GamingReview: Mario Party 2

Review: Mario Party 2


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It’s difficult to remember what Mario Party was like in the early days after all the sequels that were released over the years. Fortunately, Nintendo has decided to port Mario Party 2 to the Virtual Console on the Nintendo Wii U.

The bad news is that Mario Party 2 has definitely not aged well like a fine wine. There are many mini-games to play and that is always a good starting point. However, the truth is that most of them are just uninspiring to the point that it almost feels like a chore to play them. The few mini-games that stand out in what is otherwise a lackluster collection are ruined by basic controls. Perhaps not a good start to the party if most of your mini-games feel incredibly dated to the point that they are not even fun to play.

Mario Party 2


Doesn’t help either that it seems to take forever to complete each turn in the board-game currently being played. Each board-game has a different theme and that at least does make it slightly interesting to play. Playing with the AI is utterly dull since there isn’t much to do but wait during their turn. It’s so dull that it is likely that players will start doing something more interesting, such as making a cup of tea or checking whatever social network they are a part of, during the period of time that the AI opponents are playing.

The board-games feel rather bare bones in terms of the content that is included in each of them. The major set piece in the Pirates themed board-game for example consists of an annoying ship that fires cannon balls, when characters land on certain board tiles, that sends them back to the start. It’s incredible to think how this sort of game design worked back when the title was originally released. After all, it must have been popular given the various sequels released since then.

The port is only playable with black side bars like other recent Virtual Console titles. Although it doesn’t really impact the way that the title is played, it is rather confusing as to why only the title’s original resolution is supported. More so given the excellent ports that were added to the Virtual Console service on the Nintendo Wii.

Not that it helps either that Mario Party 2 is showing its age. The visuals look incredibly dated and the title’s performance isn’t exactly that great either with the occasional frame-rate hiccup popping up during busier mini-games.

Mario Party 2

Yet despite being quite dull to watch the AI characters play, there is no doubt that they somehow make worthy opponents. Even on the easy difficulty setting, the AI can still win most mini-games or somehow land on the board tiles that contain the best prizes. The whole purpose behind each session of Mario Party 2 is to either get more rare stars or coins. It’s possible to trade the coins for a star when landing on a tile with a Toad. It makes it slightly more interesting since having more stars is the sure way to win. The obvious solution is to play with real players, but even so it would require having three additional controllers to do so. In an age where online gaming is so prevalent, it feels almost like a novelty to think about having people over to play video-games – let alone an ancient title such as Mario Party 2.

It’s strange how nostalgia works given that it’s possible to remember a time when playing titles such as Mario Party 2 with friends was a lot of fun. But whereas titles such as Mario Kart 64 remain classics, it’s not possible for the same to happen to every other title. In the end it’s difficult to recommend playing Mario Party 2 again or even for the first time when there are far better titles in the series released in recent times.


+ Plenty of mini-games to play.
- Most mini-games are uninspiring and not fun to play.
- Seems to take forever to finish each turn.
- The title feels surprisingly dated.

(Reviewed on Nintendo Wii U, also available on Nintendo Wii)

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+ Plenty of mini-games to play.</br> - Most mini-games are uninspiring and not fun to play.</br> - Seems to take forever to finish each turn.</br> - The title feels surprisingly dated.</br> </br> (Reviewed on Nintendo Wii U, also available on Nintendo Wii)Review: Mario Party 2