What Could Have Made Mario Party: Island Tour Better

Many a Mario fan were disappointed at the release of the newest Mario Party game, Island Tour. Personally, I thought the game was wonderful but suffered from a lack of options, or depth may be a better way to describe it. There’s so little to the game for such a big franchise that it’s a little disheartening. Nonetheless, it’s still a solid game but here are 5 things I would have added to Mario Party: Island Tour.

Note: I realize some of these may not be possible due to hardware limitations. However, this game, if my memory serves, takes up ~1,000 blocks of memory on an SD card whereas some games take up over 3,000.


5. Add Online Play.

Quite frankly, I could care less about online play. I don’t see the appeal of playing with strangers. I guess it would be useful if they did what they put into Mario Tennis Open where you could specifically play with your friends. I don’t mind that it wasn’t added in, but I probably would have used the feature had they included it. The main reason why I say this is because practically EVERYONE wanted online play and I think that really hurt the sales of the game.


4. Include More Minigames.

Okay, there are over 80 new minigames in IT. However, this game is hailed for its stunning and captivating minigames, so it would have been nice to see more. Not so much of the “general” minigames, but a handful of “1-vs.-rivals” games that were sorely absent and a few more boss battles would have been nice. They really show how phenomenal minigames can be with the 3DS wide range of control options, so I think that they could have added more. Once again, I’m content with the minigames, but naturally my smaller quibbles will fall under the lower end of the top 5.


3. Include a Bigger Roster.

Okay, my last post should have given this one away. I’m a huge character buff, so having a large roster is essential for me. I’m not too bothered by the 10 characters they did have, but they could have added so many more people. If hardware/time limitations dictated the inclusion of only one or two more characters, I probably would have picked Rosalina and Shy Guy. [If Shy Guy’s Shuffle City interfered, I would have put in Birdo instead.]


2. Add More Mingame Modes.

One of the biggest disappointments about this game is the tiny minigame mode. There are only 3 modes to choose from: “Free Play,” “Time Attack” (A short single-player challenge) and “Hot-Air Hijinks” (A classic win-a-certain-number-of-minigames modes). I would have added at LEAST two more modes. What about those modes from previous Mario Parties where the better you do in a mingame, the closer you get to completing a task? Some examples are the “Garden Battle” from Mario Party 9, “Flip-out Frenzy” from Mario Party 8 and “Treetop Bingo” from Mario Party 6. Then, I would have included another unique mini-game mode. At that point I wouldn’t care; I would even reuse “Choice Challenge” from Mario Party 9 or maybe even make a multiplayer version of “Time Attack,” similar to the Mini-game Decathlon games found on Mario Parties 5, 6, 7, and DS. The minigames are my favorite part of the game, give them some more attention!!


1. Tweak the Game Boards.

Winning over my gripe against the minigame mode by just a hair, I would suggest tweaking the game boards. Most of them are fine; but they should have made Shy Guy’s Shuffle City a game available for solo gamers, too. I’ve watched playthroughs of it; although it may be less enjoyable alone, it should still remain an option. That board looked the most fun to me during promotion and I still haven’t been able to play it due to lack of friends with a 3DS. Also, I would have added two more boards, just because they’re so quick and get stale fast. I would have added another board like “Perilous Palace Path.” Critics and casual gamers alike seemed to praise that one the most, so adding a new board with a totally different layout (and maybe some new items) would please players. I then would have also added another board like “Kamek’s Carpet Ride.” That board seems to be the most strategic to me, so it would make sense to have another board like that for more experienced players. But I would make the next board LONGER. “Kamek’s Carpet Ride” takes me usually 20 minutes or less and really sucks all the fun out of it.


So, all in all, I think Mario Party: Island Tour is a great game that just suffers from a lack of varied features. Maybe Nintendo will take the hint and make some DLC with things like this included, but that’s foolishly optimistic of me. The sales are bad enough right now, so investing resources into making DLC that only probably 1/3 of the customers would buy in the first place is pointless.


Well, those are my thoughts. Leave a comment below telling me what you would change!