Giant Bomb Review

45 Comments

Wii Party Review

4
  • Wii

Nintendo elevates the oft-maligned party game with a simple combination of character and craft.


 Ain't no party like a Wii Party!
Nothing serves as shorthand for thoughtless shovelware quite like "party game." This rings no truer than on the Wii, where hastily stringing together a fistful of cheap, waggle-heavy toys, slapping on a few different backgrounds for a vague sense of variety, and then waiting for the undiscerning grandma bucks to come rolling in is dangerously close to the status quo. It's a cynical and condescending way to do business, and it's rampant enough that it has left an indelible mark on the Wii platform as a whole. Leave it to Nintendo to prove that there's nothing wrong with a party game with the bluntly yet accurately titled Wii Party. The house-brand name actually helps to underline the fact that you don't need some half-assed carnival theme or a shoehorned mascot to make a party game work. The only gimmick here is a plainly presented collection of fun, clever minigames. Doesn't seem so hard, does it? 

Other than the Miis that populate the game, the only character to speak of in Wii Party is a muppety, pink-tuxedoed ringmaster whose primary purpose is to get you up to speed on certain mechanics and to point you to the minigames you'll have the most fun with. Wii Party assumes that you're here to party, so the very first time--and every time--you boot the game up, you're immediately presented with a simple menu giving you a few different ways to approach the 70-plus minigames contained within. 

Top row, you've got five different board games to choose from, each of which helpfully lists the average runtime of a full game, ranging from 15 minutes to about an hour. Longtime Mario Party players should be familiar with the infuriating odds-evening that can happen within this format, to the point that your performance in the actual minigames can be inconsequential. Wii Party has a few built-in mechanisms for introducing some random chance and keeping games from being complete washouts, but it does so with a certain restraint. It also doesn't hurt that the board game mechanics themselves are appreciably different from one to the next, going from a dice-powered trip up a perilous mountain to a Mii-themed game of bingo.

 The main menu is totally self-explanatory... when it's in English.
There's also a suite of cooperative two-player games, the most interesting of which test how much you know, or think you know, about your partner. Similarly, the best of the House Party selections tend to be more about facilitating parlor games that involve quiz shows about your fellow contestants, hot-potato word games that have you tossing Wii Remotes back and forth, and a straight-up, Wii-Remote-based game of hide-and-seek. The level of quality and variety in the minigames is admirable across the board in Wii Party, but these House Party games felt particularly clever, and I wish there were more of them. In most cases, Wii Party will pinch-hit with AI players if you can't wrangle up two to four players, though these House Party types require live competitors to work. Then again, if you're playing a party game all by yourself, you probably need to reassess some things about your lifestyle.

With a few exceptions, you can access just about everything Wii Party has to offer right from the get-go. If you don't need the board-game framing devices, you can go straight to a list of minigames, or if you'd rather not poke around the list, you can hit the "suggestions" button on the main menu, dial in the number of players and the amount of time you've got, and go from there. 

I think it speaks volumes to just how low the level of quality in most Wii party games has become that all it took was Nintendo putting together a competent, though still largely familiar package, to put everyone else to shame. This is still a very straightforward collection of minigames, though with the right casual group of players, it can be a fun time indeed.
45 Comments
Posted by MysteriousBob

Huh? What's a Wii?

Posted by Grissefar

Lots of reviews and Quick Looks. You're busy people. Thank you for a wonderful site, Ryan.

Posted by Yummylee

Good god. Each of the staff's got a review to post today??

Posted by Daveyo520

PARTY!

Posted by JammyJesus

Wasn't expecting 4/5, more like 2/5.

Posted by ColonelT

Loving the constant content. Keep the champagne flowing.

Posted by gonzotgreat23

Another party game?  No wonder there are 1000 E rated titles, they're all on the Wii and 990 of them are terrible.
Posted by solidlife
@JammyJesus: Its Nintendo!
Posted by JayCee

Party!

Posted by Video_Game_King
@JammyJesus said:
" Wasn't expecting 4/5, more like 2/5. "
Same here, especially since some of the games don't require the Wii at all. Why do I need to spend $50 (or whatever the hell it costs) to hide my Wii-mote?
Posted by cooljammer00

Is this a game Ryan could have reviewed by himself?

Posted by Winsord

I'll stick with Mario Party.

Posted by Grinsa

BAH

Posted by Sharpless
  1. DISAPPROVING REMARK ABOUT THE SCORE
  2. DISPARAGING REMARK ABOUT THE WII CONSOLE
  3. DISPARAGING REMARK ABOUT THE WII'S SELECTION OF GAMES
  4. ???
  5.  TROLL!
Posted by MaxOpower

So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas...

