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ONM Remembered – #317

“You can have your cake and eat it with Mario Party. And you don’t even have to wait for yer birthday!”







from Official Nintendo Magazine issue 78 (March 1999)
(big ups to OldGameMags for the scans!)

This review had me positively thrilled. The teeny weeny preview in N64 Magazine barely made me turn my head, but this? Boy howdy! The massive twelve page coverage shows off the game in extreme depth, explaining how the game rules work from start to finish and everything in between, with heaps of colourful insets and teases of bizarre mini-games. It’s strange to believe that at one point Mario Party was such a foreign concept that it needed to be sat down and explained to readers, rather than simply asking your friends, “who’s in the mood to get screwed out of their Stars?”

After ten pages of discussing game mechanics, the final two-page spread gives a glimpse at the experience from both a single-player and multi-player perspective, which is actually vitally important. Party games are such wildly different beasts when you’re partying with pals rather than sitting alone, rolling dice with computer opponents. I don’t think there’s a sadder act in my life than the time I replayed the same board a dozen times just to unlock the final mini-game in Mario Party 4… all by myself.

I refused to believe it, though, and in my copy I’d actually scrawled a “9” on top of the score percentage because I could scarcely believe a Mario game wouldn’t rock my gosh-darned socks off. To the game’s credit, it did rock my socks off – for a few consecutive years, even! Despite the absolutely dreadful controller-obliterating minigames, this was the go-to Mario Party for me and my pals even after I’d gotten two of the sequels.

I was actually looking forward to scanning my copy, graffiti’d score and all, but I haven’t been able to find it (i’m worried i chucked it out years ago). It’s a good thing OldGameMags has high-quality scans of – you guessed it – old game mags, including this one! I’m very grateful for its existence, because there’s no way I couldn’t have included this in the column; it’s such a vivid memory of my Nintendo magazine browsing!
(and if anyone’s concerned, i’ll only be resorting to their scans for issues i can’t find in my collection – if i started browsing issues i never owned i’d be a fossil before this column ever finished!)

Also, I can’t believe it took me this long to notice they blurred out Steve giving the finger. The cheeky devil.