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Mario Party 8 (マリオパーティJP) is the eighth installment of the Mario Party series on a home console, the first Mario Party game for the Wii, and the thirteenth game overall in the series. It is also the last Mario Party home console game to be developed by Hudson Soft before Nd Cube received control of the series. Mario Party 8 is notable for its strong use of the Wii Remote and its motion control capabilities in minigames. Players are required to perform various gestures in lieu of traditional button/joystick controls. Common motions include pointing-and-shooting, shaking, waving, turning, and twisting the Wii Remote. Player-created Miis are featured in this game, wherein they often show up within crowds. Miis can appear in certain minigames, such as Sugar Rush, and may also serve as the player's character in Extra Mode. By playing regular party games (via the Party Tent), minigames, and completing the Star Battle Arena mode, players will earn Carnival Cards, which may be spent to unlock figures and game features.

Mario Party 8 features six boards, five of which are available from the start of a new save file. Although one board features the classic formula for obtaining a Star (via reaching a changing star space and paying 20 coins), the other five boards employ unique conditions for collecting stars. Replacing the Orbs/Capsules from previous Mario Party titles is a similar item called Candy. Players can collect and use Candy, but are unable to place it on the board as traps.

Story

In Mario Party 8, the exuberant ringmaster MC Ballyhoo and his talking hat Big Top have invited Mario and the rest of the crew to the Star Carnival. Ballyhoo holds a special event, the Star Battle Arena, in which a contestant must win five successive party duels across the five standard boards. The winner will be crowned the carnival's Superstar and receive a year's supply of candy.

Once the player has claimed victory in all five duels, Ballyhoo holds an award ceremony to present a special reward. In addition to the year's supply of candy, the player is promised the magical Star Rod. Before the player may receive their reward, however, Bowser swoops in and steals the Star Rod, only to retreat back to his special board, Bowser's Warped Orbit. The player and Ballyhoo then follow Bowser for one final duel. After the player triumphs over Bowser's chosen minion (either Hammer Bro or Blooper), Bowser begrudgingly returns the Star Rod. Yet, mere seconds later, Bowser changes his mind and challenges the player to a final showdown for the Star Rod. Using the Star Rod's magical powers, the player defeats Bowser, and returns to the carnival with Ballyhoo. At long last, the player is declared the superstar, and the credits roll.

Gameplay

Just as with previous Mario Party titles, Mario Party 8 combines the social, strategic gameplay of traditional board games with quick, action-oriented minigames. In order to win a party, a player must obtain the most stars by the end of the last turn. Additionally, players collect & win coins in order to trade for Stars, buy Candy, and use special events on the board. Each board has a unique way of obtaining stars - most require finding a unique star-space and trading a certain number of coins for a star.

Before the game starts, Ballyhoo introduces the board, and each player rolls a die to determine the order of play. On every turn, each player rolls a 1 to 10 dice to move along the game board. Prior to rolling, players may use Candy (if they possess any) and study the game board. At the end of a turn, all players enter into a randomly-chosen minigame to compete for a coin prize. Typically, the prize is 10 coins, given in whole to every player who wins the minigame. There are a variety of Minigame arrangements: 4-player free-for-all, 1-vs-3, and 2-vs-2. There is a small chance that a Battle Minigame will be played instead of a regular minigame. The color of the space that each player is on at the end of the turn sometimes determines what kind of minigame arrangement will be used (i.e. if two players are on red spaces and the other two players are on blue spaces, the minigame arrangement will most likely be 2-vs-2). Once the minigame is finished, and the coin prize(s) have been awarded, the turn is finished. After the last turn, three random Bonus Stars are awarded (if enabled during the game setup). At this point, the player will the most stars (coin count breaks ties) is declared the Superstar, and wins the game.

Akin to similar mechanics in previous Mario Party titles, Mario Party 8 features an event called Chump Charity once the last five turns are reached. Ballyhoo reviews the player rankings and offers the player in last place either a free Duelo Candy or a coin prize. Before gameplay resumes, coin bag pickups are placed on every red space and single-coin pickups are placed on every other space. These pickups may only be collected once (by the first player who reaches the space they reside upon). If two players land on the same space or cross paths, they will only duel if one player is under the effect of Duelo Candy.

If a player encounters another while under the effects of Duelo Candy, or lands on a VS space (Star Battle Arena mode only), they will duel in a 1-on-1 Minigame. The winner throws a dart on a spinning wheel to determine what prize they will collect from the loser. Most often, the possible rewards consist of: 1 coin, 5 coins, or 10 coins.

Playable Characters

Mario Party 8 has a total of 15 playable characters (14 on the main roster). All the 12 characters from Mario Party 7 return, and three new characters (Blooper, Hammer Bro, and Mii) have been added. Mii characters can only be used in the Extras Zone.

Game Modes

Party Tent

Party tent

The party tent from Mario Party 8.

This Tent is the mode to party on the boards. After completing a match in this mode, you can get cards to buy items from the Fun Bazaar.

