Mario Party 8
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 thirteenth game overall in the series. It is also the last Mario Party home console game to be developed by Hudson Soft before Nd Cube received control of the series. Mario Party 8 is notable for its strong use of the Wii Remote and its motion control capabilities in minigames. Players are required to perform various gestures in lieu of traditional button/joystick controls. Common motions include pointing-and-shooting, shaking, waving, turning, and twisting the Wii Remote. Player-created Miis are featured in this game, wherein they often show up within crowds. Miis can appear in certain minigames, such as Sugar Rush, and may also serve as the player's character in Extra Mode. By playing regular party games (via the Party Tent), minigames, and completing the Star Battle Arena mode, players will earn Carnival Cards, which may be spent to unlock figures and game features.
Mario Party 8 features six boards, five of which are available from the start of a new save file. Although one board features the classic formula for obtaining a star (via reaching a changing Star Space and trading 20 coins), the other five boards employ unique conditions for collecting stars. Replacing the Orbs/Capsules from previous Mario Party titles is a similar item called Candy. Players can collect and use Candy, but are unable to place it on the board as traps.
Parts of the game, such as board gameplay, are displayed in a 4:3 ratio, fitted with borders on the left and right parts of the screen, while other portions of the game, such as the main menu, are matted to 16:9 widescreen.
In Mario Party 8, the exuberant ringmaster MC Ballyhoo and his talking hat Big Top have invited Mario and the rest of the crew to the Star Carnival. Ballyhoo holds a special event, the Star Battle Arena, in which a contestant must win five successive party duels across the five standard boards. The winner will be crowned the carnival's Superstar and receive a year's supply of candy.
Once the player has claimed victory in all five duels, Ballyhoo holds an award ceremony to present a special reward. In addition to the year's supply of candy, the player is promised the magical Star Rod. Before the player may receive their reward, however, Bowser swoops in and steals the Star Rod, only to retreat back to his special board, Bowser's Warped Orbit. The player and Ballyhoo then follow Bowser for one final duel. After the player triumphs over Bowser's chosen minion (either Hammer Bro or Blooper), Bowser begrudgingly returns the Star Rod. Yet, mere seconds later, Bowser changes his mind and challenges the player to a final showdown for the Star Rod. Using the Star Rod's magical powers, the player defeats Bowser, and returns to the carnival with Ballyhoo. At long last, the player is declared the superstar, and the credits roll.
Just as with previous Mario Party titles, Mario Party 8 combines the social, strategic gameplay of traditional board games with quick, action-oriented minigames. In order to win a party, a player must obtain the most stars by the end of the last turn. Additionally, players collect & win coins in order to trade for Stars, buy Candy, and use special events on the board. Each board has a unique way of obtaining stars - most require finding a unique star-space and trading a certain number of coins for a star.
Before the game starts, Ballyhoo introduces the board, and each player rolls a die to determine the order of play. On every turn, each player rolls a 1 to 10 dice to move along the game board. Prior to rolling, players may use Candy (if they possess any) and study the game board. At the end of a turn, all players enter into a randomly-chosen minigame to compete for a coin prize. Typically, the prize is 10 coins, given in whole to every player who wins the minigame. There are a variety of Minigame arrangements: 4-player free-for-all, 1-vs-3, and 2-vs-2. There is a small chance that a Battle Minigame will be played instead of a regular minigame. The color of the space that each player is on at the end of the turn sometimes determines what kind of minigame arrangement will be used (i.e. if two players are on red spaces and the other two players are on blue spaces, the minigame arrangement will most likely be 2-vs-2). Once the minigame is finished, and the coin prize(s) have been awarded, the turn is finished. After the last turn, three random Bonus Stars are awarded (if enabled during the game setup). At this point, the player will the most stars (coin count breaks ties) is declared the Superstar, and wins the game.
Akin to similar mechanics in previous Mario Party titles, Mario Party 8 features an event called Chump Charity once the last five turns are reached. Ballyhoo reviews the player rankings and offers the player in last place either a free Duelo Candy or a coin prize. Before gameplay resumes, coin bag pickups are placed on every red space and single-coin pickups are placed on every other space. These pickups may only be collected once (by the first player who reaches the space they reside upon). If two players land on the same space or cross paths, they will only duel if one player is under the effect of Duelo Candy.
If a player encounters another while under the effects of Duelo Candy, or lands on a VS space (Star Battle Arena mode only), they will duel in a 1-on-1 Minigame. The winner throws a dart on a spinning wheel to determine what prize they will collect from the loser. If the challenger wins, they will be able to take stars or coins; if the other player wins, they will only be able to take coins.
Just like with the previous Mario Party games, Bonus Stars are awarded at the end of game (if enabled during game setup). Only three of these randomly-selected stars are handed out per game.
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. Mii characters can only be used 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 Blooper and Hammer Bro, the player must complete Star Battle Arena twice. The first completion will randomly unlock either Blooper or Hammer Bro, after defeating them in the final (6th) duel. To unlock the other character, the player must then complete Star Battle Arena once more, using whichever character was unlocked during their first playthrough.
