The first thing that will strike you is the amount of available modes for play. What you have are games focused primarily for groups of 4, a handful of two-player activities, games that have been designed to interact with the Wii Remote in more unique ways, along with some other modes that center more on the mini-games. There's a lot to do, and of course, some are more fun than others.
For instance, I'm already loving Spin-Off mode, even more than I thought I would. Even Match-Up, which I didn't think would be too exciting, was actually a lot of fun on my first go. I haven't tried everything this game has to offer, but rest assured I intend to experience every ounce of this game. Of the ones I've tried, Swap Meet hasn't captured me as much as the other ones have. I have a good feeling this will change as time goes on though.
Some of the mini-games I've encountered so far remind me of the mechanics used in past Mario Party titles (or even other Wii-based mini-game collections). I already have some favourites, like Zombie Tag, and of course there are some that I didn't like as much. One such game is Friendly Face-Off which has you twisting puzzle pieces of your face to put them back together into an arrangement. It's been done so many times before, and even if they were going for a sense of accessibility here, I can't help but feel this was a waste. Otherwise, no major duds along the way - a great sign!
In the full review to come, I'll be examining each mode in greater detail, so stay tuned for that. But for now, I can say that so far, this was totally worth waiting for. Will it manage to stack up well against the Mario Party series? I'm a little undecided at this point, but what I am sure of is that Wii Party is very, very fun so far.