Star Battle Arena

In this single-player mode, you battle across all the stages competing against other players to win a lifetime supply of candy. When you do the stage, Bowser's Warped Orbit, you battle against one of the characters that are locked and once you beat them, they are unlocked. Finishing this mode gives you 200 Cards.

Minigame Tent

You can play any of the minigames you have unlocked in the party boards here. You can choose the Free Play Arcade or other games to play the minigames you unlocked, Tic-Tac Drop for example.

Extras Zone

The extras zone is where you can play minigames that you can't usually play during Mario Party 8. To unlock these minigames you have to buy them in the Fun Bazaar. Each minigame is worth 50 carnival cards. Here in the Extras zone you can play as your Mii or as one of the Mario Characters.

Fun Bazaar

Fun bazaar

This is the fun bazaar in Mario Party 8.

The Fun Bazaar is the tall dark green building on the map of Mario Party 8. Before you go in you have to select a character to be (any Mario character). In the Fun Bazaar you go to the Shop, the Sound machine, The figures parade, the minigame Store, and the credits board. In the shop you can buy minigames, sounds, figures that move, and lots of other things.

Mini-Games

  • Alpine Assult
  • At the Chomp Wash
  • Crank to Rank
  • Flip the Chimp
  • In the Nick of Time
  • Kartastrophe
  • Lava or Leave 'Em
  • Mario Matrix
  • Mosh-Pit Playroom
  • Punch-a-Bunch
  • Rudder Madness
  • Scooter Persuit
  • Shake It Up
  • Sick and Twisted
  • Speedy Graffiti
  • Swing Kings
  • Treacherous Tightrope
  • Water Ski Spree
  • Aim of the Game
  • Attention Grabber
  • Balancing Act
  • Blazing Lasso
  • Breakneck Building
  • Bumper Balloons
  • Cardiators
  • Cosmic Slalom
  • Eyebrawl
  • Frozen Assets
  • Ion Prize]]
  • Lava Lobbers
  • Lob to Rob
  • Loco Motives
  • Paint Misbehavin'
  • Pumper Cars
  • Rotation Station
  • Saucer Swarm
  • Settle It in Court
  • Specter Inspector
  • Sugar Rush]]
  • Surf's Way Up
  • Wing and a Scare
  • You're the Bob-omb
  • Cut from the Team
  • Glacial Meltdown
  • Snipe for the Picking
  • Fruit Picker
  • Pour to Score
  • Stampede
  • Superstar Showdown
  • Chomping Frenzy
  • Table Menace
  • Trial by Tile
  • Puzzle Pillars
  • Flagging Rights
  • Canyon Cruisers
  • Moped Mayhem
  • Star Carnival Bowling
  • Grabbin' Gold
  • Picture Perfect
  • Chump Rope
  • Swervin' Skies
  • Thrash 'n' Crash
  • Snow Way Out
  • Power Trip
  • Bob-ombs Away
  • Gun the Runner
  • Grabby Gridiron
  • Winner or Dinner
  • Rowed to Victory
  • Lean Mean Ravine
  • King of the Thrill
  • Booting Gallery
  • Crops 'n' Robbers

Note: There are 73 minigames, more minigames than others until its successor is released in 1 March 2012. You can also see it in List of Mario Party 8 minigames.

Boards

Mini-game Music

Music Plays in
4-player 1 vs. 3 2 vs. 2 Duel Battle Extra
It's a Dead Heat Alpine Assault
Kartastrophe
None Lean, Mean Ravine Cosmic Slalom None Canyon Cruisers
Moped Mayhem
Happy-Go-Lucky At the Chomp Wash
Crank to Rank
Speedy Graffiti
Chump Rope Rowed to Victory Blazing Lassos
Breakneck Building
None
Challenge Flip the Chimp
Shake It Up
Sick and Twisted
Swing Kings
None Aim of the Game
Flip the Chimp
Settle It in Court
Shake It Up
Swing Kings
Aim of the Game
Snipe for the Picking
Chomping Frenzy
Flagging Rights
Puzzle Pillars
Star Carnival Bowling
Trial By Tile
Friendly Competition In the Nick of Time
Rudder Madness
Grabbin' Gold
Picture Perfect
Paint Misbehavin'
Sugar Rush
Balancing Act
Loco Motives
Paint Misbehavin'
Sugar Rush
None
Proceed Without Fear Lava or Leave 'Em Power Trip
Swervin' Skies
King of the Thrill Lava Lobbers
Pumper Cars
None
Feelin' Cyber Mario Matrix None Ion the Prize
Saucer Swarm
Saucer Swarm None
Everyone's Runnin' Mosh-Pit Playroom Bob-ombs Away Grabby Gridiron None
All Messed Up Punch-a-Bunch
Water Ski Spree
Thrash 'n' Crash Winner or Dinner Frozen Assets Glacial Meltdown None
It's On Now Scooter Pursuit None Attention Grabber
Cardiators
Eyebrawl
Rotation Station
Surf's Way Up
Wing and a Scare
You're the Bob-omb
Cut from the Team Table Menace
An Unexpected Surprise Treacherous Tightrope None Boo-ting Gallery Specter Inspector None
Chase and Overtake None Gun the Runner
Snow Way Out
Bumper Balloons
Crops 'n' Robbers
Bumper Balloons
Lob to Rob
None

Reception

As with most Mario Party games, reviews have been mixed. One of the biggest criticisms was the lack of Wi-Fi and widescreen. Matt Casamassina of IGN referred to the single-player mode as "torture" and commented on the visuals as "graphics don't even impress as a GCN title".

