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Mario Party 7 is a party game from the Mario Party series, released for the Nintendo GameCube console. It is the seventh Mario Party home console installment (and the twelfth installment in the overall Mario Party series), and the fourth and final Mario Party installment for the Nintendo GameCube. It was first released in North America and Japan in late 2005, before being released in Europe, Australia, and the United Kingdom in early to mid-2006. This was the last Mario game released for the Nintendo GameCube in Europe and Australia; in Japan and North America, Super Mario Strikers holds this distinction.

Like previous Mario Party installments, the game is laid out as an interactive board game, where players use Dice Blocks to advance in the board, while also playing various minigames. In this game, Mario and the gang, using the MSS Sea Star, go vacationing to locations based on landmarks on Earth. However, Bowser is not invited on the cruise and decides to cause trouble for Mario and his friends.

Up to four players can enjoy the most of the game's modes; however, a special mode that this game introduces to the Mario Party series allows up to eight players to participate in a party. Players are required to share their controllers, and thus, controls are simplified in such modes. The microphone, first introduced in this game's predecessor, Mario Party 6, can also be used in certain modes.

Story

From the Mario Party 7 Instruction booklet:

TOADSWORTH: "Oh, I say! Hello there! It's me, Toadsworth! Yes, yes, let me tell you about what happened recently. You see, Mario and his friends are always busy fighting evil and saving the world and so forth, so I offered him a chance to come on a cruise around the world! Oh ho! Splendid! But in doing so, I apparently made that rogue Bowser somewhat angry. Let me tell you what he said..."

BOWSER: "This makes me MAAAAD!! GRRRAAAA!! They're going on a vacation... AND NOT TAKING ME! They want a fun vacation? I'll give them a fun vacation! And by that, I mean NO FUN AT ALL! I'll find those chumps and wreck their good times! Bwa ha ha ha!"

TOADSWORTH: "Great Kippers! That King Koopa has never been that angry! Who knows what he'll do? But chin up, old bean! We won't let him ruin our good times, right? Right!"

Toadsworth has invited Mario and all his friends to go on a luxury cruise around the world. However, Toadsworth invited every character except for one: Bowser. Furious because he's being omitted, the Koopa King vows revenge. When the cruise ship MSS Sea Star arrives at its first destination, the passengers discover that Bowser has turned their vacation paradise into a stress-filled madhouse.

After conquering the boards, the player enters Bowser's Castle for their final showdown against Bowser, in which they eventually are able to use the power of the Stars they gathered to send Bowser and the Koopa Kid crashing down. The epilogue sees the duo landing on a tiny island with a tree and feeling dizzy afterwards until they catch sight of the player, who is waving at the duo from aboard the MSS Sea Star as Bowser says that he won't forget this.

Gameplay

Mario Party 7 features game boards on which players and CPU characters move around on spaces similar to a board game. Players roll the Dice Block with numbers from one to ten to advance on the board. At the beginning of the game, players can hear an explanation of the board's objective, as well as various other quirks the board may have. The turn order is then determined by a Dice Block roll, with the higher numbers going sooner. Each player starts off with ten Coins, and the number of coins is affected by the spaces that the player lands on after their turn, as well as multiple other factors. For example, landing on a Blue Space gives a player three coins, while landing on a Red Space takes three coins away. The boards feature a variety of spaces that have different effects, and players can collect items known as Orbs (a feature returning from Mario Party 6) from Orb Spaces, buying them at Orb Huts, or winning them from Green Spaces. The items can be used to have different effects, which help players or hinder an opponent's progress.

After each player has completed their turn, a minigame is played. The type of the minigame is determined by the colors of the spaces that the players ended their turn on. When all colors match, a 4-Player minigame is played, otherwise there is a 1-Vs-3 or a 2-Vs-2 minigame. In Mario Party 7, minigames might involve clearing action courses, solving puzzles faster than the other players, or fighting against each other, but all rules and controls vary between minigames. Several minigames use the Nintendo GameCube Microphone that is shipped with the game and plugs into Memory Card Slot B. Players can play microphone minigames without the device by adjusting the game settings. Winning players earn ten coins; however, some minigames are dependent on their category, such as the special Bonus minigames (which are mixed in with the normal minigame categories; they are marked by a yellow name), Battle minigames, Duel minigames, DK minigames, and Bowser minigames. Various minigames have specific conditions to play in them: Battle minigames occur at random, rare intervals where players have their coins put at stake and the reward is dependent on how well the player has done. Duel minigames are triggered by Duel Spaces, where players can win Duel minigames for a prize dependent on a roulette, a change from the two preceding installments, Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6, where players are required to put coins and Stars at stake to play. DK and Bowser minigames occur when players land on their respective places; a new feature exclusive to Mario Party 7 is that single-player DK and Bowser minigames are thrown into the mix of multiplayer DK and Bowser minigames. Once a minigame after every turn is completed, the game is saved and players resume their turns on the board. At the last four turns, the Last Four Turns Event occurs. Bowser appears to give Koopa Kid the current standings, while also inviting the last player or team to spin the bonus wheel. Some of the effects can help or hinder the players on the board, where one of them triples coins earned on Blue and Red Spaces while others involve Bowser Spaces being placed on all Red Spaces.

