Game Perceptions 2- Mario Party 8




             This time around John and I have decided to put out our perceptions on a single game and not a series: Mario Party 8. And boy what a stinker of a game this one turned out to be. Now before we give our perceptions let it be known that we as gamers liked the older games specifically the first three. They were innovative and fun. But since we have not played all of the games MP1-9 we wanted to do this on the most recent game we have played.
              You can bet a dollar or more we will revisit this series in a review or with one on one’s at a later time.
                 So now let’s insert the Mario Party 8: Just Don’t Play It Disc and get into our perceptions…
Perceptions #1:  MC Ballyhoo
            Why, just why is this guy okay! Or acceptable? First and for most the top hat on his head is another character. Aptly named Big Top, but we aren’t talking about the hat we are talking about the bottom portion: Ballyhoo. Ballyhoo is the Master of Catastrophes yet he doesn’t act like a man of chaos. Most of the time he is the carnival’s ring master and other times he is the player’s cheerleader… Just thank god or the elements that he’s not in a skirt.
              One of the main problems outside of his poor personality or name choice is that he just overtly offends. He’s a sub-par humanoid which race goes unnamed and just seems like a characterization of the racism that is still existent in Japan: I.E his character is a black pimp that makes Sim noises in gaudy clothes.
Perceptions #2: Playable Characters
                If Ballyhoo is the Master of Catastrophes and Big Top is supposed to be the antithesis of Ballyhoo; whose personality is on a calmer note then why is Bowser and DK not playable characters?  Now both Jon and I agree that for all intents and purposes Mario Party 8 does well with mixing old and new characters but in the end it feels amiss that you can’t be Donkey Kong or an iteration of Bowser be it Bowser or Baby Bowser/Koopa Kid. DK was a playable Character in the first three games of the series and even in part in MP4 at the very least they should have kept him as a playable character…
Perceptions #3: Prizes 
              Some of the prizes that you can unlock are downright insulting. Now maybe this portion is just nitpicking but are you serious I have to play the game to get unlocking tokens (which are game cards) and then use said game cards to unlock prizes such as… staff records!? Or a new very hard difficulty… are you kidding me… Now the difficulty is far more understanding… But staff records!? Many games have locked the very hard or chaos mode until you do something in the game but why make it an unlock able through prize cards? Why not make it something you gain from beating a full game or multiple ones!
              The Staff Records as a prize is utterly insulting. Most games you already have the staff records as they are at least in the early days of gaming the game testers. And their scores were recorded in the original score data. As coding and gaming advanced the scores were simply just entered in and remained until written over by a new save.
Perceptions #4:  This Game Sucks
               In most games you play if you are winning hands down 80% of the game and just down right taking it to the computer you are going to win. However in Mario Party 8 you can win 99% of all the mini games and be wining 70% of the rounds of a game and in the last 30% of the games the computer makes a miracle run as if they are being coached by the Minnesota Miracle Man; Coach Bombay of the Mighty Ducks. In Mario Party 8 the Rubber Band AI is completely B/S it is done so poorly that it is evident that the game is completely bending or breaking the rules and the scope of the game  just so the computer not only becomes a challenge but then that it’s not even possible for the player to come back and win.
            Often times the Rubber AI- will give benefits to the computer players such as; Higher dice rolls, better candy that’s found on the ground, a higher chance in getting gifts/more coins, When dueling against the computer in dueling mini-games even if players beat the computer the computer and two players come in first and second respectively (in tag mode of play) the computer still gets at least one coin… an undeserving coin…
             When the AI uses candies where they steal coins from the players (if the computers are losing) they almost always take 5 or 10 coins. To put this in perspective, a sample round went like this. B.T. and I were on a team against the computers (on easy difficulty), and we won every mini game except one. So in a fifteen round game we won 14 mini games. The computer still some how won 20-9, and that was after the bonus stars (which are randomly selected and are nowhere near the same traditional bonus stars that you are used to seeing in Mario Party games).  And need we tell you this loss came on easy mode!
Perceptions #5:  Maps & Mini-games
         The maps are different which is a good and bad thing. Instead of all the maps just being different in theme like in the past they are different in how they actually play out. Now this feature is interesting but at the same time its bad. So bad that players pick and play one map over and over as that’s the one they like to play and this kills replay value among other things. Unless of course you are willing to play on weaker, less liked, more likely to get beat by Superman and Batman masquerading as  some Mario characters…
              The mini-games are varied but are ruined by the pigeon-holing motion controls. Time and time again Jon or I would find that if the game offered a way to play the mini game with a GameCube style controller or a Wii classic controller that the game would have been fun and enjoyable, especially true when the computer players have an unfair advantage… of which they even have this compared to a human player even when he or she is or was using a classic style controller! Another problem in regards to motion control is that hit detection were spotty at best with this game and when motion controls and the Wii remote gimmick is your main method of game play that is a problem. The Last issue with the mini-games were that the “simple” mini-games were not simple and often times had controls that were ridiculously extraneous.

We here at (DPG) ONS Gaming hope you enjoyed this iteration of Game Perceptions and enjoy the posts to come!


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