Sales

After its North American release on May 29, 2007, the game sold 314,000 units in the United States in three days, making it the best-selling home console game in the country that month. As of March 31, 2008, the game has sold 4.86 million copies worldwide. In Japan, Mario Party 8 has sold 1,239,716 copies as of the end of Q2 2008, according to Famitsu. Mario Party 8 is the 11th best-selling game for the Wii, selling 7.6 million copies worldwide, as of March 31, 2014.

Controversy

The launch of Mario Party 8 in the United Kingdom had several difficulties. Originally scheduled for release on June 22, 2007, Nintendo announced on June 19, 2007 that the UK version of the game had been delayed to July 13 of that year due to a production issue.[1]

Furthermore, upon the release on July 13, 2007, the game was immediately recalled. Nintendo gave a reason for the withdrawal in a press release:[2]

"[Mario Party 8] was launched in the UK today. Unfortunately we have discovered that a small number of games contain the wrong version of the disk due to an assembly error. We have therefore decided to recall all copies of the game from UK retailers so that this mistake can be corrected. We will re-launch Mario Party 8 in the UK as soon as possible and will announce a new launch date shortly. We very much regret any inconvenience caused."

The European retailer GAME confirmed[3] that the game was withdrawn from shelves because some copies included an offensive line as part of a magic spell used by Kamek in the board Shy Guy's Perplex Express:

"Magikoopa magic! Turn the train spastic! Make this ticket tragic!"

Due to "spastic" having a highly negative connotation in the United Kingdom, the game was declared banned and immediately recalled. Mario Party 8 was eventually re-released in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2007, with the offensive statement altered; copies without the word "spastic" use the word "erratic" instead.

Although it is unknown if Mario Party 8 is the direct catalyst, several first-party Nintendo games released after it have had at least a few English localization differences between the American and PAL releases, rather than the American English text being used for all regions. A similar offense in Super Paper Mario with the word "shag" was preemptively altered for the PAL release.

References to other games

References in later games

  • Mario Party DS - The playable characters' profile models and voice clips are reused in this game.
  • Mario Party 9 - All the playable characters (except Toadette) reappear, with Boo, Dry Bones, Hammer Bro, and Blooper becoming supporting characters. Also, some of the characters' voice clips are reused.
  • Super Mario Run - Princess Peach and Bowser's artwork are reused.
  • Mario Party: The Top 100 - Three minigames return in this game. A cover version of the minigame completion theme plays when completing any of the three Mario Party 8 minigames. MC Ballyhoo and Big Top make a cameo in the Characters section of the Series Guide.

Differences from other Mario Party games

  • This is the only installment in the Mario Party series:
    • without Koopa Kid (known as Mini-Bowser in PAL regions) or Bowser Jr.
    • where the players' stats while playing in a board is not in the four corners of the screen; it is shown in a column in the top right corner.
    • to show all minigames from a selected category on the roulette wheel, instead of only three, four, five, or six.
    • in which the design of the spaces varies from board to board to fit their surrounding aesthetics better.
  • This is the first Mario Party game that does not have the minigames rules hosted by the host of the board/game, instead put as a separate section in the minigame rules screen. From Mario Party to Mario Party 7, the minigames were all hosted by the hosts of the board and/or the game.

Trivia

  • The guy with the hat who is the host for all events' name is MC Ballyhoo.
  • This is the first Mario Party game and first Mario game overall where Samantha Kelly voices Princess Peach.
  • This is also the first Mario Party game to feature new voice clips for Donkey Kong, Bowser, and Boo.
  • The NTSC and PAL versions use different fonts for text; the font used for the main text in the PAL version is the same as the font used from Mario Party 4 to Mario Party 7.
  • Mario Party 8 has the least amount of minigames in Mario Party: The Top 100, having only three.
  • The minigame announcements are different between versions. On the US version, when starting a minigame, the announcer shouts "Go!" with the word "START" appearing onscreen. Additionally, when tying a minigame, "Tie" appears on the screen with the announcer calling that. On the Japanese version, "Start!" is shouted instead on the start of a minigame, and when a minigame is tied, "DRAW" appears onscreen with the announcer calling that.

References

  1. http://www.joystiq.com/2007/06/20/mario-late-to-his-own-party-in-uk/
  2. http://www.thunderboltgames.com/news/article/mario-party-8-banned-news-for-wii.html
  3. http://www.thunderboltgames.com/news/article/mario-party-8-banned-news-for-wii.html

External links

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