Mario Party 2
Mario Party 2 is the second main installment in the Mario Party series for the Nintendo 64. Mario and the gang are fighting for the rights for a new amusement park. The objective is simple and similar to the previous Mario Party: obtain stars and defeat Bowser. This game introduces the first use of collectible items in Mario Party's history; the first game had items, but they simply added optional rules or game modes to the game. Each board has its own tricks and turns, and the playable characters, as well as Bowser, wear different outfits based on the theme of the board.
Battle, Item, and Duel minigames are introduced in Mario Party 2. Battle Minigames give every player a chance to win 70% of the stocked jackpot taken from players (usually a set amount). The top two get a 70/30 share, while the bottom two get nothing; a leftover coin is given randomly. Additionally, players can no longer lose coins in normal minigames. Also, the players now have the option to practice minigames, which would later be featured in all the future installments.
The game was later rereleased on the Wii's Virtual Console in Japan in November 2010 and in North America, Europe, and Australia in December 2010, and the Wii U's Virtual Console in Japan in March 2016, in Europe and Australia in April 2016, and in North America in December 2016, making Mario Party 2 the first Mario Party game to be released on the Virtual Console. It is currently the only home console Mario Party game to be available through Virtual Console.
The game opens on a stage where Toad comes out to welcome guests and introduce the story of the play.
The story, from the instruction booklet:
One day Mario and friends (save for Wario) decide to create a new world. They name this new world Mario Land. But Wario is unhappy with that name, and introduces his own name; Wario Land. Thanks to Wario, an argument breaks out on what to call this new world. Peach suddenly interrupts the group claiming she has a name they can all agree on. She reveals her name to be Peach Land and the characters double over in irony. As the group continues to argue, a sinister event is taking place on the other side of the unnamed world.
Bowser has set his sights on this new land, and quickly begins invading it for himself because the group is still arguing. A lone Koopa Troopa sees his invasion and then arrives to warn the group about Bowser's plans. However, since they are fighting they do not hear him. Toad then gets everyone's attention by saying whoever can beat Bowser will have the new land named after them. The cast quickly runs off to defeat Bowser and claim their prize.
The story then takes the characters across six lands ending in Bowser Land. Bowser meets the group in a showdown showing his Metal Bowser power up and claims he is invincible. The character (depending on who won the board) then fights Bowser and with the power of the stars, is able to throw him into orbit.
The game then resumes to the stage format with Mario and friends triumphantly standing over a defeated Bowser. Toad exclaims that they live in peace in the new Mario Land (which does not change depending on the character). The curtain falls and each character comes out for one final bow, followed by the whole cast.
Mario Party 2 features six playable characters, the same amount as its predecessor. This is the only Mario Party game where characters dress according to the theme of the board.
Items can be bought at item shops. The offer of the shop varies with the number of turns played and the current rank of the player. Items are also procured by playing item minigames.
A player can only hold one item at a time here. In the future installments, more items can be held, usually 3. In Bowser Land, there is a shop run by Koopa Kid, who will force the player who passed in front of it to buy an item on his choice at a higher price. It can be Mushroom for 12 coins, Skeleton Key for 12 coins, Warp Block for 17 coins, or Bowser Suit and Bowser Bomb (which are usually unobtainable via shopping) for 12 coins each.
Some of Mario Party 2's boards reference the original game's boards; for example, Mystery Land uses the gimmick that Wario's Battle Canyon has, and Horror Land uses the gimmick first seen in DK's Jungle Adventure. Also, Horror Land's main gimmick, the day-and-night system, would later become the foundation of Mario Party 6.
Here players can buy minigames from Woody to play them. They can play freely or in the Mini-Game Stadium. The player can also participate in the Mini-Game Coaster, which can unlock Item and Battle minigames in the Free Play mode.
Pre-release and unused content
NTSC vs. PAL
Exclusive to the PAL version is a language select, which allows the game to be played in English, European French, German, Italian, or Castilian Spanish. The screen first appears when turning on the game for the first time. can be held down before turning on the console to force the screen to appear after the first time.
Japanese vs. International
The Japanese ending of Western Land includes the player and Bowser battling with revolvers. In the international version, Nintendo replaced the revolvers with toy guns instead. This is most likely due to the concern of parents in the Western world.
References to other games
References in later games
Mario Party 2 received mostly positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its additions to the original game's foundation and generally considered a moderate improvement. This praise, however was somewhat offset by the unchanged formula from the first game - in particular, the somewhat important factor of luck and lack of enjoyment playing alone.
GameSpot gave the game a 7.8/10, stating that it has much more replay value than the previous game, and that the minigames are much less annoying. IGN rated the game 7.9/10 (the same score they gave the first game), saying that while the game had more content, and it "sticks with the same winning formula...there really isn't enough new here to warrant another purchase."
Mario Party 2 is the 20th best selling game for the Nintendo 64, having sold 2.5 million copies worldwide: 1.27 million in North America, 1.07 million in Japan, and 160,000 elsewhere, as of December 31, 2009.