For a series as successful as “Mario Party,” it’s always nice to take a moment every now and then to look back at your humble beginnings and appreciate how far you’ve come.
Of course, “Mario Party Superstars” isn’t just a trip down memory lane; it’s a highlight reel celebrating everything that’s made this series the household name it is today.
Presenting five boards from the first three games and 100 minigames from all across the series, “Superstars” is a veritable hall of fame of “Mario Party” and a love letter to the series and its fans.
Each board and minigame is wonderfully recreated from their original debuts, allowing veteran fans to re-experience them in high definition and newer players to see these classics with all the polish and spectacle they deserve.
Very little about the mechanics or controls are touched up from these games or the “Mario Party” formula, either – aside from adapting the controls to a new console – which maintains that chaotically fun experience fans have come to know and love.
And while “Superstars” is very much about taking a look back at the past, it’s impossible to deny what it’s done for the future of the series.
The previous entry in the series, “Super Mario Party,” attempted to introduce online multiplayer to the series, but failed at practically every turn, resulting in frequent disconnects and near-permanent lag that made it almost impossible to make it through even a single turn of the game.
“Superstars,” on the other hand, is leagues above its predecessor. While the occasional chugging during gameplay can still be expected, it’s a noticeably smoother experience, and I’ve been able to easily play through multiple boards with friends, even with us all living on opposite sides of the country.
It might not be perfect but it’s a great step in the right direction.
In looking at the past, however, it’s more than a little disappointing that the boards represented here are only from the first three “Mario Party” games, especially since the minigame list pulls the best of the best from the entire series.
For people that grew up in the era of the GameCube and the Wii like me, there’s not as much connection to these classic boards as there are to those that appeared in later games.
It makes “Superstars” feel more like it’s only celebrating its roots rather than the entire series, which is certainly fine, but I’d be lying if I wasn’t excited to see the return of some of the boards I grew up with in a game about the “superstars” of the series.
However, that doesn’t discredit how much fun “Superstars” is to play. Maybe it was made for older fans but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great time capsule for newer fans wanting to get into the series – or just a great experience overall.
If you’re looking for an amazing game to play with your friends, you can’t go wrong here.
Davis Cobb is a reporter with The Tifton Gazette.
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