Keeping with Nintendo’s tradition of innovation and dynamic gameplay, they have once again added the microphone into the gameplay mix. Making its first appearance into the sequence in Mario Party 6
, the microphone adds an interesting and dynamic form of gameplay. It was surprisingly adaptive to different accents and speech patterns. This is a unique gameplay feature in itself. The problem with this version, however, is that it nearly demands you have the microphone in play at all times. There are specific spaces marked around the board for the microphone mini-games. Even with the microphone setting turned off they are still there, and even though it recognizes the missing microphone, it still goes through the motion and dialogue, instead of just removing the spaces from play.
What has to be the most fun and unique game mechanic in this title has to be the 8 player at one time playability. Now I know many of you out there just said “It only has four ports,” or “I am not buying another adapter!” NOT THE CASE! You play with four controllers. Imagine sitting with someone to your right. Now, you control the left thumb stick and trigger with your left hand, while they control the “C” and right trigger with their right hand. AWESOME! If you are a couple that needs to go to counseling as it is, this is probably not the game for you. You play many games where you are both trying to accomplish different things at the same time, which includes hitting buttons. The best I could compare it to is finger twister. So much fun.
They definitely need to allow users to skip or speed up NPC actions, games, and dialogues. Veteran players and anyone who plays the game with any consistency don't need the long, drawn-out animations that are actually quite cool the first several times you see them. But, after you play the game a few weeks, you feel you can skip most of these with great certainty and move on without affecting the game.
I liked Mario Party 7, but I wouldn't put it at the top of the list compared to the other versions. But, I still love to play and enjoy the game. There are tons of unlockables and extras available in the game; most are in the form of tips and hints that make the game easier to play, but add a continued game playability. Everyone in the family has their personal favorite Mario Party and we alternate often for variety. This version will definitely be in the mix as it is a solid title with dynamic gameplay. I would only remind readers that this may not be the best game to start with if you are just getting into gaming.