Mario Party 8
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Mario Party 8 is the eighth installment of the Mario Party series on a home console, the first Mario Party game for the Wii, and the tenth game overall in the series. It is also the last Mario Party home console game to be developed by Hudson Soft before Nd Cube took over, though Nd Cube's team retains notable developers from the Mario Party series. The game is notable for its strong use of the Wii Remote and its motion control capabilities in minigames, as the players can wave it, point and shoot, and use it for many other motion-sensor actions. Player-created Miis are featured prominently in this game, where they often show up as part of a crowd, as well as being the player character who appears in the beginning of some minigames such as Sugar Rush and are even selectable characters in Extra Mode. Players can collect Carnival Cards to unlock new features of the game by winning minigames, playing in the Party Tent, or playing in the Star Battle Arena, where the player must win in all of the boards against a CPU.
The game features 6 boards. Though one of them features the classic conditions for obtaining a star (reaching a star and paying coins), all other boards feature unique conditions for obtaining stars. This game also features items called Candy, replacing Orbs from previous installments, that can transform characters, but cannot be set up as traps on boards.
In Mario Party 8, a ringmaster named MC Ballyhoo and his talking hat Big Top have invited Mario and the rest of the crew to his carnival, the Star Carnival without inviting Bowser. Ballyhoo has promised to whoever wins is crowned the Superstar and receives a year's supply of candy. This begins the battle between characters in the boards to retrieve the prize.
However, after the player has defeated the last opponent, Ballyhoo claims he promised something even better than a year's supply of candy, which is the Star Rod. However, Bowser comes and steals the Star Rod and runs away to his new board, Bowser's Warped Orbit. After the character beats one of his minions (one of the unlockable characters in the game), which is either Hammer Bro or Blooper, the character then challenges Bowser to a fight. After the fight, Bowser falls into a hole and the character returns with the Star Rod and the game ends. After that, the unlockable character is unlocked as a playable character. If the player completes the Star Battle with that first unlockable character, they unlock the second one.
Following tradition, Mario Party 8 takes the social, strategic game play of board games and adds breaks for quick, action-oriented minigames. In the main mode, players travel across six boards in search of Stars, landing on spaces that are either helpful or a hindrance by rolling Dice Blocks with numbers 1 to 10. Unlike previous Mario Party games, the spaces on each board take different shapes, depending on the board. Several variations for these boards tweak the main goals to enhance game play for solo sessions, two-player games and three to four-player games.
Like in the preceding Mario Party games, there is a last five turns event called Chump Charity. The event is only limited to a free Duelo Candy or 30 coins to the last place player, unlike the previous wheels that have been used. Also, every space that doesn't have a player standing on it will have coins released by MC Ballyhoo on top of them for the players to collect. Every normal space gets one coin on top of them, and every red space gets five coins for who ever passes them in the form of a coin sack.
Just like the previous Mario Party games, there are also Bonus Stars that the player can receive if the bonuses are turned on. Just like recent Mario Party games, there are a variety of bonus stars to collect, ranging from winning the most minigames to landing on the most red spaces. Only three of these stars are handed out at a time and they are randomized each playthrough.
With motion control, players can row their way through a river race, punch a statue to pieces, steer race cars, mopeds and go-karts and handle a balancing pole while walking a tightrope. By using the pointer the player can shoot at Red Boos in a haunted house, drag and drop toppings in a cake-decorating competition, select the correct answers in game show challenges. Using the Wii remote's buttons players jump and pummel their way through a football brawl, hop and run across a field of spinning platforms.
Mario Party 8 has a total of 15 playable characters (14 on the main roster). All 12 characters from Mario Party 7 return, and three new characters (Blooper, Hammer Bro, and Mii) have been added. Miis can only be played as in the Extras Zone.
It is notable that the new unlockable characters both make multiple appearances in previous Mario Party installments. Blooper has appeared in various minigames along with Hammer Bro, who also appears as an Orb and a Capsule in Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 7. To unlock them, a player must complete the Star Battle Arena with any character to randomly unlock one of the two unlockable characters (Blooper or Hammer Bro), which is revealed in Bowser's Warped Orbit. They then must complete the Star Battle Arena with the first unlockable character in order to unlock the second.
