November 29, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST

PARTY

(GameCube; Nintendo; Everyone) Mashing buttons, collecting coins, taunting friends — that’s basically the gist of this latest installment in the Mario-and-Co.-meet-board-game series, and the formula is getting just a little stale. Playfully vibrant graphics make good use of the GameCube’s visual prowess, but the often repetitive gameplay means it’s only as engaging as the number of people playing with — or against — you (read: Extra controllers are a must). We would recommend it for the family game night, but, at this point in the series, board games strike us as considerably more fun.

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