Review: Mario Party: Island Tour for Nintendo 3DS

On USgamer

Interested in my thoughts on the latest entry in Nintendo’s long-running Mario Party series? Then you’ll be able to find it over on USgamer! Why? Because of reasons.

Nonetheless, here’s an excerpt to get you started:

Mario Party has an odd legacy among Nintendo’s many franchises. While in most cases, the company seems happy to release one or two entries in a given series for a console generation before calling it a day, they released 10 Mario Parties over the course of eight years — quite a number by any standard, but especially for Nintendo.

As a result, it’s no wonder they ultimately decided in 2007 to give it a five-year break before releasing another installment for the Wii. When Mario was finally ready to party again, the hiatus seemed to do the series some good, bringing some fresh — albeit controversial — new ideas in the 2012 release of Mario Party 9.

Mario Party: Island Tour is not only the first new release since its return, but it is also the first portable installment not saddled with the name of the platform it’s on in the title. Could this indicate a continuing effort to inject more creativity into the series, or is it merely a simple cover for another title that falls back on old habits?

Mini-games lie at the heart of every Mario Party, and Island Tour is no different in this regard. You can play them as part of the series’ board game, in a pseudo-gauntlet of challenges through the single-player Bowser’s Tower, with a hot air balloon race-themed “first to X wins” framework, or even a la carte in the “Free Play” mode. The 81 different mini-games included here are fun, but aside from a few unlockable boss battles from Bowser’s Tower (more on that in a few), they by and large return to the formula of being mini-games featuring Mario, rather than Mario-themed mini-games.

For the full review, click here to check out my debut on USgamer! (Yes, I am fully aware of the irony, thank you.) But don’t worry, I’m still working on several other of my regular-style reviews that will be available exclusively here at Mario’s Hat!

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.