Video game fans are very persistent people. If they want something, they will let you know. And believe it or not, the Mario Party series has a lot of fans. As a rule, these are people who grew up in the days of the Nintendo 64, and for whom nothing is more familiar than the clunky polygons of the 64-bit era. For this reason, we still want to return to the outdated Mario Kart 64 and happily remember the original Mario Party. Even if they’re scary, they have magic that dozens of sequels can’t deliver. And now, what everyone has been asking for has finally happened: the de facto remake of that first game by Hudson Soft. but what happened?
Everyone has their favorite Mario Party game — and not their favorite. Fans of this seemingly very casual series are actually quite aggressive, and they’re understandable: each new installment has to (for some reason) take them back to their childhood, when things were better and clearer. But NDcube (master of the genre, who gave us, for example, the wonderful Game Clubhouse: 51 Worldwide Classics), where each new chapter is an opportunity to squeeze the most out of the console and showcase all its features. Mario Party 8 uses gesture controls, and Mario Party 10 (which not everyone likes for free) allows you to get the most out of your gamepad with the screen. But the gimmick has long bored a lot of people – people are asking to get back to their roots, and that’s exactly what happened with the release of Mario Party Superstars. No more experiments.
Whether you like such a move or not, everyone decides for themselves. I don’t really like to delve into history, but in this case democracy wins. Nintendo did exactly what everyone was asking – rewind twenty years and put things back the way they were, all the way undoing the dozens of changes that had occurred in the last few years. And if the old players are satisfied, the relatively new players will be surprised. No more unique dice for each supporting character or hero. Most of the mechanics that complicate the essence of the game have been lost. In every way, Mario Party Superstars is a step back. But what is setback for some, for others is the long awaited nirvana.
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As someone who managed to love the last part, even with the “machine” element (admitting this in the Old Believers company is dangerous for life), I was skeptical about the idea of remake the first three parts. , but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested. And really, why not bring classic boards to the HD world?
Mario Party Superstars offers five original board options from the first three sections. Each one is almost unrecognizable thanks to improved graphics, and it’s a lot of fun to look at. I rarely praise the Switch for its graphics, but when it comes to exclusives like this, studio H always manages to impress. And in this regard, Novelty is one of the most beautiful releases on the platform, with bright and saturated colors and lots of little details.
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As for the gameplay, it’s as simple and short as possible. Developers remove all innovations that were not popular in recent years, or disable them. Don’t like bonus stars after the game? Turn them off. Do you want to limit the game time so that one session doesn’t take an hour and a half? Please set the required number of moves. You can even select minigames from only the N64 or GameCube era, or filter them by type. Considering how rarely Nintendo lets us customize anything ourselves, these various customizations can’t be unsatisfactory.
If you have absolutely no idea what Mario Party is, it’s very simple: all four players (if there are fewer of you, the AI will play) has exactly one goal – to get as many stars as possible. The stars are hidden in different places on the board, and once someone reaches one of them, the star moves to another place. After each turn, players participate in mini-games that allow them to win coins, which in turn can be spent on any bonuses. Some help you and some harm others. Mario Party is called the “ultimate friendship test” for a reason.
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As I already mentioned, things just got easier. If in Super Mario Party every character (there are only ten here, including Birdo, who seems to disappear forever after part ninth) has a unique dice, then in Mario Party Superstars everyone is equal.
The board is important, but not as much as the minigame. This time, the developers tried to bring back all the most popular games of the last 20 years and put together a collection of the best hits. This is not their first attempt – at one time Mario Party: The Top 3 was released on the 100DS with a similar idea.
Each has its own leader, but overall, there’s a really good minigame here. Almost. Some inclusions do raise questions. For example, I’m not at all pleased to see the return of the mini-game where you have to spin the analog stick as hard as you can to win. Back in the days of the N64, that kind of test broke not only the gamepad, but the hand (who remembers that controller, understands everything). Now, as gamepads become more fragile and prone to drifting, such games raise serious fears that not only friendship, but technology will not survive Mario Party.
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Despite its retro essence, there’s something that Mario Party Superstars does better than all of its peers. This is a multiplayer online game. It used to be impossible at all, or barely worked, but now? Everything is very good. Opponents can be found easily and quickly, and if the player quits for some reason, he is temporarily replaced by the AI. In the past, the loss of a player left everyone devastated!
Mario Party Superstars has a lot of praise. The visuals are beautiful, the music, the characters set the holiday mood. And thanks to full localization, it’s really accessible to anyone. But if the previous sections tried to please everyone, now veterans will be the happiest. Many others will question where the many elements who managed to fall in love with her have gone before.
Mario Party Superstar is a gift for those who missed the first part of the cult series. The problem is that in the post-Soviet space, few people have seen the N64 in person, so no one is as nostalgic as that. Nevertheless, this is a great collection of mini-games for the whole company, with excellent graphics, accessible gameplay and full localization.