The stepping stones of a friendship ruiner.
The first Mario Party game has its bumps, but for the first game of the series they team at Hudson managed to create an enjoyable game with friends and create enemies for life.
The story is basic for a Mario game. Just the gang arguing over who should be the "Superstar" and Toad telling them they should battle in order to figure out who the superstar should be. While the story is very generic that's not what Mario Party is about, not story, but gameplay.
The game offers a nice variety of boards to choose from (two of which have to be unlocked) all with their own quirks but with the same goal in mind. Getting the most stars out of all of your opponents. The four players move along a board collecting coins, stealing coins, triggering events, and ultimately racing to collect the most stars before the game is over.
While the game may seem random on who wins because you roll a randomized dice block, there is strategy in order to turn the tide in your favor. From the minigames to using Boo to steal coins and stars there are ways to put yourself in a position to win.
One of the few problems in the game is that some of the minigames require the player to rotate the control stick. If it was on any other controller except a Nintendo 64 controller there would be no issue, but because the Nintendo 64 control stick is solid plastic it makes it painful to rotate the control stick.
And when you don't have your friends to play with, the AI isn't the best substitute. Even on the hardest difficulty the AI manages to do very stupid decisions that a human player wouldn't do.
For the completionists, the grind of collecting 100 stars to 100% (and unlock the final two boards) the game takes a long time to complete. With friends it's easier, but by yourself you will be doing a lot of Mario Party.
In the end, the first installment of the Mario Party series was a great stepping stone for the future of the series. The kinks and issues would be fixed in the next to N64 Mario Party games. While this isn't the Mario Party I would play when friends would come over, the first game still holds a charm to it that can't be taken away.