Mario Party Superstars is the blast of history we all need right now for the franchise. There’s something about the tried and tested formula from the series that began to feel stale. We needed some kind of soft reboot or a go back to form towards the heyday of Mario Party. Luckily, Superstars does nearly in a mostly good way.
This game isn’t necessarily everything new. In fact, Superstars is a “best-of” compilation game, similar to the 3DS game Mario Party: The Top 100. Mario Party Superstars contains 100 returning minigames in the ten past mainline titles from the Mario Party franchise and five boards in the Nintendo 64 era of the series.
100 minigames will be a lot for a Mario Party game in general and a good start, but five boards can seem a bit low for today’s standards. While the N64 boards are some of the most memorable in this long-running franchise, it had been a missed chance to not add any more.
Gripes aside, the game’s choice of content is fun as you would expect and provokes many feelings of nostalgia throughout. The largest appeal of the game may be the nostalgia, also it doesn’t really wear thin.
In the original Mario Party, Mario and the friends are gathered around Mushroom Village where they all are competing to determine who'll end up being the next Super Star. Toad, acting as the host, introduces Mario and his pals to some wacky world of colorful playing boards along with a plethora of minigames.
Mario Party Superstars cheekily begins by asking the gamer, “Looks familiar, doesn’t it?” because the screen concentrates on saving money warp pipe atop a hill at the center of Mushroom Village. It sets an environment that quickly sends them back to 1998.
That atmosphere continues to be preserved and faithfully recreated in modern graphics for the Nintendo Switch, even when it comes to establishing a Party game. You go to drop the long-lasting green pipe in to a setting similar to the original Mario Party. Some characters won’t necessarily be as you’d remember them to be, like Green Koopa and Toad alternating as hosts every now and then, but that sense of warm familiarity is kept throughout.
You can pick a cast of ten characters, all who are familiar in the Mushroom Kingdom. While the initial ten does appear to be an extremely small number, the other iconic characters you see as NPCs in the boards or as cameos in minigames results in a sense of world building outside of the Nintendo 64 era.
Everything within this game has gotten the current upscaling treatment, including remade tracks of all of the minigames, menus, and boards from the past Mario Party titles.
Setting the nostalgia aside, this is still a typical Mario Party game. It’s a game title that sets you and also three other players up, either composed of CPUs, a person, or a mix. After this you trigger to choose your characters and employ them as pieces to navigate a board as if you would inside a game like Sorry! or Monopoly.
After every player makes their turn, a minigame plays. Winners are rewarded coins. The objective would be to travel round the board and obtain as numerous stars as possible prior to turns are up. Of course, you can acquire them by buying them legitimately from Toadette for 25 coins or by cheekily stealing them from your opponents. The second option is what made the game symbolic of being the “ruiner of friendships.” It’s what made the Mario Party franchise so excellent.
Luckily, using the meager selection of 5 boards, they're probably the most iconic ones pulled from the Nintendo 64 games. All of them play vastly various and provide enough entertainment for multiple playthroughs. For people who were around for that N64 era, these really should be very familiar, right down to the gimmicks and tricks each one provides.
Aside from the boards, the minigames are a big chunk of what makes a Mario Party game great. As these 100 are picks in the ten mainline games, all of them hold up very well and have a lot more replay value compared to those that didn’t make the cut.
Since they are all technically remastered games of history 22 years, you don't need to make use of any motion controls or other gimmicks other than the buttons in your remote as well as your skill or luck. You are able to play this game around the Joy-Cons, Pro Controller, any third-party controller, or even the GameCube controller via adapter.
It could possibly be better to stay away from Joy-Cons since you is going to be rapidly mashing buttons and spinning the joystick wildly. The last thing you’d wish to accomplish is provide your Joy-Cons an earlier case of inevitable stick drift.
It’s probably the minigames which make this seem like an almost perfect blast towards the past. You will find such iconic picks like Shy Guy Says from the first game, Mecha Marathon in the second, Eatsa Pizza in the third, and so forth. The button mashing, platforming, arcadey, and luck-based games from the past ten iterations gave these games a feeling of identity. The truth that these are altogether helps make the personality bloom a little more, even if they're rehashed inside a modern package.
Finally, Mario Party Superstars includes a multiplayer an internet-based ingredient that is very consumer-friendly. Players can enjoy locally up to four players on the same console or wirelessly with multiple Switches. For the online portion, you can bring in guests on the same console. However, that's only limited to friend lobbies.
The online atmosphere of the game is really a tricky one. Similarly, it gives people the choice not to take on CPUs and have a more personalized and varying experience. On the other hand, especially given the online infrastructure and net code from the Nintendo Switch, games can oftentimes be considered a laggy mess.
Mario Party Superstars functions on the peer-to-peer(P2P) connection because of its online play. What this means is players will connect to each other along with a host rather than hosting. If someone has a slow connection or even the host has an unstable connection, there will be noticeable frame drops and delays with regards to button pressing.
We’re inside a generation of gaming where a poor online infrastructure could affect the overall performance of recent titles. No one likes lag. We would rather lose because of skill instead of an externality like lag that may hinder our gameplay. The online play is serviceable in Superstars, however it seems like it’s suffering exactly the same problem that plagued Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
The most fun you’ll have playing a Mario Party game is that if you listen to it with a person, particularly with family or friends. Having an online component is huge, especially as this is offered by the get go. Hopefully the internet is bound a bit more some ways down the line so the experience can be a little more seamless.
Mario Party Superstars: The Verdict
Mario Party Superstars is a blast from the past put into a very clean and modern package. It’ll definitely be more attractive to older generations of gamers who grew up prior to the early 2000s. The minigames and maps have aged well and showcase moments that really defined the Mario Party franchise more than Two decades later.
The Mario Party series has definitely lost steam some time after the GameCube era. It isn’t to say that everything next prior to the Switch have all been bad, though. Superstars proves that more than the years, there are several hidden gems of all the Mario Party game that needs to be celebrated and may stand the test of your time.