Mario Party 5
Mario Party 5 is the fifth main installment in the Mario Party series. Like its namesake, it is a party game for the Nintendo GameCube that up to four players can participate in, succeeding the Nintendo GameCube's first Mario Party installment, Mario Party 4. It was first released in November 10, 2003 in North American territories, approximately one year after Mario Party 4 was released. As in other Mario Party installments, players interact with one another in virtual boards, playing as various Mario characters. Players then can participate in various mini-games at the end of every turn in the board, each with their own set of rules and settings. The most notable change in this game is that the item system that was first introduced in Mario Party 2 was replaced with the new capsule system, where players can not only use them for their own advantage but set up traps for other players to fall into; Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7 would later return the capsule system (now called Orbs) and add new mechanics to the capsules. Mario Party 5 also introduces new modes such as Super Duel Mode, where players can battle each other on battle machines and Bonus Mode, where players can play special mini-games, similar to Mario Party 4's Extra Mode. The game is also significant for being the second in the series to introduce 3D game boards. Previous titles, all except for Mario Party 4, use pre-rendered backgrounds, which are static and limited in their presentation. As a result, all subsequent Mario Party titles, with the exception of Mario Party Advance on the Game Boy Advance, have employed 3D backgrounds allowing for much more dynamic fields of play.
Mario Party 5 features the Star Spirits (known as Star Guards in this game) from Paper Mario as the main hosts of the game, where one of them guides the player through each of the game's various modes. The game features a dream-theme, where the game takes place in the Dream Depot and each of the boards' names have "Dream" suffixes. In the game's Story Mode, geared towards single players, a playable character has to face Bowser and the Koopa Kids (known as Mini Bowser in the PAL version), who invade the Dream Depot, and need to challenge them in every stage.
Mario Party 5 became part of the Nintendo Player's Choice label in October 22, 2004, and won the Console's Children award at the 2004 Interactive Achievement Awards.
From the Mario Party 5 instruction booklet:
In Story Mode, Bowser and Koopa Kid are planning to ruin everyone's dreams, and players must stop Bowser from taking over said dreams. If players clear the six boards, they must face the Koopa Kids in Bowser Nightmare, and if they beat that board, they fight Bowser in Frightmare.
The gameplay in Mario Party 5 is the same as in other installments. Players move around the board by rolling a Dice Block numbered one through ten. The game begins by deciding the order of play with Dice Blocks. Players who roll the highest numbers get to start their turn sooner. Then players are given ten coins to start. The object of the game is to collect as many Stars as possible. Each Star is worth 20 coins. Stars appear in random, set locations, which get shuffled every time a player acquires a Star. Players can earn coins to purchase these Stars by either landing on spaces or winning mini-games. The spaces players land on can either be beneficial or harmful: for example, Plus Spaces award players three coins, Minus Spaces deduct three coins, and ? Spaces cause an event to happen, which is dependent on the board being played. Players also have the option to receive items called capsules at capsule machines, which replace the Item Shops of the previous entries of the Mario Party series. Players can toss capsules onto spaces or use capsules on themselves for a price. Plus or Minus Spaces that have an icon on them mean that they are under influence of a capsule and their effects is dependent on the capsule effect it has.
After everyone moves, a mini-game starts; the type of mini-game is determined by the color of the panel, which is dependent on the space the player has landed on. If everyone has the same color, then a 4-Player mini-game begin. If players have equal amount of colored panels, a 2-vs.-2 mini-game is played. If all players except one have landed on the same space, a 1-vs.-3 mini-game commences. Sometimes, a battle mini-game take place and everyone pays coins to put at stake to compete, with winning players receiving more coins than lower-placed players. After a mini-game, players earn 10 coins if they win, with Bonus mini-games having the potential of players receiving even more coins. Other mini-games such as Duel, Bowser, and DK mini-games require a specific space-landing or item usage for the mini-games to be played; these do not happen at the end of a turn as normal mini-games. After normal mini-games are played, the game saves and the next turn begins, repeating the process until the end of the game.
When there is only five turns left, the Last Five Turns Event starts. Here, Bowser announces the current standings and asks the player in last place to spin the wheel to add a new rule for the remainder of the game. Also, when two players land on the same space, a Duel mini-game begins.
After the final turn, Eldstar announces the results starting with the current Star count and the final coin count. Then, players receive three Bonus Stars based on their performance before announcing the winner of the game, which is the player with the most Stars overall (with coins or Dice Blocks serving as the tiebreaker).
