While I didn’t get to play it personally, I watched Sean and Chad play through a few rounds of Wii Party
at last week’s Nintendo Experience Tour. Even though I didn’t get my hands on the game myself, I have plenty of thoughts regarding what I witnessed during their playthrough. If you want to know what I thought of Nintendo’s next entry in the “Wii” series of games, hit the jump below...
Wii Party is Nintendo’s next installment in the Wii ______ series of games, also known as mini game compilations that sell millions of copies. The title will be available next week (October 3) for the Nintendo Wii and will also be bundled with an additional Wiimote for interested gamers. From what I saw of the game during the Experience Nintendo event, the Wii Party package is a lot more robust than any of the previous games in the series.
Wii Party contains 13 game modes which are divided into three categories: Party Games, House Party Games, and Pair Games. Chad and Sean played through the Balance Boat portion of the Pair Games mode. In this mode, they played through a series of rounds of random mini games designed for 2 players. Depending on their performance in a given round, they were each awarded with different Miis, 20 in total by the end, often of different colors, shapes, and sizes. Each player would then have to place their awarded Miis onto the mast of a giant ship; each level of the mast is designated a different colors and the Miis must be placed on the various levels according to their colors. Depending on the size and position of the characters placed on the mast, the ship’s balance is affected and it leans to one side or the other. The goal is to work together in order to keep the ship from tipping over. If it tips over, the game is over, if they manage to keep it afloat, they move onto the next round of games.
The first mini game that they had to play through was entitled Robot Factory. The players were presented with two conveyor belts that flowed from each side of the screen towards the middle. Scattered across the moving belts were various colored robot parts; the parts consisted of sets of legs and torsos. The goal of the game was for the players to work together to each grab matching parts from the belts in order to construct a matching robot. Chad and Sean had to work together to construct the robots and earn points. As the game progresses, the parts seemed to move faster and became more diverse. Depending on the difficulty level that they were playing on, there was a target goal of completions for them to accomplish in order to win the game. Although simple, the game looked pretty enjoyable. The action was fast paced and frantic by the end of of the game and communication and cooperation was a definite must. They actually played through this mode a couple of times once they figured out a strategy and their scores improved every time.
The second game that Sean and Chad played through involved an obstacle course of short, though I didn’t catch the exact name of the mini game. This particular game was another cooperative game, though the Balance Boat mode did state that competitive games were included in th mode. In this game, the players had to assist each other in completing a course / maze within a certain amount of time. As each player progressed on their path, they would have to trigger a switch that would open a corresponding path for their partner, who would then have to move on and find the corresponding switch to move the other player on. To say that communication is a requirement is an understatement. The courses started off pretty simple but got more complicated as the game progressed. By the end of the course, they were multiple paths and buttons that the players had to choose between, all while watching the ever descending timer at the top of the screen.
The final game that they played through was basketball oriented. The premise of this game was perhaps the simplest that we saw: both players had to take shots, from extremely close range, at a basketball hoop. The game assigned a target score for the players to meet before the clock expired. While the premise and object of the game was quite simple, the fact that both players would shooting towards the same hoop is what created a problem for Chad and Sean. The two found their shots interfering with one another and they became their own worst enemies. It was not until they got into an alternating rhythm that they started to see success in the game. Eventually, they hit their target score, but it wasn’t until the clock was almost out.
We didn’t see a lot of the game, but what we did was quite enjoyable. There is no doubt that Wii Party is a game intended for the more casual crowd or perhaps for large gatherings, but there is some fun to be had. If nothing else, Nintendo has proven that they know how to make these sorts of compilations and all of the entries in the series have been extremely successful up to this point. I have no doubt that Wii Party will see the same success as Wii Sports and Wii Play, like them or not. The game launches just next week and if you like to play family oriented games on the Wii with groups of people, Wii Party may be one of the best titles that you can get to do so.