|Dev: Nd Cube|
|Release: November 22, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Cartoon Violence|
Compared to Mario Party DS, this entry is much better looking. However, when put beside other 3DS games--even Mario games--Mario Party: Island Tour doesn't do justice to the brand. The mini-games are functional, but lack any extra touches that could have added at least visual appeal to the mostly bland gameplay. The game boards have more pop, but unfortunately, they're broken up too often by the stale mini-games. And the 3D effect is more in line with what amateur developers put forth–an eye-straining experience that does little to enhance the experience.
The music was a surprising breath of fresh air. I expected rehashed tracks from the Mario archives, but instead was greeted with completely original orchestrations. It is all still appropriate in the Mushroom Kingdom, but with a perky new sound. Of course, the character vocal spots and environmental effects are all the expected fare, but I guess some audio elements must be left alone.
The Mario Party series has been around for a long time now, yet even after so many iterations, it doesn't feel like each subsequent entry is a departure from its predecessor. In some cases, that is a good thing, but in Mario Party's case, it needs more than new music and a spin on game boards to evoke a sense of innovation. The mini-games must be more than simple variations of past offerings or lackluster uses of system features (like the touch screen and microphone). And the series absolutely needs online multiplayer, no exception. That said, I still had fun with Mario Party: Island Tour, and it was nice to have a brief but satisfying match while out and about.
Date: November 27, 2013