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Mario Party 4: Testing the thumb-speed of GameCube owners everywhere Karyn 
Posted by: Karyn at 10:25 PM EST on 1/10/2003
File Under: Games -> GameCube -> Quickview

So, we're having a sort of drinking/relaxing/gaming party at my apartment soon, and my roommate and I figure that, hey, we should rent Mario Party 4! My GameCube needs its exercise anyway. I've been playing the game off and on all day (mainly because I plan to kick everyone's asses) and honestly, my impressions are not all that positive. If you've ever played any of the other Mario Parties, it's basically the same thing, with different games and a couple of different characters.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for all things Mario, and this certainly gives an outlet for that, what with all of the bad guys and good guys that show up and the "presents" you get after completing a board on one player mode. So far I have Daisy's table, a refrigerator, and a blow-up doll of Mario to go in each character's little house. After you get them, you get to go into the present room and... look at them, I guess. Contemplate their beauty. They're not the most useful things in the world. It's kind of neat to see what you get every time, though.

I suppose I should wait until playing it with 3 other humans to completely judge the game, but I can say that playing the computer characters is NOT fun. They're either too easy or too hard, and I swear that they cheat. When playing with my roommate against 2 computer characters it was tolerable, but there was still that feeling of 'humans vs. computers'. I want to play with 3 other people so that I can beat up on everybody else without feeling guilty!

As far as the boards and mini-games go, they're actually pretty fun. A couple of the boards are bitchy to get where you want to go, but there's all sorts of ghost trains and dolphins, not to mention some amusing board moderator characters. I liked most of the mini-games too, even though it's pretty typical who-can-tap-this-button-the-fastest stuff. God was merciful, however, and didn't put in any of those stupid games where you have to move the control stick in a circle quickly and end up wearing a hole in your hand. Despite this, there was one game I absolutely despised. The activity is one in which you swim at the "Manta Rings" (a la Super Mario 64) and the control stick is NOT INVERTED. I hate that more than anything in the world because that means I'm swimming into the ceiling or the floor for the whole game. I have yet to win or even get second on that mini-game.

In conclusion: It's an okay game, good to have on hand if you think you're going to have some people around who want to play a semi-competitive game that's not too challenging and doesn't involve splattering blood all over the walls (read: girls). Still, it's not a game you're going to want to play by yourself, and for bloodthirstier competitors, there's Bond, or Timesplitters or Halo or whatever. If you really need a Mario fix, get Melee or something.
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