If you're a fan of Mario Party, or its apparent successor, Wii Party, Nintendo have got a heck of a Christmas in store for you, with not just the Mario Party vs Monopoly hybrid, Fortune Street on the way, but also a brand new Mario Party game, known as Mario Party 9.
This is an announcement that makes us very happy indeed. Unveiled at last week's gaming convention, E3, Mario Party 9 marks the portly plumber's triumphant return to the series, after Wii Party did away with the Mushroom Kingdom crew, replacing them instead with your Mii, which, while it was still pretty funny, didn't quite have the same effect. As we explained in our Wii Party review (which we awarded a cracking 8/10), it just wasn't Mario.
Announced by way of a trailer, Mario Party 9 is the latest in the Mario Party series, which sees you and up to four friends taking part in a virtual board game, as you roll the dice, and move around one of a variety of themed lands, in an attempt to collect coins, and buy stars, while avoiding the many "event" tiles, and Bowser squares, which threaten to turn your ranking on its head. With each turn being divided by a minigame, there was always something interesting to do - and with a huge selection of minigames, varied boards, and the same Mario quality we've come to expect, Mario Party games have always been a huge hit.
This latest instalment seems to shake things up a bit, though, as the trailer below shows all four characters barelling around a course in a giant car. Maybe this is the start of an unnamed co-operative mode? Also shown are a variety of the minigames that'll divide each turn, including Goomba Bowling, and, in the screenshots to the side, a horrible looking Mario platforming section, where you need to try and stay atop rotating cubes, and disappearing clouds.
While there's not enough information out there as we'd like, going by the trailer alone, it looks like Mario Party 9 will provide the same, edge of your seat, tantalising to the last multiplayer action we've come to expect. You can find the full trailer below. Mark this one down on your calendar under "Buy" for Christmas.