Feature: 10 Reasons To Party
Posted 11 Jul 2010 at 10:13 by Tom Phillips
They take a hammering by journalists and tend to be shunned by hardcore gamers and yes, there are certainly a ton of them on store shelves. But when done right and introduced at the right time a party game can be a killer app and a title that makes everyone sit up and take notice.
It's a good job then that here at N-Europe we love a good party just as much as you do and having had a lot of Wii parties, we've decided to rifle through our favourite party games to give you the rundown of those that deliver the fun time and time again�
It wouldn't be a party without the game that started the whole Wii party movement. With games that are accessible, easily understandable and moreover, fun; everyone knows what to expect from Wii Sports. And now that everyone and their grandmother has experienced it, you can always expect a decent level of competition. Moreover, Wii Sports is a brilliant game to bring out when the party is just getting started.
Top Party Tip: Host a 'Wiimbledon' event and start both singles and doubles tennis tournaments. Lemonade and a garden party should be the standard!
Coming in at Number 2 is the title that took precise motion control to the next level. Wii Sports Resort may mean your party goers need a steady hand and a sharp mind to become the ultimate champion, but with games like canoeing and sword fighting, Resort proves that Nintendo know how to strike a fine balance between deeper mechanics and accessible fun.
Top Party Tip: Canoeing in a line of four can be great fun but it's even better if you all have to swap places in the line after breaking the line of in-game tape. Each time the tape is broken the person from the front runs to the back and so on. Just make sure you've plenty of room! For 4+ players, introduce a time trial of sorts with the fastest team being the winner!
OK so the ratings for Ubi Soft's Just Dance are all over the place but in a party setting it establishes itself as an instantly accessible, laugh-a-minute title. If you want to argue with us just look at the sales figures, check out YouTube clips, or listen to those who have played it at a party. Yes it's silly, yes it's shallow entertainment, but taking part in your very own dance troupe to 'classic' dance tracks is so much fun that you'll be laughing non-stop. Even better, sit on the sidelines with a camera and tagging 4 friends on Facebook doing "the bop, the robot and the running man" becomes gratifying in its own right!
Top Party Tip: Assign judges, X-Factor style to ensure everyone is really giving it their all. Give points for things such as 'style', 'passion' and 'move of the match' before rating out of ten.
OK, so you may need a fair few remotes to get the 'proper' maraca experience and you'll have to calibrate it all first to ensure the smoothest control setup as possible, but it is worth it. Samba De Amigo provides laugh out loud fun with a summer soundtrack to die for. With two players shaking their maracas in time to tracks such as Mambo No. 5, Livin' La Vida Loca and a million Samba, Mambo, rhumba and salsa tracks, Samba De Amigo is a party title that gives off a summer vibe like no other.
Top Party Tip: Inflate two balloons and pull them over ends of the Wii Remotes to create two giant Maracas. You'll laugh and cry when they shoot off mid song! Round your party off with salsa dips and tortilla chips for an unforgettable Samba experience!
Need we say anymore? Whether it's the drums, the bass, the guitar or, erm, the mic, you know that Guitar Hero has all kinds of people's wildest dreams covered (unless, of course, you're Beethoven). Guitar Hero is at its finest when four players are rocking out together on classic guitar-laden tracks, and for our money, no other Guitar Hero title gives as much as World Tour.
Top Party Tip: Provide wigs and classic rock clothing for added hilarity (charity shops are a haven for cheap retro outfits!)
Boom Blox provides the ultimate foil to the aforementioned energetic games. Bring out the brilliant Boom Blox multiplayer modes and you're guaranteed a relaxing yet competitive end to your party. Everyone always has a different approach to Boom Blox which makes it a great conversational piece after the energetic games that have exhausted your guests!
Top Party Tip: Make sure you cover the many different forms of gameplay Boom Blox has to offer. One gamer may be a pro at chucking bowling balls but another may be an expert block remover in the Jenga-like sections of the game.
Providing you can get four boxes, Let's Tap becomes a party game like no other. Experience tells us that the runner game proves to be the most accessible but the other modes also offer moments of fun.
Top Party Tip: Trust us: The bigger the box the better! Sit in a semi-circle facing the TV and before starting a game, sabotage your fellow gamer's box by knocking their controller off it. This underhand tactic will soon be adopted by all ensuring a riotous start to all games.
The granddaddy of all party games makes an appearance at most Wii parties and the wheel-based controller doesn't come across as daunting. Two minutes in though and as another blue shell rains down, your party guests will be socialising (read: arguing) as if they've known each other for years.
Top Party Tip: The multiplayer modes in Mario Kart already prove epic enabling gamers to really mix it up with each other. To enhance the game, rally into red and blue teams and really dial the tension up by giving each member of the team one balloon each to drive with. This will mean all gamers get a go, creating a revolving-game experience that keeps everyone in the driving seat!
OK, OK, we know Wii Fit is designed to enhance your Fitness levels but the mini-games are so much fun with the balance board that you really won't care about that. Start the marble rolling and Soccer ball games to warm everyone up before engaging in some Skiing and Snowboarding games to really get everyone on their feet. If you've a few fitness fanatics at your party you could even bust out the fitness aspects of the game � but please � before lunch!
Top Party Tip: The running game can prove hilarious in multiplayer. With 2 players running hell for leather on the spot, start a relay of sorts by running to landmarks before swapping team members. Standing in a line of two teams and passing the Wii Remote baton style works a treat and won't exhaust your party guests.
If you know you've got gamers coming round, you're going to want a title that they can all strut their stuff on. Super Smash Bros. Brawl is such a title. Offering more options than most games can dream of and enough nostalgia to last a lifetime, SSBB has every gamers need covered. Wanting a more traditional health-based brawler? Check. Wanting a team-based brawler? Check. Wanting to stay away from the Mushroom Kingdom? Check.
Top Party Tip: Take advantage of the handicap system � it's where new players and pros can play as one.
Notable Mentions: Warioware Smooth Moves, Wii Music, Family Ski and Snowboard, U-Sing, Bomberman Blast, Links Crossbow Training, TV Show King 2, Mario Party 8, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Wii Play, FIFA, Pro Evolution Soccer, Sean White Snowboarding.
Now we've given you the details of our top party games, we want to hear from you! What are your favourite party games, have we missed a gem? Are there setups that work really well for non-party games?
Let us know via your comments below.
- Mark Lee
Staff Writer, N-Europe.com