The main objective of any Mario Party game is to gain Stars that are located at a special location in the board. In Mario Party 7, each board offers its unique way to obtain stars, unlike most preceding games in the Mario Party series where there is only one way to obtain stars. At the end of every game, Toadsworth announces the game's current Star count and final coin count. After that, there will be three Bonus Stars for the players who did the best during the course of the game. The player with the most Stars overall, wins the game. If there is a tie for Stars, then the winner will be decided with coins (Dice Blocks if the final coin count is the same).

A new addition to the board gameplay is Bowser Time. After each turn, a special gauge representing Bowser's head appears on the screen to tell the player when that time comes; the meter fills up every turn. When the gauge is filled, Bowser Time is initiated. During this special event, Bowser comes to the board and cause trouble in various ways, some are general while others are specific to the board being played on. This special event happens every five turns; in the Last Four Turns event, the gauge stops appearing after every turn.

After every session, whether on board gameplay in Party Cruise or playing minigames in Minigame Cruise, Cruise Mileage Points are earned. These are used to spend on various items at the Duty-Free Shop.

One change has been made to Tag Battle in Mario Party 7. Unlike previous installments, where both players in a team move separately, both players in a team move at the same time by hitting two Dice Blocks from 1-5. Also, both players may be able to participate in certain board events by landing on a Green Space. Players alternate between the leader every turn, where initially, the first leader is determined by the controller order. Leaders make the decisions such as using Orbs, visiting Orb Shops, or making choices in board events. If a human-controlled player is partnered with a CPU player, the human-controlled player is always the leader.

Characters

All the playable characters from Mario Party 6 except Koopa Kid (who instead hosts the Koopa Kid Spaces) return. The newcomers, as well as the unlockable characters, are Birdo and Dry Bones; they are marked with an asterisk in the below gallery. In order to unlock them, the player has to spend 1,000 Cruise Mileage Points each at the Duty-Free Shop. This game also does not feature character-specific colors at all; instead, the default red, blue, green, and yellow color scheme is used to determine player color.

Playable

Boards

Spaces

Orbs

Note: There are 30 item orbs in this game, more orbs than any other games.

Mini-games

4-Player Mini-games

1 - Vs. - 3 Mini-games

2 - Vs. - 2 Mini-games

Battle Mini-games

Duel Mini-games

8 - Player Mini-games

  • Real Smoothie
  • Spin Off
  • Grin and Bar It
  • Hammer Spammer
  • Gimme a Brake
  • Bumper to Bumper
  • Synchrownicity
  • Rope a Dope
  • Duct and Cover
  • Bobombic Plague
  • Unhappy Trails
  • Shock Absorbers

DK Mini-games

  • Jump Man
  • Vine Country
  • A Bridge Too Short
  • Peel Out
  • Bananas Faster
  • Stump Change

Bowser Mini-games

  • Slot O Whirl
  • Treasure Dome
  • Tunnel of Lava
  • Funstacle Course
  • Funderwall
  • Magmagical Journey

Rare Mini-games

  • Ice Moves
  • Stick and Spin

Note: There are 88 mini-games, more mini-games than others. It has 6 more mini-games than Mario Party 9, which only have 82 mini-games. (m) Mic Mini-game.

Reception

Critical reception

Mario Party 7 has received mixed to positive reviews, with aggregate review sites Metacritic scoring it a 64 based on 25 reviews[1] and GameRankings giving the game a score of 65.39% based on 28 reviews.[2] Critics generally cite how similar the game plays to the rest of the Mario Party games, where they recommend it to seasoned Mario Party players or players who want a minigame collection to play with family or friends, but cannot draw in people who do not like the earlier entries of the Mario Party series.

Ryan Davis of GameSpot gave the game a 6.5/10, saying that the game was a huge improvement.[3] He praised the controls, the challenging Bowser minigames and more usage of the mic, and mentioned that Mario Party 7 is an actual party because of the use of 8-player modes and that the game really gets the whole family to join in the fun. However, Davis notes how the game is short on the originality department, where he states that 8-Player minigames are the only innovation Mario Party 7 has going for it. Matt Casamassina of IGN gave the game a 7/10, noting the fun multiplayer experience, the 8-Player minigames, and the huge number of minigames, but also notes how the franchise is aging and that the single player experience is disappointing.[4] He ended with "Mario Party 7 is still entertaining, but I'd be a liar if I wrote that I'm not growing bored with new iterations of the same old formula. To its credit, the title delivers some fun new boards and mini-games, and the multiplayer experience is as robust and enjoyable as ever. But it in contrast dishes out a worthless single-player mode marred by tediously slow computer-controlled character interactions. And the overall presentation of the story, cut-scenes and real-time achievements is only passable."

