Mario Party Superstars (Review)

The lack of proper online, even post-launch, for Super Mario Party was largely why I skipped it.  It’s the modern era: online matchmaking for multiplayer games is essentially… well, essential.  So then Nintendo decided to shit on everyone that bought Super Mario Party by using its graphics engine to remake older Mario Party games, add proper online, and slap that all into a completely new game called Mario Party Superstars.


GAMEPLAY

It’s the same, addictive fun it’s always been…

It’s Mario Party.  No seriously, you’re either a time traveler or a caveman if you’re watching this and have no clue what Mario Party is.  In fact, because this game is old stuff remade, you might even be more than just familiar with the concept, but even the boards and minigames themselves.  Tug-o-war: yea, we all know THAT one.  The roster has changed a bit, though, and that’s an immediate disappointment.  More on that later.  So, you roll dice, you make your way around a board, and you play minigames.  It’s the same, addictive fun it’s always been because, again, it’s Mario Party…  So if I knew all this, you might be wondering why I bought this game.  Well, here’s the meat and potatoes of gameplay: online.  Superstars solves a lot of what’s missing in the modern era from their titles, proper online matchmaking.  Granted, it’s not perfect, and I had instances where lag was actually affecting my ability to beat or perform in minigames.  Also thanks to subtly rigged RNG (yes, I can guarantee you that if you play enough, you’ll notice some predictable patterns that happen more often than not), it can be rather frustrating when it’s not just bad luck, but you know the game is trying to balance things out a bit so that everyone has a chance at winning.  That’s where Mt Minigames comes in and you just play minigames against others in random matchmaking.  And boy, watch your night vanish.  Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?  It’s all a great nostalgia trip, but in that lies one caveat: I found nothing new.  Still, the hours really do fly by!


CONTENT

…its full price is simply impossibly to justify.

We’ve got a big problem, here.  Not only does it have a meager 5 boards, but the roster is only 10 characters.  This is not only a seriously missed opportunity to expand the roster with more favorites, but also to bring in cross-franchise characters.  Link?  Zelda?  Inklings?  Now on the flipside, they did include a healthy 100 minigames, but the anemic board count for a remake that even takes the time to recognize all 10 Mario Party games (while again, shitting on Super Mario Party by not acknowledging its existence at all) only adds to the lack of pricing justification.  DLC could fix this, but as the game stands now, its full price is simply impossible to justify.


PRESENTATION

It’s not quite Luigi’s Mansion 3 good, but I’m not complaining about it, either.

The good news is that, even though this is the Super Mario Party engine, it seems to have had some minor lighting enhancements and it looks good for a 60fps game on the Switch.  Granted, viewpoints are limited, but I’m happy to see that they’ve made sure to budget properly to ensure a modern visual appearance that holds up.  It’s not quite Luigi’s Mansion 3 good, but I’m not complaining about it, either.  Sadly, some things do still hold up the whole package here: forced pace.  There are a lot of un-skippable dialogues and miniature events that simply slow things down unnecessarily.  Yes, I know it’s part of the whole presentational package, but when you’re on your tenth board and have to sit through that mole arrow flip for the millionth time, you might find yourself agreeing that certain small board events could easily be sped up.  It’s not excruciating, but it’s definitely something that started to wear me down as time went on.


CONCLUSION

…one reason only to play this game…

There’s really only one and one reason only to play this game: online matchmaking.  To be able to hop on and just play with random people all night on boards or just playing minigames is quite alluring and is honestly a one-of-a-kind online experience.  Sadly, it kind of stops there.  It’s anemic on content for a brand-new game especially as a remake using an existing engine, and it basically gives the middle finger to everyone who bought Super Mario Party.  And while it’s graphically good-looking while targeting 60fps, it literally brings nothing new to the table.  It’s just a nostalgia trip, as fun as it is burning hours out of my life turning my hands sore.

I give Mario Party Superstars

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