Gradient Ocean

Episode 8:

Mario Party

#8 - Mario Party
00:00 / 01:04

I think there's a solid argument to be made that local multiplayer gaming peaked with the Mario Party series. There's probably an equally solid argument to be made that few franchises have lost their way as badly as the Mario Party series. Say what you will about the recent iterations of Mario Party, but the fact remains that, at least at one point, these games were as fun as anything you could play sitting around with your friends.

I have some phenomenal memories of playing these games with my buddy, starting with the original 3 on the Nintendo 64. Who didn't burn a small hole in their hand trying to palm that little joystick around as fast as they could?? I thought it took a great leap onto the Gamecube as well. It was on the Wii where I thought Mario Party really started to lose it's way. As the game shifted away from skill based competitions and more toward luck of the board and "bonus stars", many of it's hardcore fanbase abandoned it. The games still sold like hot cakes, though. Older gamers may not have liked that the series began steering toward a younger audience, but Nintendo clearly thought it was the way to go. By the Wii U version, it hardly felt like Mario Party anymore. Hopefully, the upcoming Switch edition of Mario Party finds it's way back to it's roots.

For this week's episode, we did something a little different. My nephew Ben is my guest, and we take a look at the Mario Party series as a whole, instead of focusing on one specific game. Ben is twelve years old, and incredibly well spoken. I think the generational gap between us makes for any interesting conversation, and I hope you do, too.

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