All six of the game's modes are hosted by a member of the Star Guards, barring Klevar who guides players through the selection and description of the modes and hosts some ? Space events located in the boards of the game.
The main mode of any Mario Party game, including Mario Party 5, this game mode is hosted by Eldstar. Up to four players can enjoy the mode as they partake against each other in the game's boards to collect the most Stars. Four players always participate in the game. If there are not enough human players, the remaining players are controlled by CPU. Characters are then chosen out of the roster of ten playable characters; CPU players can have their difficulty adjusted as their characters are chosen. In a Team Match, players can choose which character can be on what team. The main rules of the game are played in this mode; however, players can adjust various settings to change up some aspects of the game before they play the mode.
After a board is chosen, the game then starts. Players can access the pause menu by pressing in the middle of the game, where they can see the number of turns they have left and also access more features that can be toggled. These are the features as of follows:
Story Mode is a single player mode hosted by Misstar. In this mode, the player participates on seven, smaller, modified boards facing the three colored Koopa Kids. The difficulty is dependent on what the player has set before playing on the boards, and players can adjust which mini-game set will be used before play. The main objective is to eliminate all three of the Koopa Kids before they eliminate the player; in order to eliminate a Koopa Kid, the player must make them lose all of their coins, either by dueling them or using capsules to make them lose coins. If players loses all of their Coins, they lose the game. In this game mode, mini-games are not played at the end of every turn. Unlike Party Mode, players can duel Koopa Kids by simply passing them rather than either landing on a Duel Space, using a Duel Orb, or landing on the same space as them. There are no coins put at stake; rather, a set number of coins are lost depending on which character wins and which character passes who. If players pass or land with a Koopa Kid, players losing have 5 coins deducted while winning against a Koopa Kid costs him 15 coins. When the Koopa Kid passes or lands on the players, they duel the players; losing costs the Koopa Kids 5 coins while winning cost players 10 coins. All the Koopa Kids move at the same time, quickening game play.
A new space introduced is the VS Space, exclusive to Story Mode. Landing on it triggers mini-games dependent on the number of Koopa Kids on the playing field; if there are three Koopa Kids, a 1-vs.-3 game is played. Two causes a 2-vs.-2 mini-game to be played, where the player is partnered with a CPU Toad. Only one Koopa Kid on the board causes a Duel mini-game to be played. An error is present in the instruction booklet of the game: the instruction booklet lists a 2-vs.-1 mini-game that can be played upon landing on this space when no 2-vs.-1 mini-games can be played in Mario Party 5. In addition to the exclusive VS Space, DK Spaces and Bowser Spaces have their rules changed. If a Koopa Kid lands on a DK Space, half of his coins are taken away. Players who land on a DK Space have 10 coins rewarded. The flipside occurs for Bowser Spaces: Bowser takes half a player's coins away upon landing on the space while a Koopa Kid receives 5 coins.
After the player beats four of the six default boards, the player then battles the Koopa Kids in the unlockable board, Bowser Nightmare. After the players beat the Koopa Kids in that board, the player faces Bowser in Frightmare. Upon winning the mini-game, players beat Story Mode, unlock Frightmare to play in Mini-Game Mode, and unlock the Bowser Nightmare board to play on in Party Mode.
Mini-Game Mode is hosted by Muskular, where up to four players can play the mini-games of Mario Party 5 that they have unlocked. Mini-games are unlocked by simply playing them in Party Mode or Solo Mode at the end of every turn. Mini-Game Mode offers six ways to play the mini-games.
Super Duel Mode
Super Duel Mode is a mode hosted by Skolar where players buy and assemble machines using points earned by playing mini-games. The machines come with a body, tire, engine, and weapon, and are used to pit against opponent machines in a battle arena. Players can either battle, capture flags, or shoot Robo-Rabbits in order to win. Players can either play in tournaments or against each other. Up to two players can participate in this mode, though save data can be handled by a third player.
In Bonus Mode, hosted by Mamar, players could play one of three bonus games that are not available in any other mode: Beach Volleyball, Ice Hockey, and Card Party. All of the three bonus games come with their own set of rules: Card Party is a four player battle royale where players need to find Star Cards to win the game while Beach Volleyball and Ice Hockey are 2-vs.-2 bonus games that play as their sports' namesakes.
