Elemental Challenge Day Twenty-One: Party

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It’s Friday. You and your friends are sitting around. Looks like your gig turned out so boooooring. What do you do? You could either tell them that joke you know or… you could get your awkward on with any number of Party video games! Spend too much time over explaining the rules! Dominate your loser friends since you own the game! Ruin any chances for a serious relationship with that cute girl because she’s put off by your unchecked braggadocio! Make sure everyone goes home on time when you insist on playing another round!

Party games are diverse. They can take on board games, quizes, motion controls, game shows, collections of mini-games, the goal being to engage as many people as possible and conjure up that elusive concept we call “fun” with a group. You really have to play these with the right people. If so, they can be gold. If you’re playing them with a square, the whole experience turns into a drag. These are good for a laugh or two, or they just collect dust. Here are our faves!

 

FF3-NES-Summoner2.png  The Green Screen Mage

Wario Ware Smooth Moves!! You need the weirdest party game around? You have found it. I don’t even know how to explain this bizarre game full of mini games. You take turns doing weird, weird things.

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blackmage  The Black Humor Mage

Mario Party 4. It’s a party game that I’ve played a lot, so it’s obvious.

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mystic_knight1 The Midnight Mystic Mage (Sublime Reviews)

Wii Sports. The global phenomenon that has never since been topped. It had all of us playing with friends, playing with family, it really brought people together and it took over the world like wildfire. The only other times I can personally remember this type of global overtaking are with things from the Pokémon franchise, especially Pokémon GO but also the Pokémon fever of the 90’s. Wii Sports was a big freakin’ deal. (Honorable Mentions – Kinect Sports, Dance Dance Revolution, Wii Play)

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spoonybardmageright.jpg  The Spoony Bard Mage (Nerd Speaker)

Mario Party 2 was always a great time! Play games with friends! I am winning, I am having so much fun! Ha ha ha I love it! W – wait, what’s this? Chance Time? And my face came up? And yours? And I… GIVE YOU ALL MY STARS!!!? RRRRAAAAAaaaaaarrrgh! *throws controller at television*

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HandheldMage1  The Hopeful Handheld Mage (Retro Redress)

Mario Kart: Double Dash. For a while, this was the multiplayer game. It helps that GameCubes are easy to carry (it’s the handle) and everyone sort of understands Mario Kart. Being able to pick two characters was fun and the tracks are excellent on this Mario Kart. Best Mario Kart ever?

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Kx18GL1dNEW  The Dapper Zaffre Mage (Save File 02)

Battle Hunter is a quirky little mix between a board/card game and a dungeon crawler. From what I remember about the story, you play as one of several ‘Hunters’ who bring back artifacts from a now-ruined Earth, traversing dungeons to collect these relics of a pre-war world while fending off monsters and other Hunters. The main part of the game took place on a randomized dungeon board with 4 Hunters, who had to open several chests scattered across the stage to find the relic. After obtaining the item required for victory, the player would have to make a beeline for the exit square before one of the other Hunters could swipe it from them through battle. Your character could be customized by spending stat points across offense, defense, movement, and health totals. Players also drew cards from a deck that could be used both inside and outside of battle depending on their color- for example, a blue Movement card could be used to increase that character’s movement range for that turn, or it could be used in battle to increase their chance of escaping a fight.

It was a solid PSX game and I’m particularly fond of it, especially the OST. It proved popular among my friends, and I brought it to game night quite a number of times. The funniest part of this all though was that, despite how good we thought it was, Battle Hunter was supposed to be a ‘budget’ game, not only featured in a bargain bin, but actually packed with a second game in the same case- a space shooter that I absolutely cannot even remember to this day. Battle Hunter was a rare gem and I was nothing short of excited to discover it had a PSN release. Unfortunately, it seems like Battle Hunter would also never have a sequel, or see a remake with online modes.

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nostalgiamage  The Over-Caffeinated Nostalgia Mage (Nostalgia Trigger)

While not a party game in the traditional sense, during the opening months of the Nintendo Wii back in 2006, Wii Sports became an absolute staple in every dorm room, right alongside paraphernalia and the John Belushi “COLLEGE” poster.

I happened to be in college at the time the Wii released upon the world, and the sheer amount of hours spent playing this game was mind-blowing. At the time, Nintendo Wii consoles were like a bedbug infestation, making appearances throughout every dorm room. Everyone had one of these things, and as Wii Sports was bundled, having a console meant that you had the game. Typically, everyone wanted to play the bowling mini-game, but as someone was always bound to have an extra Wiimote in their backpack at any given time, four-player doubles matches in tennis were always a blast, if not a great way to get smacked with a controller.

Of course, the wall of my college dorm never stood a chance during the Wii Sports era, what with the frequent hell-fire of 50 mile per hour Wiimotes being launched across the room during a baseball swing gone awry; the batter forgetting to “strap in” to the Wiimote. Many fragile things were broken, drinks were spilled, and laughs were shared. It was a great time for higher education!

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  The Rage Mage

Try to stop yourself from following the command of the title. You will Imagine Party Babyz. With a ‘Z’. You already have, and that’s edgy. Now imagine you crapping your pants and salivating all over yourself while letting out a shriek at the top of your lungs. Congratulations. Now you’re just like everybody else on the internet offended by something. You have Ubisoft to thank for this.