Posted by Spoonman671

Is this a party game for the Wii?

Posted by Mr_Skeleton

Yay more party games!

Posted by jelekeloy

Thanks for the review, but...  I was more interested in Vanquish.

Posted by Afroman269

lol at the trolls all up in here. My surprise about this is that this game was even reviewed, there are quite a lot of other games coming out now.

Edited by Ohvee
@Sharpless said:

"

  1. DISAPPROVING REMARK ABOUT THE SCORE
  2. DISPARAGING REMARK ABOUT THE WII CONSOLE
  3. DISPARAGING REMARK ABOUT THE WII'S SELECTION OF GAMES
  4. ???
  5.  TROLL!
"
Just imagine what it would have been like if Alex had reviewed this. 
 
Glad to see this review pop up. I totally forgot about this game. I'm definitely considering picking this up to have around.
Posted by erinfizz

Thanks for the review! I like the concept of Mario Party, but the most recent game was awful. Glad to see this might warrant a buy. 

Posted by President_Barackbar

Errr, what? 4/5!? This didn't read like a glowing review to me. Not sure why such a high rating considering most party games in my experience get old pretty fast.

Edited by mutha3

Review is way too short and vague. Reads more like a product description then a critique.
 
EDIT: at least there aren't droves of people saying "great review!" this time around.

Posted by MisterMouse

what I had seen of this game it did seem pretty cool, and not just a rip of mario party games.

Posted by Gabriel

So many 4 star games this year.

Posted by DanielJW
@MaxOpower said:
" So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas... "
Yep. That's what that means. 
Posted by Crono
@DanielJW said:
" @MaxOpower said:
" So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas... "
Yep. That's what that means.  "
The transitive property can't be denied!
Online
Posted by Redbullet685

Isn't a score I expected at all.

Posted by Wunder_

S-CLUBBBBBBBB

Posted by Romination

This is the least expected review score I've ever seen. Wow. Weirdly solid release weeks lately.

Posted by MaddProdigy

The second sentence of this article is fucking GOLD. Higher score than I expected, and I still think the Wii is worthless and I will never be blowing the year worth of dust off of mine.

Posted by Wrighteous86

Considering it's been a while since the last Mario Party, and that one was shoehorned on and rushed for the Wii, I'm glad to get a good party game again.

Posted by Raven_Sword

really?
Posted by Kinarion

Wow, that second sentence is really bad.

Posted by Hailinel

So many trolls going "Buh?"
 
It's refreshing, really.  Also, this seems like a fine direction for Nintendo to take their party games now that they seem to have retired Mario Party.

Online
Posted by ThaMilkMan
@MaxOpower said:
" So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas... "
YES SIR!
Posted by Metal_Mills
@MaxOpower said:
" So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas... "
Yep, you can totally compare those two games. Next up: Mario Kart vs Halo.
Posted by Gamer_152

There seem to be a lot of people in this chat for whom the notion of a good party game is akin to the notion of a lemonade sandwich.

Moderator
Posted by Thusian

But, but I came here to have my preconceived notions that all party games on the Wii are bad.  How dare you Ryan! I will now question the content vs the rating and compare this game to games with a similar rating.  Never mind that you are saying that if you like party games this is a good one within a genre where so many bad exist.  No! All games get one stick and if I am not interested in that genre I need to have you slam the game to validate my point of view.
 
That was cathartic. 

Posted by Nadafinga
@Crono said:
" @DanielJW said:
" @MaxOpower said:
" So what.... This is as good as Fallout New Vegas... "
Yep. That's what that means.  "
The transitive property can't be denied! "
"context" doesn't seem to be in MaxOpower's vocabulary I guess.
Posted by MaxOpower
@Nadafinga:  
 
I'm  generally  not that happy about reviewing scores. I think of the whole system as pretty flawed. And  of course I know Wii Party and FNV can't be compered like that.  
 
But pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeas guys! let me make just one funny/sarcastic/stupid remark, whiteout getting all up my ass.   
Posted by Nadafinga
@MaxOpower said:
" @Nadafinga:   I'm  generally  not that happy about reviewing scores. I think of the whole system as pretty flawed. And  of course I know Wii Party and FNV can't be compered like that.   But pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeas guys! let me make just one funny/sarcastic/stupid remark, whiteout getting all up my ass.    "
 
Well, the guys themselves have said that the star rating system isn't really all that important. The way the game comes off, if it does what it's supposed to do, if it's technically sound, if it's FUN, etc etc....the text of the review is really what matters.
Posted by videogameman

Game Informer ripped this apart, but you praised it. I'm not sure if I'd buy this.

Posted by Chubbaluphigous

It is kinda sad seeing this game getting a review, but no review for Vanquish.