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Game Review – Mario Party 5 (Gamecube)

Mario Party 5

Throughout his career he’s held positions such as a plumber, golf pro, racecar driver, doctor, fighter, painter and even a tennis star. Someone this active needs time to kick back too, right?

So Mario got a new job — “Mario: party liaison.” This was the birth of the Mario Party franchise. The series is a well-storied one; the game’s developer, Hudson, has had Mario throwing parties since his 16-bit mustache days on the Super Nintendo.

The series had a brief stint on Nintendo 64 with Mario Party 3, and has since seen Mario throwing his parties on Nintendo’s latest system, GameCube. Mario Party 5 is the fifth installment to the Mario Party series, and its release has had both children and adults giddy with excitement.

But just why are Nintendo fans so excited? Well because Mario Party 5 has one goal in mind. Not to engross its gamers in the world’s deepest storyline, or overwhelm its players with amazing graphics and spectacles, Mario Party 5 focuses on fun … and that’s it.


Sorry folks, Bowser didn’t kidnap the princess this time. Mario Party 5 follows the same rules as a board game — roll a die and move forward. Players can choose from over 10 characters under the Nintendo license such as Luigi, Mario, Toad and even the big bad man himself, Bowser. Four players can play simultaneously, and after each round its time to participate in what makes Mario Party 5 so special: the mini-game events. The goal is to collect the most stars at the end of a set number of turns. All the glory (and bragging rights) goes to the winner.


When it comes to controls, Mario Party 5 goes old-school. The game rarely requires the use of buttons besides A and B, which is all that was available back in the day on the original 8-bit controller. So technically, Mario Party 5 won’t take full advantage of the seven-button dual joystick controller used for the GameCube.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Most of the mini-games are streamlined and simple enough. This allows the players to focus on the skills to defeat opponents, and not so much on the knowledge of the controller.


Graphically Mario Party 5 is everything that can be expect from a Mario title on GameCube. It’s bright, it’s colorful, and it’s exaggerated. Sort of like a 4-year-olds coloring book, only cleaner. The game-boards are unique, interactive and atheistically pleasing, and include hundreds of different settings and tasks. The graphics in Mario Party 5 are Mario graphics … nothing new here.

Fun Factor:

This game is ultra fun, as long as you don’t play by yourself.

This game is made for friends to battle each other in the multiplayer mode. Hence the word “party” in the game’s title. There is a single player mode, which lets a single player encounter the boards alone, but it’s just not fun.

There’s nothing like trash-talking with a group of friends and bonking each other on the head with giant hammers.

Mario Party 5 falls under the party game genre, a genre extremely uninhabited and literally dominated by the Mario Party franchise. Games such as Shrek Super Party have their moments, but fail to measure up.

3 Reasons Mario Party 5 will make your house looking like gamers Grand Central:

– Playing with friends will become an addiction. Cramming everyone next to each other can be a pain, though.

– Sabotage. During the mini games opponents can team up to sabotage someone, a crucial strategy for winning the game.

-Mass appeal. This game is so fun and simple that it can actually bring families together. Just like a good board game, everyone can play and everyone can enjoy.

3 Reasons Mario Party 5 will make you feel like the first guy at the house party to pass out:

– There’s really no such thing as a quick game. I know sometimes people just want a quick fix between dinner and homework, but for this game you have to set aside an hour or so per game.

– Single player mode is terrible. This game needs to be played with friends or left in the game case.

– There is too much chance in the game. A player can literally win every mini game, and get every star, and at the end of the game have their hopes and dreams of endless trash talking defiled over by a chance “reverse of fortune” space.

Contact Chase Kobrin at