As the seasons turn and weather phenomenon shake the very foundations of the Arcade Castle, another year passes and Arcade Castle finds itself once again in February, the month of its birth. Per tradition (and the bylaws of the land) Arcade Castle must find a game that is part board game and part video game to play to try and delve into the narrow, yet obfuscated, valley that resides in the twin realms of video game and board game, and glean its secrets.
However, no longer can Arcade Castle rely upon the Master Strategy Series from the Odyssey II, as all three games have been played and that odyssey is, alas, at an end. However, they turn their attention to a device that was released two decades after the Master Strategy Series: The Nintendo E-Reader. This device, scanning 'dot-codes' that are printed on trading cards, can turn the analog into digital, the playing card into a video game. But are the two mediums truly integrated?
In Episode 18, Arcade Castle played the Mario Party e Card Game, a card game that requires (under some game settings) the Nintendo E-Reader to resolve conflicts between players; instead of playing the card game to win or lose a battle, players will find themselves playing video games on a Gameboy Advance to seek victory. In Mario Party e, players will be collecting coins to purchase a Superstar Hat, Superstar Suit, and Superstar Shoes in order to obtain a Superstar and win the game. But how well does this card game capture the multiplayer phenomenon that is Mario Party? Further, does this item truly combine the digital and analog realms into a unified experience?
00:-00 - 25:00: Arcade Castle discusses at length the Mario Party Series; talking about history, strategy, gameplay, and expectations, John and Patrick touch upon every aspect of the multiplayer smash hit. Additionally, they discuss the E-Reader and Barcode Reading technology.
25:00 - 40:00: Arcade Castle examines the components, strategy, and gameplay of the Mario Party e Card Game. They look at the initial set of rules that allow play without utilizing the Nintendo E-Reader
40:00-60:00: After playing the game without the Nintendo E-Reader, Arcade Castle played the game using the video game accessory and examines how its integration changes the rules, gameplay, and strategy of the Mario Party e Card Game.