Mario Party Superstars is the second title in the Mario Party series to launch on the Nintendo Switch and is the twenty-fifth instalment in the series' lifespan. Superstars follows the same gameplay style as its predecessor, Super Mario Party as well as much earlier releases in the series. It features 100 minigames from the past numbered versions of games in the series, much like Mario Party: The Top 100, along with five classic boards from the Nintendo 64 era of Mario Party games.
Mario Party Superstars boasts a “best of” sense both for the retro board selection as well as the beloved minigames. When the game was first announced many fans felt that these previously released elements of the Mario Party franchise would be better suited as DLC for Super Mario Party released earlier in in the Nintendo Switch lifespan. Thankfully this isn’t the case as Superstars holds it own as a standalone title with all game modes featuring online functionality from day one.
Nintendo have been evolving the Mario Party series over the years with some hits (and plenty of misses) along the way. Superstars strips away all the over-the-top extras that crept into the franchise and delivers old school, roll, collect and be darn sure you win those mini-games simplicity… with modernised visuals thrown in for good measure.
There are two primary modes to delve into; Mario Party (!) and Mount Minigames. The latter is an accessible way to play all the minigames on offer, either as 1 vs 3 or 2 vs 2, some minigames are setup for online only play while others are couch co-op. Disappointingly this time around the Mount Minigames (or variation thereof) falls wayward compared to prior offerings, fortunately there’s the main Mario Party mode…
Mario Party goes back to the series' traditional roots with a number of options to tweak the board games specifications, how many turns the game will last, what type of minigames to focus on and if anyone (who’s confident/crazy enough) should start the game with a Star handicap. The five boards from the first three games are Yoshi’s Tropical Island and Peach’s Birthday Cake (Mario Party), Space Land and Horror Land (Mario Party 2), and Woody Woods (Mario Party 3). Horror Land is easily the most creative of the five while Peach’s Birthday Cake may as well have been left out all together and shows that not everything Nintendo does ages as well as it should.
You can also choose to limit which minigames you’ll play; if you only want to play minigames from the N64 era or the engaging GameCube minigames, you can do so...
All the visuals are rendered at 60fps and without a single frame drop whether playing a minigame, strategising on the main board or playing online.
Banjo wielding, moonshine drinking, dungaree enthusiast. When not laying back on the porch couch he will be found making minor additions to his porcelain dog home décor.
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29 October 2021
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