Ever since Mario Party 5, players can fight in a tag-team match. In said matches, two players are paired together. In Mario Party 6, but not Mario Party 7, team names are chosen depending on which two characters are paired together. This is a returning feature. Here are all of the possible name combinations:
Star Battle Arena
Star Battle Arena is a solo mode in Mario Party 8. The player can first choose a character. Then, the player competes with another CPU controlled character. It is similar to the Duel Battles, as the player only plays against 1 CPU player. The player advances through the boards in order: DK's Treetop Temple, Goomba's Booty Boardwalk, King Boo's Haunted Hideaway, Shy Guy's Perplex Express, Koopa's Tycoon Town, and Bowser's Warped Orbit, with the rules of Duel Battle instead of Battle Royale. As the player progresses, the computer gets more difficult. Just like in Duel Battle, after 30 turns Ballyhoo will force the battle to stop and declare it a tie.
After completing Koopa's Tycoon Town, the player will then compete against either Hammer Bro. or Blooper, the unlockable characters, to win. After defeating them, the player will challenge against Bowser in his final minigame. After defeating Bowser, credits will roll and the player will earn two hundred Carnival Cards, unlock the Bowser's Warped Orbit board, unlock whomever the player defeated on this board as a playable character, and open the Minigame Wagon. If the player replays the Star Battle with the first unlockable character, the second unlockable character will appear as their final opponent.
The game contains six new boards, all with their respective elements.
There are fourteen different Candy power-ups in Mario Party 8. Players can obtain a candy from a Candy Shop or a Candy space on the board. Some are not found on all boards, however. There is a Bonus Star for eating the most candy.
Mario Party 8 has a total of seventy-three minigames, most which make use of the Wii Remote and its motion control capabilities, though some also require the controller to be held in a more traditional way. Unlike other Mario Party games, all minigames rather than a randomized select few are displayed in a single, large roulette corresponding to what type of minigame they are.
After its North American release on May 29, 2007, the game sold 314,000 units in the United States in three days, making it the best-selling home console game in the country that month. As of March 31, 2008, the game has sold 4.86 million copies worldwide. In Japan, Mario Party 8 has sold 1,239,716 copies as of the end of Q2 2008, according to Famitsu. Mario Party 8 is the 11th best-selling game for the Wii, selling 7.6 million copies worldwide, as of March 31, 2014.
As with most Mario Party games, reviews have been mixed. One of the biggest criticisms was the lack of wi-fi and widescreen. Matt Casamassina of IGN referred to the single-player mode as "torture" and commented on the visuals as "graphics don't even impress as a GCN title".
The launch of Mario Party 8 in the United Kingdom had several difficulties. Originally scheduled for release on June 22, 2007, Nintendo announced on June 19, 2007 that the UK version of the game had been delayed to July 13 of that year due to a production issue.
Furthermore, upon the release on July 13, 2007, the game was immediately recalled. Nintendo gave a reason for the withdrawal in a press release:
"[Mario Party 8] was launched in the UK today. Unfortunately we have discovered that a small number of games contain the wrong version of the disk due to an assembly error. We have therefore decided to recall all copies of the game from UK retailers so that this mistake can be corrected. We will re-launch Mario Party 8 in the UK as soon as possible and will announce a new launch date shortly. We very much regret any inconvenience caused."
The European retailer GAME confirmed, that the game was withdrawn from shelves because some copies included an offensive line as part of a magic spell used by Kamek in the board Shy Guy's Perplex Express:
Due to "spastic" being considered a highly offensive word in the United Kingdom, the game was declared banned and immediately recalled. Mario Party 8 was eventually re-released in the United Kingdom on August 3, 2007, with the offensive statement altered. Copies without the word "spastic" use the word "erratic" instead.
Although it is unknown if Mario Party 8 is the direct catalyst, nearly all first-party Nintendo games released after it have had some English localization differences between the American and PAL releases, rather than the American English text being used for all regions. A similar offense in Super Paper Mario with the word "shag" was preemptively altered for the PAL release.
Pre-release and unused content
Names in other languages
References to other games
References in later games
Differences from other Mario Party games
This is the only Mario Party game: