When I first heard the idea of Mario Party: The Top 100, I lost my mind. I hit up the rest of FP, tried to get a game night of this going thinking this would be the closest to a solid Mario Party since 2. All I could think of was extending my Mario Party win streak and streaming it live for our Twitch followers. Now that I’ve played the game, we’re not getting that game night of this after all.
Let’s start with the good, Mario Party does exactly what it advertised which is pack in 100 mini games into 1 cartridge for the Nintendo 3DS. The said mini games span across all ten of the main entry Mario Party games with each game getting some representation. Mario Party 5 being represented the most with MP8 being the least. I did think that they would do 10 each but MP8 is where they got real heavy on the motion controls so I guess I can understand why there’s only 3 from that game. The game gives you 5 playable modes with the bread and butter being 100 Minigames where you can freely play the games you unlock.
The highlight of this game is Minigame Island and where you will spend most of your time playing if you aren’t playing with others. Minigame Island, like most other entries in the series, puts you through a course where you will have to play and complete all 100 minigames. This is also where you will unlock the majority of said 100 minigames. This game mode is pretty easy to 100% and only should take about 2-3 hours if you’re not seasoned. The island is split into 4 worlds and reminiscent of classic Mario games with its progression.
Mario Party: The Top 100 drops the ball immediately in its title, these aren’t the top 100 minigames in my opinion. I will give them credit in the way that most of the games selected are pretty solid. I’ve seen complaints about the luck based minigames but that only becomes an issue when dealing in Minigame Island. Even still, this was only bothersome for Deck Hands and Pier Pressure. A lot of the special games I could do without and the Duel minigames for me fall short of Top 100 material. They did a good job picking Nintendo 64 era games but GameCube onward has a few misses albeit minor. The game choice for MP10 is lackluster as well but I personally haven’t played 10 so maybe it is the cream of the crop.
Controls are solid for the most part but there are a few questionable moments when it comes to controls. For starters, Button Mashers is the worst minigame in the game and you are guaranteed to lose this minigame to any CPU on Hard or higher. It requires you to continuously mash the buttons shown on the blocks your character is trying to hold up. Problem here that when the L and R buttons come into play on the 3DS, it’s really difficult. The 3DS isn’t designed to play this game well at all. There are also a few tilt control games that I think didn’t need the gyro controls for but maybe that was the selling point for Speeding Bullets.
Aside from the minigames, the game lacks content which is crazy but hear me out. As stated before, Minigame Island is your go-to game mode but once you complete it once, there’s no reason to go back. Sure the subsequent Hard mode is there but the only “challenge” is that you have to finish first in every game or else you lose a life for that game. CPU levels are higher from the start as well but considering you unlock absolutely nothing for doing Hard mode, I would only recommend this game if you want to keep playing by yourself. The game also lack variety in characters with only 8. The DK Minigames return from MP7 but DK isn’t playable. You also play a minigame against Toad who also isn’t playable. The other games are just different ways of playing a set number of minigames without you freely selecting them aside from maybe picking a minigame pack to work from.
The real let down here is the lack of a solid board game mode. Minigame Match is a small board in the same vein as Mario Party: Star Rush rather than the nostalgia of the original MP games. I was really hoping for the board game style of the originals but considering how Nintendo danced around that in the marketing for the game, I should’ve been the wiser. This mode will kill time with friends and probably be the go-to for multiplayer but it’s not what MP veterans would hope for. Sure this is a portable game but anyone buying MP should know what to expect. Plus, you get the option of going up to 50 turns in this mode, so they were sort of prepared. I would’ve liked to see the return of a couple of the classic boards as well with the game. What they did to the items in this game is unforgivable and I refuse to acknowledge this bootleg version of the Duel Glove.
Buy only if you want the nostalgia of the previous 10 entries. Otherwise, MP: Island Tour is the best MP experience on the 3DS.
The Good: Nostalgia in the way of the minigame selection, Minigame Island is solid although short, does what’s advertised
The Bad: Misses the ball on a few minigame controls, lacking in content beyond the 100 games, board game mode falls short of the nostalgia they tried to capitalize on
The Trash: Button Mashers, Duel Glove
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