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Nintendo Wii Review: Game Party 3

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This mini game collection includes remote only controls and an easy pick up and play format though developers just went through the motions incorporating the game into the Wii interface. Developers miss providing an on screen meter to measure power, which can guide movements for more accuracy. Without this meter, actions seem arbitrary as players must adapt to the game’s physics system instead of adjusting their own natural movements. It’s like playing a Tiger Woods golf game without a meter.

Players earn tickets for high performances and can try for high scores in each mini game, which is categorized in the country club, backyard, rec room, family fun zone, sports zone or lounge set.

The country club set has bocce ball, a new racquetball mode and a simplistic mini golf game, which needs better physics. The backyard set has horse shoes, lawn darts, and a new croquet game, which lets players perform “foot shots” by holding the minus button. The rec room has bean bags, ping cup, and the new Bumper pool.

screen shot from Game Party 3The family fun zone features puck bowling, the new smack-a-troll and skill ball (a.k.a. skee ball), which gives players a high amount of tickets for high scores. This set has the most appealing games. Rolling actions in the puck bowling and skill ball concentrate on simply lining up each throw, which reduces other variables made more difficult with a guidance meter.

The sports zone contains the football quarterback challenge, basketball hoop shoot, trivia, and the root beer tapper where players play bartender to moving character stands that move towards the end in three “skill ball” type rows. The considerable trivia mode also includes a lightning mode where speed counts. The lounge set has shuffleboard, darts and a new game of billiards. In addition, almost all these mini games have variations, mostly involving different score goals (e.g. darts 301, 501, 701, etc.)

A maximum of four players can play with up to 16 total in turn based party play. Some games have a two player limit while others have a win or loss elimination format. Players can create their own character, which replaces the Mii character incorporation, and can choose a right or left handed option. Tickets won unlock items in many game, but not all. Players can earn clothes, accessories, and different bodies as well as other game variations. Be sure to click OK after you buy items (located in profiles under edit) before exiting.

The rock style music has enough variety to appeal and other characters in the crowd react to player performance. The large size font eases the amount of reading so players can easily understand the essential rules. It’s helpful to have the manual nearby since the loading screen, which provides movement explanation, advances too quickly sometimes.

The interface was often too simplistic in this collection. A guiding visual meter would have been a great addition. Players basically have to replicate movements the best they can. More concerted efforts would make this mini game collection more meaningful and less frustrating. A motion tracking camera would be a welcome addition to the mini/party game genre.

Game Party 3 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for violent references.


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