Review by Earthshaker

"The final installment for N64 for the best party series ever is- surprise surprise- better than ever!"

Yeah, so it's another ten. Big deal. But if you've seen my brief albeit incredibly old reviews, I don't give tens out lightly. Most Nintendo 64 games tend to fail in terms of quality and replayability (case in point- Shadowgate 64: Trials of the Four Towers.) However, in this incredibly addictive party game that gets you hooked as easily as heroin, the excellent mix of board game play plus luck and skill games will keep you up into all hours of the night (Must be true: I'm still awake here at 2:15 AM while I type this after a Story Mode binge.)

But enough about my addiction. On with the review of this stunning and *nearly* flawless game.

First comes the Storyline. Compared to the previous Mario Party games, this storyline is fairly decent. A newborn star falls from the midnight sky, landing near Mario and company. They begin to argue over who gets to claim the star, but a Lakitu comes by with a big toy box. Inside is- you guessed it- Mario Party! Suddenly, however, the newborn star (referred to from here on in as the Millenium Star) gave off a bright flash of light, and the six friends found themselves within the toybox! The Millenium Star appears, and says that one who wishes to claim him must first collect seven Star Stamps.
...And so begins the Story Mode. Which accounts for the Gameplay section, as well.
Storyline score- 10

Next on the list is Graphics. Graphics can be unimpressive at times (even a bit blurry on some of the battle royal maps.) However, character animation is smooth and jerk-free, and the facial expressions remain, ranging from the winking Yoshi after winning a mini-game to Luigi falling in a heap after being whacked in the head by Game Guy's hammer. Pre-rendered backgrounds for several mini-games appear well-drawn, in addition.
Graphics score- 9

As for Sound and Music, the game seems to balance out the flaws in the music by adding in newer and better voices. What flaws do I speak of in the music? I mean it isn't the type of stuff that I recall in my head, try to imitate on my *musical* keyboard, and download MIDI files of (such as the Rainbow Castle from MP1.) Music is decent, but not... CATCHY enough for my taste.
But, as I stated, the voice more than makes up for that. You no longer need to have earplugs to listen at Peach's voice samples, because while still a bit high pitched, it isn't set at ear-bleeding tones. Which is just as well: I'd hate to have to lock the dog out of my room just to play a great game otherwise.
Sound score- 10
Music score- 7

And now, what I believe is most important in a video game, Gameplay & Replayability Factor. Need you ask? Mario Party 3 is filled with such variety that you'll never want to put your controller down (except for some occasional controller throwing fits at the cheating Game Guy mini-games.) Whether you shoot combat pilot players out of the air using a combination flak and Bullet Bills, or race 1 on 1 through a pipe, avoiding electrical Amps while hitting boosters in a turtle shell, Mario Party 3 has more than enough variety in its gameplay to keep coming back for more.
Also involving gameplay, the difficulty stays in tune with the setting you set computer opponents on- this time if you make them ''Hard,'' they will actually beat your rear end to a bloody pulp in Duel Mini-games, amongst many others! It's a nice challenge, and makes the Story Mode not quite such a breeze.
And another aspect involving gameplay- while Board Play remains essentially unchanged, the 1 on 1 Duel mode adds a refreshing breath of air to the expanded lungs of gamers who crave something different. In this, instead of playing Mini-games, your object is to obliterate your opponent by using various partners, including Toad, Whomp, Pirahna Plant, and others. This new tweak to the series adds a great deal more gameplay and fun factor.
Gameplay/Replayability score- 10+

Now for my recommendation- should you Buy or Rent this game? Since I love it so much, I can't give you an unbiased opinion- however, I can look at it from both sides of the issue. Rent if you only plan on having a little get-together with some cheap popcorn and bee... umm... errr... soda. BUY it if you want to fully enjoy the Story Mode AND throw as many shindigs as you wish!

So Overall, how do you think I feel Mario Party 3 fares in the dying midst of Nintendo 64? Pretty easy....
Reviewer's score- 10

Earthshaker out. 'Night everyone.!

Reviewer's Rating:   5.0 - Flawless

Originally Posted: 05/22/01, Updated 05/22/01

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