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Wii Party U Review

04 Nov Posted by in Reviews | Comments

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Another year, another mini game collection. I’ll be honest as much as I love getting friends together, drinking a few beers and battling it out in a series of short competitions on Mario Party or Wii Party, the idea of yet another one (especially with Island Tour and Mario & Sonic at the Sochi Winter Olympics just around the corner also) didn’t exactly have me giddy with excitement. Nonetheless I figured I’d give Wii Party U the benefit of the doubt hoping that the Wii U GamePad might inject some fresh blood into an otherwise overcrowded genre.

When you first load up the game, it’s abundantly clear that Wii Party U is packed full of content. Not just in terms of number of mini games but also the options in which to play them. TV Party will more than likely be the most familiar to veterans of the Mario Party and Wii Party series offering sessions where players compete in mini-games in order to better their chances of completing an overall objective. Two modes focus on being first to cross a finish line with Highway Rollers for example rewarding players each round with extra die based on where they finished in a mini game. It’s a neat way of tying the mini games into a board game style environment but sadly it feels as though luck plays a significant role all too often. There were a few instances where I would win multiple mini games only to have someone catch up thanks a lucky landing on space that would shoot them thirty spaces forward. I was still having fun don’t get me wrong, I just couldn’t help but feel a little cheated.

The remainder of TV Party mix things up somewhat; The Balldozer adding an arcade-style coin machine with the aim to push balls down into a bucket. The better you position in a mini game the more balls you have to drop from the top; Mii Fashion Plaza meanwhile has you gathering items of clothing around a board in order to complete outfits and gain the most points. Mini games award the winner with chances to steal other player’s clothing be it to complete and outfit yourself or prevent them from also doing so. Whereas the board game options cater to veterans who like the Mario Party style layout, these new modes help put a fresh spin on things.

Of course any game like this will be judged solely on the quality of its mini games and thankfully Wii Party offers a surprisingly decent ratio of good compared to bad. Like the previous Wii Party a majority of the games consist of your typical four player affair all controlled via the Wii remote. Racing games, balance games, puzzle games, timing based games and of course the dreaded luck based games all make an appearance here. Despite a lot of ideas retreading old familiar ground, Wii Party U still manages to throw in the odd surprise here and there. One example sees players passing around a bomb with a timer on counting down until it explodes. This timer would disappear after a few seconds leaving you to rely on your ability to count accurately in your head and not be holding the bomb upon detonation. Another has players literally running around a billiards table while avoiding rolling balls as they’re being shot by a cue. They’re simple but great fun and it’s these sorts of games that end up being the most enjoyable in Wii Party U.

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