Review by Ofisil

"Fun... the same fun..."

Mario Party 3 is a Party\Board game developed by Hudson and released by Nintendo. Being the third and final Mario Party for the N64 you would expect that this game would be better or at least different than the previous ones. Unfortunately it isn't and set aside some small improvement in the graphic and sound sections and some small additions, there are many things that make it the worse Mario Party of the first trilogy.

Story: N/A

I didn't expect anything special here. In the first and second game the Mario characters where arguing about who is the biggest Star among them and settle it by playing games. This time the Millennium Star, (what's the deal with the stars in all Mario Party games???), which is very wise since it has a moustache, (!), said that whoever is the Star's master shall be very lucky… or something. So once again the Mario gang begun arguing and decided to solve this, how else? But by playing games of course! Once again, we have an original and full of plot twists storyline… riiiiiiight…

Graphics: 7.6/10

The third Mario Party game is still very cute and cartoon looking. All characters have pretty much the same design, at least I couldn't see anything different about them and have good animation. Everything is very bright and colorful, even things that are supposed to look evil like Bowser. The boards are like in all Mario Party games, themed worlds, like a desert world, a castle world, a cavern world, a… anyway you get the idea! The boards are once again prerendered 2D images of 3D scenes are highly pixilated something that doesn't match with the 3D objects flawless look. Luckily Mini Games look a lot better and have a lot off small details, (more 3D objects used), that enhance them very much and finally special effects, like water, reflections, explosions, fireworks, etc, are quite good too, although nothing special.

Sound: 7.5/10

The cheerfulness and cuteness goes on in the sound section too. Music themes are happy, almost childish tunes that fit with the theme of each board. None of the music tunes will make you hum it but they are ok I guess. Sound effects are also of good quality, your typical Mario sounds, nothing more nothing less. The voice acting hasn't changed from the Mario Party 2. All characters have the same, good ol' voices and they pretty much shout the same stuff, over and over something that I must admit that can become very boring.

Gameplay: 6.8/10

Nothings has really changed concerning the gameplay of Mario Party 3, so if you have played the previous games nothing will surprise you, even the new stuff. Once again before starting your game you select a character. Apart from the traditional six, Mario brothers, Peach, Wario, Dk and Yoshi, we have two new ones. Everybody put your hands together for another extremely unoriginal Mario characters that have nothing new to add to the crew. Waluigi is the exact opposite of Luigi, just like Wario is the exact opposite of Mario, well I suppose the next new character will be named Wapeach or something! The second character is… Daisy, (Whoa! Nintendo surely can name girls!), who is Peach with brown hair, a yellow dress, a bit shorter and with a more tomboyish character.

Up to 4 players can play a game and after choosing your characters you select a board and set up your game, (difficulty, number of rounds, etc), and begin playing. The mechanics of the game are the same as before, you roll a dice and move on the board. Landing on a simple marker makes you gain three coins, while landing on a red one makes you loose three coins. There are stuff scattered around the board like shops where you can buy items, a Bank where you pay a small sum when you pass by it and if you are lucky to land in the exact marker where the Bank is, everything is given to you! Another thing you can do is to make some things happen in the board that may affect you or the other characters, for example open some doors while closing some others and things like that. The main problem of the board is once again the Luck factor. The only thing where you can put a little strategy to use is going toward the direction of the Star. You see the purpose in this game is to gain as many Stars as you can, so you just run towards them and just hope that nothing will happen while doing so. The worst things in the board are the luck-based mini games. For example there is a type of game where in the beginning every player gives an amount of money, (10-50), and starts playing a game where no skill at all is required, you just wait and see who is the winner. So if three players have gathered 50 coins each and the fourth player has none, after winning he will have something like 110 coins and the second winner the rest 40. And as if Mario Party games weren't luck based enough, we have a new game that not only depends on luck but it can totally rip you apart. You have gathered 1000 coins, you are the king, the master, the best… and then you play this “game”, all of your coins are taken and you play a game where you either loose or double everything. If you win don't worry, there are plenty of this games in the map that can make the 2000 coins you now have disappear.

At the end of the round you start a mini game. Mini games are the heart and soul of the Mario Party series, so it's a good thing that we have approximately 70 new games to play!!! Unfortunately apart from 5 great and 10 good ones the rest are very boring and consist of pressing the A button as fast as you can. Apart from the Party Mode we have the new Duel Mode where you play a one on one game with the purpose of depleting your enemy's health. In order to defend you selves, you both start with a partner which has different attributes, (defense, offense), and needs to be paid after each turn. When you pass through the starting point you are forced to change a partner, so there goes the strategy factor. Yes this game depends also on luck and is very boring… at least the Party Mode is entertaining. There is also a Story Mode, which is basically a single player Party Mode which is totally boring since Mario Party is meant to be played with your friends only…. well I guess Nintendo wanted to make something for some of the unsocial folks among us!

Positives:
-2 new characters, plenty of more games

Negatives:
-Depends to much on luck
-The majority of the new games are boring

Also Play:
Crash Bash (PS)
Mario Party 1-2 (N64)
Mario Party 4-6 (GC)

Overall: 7.3/10

What can I say? It's not a bad game but its just too easy and similar to the previous ones. The new stuff are not enough, and the sound and graphic improvements are very small. I wouldn't recommend it to someone that has the previous games, unless you are a die-hard N64 game collector or a Mario party fan.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 12/14/07

Game Release: Mario Party 3 (EU, 11/16/01)


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