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Mario Party 8 Review

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The party's over...

★★★★★

Eight years ago, Hudson’s first foray into digital board games brought to life by Nintendo’s brightest stars and a myriad minigames set the beloved N64 alight.

However, as the familiar formula hasn’t changed one jot since then - and the series has actually got worse in many respects - the eighth Mario Party is the sort of bash you wouldn’t be seen dead at.

Although the Wii’s motion controls would be the perfect way to reinvent Mario Party’s legion of challenges, the minigames rarely make best use of the console’s unique interface and instead come across as left-over GameCube duels with motion-controls tagged on; for the bowling minigame, for example, the developers only had to look at Wii Sports to see how it should be done, but instead completely missed the point and give players limited control over their shots.

Moreover, even though there are over 60 bite-sized games to unlock, few of them will hold any challenge for seasoned gamers, meaning the quirky romps soon become a chore to play and do little to keep you coming back for more.

The frustratingly unpredictable nature of the board game sections - where you can go from first to last place if you have bad luck when rolling the dice - will also irritate players hoping for an evolution of the candy-coloured series, and while groups of younger players may be happy whiling away lazy summer afternoons playing Mario Party 8 with a group of friends, the game has absolutely nothing for anyone searching for single-player thrills, its leaden pace becoming acutely dull in the space of a few minutes if you aren’t playing without other human competitors to keep your spirits up.