Mario Party Superstars Review

Eric Abent - Nov 19, 2021, 12:30pm CST
Mario Party Superstars Review
Editors' Rating: 8/10
Pros
  • Excellent boards from past Mario Party games
  • The remade minigames are some of the best of the series
  • A ton of fun to play with friends
  • Online play from the get-go increases replayability
Cons
  • High reliance on luck will ruin games from some people
  • Could have used an extra board or two

While the Switch has seen entries from most major Nintendo franchises (pour one out for F-Zero), the showing from Mario Party has so far been underwhelming. Up until recently, the only Mario Party game on the platform was Super Mario Party, a game that was fun enough with friends but could have used some post-launch content. If Super Mario Party was a stumble for the series, Mario Party Superstars is a return to form for it. Quite literally so, too, as Mario Party Superstars is something of a greatest hits compilation that takes boards and minigames from Mario Party titles past and remakes them for the modern era.

It’s a successful compilation, and anyone who spent any significant time with the N64 Mario Party games, in particular, will find a lot to love in Mario Party Superstars. The game remakes five boards from the N64 Mario Party games: Yoshi’s Tropical Island (Mario Party), Space Land (Mario Party 2), Peach’s Birthday Cake (Mario Party), Woody Woods (Mario Party 3), and Horror Land (Mario Party 2). It also features remakes of 100 minigames from both the N64 and Gamecube eras, and as someone who played a lot of N64 Mario Party back in the day, I can confirm that there are some certified banger minigames included in Mario Party Superstars.

The boards and minigames play more or less as you remember them, only with upgraded graphics for the Nintendo Switch. That makes reviewing this game a little tricky because, on the one hand, Mario Party Superstars is the best Mario Party game ever made in a sense. On the other hand, since these boards and minigames are all remakes, Mario Party Superstars is also arguably the laziest Mario Party game ever made.

The quality here is really good, too. The graphics look fantastic, the music for each board is catchy as ever (ensuring it’ll be stuck in your head for hours after you finish a match), and the minigames that Nintendo chose for Mario Party Superstars are mostly great. Mario Party Superstars is a ton of fun, and it’s a reminder of what made Mario Party great in the first place before we got into the Wii era and Nintendo started shaking up the franchise.

The nonsense from recent Mario Party games doesn’t exist here. The allies and unique dice from Super Mario Party are gone, and unlike the Mario Party games for the Wii, each character moves around the board independently. In my mind, Mario Party Superstars is more replayable than something like Super Mario Party simply because it sticks to the core formula, which I suspect is what Mario Party fans have wanted all along.

Of course, since this is Mario Party, there’s a considerable degree of luck influencing the outcome of games. While many minigames can be won with skill, you’re still at the mercy of dice rolls and random events when it comes to succeeding in each match. For some people, that’ll be annoying, but even though the RNG will ruin your plans from time to time, there’s still some value in coming up with a strategy as you play. The best approach to enjoying something like Mario Party Superstars is to go in not with the intention of winning, but just to have fun.

And boy is Mario Party Superstars fun, especially if you have friends to play with. Thankfully, those friends don’t even need to be in the same room this time around, as Mario Party Superstars features online play. True online play is something that Super Mario Party didn’t receive until a couple of years after launch, so it’s nice to have it from the get-go this time. You can choose to play with friends or with random people too, so even if you’re the only one in your circle who has a Switch or a copy of Mario Party Superstars, you’ll never lack real humans to play with.

Mario Party Superstars is great fun, but I wish I had more of it. Don’t get me wrong, there are more boards here than there were in Super Mario Party, but I hope that Nintendo keeps adding remade boards and minigames from past Mario Party games to Superstars. The fact that there are minigames from the GameCube-era games yet no boards from those titles suggests that Nintendo will add more content in the future, but of course, Nintendo is a company that beats its own drum, so it’s often impossible to guess at its plans.

There are more than enough minigames in Mario Party Superstars – so many that it’ll take multiple matches to see them all. However, just a couple more boards and Mario Party Superstars would have really knocked it out of the park from a value standpoint.

There also isn’t a ton to do outside of the central Mario Party mode. There is a Mt. Minigames mode where players can go to play individual minigames and compete against others online for high scores and leaderboard placement, which is excellent, but I wouldn’t mind seeing some extra modes similar to Super Mario Party‘s Partner Party or River Survival.

Regardless, the core of this game is very good, and longtime Mario Party fans will feel right at home. Is it worth $60? If you have friends who will play with you regularly, I’d say yes, it is. Solo players who aren’t interested in going online probably won’t get as much mileage out of this game, so it’s probably better to wait for a discount in that case.

For fans of the early Mario Party games, however, this is a safe buy. Here’s hoping that Nintendo gives Mario Party Superstars a little more post-launch love than it gave to Super Mario Party, because it would be great to see even more classic boards and minigames remade for the Switch in the future.


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