Mario Party 7
Mario Party 7 is the seventh home console installment, the fourth and final installment for the Nintendo GameCube system, and the eighth installment in the Mario Party series. It was released in North America and Japan, as well as Europe and Australia in late 2005 and early 2006, respectively. In this game, Mario and the gang, using the MSS Sea Star, go vacationing to locations based on landmarks in Earth. However, Bowser is not invited on the cruise and decides to cause trouble for Mario and his friends.
The game has a unique feature to allow up to eight players to join the party, with two players each sharing a controller.
From the Mario Party 7 Instruction booklet:
TOADSWORTH: Oh, I say! Hello there! It's me, Toadsworth! Yes, yes, let me tell you about what happened recently. You see, Mario and his friends are always busy fighting evil and saving the world and so forth, so I offered him a chance to come on a cruise around the world! Oh ho! Splendid! But in doing so, I apparently made that rogue Bowser somewhat angry. Let me tell you what he said...
Toadsworth has invited Mario and all his friends to go on a luxury cruise around the world. However, Toadsworth invited everyone except for one person, Bowser. Furious at being omitted, the Koopa King vows revenge. When the cruise ship MSS Sea Star arrives at its first destination, the passengers discover that Bowser has turned their vacation paradise into a stress-filled madhouse.
The goal is to gather stars, but each board requires one to do that in a different way. For instance, people must buy a star at Pagoda Peak, if they have enough coins. In Neon Heights, one must pay coins to open a treasure box. One might find a star — or something far less desirable. Also, in Bowser's Enchanted Inferno, players may be on their way to getting a star, but end up not getting it and losing half of their coins. In Solo Cruise, some boards do not involve purchasing stars, but stealing them.
Mario Party 7 features game boards on which players and CPU characters move around on spaces similar to a board game. Players roll dice with numbers from one to ten to advance on the board. At the beginning of the game, the turn order is determined by a Dice Block roll. Each player starts off with ten coins, and the number of coins is affected by the spaces that the player lands on after their turn. For example, landing on a Blue Space will give a player three coins, while landing on a Red Space will take three coins away. The boards feature a variety of spaces that have different effects, and players can collect items known as Orbs or buy them at shops. The items can be used to have different effects.
The main objective of any Mario Party game is to gain Stars that are located at a special location in the level. In Mario Party 7, each board offers its unique way to obtain stars. For example, on Grand Canal, the Star will appear on a random location on the board, and the first player to get to the Star can buy it with 20 coins. Then, the location of the Star is randomized again. In Pagoda Peak, the star is always at the peak of the mountain, and its price varies from 10 to 40 coins. After a Star is bought, the price increases until it hits 40, and after that it resets to ten.
After each player has completed his or her turn, a mini-game is played. The type of the mini-game is determined by the colors of the spaces that the players ended their turn on. When all colors match, a four-player free-for-all mini-game is played, otherwise there is a 1vs3 or a 2vs2 minigame. In Mario Party 7, minigames might involve clearing action courses, solving puzzles faster than the other players, or fighting against each other. Several mini-games use the Nintendo GameCube Microphone that is shipped with the game and plugs into Memory Card Slot B. Players can play microphone minigames without the device by adjusting the game settings.
A new addition to the game is Bowser Time. After each turn, a special gauge will appear on the screen to tell the player when that time comes. When the gauge is all filled up, then it's Bowser Time. During this special event, Bowser will come to the board and cause trouble in various ways. This special event happens every five turns.
At the end of every game, Toadsworth announces the game's current Star count and final coin count. After that, there will be Bonus Stars for the players who did the best during the match and then, the final tally is announced and the person with the most Stars overall, wins the match.
One change has been made to Tag Battle in Mario Party 7. Unlike previous installments, where both players in a team moved separately, in this game, both players in a team move at the same time by hitting two dice blocks from 1-5. Also, both players may be able to participate in certain board events by landing on a Green Space.
Each party in the Party Cruise mode or Special Cruise mode can be played with different options.
Birdo and Dry Bones are the two unlockable characters of Mario Party 7. In order to unlock them, the player has to spend 2,000 Mileage Points, 1,000 for Birdo and 1,000 for Dry Bones, at the Duty-Free Shop.
NOTE: Each pair of partners have their own special orbs, much like the character items in Mario Kart Double Dash!!. Before Birdo and Dry Bones are unlocked, Yoshi and Boo are considered default partners, but they share different orbs.
There is also a Coin Block Area that are only in Solo mode.
There are five types of orbs in the game.
Self Orbs have a green shell and are used on the player.
Thrown Orbs are thrown on a space. Happenings are executed only if the player lands on it. The thrown orbs' shell color is yellow. These orbs have an effect on a player who lands on the space. If the owner lands on the space, they will receive five coins. During the last five turn events, they may receive 15 coins if the coin's ×3 roulette is chosen. The orb will also stay on the board as long as no one replaces the orb.
Roadblock Orbs are red orbs that are thrown. They are triggered when an opposing player passes it and disappear once triggered.
Character Orbs are orbs that only can be used by a specific pair. Their shells are blue.
Other Orbs are orbs that are automatically thrown when somebody receives it. They're colored violet.
Mario Party 7 has 88 minigames, the most of any Mario Party game to date. These include the traditional 4-player minigames, 1-vs.-3 minigames, 2-vs.-2 minigames, duel minigames, and battle minigames. Similarly to its predecessor, it employs the Nintendo GameCube Microphone for several 4-player and 1-vs.-3 minigames. Unique to this game are 8-player minigames. This game also includes DK minigames and Bowser minigames, both of which have three each of single-player and four-player minigames. Finally, there are two rare minigames and one boss minigame, which is categorized as a Bowser minigame.
There are six ways to play minigame cruise:
Pre-release and unused content
The game received mixed to positive reviews. GameSpot gave it a 6.5/10, saying that the game was a huge improvement. 1UP put an A+ rating for Originality. IGN gave it a 7/10. GameSpot praised the controls, challenging Bowser minigames and more usage of the mic, and mentioned that Mario Party 7 is an actual party because of the use of 8-player modes and that the game really gets the whole family to join in the fun.
References to other games
Names in other languages