Mario Party 2

Summary: Whoever defeats the evil Bowser will be the Super Star and have a world named after them. But, who has the skills to defeat Bowser?

Much like the original Mario Party, this game builds upon the mechanics and gameplay of the original to make an even stronger game. This is one of my favorite games in the series since it has as unique mechanic with each board: the characters dress up as if they’re in a screenplay.

This game is originally for the Nintendo 64, and I never played it when it came out. It was later released on the Wii virtual console.

I love the playthrough by SlimKirby and recommend checking out his playthrough.

This game was played in RetroArch using the Mupen64Plus Next core. I am also using the widescreen mod created by gamemasterplc. It’s a different type of mod than the one he did for the first game, and thus doesn’t appear to have any issues.

Average Rating:

Story

Mario, Luigi, Wario, Peach, Donkey Kong, and Yoshi set out to build a world called “Mario Land.” However, Wario wasn’t too happy about this and steps in and renames it “Wario Land.” Then Peach said, “Peach Land,” etc. During their arguing, Bowser came in and renamed the world “Bowser Land.” Toad suggests that the person who defeats Bowser will have the world named after them.

I really like how the story was done for this game. Each board has a certain theme where characters dress up and act in a play. The winner has a duel with Bowser.

Gameplay

Roll the die, take turns moving on the board, and play a mini-game after each turn. The core game mechanics are the same as the original Mario Party, so check out my review of that for more in-depth information.

There are a few differences between this game and the first one. There is no longer a mushroom space. You will have to land on an item space and win a mushroom, or buy one from the store (which is a new addition) in order to use two or three die to move (two being the standard mushroom, and three being the golden mushroom). The store also has various other goodies, often depending on the turn since it may not always have the best items. One of the best items is the genie lamp which will take you directly to the star. Another is a Boo bell which can immediately summon Boo. You are still only allowed to have one item.

Other new additions include the use of skeleton keys. Parts of the map are locked off and act as a shortcut to get to the star quicker. With a skeleton key, you can open the gate and not have to take the long way around.

Another new space is the bank. If you pass the bank, you have to pay five coins, but if you land on it, you get all the coins in the bank. Also related to coins, you no longer get a bonus for passing the starting point. And Baby Bowser will appear where the star that was just collected was and you have to pay five coins when passing by him.

There is also battle mini-games where Goomba will take coins from everyone and the top two winners of a randomly chosen game will get them. There is even a duel mechanic where you duel your opponent for an amount that the initiation of the duel chooses. You can duel by landing on the same space as your opponent during the last five turns, or by the dueling gloves item.

This game features less boards than the original Mario Party. There are six boards:

  • Pirate Land
    • Travel to a group of islands and find the booty. There is a shark that will transport you to the other island, and Thwomps block the path but can be paid off to get through the board quicker. There are also two bridges with happening spaces and landing on them result in a cannonball hitting you and blowing you back to the start of the map. The winner has a duel with Bowser for dat booty.
  • Western Land
    • Get ready for a good ‘ol hootenanny in this cowboy world. There is a train that you can pay coins to ride on, as well as happening spaces that can move the train, and it will hit anyone on the tracks back to the start. Calling everyone over for a¬†hootenanny can also help prevent them from getting stars. There are two Boos on this stage.
  • Space Land
    • Blast into space while space cars chase you down the lane. You can setup a speed trap to make the speeder do an extended length, making everyone in the way of the car move back. There is a counter in the center that starts at five and will decrease by one whenever someone goes past it. When it reaches zero, Black Hole Bowser’s laser will shoot in a horizontal line and take all the coins of the players hit.
  • Mystery Land
    • Four islands await and traveling between them is relatively easy. Land on a happening space to be teleported to the next island, or use the Bob-omb to transport you between two islands. There is a shortcut in the center where you can use a skeleton key to navigate between all four islands.
  • Horror Land
    • This haunted board features and night and day cycle. After a few turns, or when lading on happening spaces, or going to the haunted mansion during the day, the time will change to night, and then day after a few more turns or when landing on a happening space. The position of Boos changes depending on the time of day. Daytime boos are behind skeleton doors, while night time ones are behind Whomps, which do not move at night.
  • Bowser Land
    • The final board that is unlocked when completing all the others. It’s a Bowser board where the rules change a bit. There is a bank that lends out coins, but if you land on it, you have to pay the amount of money that was lent out. If you don’t have it, you have to give up a star. There is also a parade that runs every five turns, and if you’re in the route, then you loose coins as it chases you back to the start.

There are a few mini-game modes as well. Unlike the first game, there is no mode to play mini-games in a match form. Rather, it’s just play mini-games independently of one another without a scoring system. Mini-games can be purchased from Woody, but have to be played first to unlock. A few mini-games, such as battle and item games, can only be purchased by completing Mini-Game Coaster on normal and hard respectfully.

Mini-game coaster is a mode where you have limited lives and have to fulfill a condition on every mini-game. There are three difficulties, easy, normal, and hard. They have three, six, and nine worlds respectfully. Unlike Mini-Game Island from the first game, you cannot go back and save your progress. Rather, you have to save at the beginning of each world.

Mini-game stadium is a standard board but the main focus is collecting coins, since stars are not available. There are three modes, battle, duel, and trial. Trial mode is the board, while battle and duel are quick battles against opponents in a match.

Graphics

The graphics are equivalent to the original Mario Party, as it’s probably the same exact engine. The board map consists of small blocks of images that make up the entire play area. This is the same as the first game, however on an emulator with upscaling, there are noticeable lines between each texture image. I do not recall this being an issue in the first game, and thus I had to turn on “native res. 2D texrects” (among other related settings such as “enable native-res boundaries for texture coordinates” and “continuous texreact coords”) inside the Mupen64Plus Next settings in RetroArch. This fixed it, but caused some occasional black lines when moving the board, as well as some blur.

I had to crop the board again since the menu and mini-games fill almost the entire screen, but the board has a thick black border. The static effect also remains in the game, which I still do not know if it’s the game or the emulator.

Sound / Music

While there is no official soundtrack, the music is super catchy, with each board and mini-game having a different theme.

Game Info

Mario Party 2 (Cover)
Developer: Hudson Soft
Publisher: Nintendo
Initial Release Date: December 17, 1999
Platforms: Nintendo 64

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