Now we all love to party, and there's no better way to do it than Nintendo-style. Well, thankfully, and just in time for the festive season of 2003, Mario and friends are back with an all-new dose of merry-making with the release of Mario Party 5, the second of the series to appear on GameCube. As usual, this most recent of revisions boasts a selection of new characters, game boards and mini games, but this time also features an expanded single-player mode.
In case you didn't already know, the concept of Mario Party is fundamentally that of the typical board game, but with a host of arcade-style mini games thrown into the mix. Players select their chosen character and then proceed to roll dice in order to work their way around the board, with the ultimate goal being to collect coins and acquire and/or buy stars.
The main focus of the game, however, are the mini games, which come into play after each player has taken a turn, and can also be accessed intermittently throughout the game. There are 60 new mini games to be found in MP5 - in each case, players take part in a wide variety of weird and wonderful events in order to win some much sought after coins. Either free-for-all or team-based - or, in this case, the new duel mode - the mini games see you doing all kinds of competitive activities, such as climbing beanstalks, bottom-bashing blocks, playing baseball, and doing the triple jump. Obviously, success here is of utmost importance as the results can vastly affect your coin collection and therefore your ability to purchase the elusive stars.
Also new to the proceedings in this latest instalment are a few characters making their Mario game debut, as well as new modes such as the vehicle-based Super Duel Mode, the single-player Story Mode, and Bonus Mode, in which you can find a host of new games like beach volleyball and ice hockey.