Ellie Gibson of Eurogamer gave the game a scathing review, criticizing the unoriginality and sheer tedium of the game, despite noting how some of the minigames are fun, giving the game a final verdict of 3/10.[5] On the other end, Dave 'Fargo' Kosak gave the game a 4 out of 5 Stars, while noting the similar feel it has to other Mario Party games and that it is running out of gimmicks, but has commented that it is slightly better than the last Mario Party game and that no other game franchise does the party formula as good as Mario Party has done.[6]

Pre-release and unused content

Mario Party 7 has very similar unused content to that of Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6. The debug minigame menu is simply an update from the one used in the first three Mario Party games, and players can view the animation debug through a similar cube used in Mario Party 5. An unused title screen can be loaded with Action Replay codes; this title screen shows Mario on the MSS Sea Star with various characters on islands in the background.

References to other games

  • Super Mario Sunshine - Toadsworth reappears from this game as the host, and his voice clips are recycled from this game as well. Also, Mecha-Bowser makes a cameo in Bowser's Enchanted Inferno!.
  • Mario Party 4 - A picture of Princess Peach's Castle as it appeared in this game can be seen in the Duty-Free Shop.
  • Mario Party 6 - Some of the songs in this game are cover versions of songs in this game. For example, the song that plays on the main menu is a cover version of the Castaway Bay theme; the song that plays when a player lands on a Mic space is a cover version of the Speak Up theme; the song that plays in King of the River is a cover version of the song that plays in Endurance Alley (which, in turn, is a cover version of the Super Mario Bros. underground theme); the song that plays when the player loses King of the River is a cover version of the song that plays when the player loses Endurance Alley or Solo Mode; the song that plays in Take Me Ohm, Pogo-a-Go-Go, and Bob-ombic Plague (called "Slow and Steady") is a cover version of the song that plays in Granite Getaway, Surge and Destroy, and Burnstile (called "Doom and Gloom"); and the song that plays in Track & Yield and La Bomba ("Keep It Up") is a cover version of the song that plays in Conveyor Bolt, Ray of Fright, and Verbal Assault ("Tenacious"). The music when winning a minigame is also a more upbeat version of Mario Party 6s winning theme, and the minigame instructions theme contains a cover of Mario Party 6s rendition in it. Pyramid Park also takes the idea of using Chain Chomps to steal Stars from Snowflake Lake in this game. Pink Boos act the same here as they did on Towering Treetop and Castaway Bay, but they now appear when an opponent lands on a Character Space created by a Pink Boo Orb. Also, several voice clips are reused in this game.
  • Super Mario 64 DS - This is the first Mario Party game to use the more modern appearance of some enemies, such as Mr. Blizzards and Thwomps, from this game onwards.

References in later games

Trivia

  • This is the last Mario Party game to feature Donkey Kong's sound effects and Bowser's sound effects which were first used in the first Mario Party game and the last Mario game to feature Boo's classic sound effects which were first used in Super Mario 64.
  • This is very last Mario game to feature Donkey Kong's sound effects from the N64 games which were first used in Mario Kart 64.
  • This is also the last Mario Party game where Jen Taylor voices Princess Peach. For Mario Party 8 onward, she is replaced by Samantha Kelly for the voice of Princess Peach.
  • This is also the final appearance of Koopa Kid.
  • The playable characters' voice clips were recycled from Mario Party 6.
  • This is the fourth and final Mario Party game to be released on the Nintendo GameCube. The next game would be released on the Wii.
  • Mario Party 7 contains text that is considered inappropriate in the United Kingdom. In Grand Canal, if the player chooses to hear advice about the board from Toadsworth, he says the following: "The Star will move to another location when someone gets one. What a crafty bugger!" Despite this, the game was not recalled or edited and it did not affect the PEGI 3+ rating, unlike other games (such as Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars) that contain this word.
  • This is the first game in the series to completely eschew character-specific color coding (Mario uses red, Peach uses pink, etc.), in favor of coloring based on player slot (i.e. Player 1 is always red, P2 is blue, P3 is green, and P4 is yellow). Mario Party 6 uses character colors as well, but only on character silhouettes and the map screen.
  • In Japan, this is the last Mario Party game to use a female announcer until Super Mario Party; Mario Party 5 is the last such game for other countries.

References

  1. Metacritic score of Mario Party 7. Metacritic. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  2. GameRankings score of Mario Party 7. GameRankings. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  3. Davis, Ryan. Review of Mario Party 7. (November 11, 2005). GameSpot. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  4. Casamassina, Matt. Review of Mario Party 7. (November 7, 2005). IGN. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  5. Gibson, Ellie. Review of Mario Party 7. (January 2, 2006). Eurogamer. Retrieved August 27, 2016.
  6. Kosak, Dave. Review of Mario Party 7. (November 29, 2005). GameSpy. Retrieved August 27, 2016.

External links

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