Throughout the last 17 years I have at one time or another tried my hand at most of the Mario Party games through iterative generations of consoles and have generally found them to be fun experiences, especially with four people. It was the game of choice for many sleepovers in my school days and it created some fond memories. Mario Party 10 makes me want to stick a fork in my eye.
The only game in the Mario Party franchise that I have never gotten my hands on to this day is Mario Party 9. It's telling then that my experience with the tenth game in the franchise was met with shock and many other feelings that people went through last time around.
Much like Mario Party 9 and as a huge surprise to me, all the players on the board now move together, negating any strategy in character movement in relation to the other players. Mini games, arguably the most important part of any Mario Party session, were essentially removed from the main game and all Nintendo did to replace the fore-mentioned missing features was to add a mind-numbing Amiibo mode. Yay for consumerism.
Mario Party 10 is such a shift from previous titles that I had to know what happened to make Nintendo drop the ball like this. It turns out that removing the studio who has been at the helm of a series through eight releases has somewhat of an effect on the outcome of the next title. Hudson was the developer of the beloved Mario Party franchise until 2012 when it was absorbed into Konami, and we all know that's not going well.
All of that aside, how was the game received and how did it perform on the market? At its release Mario Party 10 was given mixed reviews and now stands at a score of 66 on Metacritic which is fair. The game may still be fun for some people and if it was a stand alone release with no history behind it then it might have been perceived as more successful. There's also no denying that Mario Party on the Wii U looks gorgeous.
On a console that many would say has been a failure, Mario Party 10 did well enough to sell 290,000 copies of the game through both digital and physical means in the first month. At the time Nintendo had sold an estimated 9.5 millions units of the three year old Wii U and the game's launch surely added to that number. It goes to prove that even now, 30 years on, Mario sells.
That's in comparison to 2007 which was a golden year for Nintendo, riding on the mainstream success of the Wii and DS, with each platform's respective first Mario Party title selling a combined 18 million units. Mario Party 10 was even outsold by a PSP game in Japan.
Overall the game was streamlined and has become way too simplistic and boring for fans to keep playing. If Mario Party 10 is the first one a child gets to play then they might enjoy it but I can tell you for sure that they won't have the same fond memories that the previous titles created.