved February 18 2015