Excerpt: Most gamers have heard of the Mario Party series by now. Entering its fourth installment, one would anticipate it is probably more of the same. Having not had the privilege of playing any of the previous three (I never had an N64), all I have to compare it to is Pac-man Fever, which is a decent game but nowhere near the quality of this one.
Summary: The Mario Party games popularized the trend of board game bonanzas with an assortment of varied activities. Each shindig was like having dozens of games in one, and Mario Party 4 is the wildest multiplayer get-together Nintendo has ever thrown. Mario, Luigi, Yoshi and an all-star cast of Mushroom Kingdom regulars have been invited, and there's never a dull moment as one to four players compete in 50 all-new minigames.
Excerpt: Creating a mini-game filled party title looks deceptively simple. Take a mascot or four, toss them into a board game setting, add liberal amounts of button mashing mayhem and poof, there you have it. Of course, it isn't this easy. Just look at Pac Man Fever or Sonic Shuffle, both which lacked that certain something that makes a fun party game.
Excerpt: When it comes to the Mario Party series, it seems gamers occupy one of two camps: Either they wholeheartedly love the “action-packed four-player mini-game mayhem,” or they despise the “repetitive, overly simple tasks and confused layout” more than the looming threat of mass genocidal Armageddon. While I wouldn’t go so far as to associate myself with that second camp, I must admit that the franchise never really did it for me.