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Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
7.2
Visuals
7.5
Audio
7.0
Gameplay
8.5
Features
7.5
Replay
7.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
GameCube
PUBLISHER:
Nintendo
DEVELOPER:
Hudson Soft
GENRE: Party
PLAYERS:   1-4
RELEASE DATE:
October 21, 2002
ESRB RATING:
Everyone
IN THE SERIES
Mario Party DS

Mario Party 8

Mario Party 7

Mario Party Advance

Mario Party 6

More in this Series
 Written by Kyle Williams  on November 13, 2002

Full Review: "Luigi, I thought you were bringing the beer."


"The more the merrier." A fantastic quote that has been shaped and turned to cover just about every possible topic and situation. Never has it been more true than with Mario Party 4, a game that becomes more fun with every additional player you add to the fray. When you get down to it, Mario Party 4 is a board game for four players. The game is made up of collecting stars and coins as you make your way around the board and through the head-to-head competition of mini-games. If you're short a few buddies, the computer picks up the slack, but rubbing your victory into an artificial face doesn't hold the same satisfaction.

The key to keeping a group of people happy, especially for a long period of time, is keeping them bombarded with a variety of new experiences. Mario party tackles that requirement well with dozens of different mini-games and a handful of game boards to play on. The mini-games are good at holding your attention and are simple enough for even the greenest of players to have a fighting chance. Games range from drag racing to mountain climbing and each one has a distinct Mario twist. The games tend to bring out the competitive edge in players and the results can often bring out hoots, hollers, and curses from all involved. That is why this is a great multiplayer game.

Unfortunately, not all of the mini-games are balanced as well as they could be and some of them seem to lack any real inspiration. Keeping the competitive edge sharp isn't an easy task and requires a balance between timing, speed, and precision. There are a few games that just don't pull that off as they come up lacking in at least one of the categories. Additionally, the 50 or so mini-games can only stretch themselves so thin. Though they do prove satisfactory when you only play occasionally and for short periods of time, it doesn't promote frequent bouts of long term gaming.

Bottom Line
Mario Party 4 is a great game to pick up and play when you have a bunch of friends over and you all are looking for a good time. Unfortunately, the single player mode plays identically to the multiplayer mode without the benefit of getting to play with your friends. The game doesn't rely upon whistles and ribbons to keep your attention while you play but excels at multiplayer gameplay. There is a decent variety of mini-games for you to play with and the board game setup lends a sense of cohesion to the game that some of the other party titles are lacking. If you are having some buddies over and are looking for something to do, you can't go wrong with Mario Party 4. Otherwise, you might be better off looking a little farther.


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