The use of the word "party" here in the context of an 18 year old's blog probably fills your mind with images of drunken youths dancing to the latest hip-hop beats and generally running amok. Unfortunately, this was far from the case.
This "party" took place in the imaginary world of Mario and his many gratingly annoying peers. Upon entering the world of Mario Party 8, I was surprised to find myself transported to the scene of some sort of Mario travelling circus. The first thing that struck me about the setting of this party was the hazardously over zealous distribution of confetti. It was sprinkled with such uncontrolled vigour it seemed as though it may be there to compensate for something; possibly as some sort of pathetic apology to players who were dragged into the game by the friendly familiar face of Mario, only to be confronted with a poorly designed rip off of monopoly. But I'll get round to that in a minute.
After taking in the Mario circus in all it's sprinkly detail, the next step was to choose a "game" to play. The only part of this decision process I am able to recollect 19 hours later, was seeing a game named with some ridiculous pirate pun, something along the lines of "Pete's Poppin' Pirate Party" which immediately caught my attention. I consequently begged my fellow Mario Party "mates" to play this game, naively dismissing the repeated warnings against this particular "game" from the more experienced players in the room. At this stage, warnings such as: "If you don't have enough gold you get sent back to the beginning." meant nothing to me. At any rate, after seeing the game contained this guy:
my determination to play this pirate themed game had become so great that I was immune to all reasoning.
My determination faded almost immediately as the "Party" had begun. The game kicks off with an air-borne camera swooping proudly accross the level in which the game is set, much as a toddler might proudly show you his picture of a lion.
"Pete's Poppin' Pirate Party" in fact turned out to be a boringly straight path of large blue squares, sparsely scattered with coins and pieces of candy. The path led to a boringly small island on which this guy:
was standing, I presumed winning was a simple task of reaching him. How wrong I was.
The regret kicked in from the second my turn started. I was asked to flick my wii-mote to stop the roll of a dice numbered from 1 to 10 and thus decide how far my character (Princess Peach) would move along the trail of blue squares. My attempts at tactics were proved futile by the random nature of the dice, and I rolled a frustratingly average 3. I was then forced to watch with disdain as Princess Peach pranced along towards the third blue square, collected 3 gold coins with unrealistic excitement, and then stopped; bringing an end to my turn.
Before I could repeat this experience, I had to wait until both my peers, and the CPU character (whom we didn't even choose to invite to our Party) had taken their turns. Unsurprisingly the CPU character rolled a 10, landed on a secret square and was sent on a dolphin to a "bonus island". I am still undecided as to whether the most confusing part of all this was the undecipherable in-game dialogue relating to this trip:
Dolphin: "...Hold onto your grandmas"
Or the fact that all 3 real players were forced to sit and watch as this CPU imposter took his unfairly drawn out turn.
To be continued...