Ever since Mario Party 4, players can fight in a tag-team match. In said matches, two teams are formed from two players each. In Mario Party 5 and Mario Party 6 (but not Mario Party 7) team names have been chosen from specific character pairings. This is a returning feature in Mario Party 8. Below are the possible name combinations:
Star Battle Arena
Star Battle Arena is the solo story mode in Mario Party 8. The player chooses a character and competes against five CPU-controlled characters over five separate duels. Each of the five regular boards are played in order: DK's Treetop Temple, Goomba's Booty Boardwalk, King Boo's Haunted Hideaway, Shy Guy's Perplex Express, and Koopa's Tycoon Town. Lastly, the sixth, unlockable board, Bowser's Warped Orbit, is played for a final showdown. The general rules of of Duel Battle are used for all six duels (players take turns without regular minigames), and each duel has a different victory condition from normal Party Tent play. As the player progresses through the duels, their CPU-controlled opponents become more adept. If a duel runs over after 30 turns, Ballyhoo will end the game and declare a tie.
The reward for defeating Bowser and beating Star Battle Arena mode is 200 Carnival Cards. Additionally, Bowser's Warped Orbit and the minigame Wagon (in the Fun Bazaar) will be unlocked, as well as either Blooper or Hammer Bro (if it is the player's first time completing Star Battle Arena). Replaying Star Battle Arena with Blooper or Hammer Bro (whichever was unlocked) will unlock the other character.
Mario Party 8 contains six unique boards.
Much like Orbs/Capsules, there are single-use power-up items in Mario Party 8, referred to as Candy. Players can purchase Candy from a Candy Shop for coins or collect it freely from random Candy spaces on the board. Each board provides a different, partial subset of the 14 candy types (in the Candy Shops and on the board itself). Candy may only be used before a player's dice roll. It cannot be placed on the board, unlike in previous Mario Party titles. Players can hold a maximum of three Candy items.
These Candy items involve changes related to the Dice Block.
These Candy items transform the player for a very brief time, allowing them to perform a specific action.
These Candy items cause players to transform for the duration of their dice roll. Once the player's turn has finished, they will transform back.
These candies are offense-oriented.
In the Minigame Tent, players can play all of the minigames they have unlocked in the Party Tent or Star Battle Arena. Duel and Challenge minigames can only be unlocked in the Star Battle Arena during solo play, or in the Party Tent when using a Duelo Candy. Completing minigames earns the player cards for the player to spend at the Surprise Wagon. There are a total of five ways to play the minigames, as detailed in the sections below.
Free Play Arcade
Free Play Arcade is a game mode where the players can freely choose any minigame to play. However, minigames will first need to be unlocked by playing in Party Tent or Star Battle Arena, or purchasing them from the Minigame Wagon at the Fun Bazaar. In this mode, Miis often appear as spectators, often replacing species like Goombas and Koopa Troopas.
Crown Showdown is a game mode that involves players trying to win the most minigames. At the beginning, the player can choose between 4-player minigames and duel minigames. If the player chooses the former, they can then choose to play between 4-player minigames, 1-vs.-3 minigames, 2-vs.-2 minigames, or random. The player also can choose how many wins are required to win the showdown from 3, 5, or 7. Each time, the game randomly selects a minigame that the player has already unlocked. Whoever wins the game receives a point, and whoever reaches 3, 5, or 7 points first is the winner.
"In Crown Showdown, you'll race to win a set number of minigames before competitors do it first! What type of minigames? Up to you! Or select Random and leave it to chance!"
Flip-Out Frenzy is a game mode set in a small pond with an board with gray squares and a few black ones. The objective is that players must compete in minigames and color the entire board. Once a player wins a minigame, they get to pick which squares they wants to flip over to match their emblem/color. When a player picks a square, the horizontal and vertical rows of the square next to it get colored as well. After all the squares are colored, MC Ballyhoo flips two black squares, turning them into normal squares. Once those ones are colored, two more are flipped again. When the board is fully colored, including the flipped black squares, the player with the most squares of their emblem/color wins.
Players can color over other players' colored squares as well, but cannot flip squares if one of the horizontal or vertical rows have a black square.
"To win Flip-Out Frenzy, you must own the most tiles by game's end. Each time you win a minigame, you'll pick a tile. It and tiles in all four directions will flip to show your mark. There's a late-game shake-up, too!"
Tic-Tac Drop is a game mode similar to tic-tac-toe, except it is played with minigames, and the balls that are put into the board drop into place, rather than staying in the middle or top rows. The game begins with MC Ballyhoo initiating a random duel minigame, after which the contestants compete to win the minigame. The winner of the minigame gets to drop a ball into the board in the location of their choice. Additional minigames will continue to be played until a winner is eventually declared. The first player to form a horizontal, vertical or diagonal row with their respective colored balls wins the game.
"To win Tic-Tac Drop, you must make a line up, down, or diagonally by dropping balls through the board's slots. You'll get one ball for each minigame win. If you reach a stalemate, you can start a fresh game."
Test for the Best
In Test for the Best, the player competes for the best score from playing ten minigames. The player has to unlock certain minigames to play this and they must buy in from the Surprise Wagon at the Fun Bazaar before playing it. It is similar to the Minigame Decathlon from previous Mario Party games, except only one player can play at a time.
The Extras Zone is a tent where players can play one of eight minigames with either Mario characters or Miis that they've created on the Wii's Mii Channel or by using the default guest Miis. Initially, only four of eight minigames are available. The other four need to be purchased in the Fun Bazaar in order to unlock them. Up to four players can play in this mode, but some minigames only allows up to two players to play. One will only allow a single player.
Extras Zone minigames
The Fun Bazaar is a place where the player can exchange cards for items, modes, and minigames or check records.
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.
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".
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.
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:
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" having a highly negative connotation 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, several first-party Nintendo games released after it have had at least a few English localization differences between the American and British 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 British English release.
Pre-release and unused content
References to other games
References in later games
Differences from other Mario Party games
Names in other languages