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rmage2.jpg  The Well-Red Mage

So party games form a very, very tiny niche in my gaming diet. Generally speaking, I prefer to play a multiplayer couch co-op game rather than a dedicated party game. I find that party games can sometimes seem self-indulgent, like they’re aware they’re just party games so the bar drops a little as long as the point is engaging everyone in a group. While I do enjoy me some Mario Party in small doses, the fact that so many people list these games as “best to play when you’re drinking” says something profound about the kind of titles they are. That said, I do enjoy an intellectual confrontation now and again, sober, with TV Show King. It’s certainly not the greatest quiz game but it’s the only game that I’ve ever played which triggered a sequence of real life events ending with a butt through my apartment wall. True story, and again, that was sober. I included pictures in the TV Show King review for scale…

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Party’s over! I’ve never been happier to say that… but the Elemental Challenge keeps going. My duty, my pleasure! On the morrow, we’ll run into some real brainteasers! Thanks for reading!characters4

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22 thoughts on “Elemental Challenge Day Twenty-One: Party

  1. “Chance Time” in the Mario Party games were the worst! I always got screwed!

    You’re in the Movies for the XBox 360 is probably the game that made me laugh the hardest when played with family and friends. It’s kind of ridiculous and glitchy, but watching others perform crazy tasks and seeing it all pieced together into a short movie just cracks me up every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I nominate Sonic and the Secret Rings on the Wii. I would say one of the Mario Party games as I remember enjoying those games the few times I have played them, but I am more familiar with this game. The main game was an interesting single player, with a strange story and a gameplay which suggested Sega was still trying to transport the running-to-the-end-of-the-level gameplay of the old Sonic games into a 3D environment. The multiplayer consisted of the players completing a game (like finishing a race or collecting objects), with the players competing in a series of challenges to receive different advantages based on performance. I enjoyed the way each player competed against each other in each challenge (not like other games where the players take turns to complete a challenge). The different challenges were also very different to each other and used varied methods of playing (such as rowing motions to complete a canoe race or miming playing a violin to pretend to play a piece of music). I also enjoyed the games themselves, which were not difficult to learn. The game itself was also quite fair and did not use annoying features to give the player’s unfair advantages or disadvantages. I also found it quite funny when the player lands on a whirlpool in one game and the game shows the character on a spinning boat, manically trying to maintain their balance.
    What is wrong with playing too much Mario Party? How did TV Show King end up with a butt through your apartment wall? I do not think you need a drink to enjoy party games, I find they are very relaxing and enjoyable just playing them and feeling everyone join into a cheerful atmosphere.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Rock Band! I was usually the singer, and…well, not to sound *too* narcissistic, but I have a pretty good voice 😆

    Wii Sports represent!! I’m happy to see it in abundance here. I love the Wii for its simple and inclusive message that anyone can play games and/or become a gamer. It’s one of the few times I WILL play (or sing) well with others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. When my friends get together and play video games we usually end up playing multiplayer rather than party. As a result, my experience with these titles is relatively limited. I’ve never owned one myself. When I was in college, I dormed close to a bunch of high school buddies and we played Mario Party on the Wii. I don’t know which one… but boy was it frustrating! Stupid carrot game…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deep dive and only supports a 2 player party, but an old favorite I recently dug up and can confirm it still holds up is Tiny Toons Wacky Sports Challenge for the SNES. I always felt like this game was a bit of a gem – licensed on now-defunct characters that were hot at the time, and accidentally contained some pretty solid gameplay. The sporting events are diverse, and while a handful were complete throwaways, a few like the cliff-dash, weight-lifting and log-cutting actually demanded pretty precise timing and accuracy. Good stuff!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Warlords. Be it the arcade machine or the original Atari 2600 version, there really is nothing like it. It took the mechanics of Breakout, the box breaking puzzler, and applied it to a four player death match party game. Long before Mario, and Dokapon Kingdom ended friendships, Atari’s medieval catapult killer was burning bridges. It’s frantic, and super fun. Basically, four players try to smash each other’s kingdom’s walls by deflecting catapult boulders into them. One boulder hitting the castle destroys it, killing all of the King’s horses, all of the King’s men, and family, and peasants. It’s really quite messy. The game goes until only one kingdom remains. And there are a slew of variant modes. some let you “catch” the boulder. Some make everyone invisible, you name it. Decades later, and it’s still fun, plus matches are generally much shorter than a 15 turn game of Mario Party. So if you have a large group of people you don’t have to wait eons to get into a match. There really is nothing like a paddle controller either. So grab a nice pint of stout, take up arms, and cuss out your friends when you’re the first elimination! PAR-TY! PAR-TY! PAR-TY!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Sublime Reviews and commented:

    Day number 21 of the Elemental Challenge is those games hat bring us together, Party Video Games. The game that brought me and my family together more than any other is most definitely Wii Sports. Come by The Well-Red Mage and let us know your favorites!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have one go to game for parties and that is Rock Band. I suppose, I’ll get more granular and state Rock Band 4 because if I were to have a party today, that would be the one we’d get out and play but yeah, for me, nothing quite tops interactive karaoke and plastic instruments.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great work posting the Party challenge on a Friday! I feel like rounding up all my oldest buds and bringing em by for some beer and Wii Sports / Double Dash!!

    Side note, I’ve never heard of Dapper Zaffre Mage’s selection “Battle Hunter” but that sounds like a really cool title. So many great niche games came out during that era, many of which, sadly, never saw sequels.

    Liked by 2 people

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