Options Mode is hosted by Kalmar where players can change settings or view records. The following are actions players can perform:
Mario Party 5 returns the playable characters from Mario Party 4, aside from Donkey Kong, who is now the host of his own space, while also introducing new playable characters, featuring ten playable characters in total. However, the new playable characters (Toad, Boo, and Koopa Kid) are not playable in Story Mode (similar to Princess Daisy and Waluigi in Mario Party 3), as Koopa Kid is the player's opponent and Toad is the player's partner if there are two Koopa Kids remaining. Despite Donkey Kong's role as an NPC, he is an unlockable character in the game's Super Duel Mode. He can be unlocked by defeating him in a tournament on Hard difficulty.
Mario Party 5 brings the ability for players to team up from Mario Party 4 back and extends the concept. In this game, players now share coins and their Player Panel on the screen. Unique team names are also given out to all combinations. Here is a table containing this game's possible team names, all of which are carried over into Mario Party 6.
These spaces are normal spaces that players land on, triggering their own effects.
These are regular spaces (either blue or red spaces) that have an additional effect of a capsule. The icon of the space indicates what type of effect players are to expect, but the actual effect is unknown until players land on them. Players can override these spaces by tossing another capsule on top of them.
These are spaces not found in Party Mode.
Mario Party 5 does away with the traditional item system of the previous games, and instead introduces items called capsules, which can be obtained for free by passing capsule machines. Capsules can be thrown on the board up to ten spaces in front of them, and the player that lands on the capsule space receives its effects. Alternatively, players can pay a fee to use the capsule on themselves; the fee varies by capsule. Below is a list of all twenty-eight capsules found in Mario Party 5 and a description describing their effects.
Mario Party 5 has a total of seventy-seven minigames, including some of the extra minigames found in Bonus Mode, having in total nine classifications of the minigames. Due to Donkey Kong becoming his own space, this game introduces DK minigames to the series, where players can collect bananas in those minigames to exchange for coins. Duel minigames also return from Mario Party 3, where dueling is absent in Mario Party 4. Minigame titles are often word plays, alliterations, and assonance, localized differently in other regions.
Mario Party 5 is developed by Hudson Soft, the primary developer of the Mario Party series until Mario Party 9. CAProduction, who also has a history of developing for Mario Party games, is involved co-developing this alongside Hudson. The game is directed by Kenji Kikuchi, who also directed the previous four Mario Party titles. Shuichiro Nishiya, who is a planning advisory for this game, would go on to be the director of much of the later Mario Party installments, starting with Mario Party 6.
The music in Mario Party 5 was composed by Aya Tanaka. It is different from the other games in that the music sounds sophisticated and (despite being synthesized as in most Mario Party games) has the illusion of being played by a professional symphony orchestra. This may be caused by the use of sounds that sound like true instruments, especially the harpsichord. This apparently didn't catch on, however, as Aya Tanaka has not composed any other Mario Party game. However, this game's sequels, Mario Party 6 and Mario Party 7, have progressed to an orchestrated musical score.
Mario Party 5 received mostly mixed to positive reviews from critics. Game Informer's Andrew Reiner cited the example of coin redistribution in the game, which meant that "you could win every mini-game and collect the most coins and still end up in last place", when giving a second option of the game. GameSpot's Ryan Davis processed to note "If you bought Mario Party 4 last year, Mario Party 5 is hard to recommend.", noting a lack of change to the series formula. The game's graphics received a mediocre response, with GameSpot commenting that the presentation is "starting to seem a bit antiquated" when noting that the character models did not seem to have been updated from Mario Party 4. Generally, critics cited having a fun experience in Mario Party 5, although the minigames received a more enthusiastic reaction than the actual board game, with GameSpy commenting that "the sheer volume can keep you compelled. If only you didn't have to deal with all that BS in-between" when referring to gameplay of the actual board game.
Mario Party 5 is the 12th best selling game for the Nintendo GameCube, selling approximately 2.08 million units: 807,331 copies in North America, 697,472 copies in Japan, and about 400,000 copies elsewhere, as of December 31, 2009.
Pre-release and unused content
The pre-release title screen is different from the final version. Unlike the final version, it features various playable characters running around the screen. However, it does strike a resemblance with the file select screen in the final version.
The character select screen is also significantly different from the final version.
There is also data for two unused capsules, the DK Capsule and the VS Capsule. 
References to other games
References in later games