Mario Party has been providing top-notch mini-game fun for decades and you can now revisit its roots with Mario Party Superstars.
Mario Party Superstars is an amalgamation of previous games from the series which makes it a fun nostalgia trip for long-time fans like me while offering a superb collection of fresh mini-games for newcomers to the franchise. Specifically, you're treated to an impressive selection of 100 mini-games from the first 10 Mario Party games that you can play on 5 boards which have been remade and retooled from the 3 Nintendo 64 titles. Namely, Yoshi's Tropical Island and Peach's Birthday Cake from the first Mario Party, Space Land and Horror Land from Mario Party 2, and Woody Woods from Mario Party 3. Let me just say that these boards have been remade beautifully with lovely and detailed recreations that really make every intricacy pop and they're a huge step up from their N64 origins. v1d30chumz 18-232-56-9
Of course, although the boards are wonderful and each one provides unique gimmicks and oodles of fun; the mini-games are where Mario Party shines and as I said, there are 100 here which makes it very similar to 2017's Mario Party: The Top 100. In fact, many of the games are featured in both compilations which is something that made the overall experience here feel quite "been there, done that" for me considering I'm a long-time Mario Party fan. Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing because if you haven't played as much Mario Party as I have, you'll obviously get a lot more mileage out of this outstanding albeit mostly familiar collection of enjoyable mini-games.
With nearly every Mario Party game, you have plenty of standard mini-games; some of which are created for team-based play with a few being tailored for 1-vs-3 players but you also get a handful of more substantial mini-games with the ones in Mario Party Superstars being a few sports and puzzle games. The team-based sports include simple adaptations of volleyball, hockey, and soccer and each one offers thoroughly enjoyable gameplay for a couchful of chums. Meanwhile, the puzzle games can either be played solo via Score Attack mode or against friends in Vs. mode. The puzzlers are basic, too, and feature rudimentary yet clever interpretations of Columns, BreakThru, and Puzzle Bobble. These 6 games add substance to the package but I still wish there were more of these fleshed-out mini-games.
When it comes to modes, Mario Party Superstars can be played with up to 4 players on the same Switch console and it also features support for Local Play if you have more than 1 Switch as well as online multiplayer. At this point, I'm unable to try the latter 2 modes but I did enjoy offline multiplayer with my gaming chum and chasing high scores solo. Speaking of which, there's a Survival mode that tests how many mini-games you can win in a row as well as Daily Challenges and each one has leaderboards that can be fun to climb.
There's also a fun bonus multiplayer mode called Coin Battle where you ride mine carts while battling in mini-games to earn the most coins. Plus, there are 2-vs-2 and 1-vs-3 iterations of this mode with Tag Match and Trio Challenge, respectively. These supplementary modes are indeed fun but I wish there were more of them as previous Mario Party games had some more interesting concoctions.
Finally, let's discuss the extras in Mario Party Superstars. For starters, there isn't any amiibo support which I find strange. It would have been cool to play something like the amiibo boards in Mario Party 10. Anyway, the extra content here comes in the form of a shop where you can spend earned coins as well as the Data House which stores your unlockables. However, these unlockables aren't very substantial as all you get are achievements, music, and an encyclopedia that you can fill with one-page entries which don't contain many images or information. You can also design a Mario Party Card with stickers for online play. None of this is substantial enough to be worthwhile so it's a good thing that the boards, mini-games, and supplementary modes are more than enough to make up for the substandard extras.
Mario Party Superstars contains tons of super-fun mini-games and a handful of beautifully recreated classic boards from the N64 era. You really can't go wrong with that so grab a few friends and party on, chums!
- + Loads of classic mini-games provide a ton of competitive multiplayer fun
- + Remade boards look excellent
- + Local Play and online multiplayer support
- - Could use more boards, modes, and perhaps a few more fully-featured games
- - Many games simply don't feel fresh
- - Unlockables are underwhelming