Review by Steeldragon

"Good improvements, but not as fun as the previous 2"

The Mario Party series is very unique series. It blends a lot of the action adventure found in most of the Mario games with the challenges of playing a board game with friends. Sure there are clones of the game on other systems, but Mario Party stands out being the first and the best.

Mario Party 3 centers around the goal to gain the power of the Millennial Star by becoming the Super star on the board games. I found it to be somewhat dull in story mode as it is too similar to the goals of Paper Mario and Super Mario 64, but mixed in with the goal of Pokemon (coming one step closer to the goal by earning eight badges/stars/whatever). I preferred the stories in Mario Party 2 because each board had a slightly different story and ended up with hilarious results to Bowser's demise.

Graphics are just as good, if not a bit better, as Mario Party 2. With the game occurring in a box, the graphics are a blend of 2d backgrounds and sprites and 3d characters and game boards (think Paper Mario mixed with Super Mario 64.) It can be a bit distracting, but doesn't distract from the rest of the game. When playing the board games, the characters are not dressed in the theme of the level. It was an enjoyable feature in Mario Party 2, but I wish it returned.

Game play is unchanged from the previous games. Mario Party features two different styles of game play, battle royal and duel mode. Battle royal is the standard game board with the same rules as in the previous games. Duel mode is a 1-on-1 mode with a few twists to make it unique. Unlike battle royal, duel mode has a mercenary feature were you 'hire' various baddies from the Mario series to protect you from and attack your opponent at the cost of you coins.

The major feature of Mario Party are of course the various mini games. Unfortunately, that where Mario Party 3 suffers a lot. At the beginning of a board game, you get the choice of all the games or the easier set of games. It ends up having the games being too easy or too hard, with very few games in between. Many of the games are too similar to each others which easily makes the game too repetitive. You'll probably end up frustrated or horribly bored after hours of playing these games on the game board, and it doesn't help that you have to win a whole board of Mario Party to get the games available on free play. Despite all the mini game's flaw, I was very impressed in the inclusion of the new duel games.

Mario Party 3 is probably not the best sequel in the Mario Party series. I would only recommend this game to the die-hard fan who is on the look out for the newest sequel. To other gamers, I'd recommend at least renting it first then maybe trying Mario Party 2 after and make your decision based off of that.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.0 - Fair

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

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