At Nintendo’s E3 press conference last week, a graphic of Mario Party 9 was shown amongst several other titles. This small little graphic should be a good indication that some sort of Mario Party is in the works. Not too long later a bunch of trailers and screenshots that were not seen at the press conference were released all over the internet. Mario Party 9 was one of these and it has been confirmed to be coming to Nintendo Wii.
So what’s next for this long-lasting series that has been around for 9 whole games already. The last title to be released was Mario Party 8 (or Mario Party DS if you’re counting those) all the way back in late May of 2007. I remember purchasing this title for my semi-new Wii, and it ended up being a huge disappointment for me. My friends came over and they loved it, but me being a “seasoned” gamer had seen that the series has grown stale.
What was so unappealing for me about Mario Party 8 was that it simply looked like a delayed GameCube title that was polished up for Wii. Some of the waggle controls didn’t even make sense, and a handful of them didn’t even work all too properly. The second thing that got me was that it was the same thing all over again. Boards that lacked inspiration, mini-games with the same concepts that have run its course, and doing this for the 8th time was a little tough.
Now I understand that there is so much you can do after so many installations for the series, but I think that’s why almost 4 years away from a console appearance was a good thing for them. Having a title release every year practically ran the series right into the ground. So what do they have to do this time around? Here are some of my suggestions:
As much as it pains me to say something like this, I believe that Hudson Soft should step away from developing this Mario Party. Mario Party 9‘s developer is still TBA, but chances are it will be Hudson Soft. Hudson Soft has done all the Mario Party titles in the past, and this could be big trouble, because the same developer screams “staleness.” The trailer for Mario Party 9 (that you can watch below) has some interesting mini-games and a new concept for the board game aspect of it that we haven’t seen before, but it definitely shows Hudson’s hand in the work. And that’s too bad. A new developer would equal fresh ideas — There’s no doubt about it.
Working from the ground up on the Wii system is a huge plus, and, this late into the system’s lifeline, I’m sure Mario Party 9 has been. This makes this game already 2 steps ahead of what was offered with Mario Party 8.
Lastly, the mini-games have to be completely catered to the Wii and its controllers. With the Wii remotes and Wii balance board, Mario Party mini-games could be epic. The series was built around mini-games, and with mini-games we have never seen before, Mario Party 9 could be the best party yet. Go back to what made us love the series in the first place, and we’ll come back! I hope they do it, because gosh darn it… I loved Mario Party games.