Start The Party is exactly what it sounds like a party game. Designed for the PlayStation Move it uses the brand new motion control device in a number of different ways by offering players a range of small mini-games: these games can be played solo or even with a group of friends. Hunt ghosts, save birds or even stop charging robots and much more.
Here are the HOTs and NOTs of the Move game, Start The Party:
Start The Party like many other party games offers very original mini-games for players to enjoy. Whether you are fanning birds into nets or cut and colouring ridiculous hairstyles all the games are colourful, occasionally weird and fun. Each of the 20 mini-games are fun in their own way due to the available variety, none feel like another with a different skin due to the way you use the Move controller.
With each game being unique it’s only fitting the games all have unique controls to make them feel different. Harpooning bubbles shouldn’t feel the same as slicing fruit or catching pizza toppings at the end of the day, and they don’t. For the different game the player holds the move differently or has to make different movements. These real world movements the player makes are perfectly put into the games and create the feeling of uniqueness because of the completely different movements the player must make to gain points.
The modes which you can play in Start The Party are all great fun and mean the game can entertain from one player to a party of four. If playing solo hop on the Survival mode, it mixes up all the games and you play twenty seconds of each before moving to the next, the objective is to post the best time possible. By completing the mini game it fills the players constantly falling bar, let it empty and the games over, this can mean at times players are rushing to fill the bar and giving the game a tense and frenzied feel.
The other solo mode available is Free Play which players aim to post their best score within the 45 seconds on the timer. This mode is a pleasant way to introduce some of the games mini-games before challenging friends in the group modes.
Group Party and Party Mix pit two to four players against each other in a distinctive round based competition. Once the number of rounds has been picked players aim to win each round to collect stars. In the final round of the Party game the stars are converted into time for the last round. Whoever has most stars going into the final round only has the advantage of extra time as only the result of the final round matters. Not only does this keep the competition going right up until the end of the game but even players that were losing heading into the final round still have a chance to win.
Some Party games are easy and there’s no way to make them slightly more challenging but not Start The Party. It has two ways the game gets harder both are pretty logical. While in Survival mode the mini-games get generally harder the longer you last via more to do for example catching more pizza toppings or more thinking involved such as in the robot level the screen which you move to target flips like a mirror or the target moves this overall makes the game get more and more challenging the longer you last, and this challenges makes gamers come back to beat their top score.
The second way it can be stepped up is much more obvious. When in Free Play simply players choose the difficulty they wish to play at. All difficulties go on the same scoreboard which allows players of all experience have an equal opportunity at getting the best score.
There are a few features which stand out as being very impressive, some really help the game keep fresh and others just help the player. Joker and Robber cards mix up the Party mode making it even more enjoyable. Joker cards allow the player who gets it to either draw on the opponent’s picture or record a different name for them which is said when it is their go, and you can say anything you want be it creative or childish. Robber card let players steal stars if they are good enough at a mini-game with up to five stars to be stolen it can tip the game upside down keeping the competition fresh.
The previously mentioned picture and recorded name are one of Start The Party’s best features. If you make it to the leaderboard your picture will be there alongside your score so players know it’s you to beat. Recording your name in Group modes makes players seem even more individual when it’s their go it’s a nice for a game to call a player’s name rather than just the unoriginal ‘Player 1 it’s your go’.
One attribute of Start The Party which I haven’t seen in many Wii games let along Move titles is the way it lets you know which direction the cursor is off the screen. During party games many non-gamers play who maybe aren’t the best at using a controller like this. The times I have seen people playing and waggling a motion control around trying to get it back on screen can’t be counted. Start The Party solves this problem by putting an arrow which lets players know which direction the Move is pointing in if off screen. A simple feature but it saves time and makes non-gamers less intimidated by picking up the device and not knowing where the cursor is.
While the games in Start The Party are all fun and can be enjoyed by anyone, like any party game they can become repetitive if played too much. While increasing difficulty helps it keep fresh a little longer this isn’t a game that could be played for a long period of time on a few consecutive days. The games vary but unfortunately some parts of the game don’t which makes the game seem repetitive quicker. When at the difficulty menu the voice over says “Is it going to be a cake walk or something tricky?” practically every time this quickly gets repetitive thus if playing Free Play with the difficulty menu this will soon start to vex players.
Modes Partially There
Despite the fact in Group Party mode there are sub modes such as three strikes these are not available to play outside of the Party mode. Due to the fact these modes are fun it would be nice to have these modes available as a separate mode in solo not just in Group Party; this could have added another leaderboard and even more variety to Start The Party’s solo mode.
There are at least seven mini-games that cannot be played outside survival/group party modes. While some that can’t be played are small challenges that aren’t full games some like the pizza topping game or the mole game could have easily been included well into Free Play mode like the rest. The inability to play these mini-games means unfortunately less moles get whacked which would have been an entertaining Free Play mini-game.
Start The Party is a great title which can be thoroughly enjoyed by anyone, from a non-gaming granny to hardcore gaming child. The 20 challenges and mini games are all unique and are simple to do. While if you overplay the title it will get repetitive, there is a lot of fun to be had, I know it’s been said a lot in this review but that’s what party games aim to be and it nails it. Maybe in the future we will see a new wave of mini games in the form of DLC.Start The Party! (PlayStation Move) Review,