Game Party 2
Genre: Mini games
Release Date: 10/06/08
When our beloved leader told me I would be reviewing Game Party 2, I rolled my eyes. As much as I love my Wii, there have been a load of “party” oriented games trying to get a slice of that fat money cake that is casual gaming, and I have stayed away from third party games pretty ruthlessly. Is Game Party 2 better than the junk pile or is it another load in the shovel?
Let me make this clear from the outset: I am comparing this game to Wii Sports and Wii Play. I expect most people picking up a copy of this, or any other “party” game for the Wii will be doing the same, so it is only fair.
A game of this type requires some sort of avatar and, in the post Mii era, this means a cast of pre-made characters is simply not going to cut it these days. So, as you may expect, Game Party 2 contains a character creation mode. Sadly, this is only the first moment of disappointment you will feel with this game. The creation options are thin, leaving most people with characters that only vaguely resemble them. This is a pretty big buzz kill. Seriously, female characters can only have hair that sticks to their head and male facial hair is limited to a handlebar mustache. Really.
On the character creation kick, there is a minor rant I need to get off my chest. I know Nintendo protects the living Hell out of their Miis, primarily to keep them out of crappy games, but there needs to be something better than this. I will have enduring nightmares about bowlegged, watermelon headed creeps thanks to this game. Please, Nintendo, please, find a middle ground so I do not have to endure another third party character creator.
After creating a freakish monster that may or may not look like you, the meat of the game is open to you in the form of… mini-games! Woo-hoo, mini-games!
Let’s run down the roster:
Darts! The darts game on Game Party 2 is shockingly fun. After playing a few other games, my wife wanted to go back to darts. Exactly like it sounds, Darts is the classic throwing darts into a board game you remember, plus the Baseball and Cricket modes.
Skill Ball! The New Jersey classic at home, without the weirdos. Not the deepest game, but it does a good enough job of simulating Skee Ball.
Hoop Shoot! Arcade basketball. My personal favorite game. The controls works great and it is shockingly accurate.
Trivia! This is a multiple choice trivia game. There is a deep enough question pool for a mini-game. If you like those coin-op bar trivia machines, this is pretty comparable.
Shuffleboard! The tabletop version. Slide pucks to the end of a table without sliding them off. This is maybe the biggest surprise in the game. Shuffleboard is a fun and fairly deep little game with a rarity in mini-games: strategy.
Ping Cup! Two words: Beer Pong!
Puck Bowling! The worst game overall. Hit pins with a puck. Skip it.
Horseshoes! Not too bad, but not great. I experienced a delay between the shoes hitting the ground and the animation of them clanging around, but I do not know how widespread an issue that is.
Bean Bag Toss! Throw bean bags at a hole. Skip it.
Lawn Darts! The childhood favorite without the threat of permanent blindness or disfigurement. Still, not that cool.
Quarterback Challenge! Arcade football, American style. Throw a football at receivers. Fairly average.
All in all, there are a few real gems among the games and a few interchangeably bland ones.
Modes Rating: Decent
The term workable comes to mind when talking about Game Party 2‘s graphical prowess. Truth is, there were better looking Game Cube games. That being said, the graphics serve their purpose. The one exception is on Bean Bag Toss, which has such bad graphics that you cannot tell if your bean bag makes it in the hole or not.
Graphics Rating: Decent
The reason I bought iPod speakers was because of games like this. To be candid, this game sounds like an ice cream truck sound system playing Muzak. Turn the sound down and listen to your drunk friends laugh at how bad you are at shuffleboard.
Sound Rating: Mediocre
4. Control and Gameplay
The one thing this game does right and they still get it wrong. The controls are as spot on as Nintendo’s own mini-games. Unfortunately, there is no left handed option. Being left handed, this left me out in the cold on many games, particularly Puck Bowling. Lefties beware!
Control and Gameplay Rating: Decent
The two things that this game has to push you towards playing it again are the unlockables and high scores. The unlockables are largely worthless and are easily unlocked in an hour or so. The high scores, on the other hand, are more precious. Since many of the included games are skill based and easy to play a few rounds of now and again, collecting high scores is a treat.
Replayability Rating: Enjoyable
You can do everything, by yourself, in an hour. If you enjoy getting together with non-gamers or mixed groups, the easy learning curve makes this a good party game.
Balance Rating: Above Average
How original is a party game for the Wii? How original are 11 bar games?
Originality Rating: Poor
Alone, this is about as addictive as watching the Weather Channel. In a group, the dynamic changes. Game Party 2 makes a great diversion for a large party and can be the catalyst for some serious drinking game fun. What’s more addictive than alcohol?
Addictiveness Rating: Very Good
9. Appeal Factor
The Appeal Factor is fairly low. The box is ugly. The name is generic at best. The character designs are frightening. Aside from that, how can you say no to Game Party 2‘s charms? I know I can’t.
Appeal Factor Rating: Decent
The only real piece of miscellany would be if you enjoyed the previous game. I skipped it, so I can only conjecture that any game that sold a million copies has to have a few fans.
Miscellaneous Rating: Enjoyable
Control and Gameplay: Decent
Balance: Above Average
Addictiveness: Very Good
Appeal Factor: Decent
Final Score: Decent Game
Short Attention Span Summary
In the end, Game Party 2 is a very acceptable game. Do you have friends? Do they drink? If so, this game and some booze is a good time waiting to happen. If you don’t have any friends, why are you on the Internet? Go outside, slacker!