EXCLUSIVE HANDS-ON PREVIEW: Mario Party: Island Tour

Like previous games in the series, the upcoming Mario Party: Island Tour is made to be played with other party people. But as we learned when we got a chance to play the game during a recent media tour, this game also makes it easier to get other people to play as well.

Mario Party Island Tour 01

Coming to both the 3DS and 2DS, Mario Party: Island Tour — as with other games on those systems — will let you share the game with other people who don’t own it. Just connect via Wi-Fi and you and up to three friends can all play even if only one of you owns the game.

But while other games only let you share a small part of themselves (like, say, 2011’s Mario Kart 7, which only let you and a friend race on a couple of the tracks), Mario Party: Island Tour lets you share the whole game. Though the person who own the game will be in control, up to three other people can join in on the fun, the whole fun, and nothing but the fun.

That said, you can’t link a whole bunch of 3DSes and 2DSes together with multiple copies of the game and have a massive party. You can only link four systems together, regardless of how many copies of the game you have, since all of the activities in Mario Party: Island Tour are made for only up to four players.

Mario Party Island Tour 02

To show off how well the game sharing works, Nintendo had me and my pal Raymond of RPad.TV play three new minigames they hadn’t shown off before.

In the first, Buzz A Fuzzy, you take turns shooting a plunger at some bird-like things, which you do by holding up the 3DS or 2DS to aim, while pulling back and then releasing the left thumbstick to launch the plunger. The objective of this is to hit as many of the birds with the same shot, which is best done by waiting until a bunch of the birds get close together. Or so I learned after only hitting only one during the last of the three rounds, which is how Raymond beat me.

Next we played a minigame called Slip Not, in which you’re a guy in a clown mask who fronts a metal band you’re sliding down a curved, icy path, and have to turn the 3DS or 2DS left to right to steer. But because icy is slippery, you have to be extra careful if you want to stay on the path the longest, which is how you win this event. Or, at least, that’s how I won the first round; during the second, I overcompensated during a turn and fell off the ledge, losing to Raymond. Again.

Finally, for the minigames in Mario Party: Island Tour at least, we played Choicest Voice, in which you use the mic to do impressions of random Nintendo characters doing their catchphrases. Set during a Gong Show-like game show, complete with a ’70s-looking set, you’re then judged on your accuracy and timing. Thankfully, the third and last round is worth double points, which is the only reason why Raymond and I tied at that one.

What I’m really saying is: I suck.

Mario Party Island Tour 03

After playing three of the game’s eighty minigames, we then got to see one of the numerous stages in the regular part of Mario Party: Island Tour. Dubbed Banzai Bill’s Mad Mountain, the level has you trying to get to the end of the path, or at least into one of the caves off the path, before Bill flies out and knocks anyone in his way back a bunch of spaces.

Of course, there are a lot more crazy stages, and minigames, in Mario Party: Island Tour, as we’ll all be able to see when we and our three friends get the game — or not all get the game, as the case may be — when it comes out November 22.

 

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