R-r-r-roundtable!! I've actually been saving some up, but let's just go with this one, since it's timely. I'm going to a... certain location with... certain people, and I was wondering which system/games to bring. What do you guys usually do in these kinds of scenarios? What are your surefire party starters? Dreaded party enders? Boozy party middles?
I'm thinking I'll bring the Wii, rather than the 360. Along with Wii Party and Wii Sports. And maybe Rhythm Heaven Fever, although it'll be a hard sell. Smash is always so fucking hard to teach people. Boom Blox can also be a tough sell. Ooo, maybe NSMB.
I also briefly considered bringing FOUR (or more) DSeseseses and an accompanying suite of games, but I kind of don't want to reveal what a huge nerd I am. I mean, the secret's probably out, but still...
I've always found it's super-easy to teach people how to play Smash Brothers. It basically goes like this (on a GCN pad):
1.) BIG GREEN BUTTON ARE NORMAL ATTACKS! 2.) LITTLE RED BUTTON ARE SPECIAL ATTACKS! 3.) USE THE ANALOG STICK TO MOVE! 4.) R OR L IS BLOCK!
And that's it. The players will figure out the rest by playing.
A good party game stand-by for me is Pac-Man VS! Another easy-to-teach, easy-to-play, fun-for-anyone kind of game that is a surprise hit at nearly any gathering. And of course, Guitar Hero/Rock Band is always good, though the popularity in those games has dwindled in recent years.
Hmm, I've found that a lot of "casual" gamers get very confused by Smash Brothers jumping though... it basically has a triple jump right? Jump up, jump up again, and then a special attack that can work as a jump. Not many casuals can pick up on this fast, yet it's sort of essential to keep yourself from being knocked off right away.
Of course, you can pick a super wide course like the Zelda or Earthbound ones if you are playing with uber n00bz and then the jumping isn't as important, but those courses are boring.
It's still generally Rock Band 3 with my crowd. On the 360 at my friend's place or the Wii at my place. Playing at my place is far more funky, though, because my significant other keeps downloading James Brown songs. I approve.
See, you're getting too technical with stuff. I don't even bother teaching them (casuals/party goers) to jump. Just "use the analog stick to move" is good enough (since 'UP' is jump). And yeah, you can pick the Earthbound stage (Moonside, I think?) or Hyrule Temple or Final Destination, and just have them (the casuals) have fun watching Mario punch Pikachu and Donkey Kong perform a Giant Punch on Peach. To them, it's just silly, mindless fun; nothing competitive about it. And that's how I had to approach partiers with this game. They aren't going to take it seriously, so there's no reason I would. Non one cares who wins or loses. They are just there to have fun. (Also, be sure to keep the rounds as TIMED rounds. That way, no matter how many times someone gets knocked out, they always come back for more. This also keeps matches from going on for too long)
Finally, (and this would probably go over your head since you don't drink alcohol) drinking helps punctuate the fun of Smash Brothers. I suppose being a little tipsy makes Kirby's squeals of pain as he is rocketed off into the sky even funnier. Plus, you can make the game into another game: a drinking game! Every time you get knocked out, you drink! This "meta-game" is called Super Smashed Bros. in my neck of the woods.
Non one cares who wins or loses. They are just there to have fun.
I think this is only half true for casuals though. Most would like to at least be able to keep up (hence why Nintendo adds these uber equalizers to games like Mario Kart. No one likes constantly coming in last!) And people don't tend to have fun if they see others jumping around like crazy and they just keep getting knocked off a platform to their doom and don't really understand how to recover.
Smash Brothers is an ok game to play with casuals but it is definitely not one of the best, in my opinion. It requires too much "skill" just to stay on the platforms. Not to mention that it has all kinds of crazy things happening (in certain stages) like platforms disappearing and yada yada. Or even in the bigger, easier to stay on stages... sometimes just the amount of characters and items and everything confuses casuals.
And hey... I do drink alcohol! Just not that often. And sometimes when others are drinking I'm not, which makes people think I never drink, because apparently you either always drink or never drink and there is no middle ground...
How in the hell did I forget Wario Ware: Mega Microgames?? Ugh, should I bring GCN controllers? And a GBA for Pac-Man Vs.? Ugh...
Oh, and we probably won't be drinking. It's more of a seeing distant relatives kind of thing.
Rock Band is probably out of the question, since I don't want to haul it around. But I do have most of these other games. Except for Dokapon.
Although now I'm wondering whether to just bring an N64 and Micro Machines it up...
By the by, I also rented Mario Sports Mix a couple of weeks back. Dodgeball and Volleyball were decent. And the bomb-avoiding mini-game was fucking brilliant. That could probably run a party on its own.
@anon_mastermind Do you like Mario Party 9 better than Wii Party? (I don't have MP9 yet. I'm just curious.)
@PogueSquadron Oops. I forgot to address your post, but the 360 demo for YDKJ was absolutely fantastic. And it would work with almost any adult audience. I'm definitely picking it up at some point in the future. I don't have it now, though.
Holy crap, I thought you were a non-drinker! But it turns out you're a "only-sometimes" drinker! Which means... you're a casual drinker!
I'll agree that Smash Brothers can get overly confusing (even for the "core" audience like...us, I suppose) but if you keep it simple then it's not too bad. Low items (or none at all) in stages that aren't too crazy on the eyes (no Lylat Cruise, for example) or too platform heavy (no Rainbow Ride or Icicle Mountain) and it's pretty user-friendly.
Of course, that's kind of boring for "core" players (again, like us I suppose) but after a drink or two, I tend to appreciate the "less hecktic" stages/rule set more.
@GameDadGrant Or XBLA/PSN. WTF!! How many times are they going to port Bass Fishing before they get around to Power Stone?
Now that I think about it rationally, Bass Fishing was Sega and Power Stone was Capcom. And when I think about it even more, there are a LOT of Capcom games that never left the Dreamcast (excluding arcades from the discussion).