There’s a new Mario Party game on the horizon, and it just might be the Mario Party fans were craving.
For those who don’t know, Mario Party is a game series where Mario and his iconic cast of friends compete to gather the most stars and coins they possibly can, but with a slight twist.
Gameplay-wise, a typical match consists of players traversing across one of different board-game like levels, with mini-games thrown into the mix after a few turns. Players take turns rolling a dice, moving across the board, and earning coins, exchanging them for items and stars.
It may sound strange, but it’s actually very enjoyable, playing out like a hybrid between the Monopoly game and Mario elements. Needless to say, it can get pretty competitive at times! Alliances will be tested, and friendships will be broken! (At least, the way fans see it!)
Back to the topic at hand, Nintendo revealed an annoucement video for the latest iteration of the Mario Party series, and so far, it seems promising.
You can check it out here, from the official YouTube video. However, there’s not a lot revealed from the video itself.
Out of the nearly two minute video, most of it was spent focusing on the mini-games and social aspect the game naturally brings. Even Nintendo’s own details are scarce regarding this title:
Direct from the Nintendo News post, “The classic board game style has been kicked up a notch with deeper strategic elements, new modes, new mini-games, and more!”
Not much to go on, is it? Luckily for you, I took a deep examination of the video above, and here’s what I found:
The Party Bus is Dead! Long Live the Party!
At long last, Nintendo seems to have heard the cries fans have made regarding the long-running Party Bus. In the entirety of the video, I haven’t seen anything that even remotely resembles the Party Bus, and that makes me smile.
If you aren’t aware of the Party Bus, it was a mechanic introduced in Mario Party 9, where everyone rides in a single vehicle, and take turns driving the vehicle.
What makes it so abhorred, is for the last 6 years, the traditional board game formula the series used since the beginning was tossed out, and was replaced with an all-terrain vehicle set on a straight course to the finish line. Needless to say, this wasn’t a well recieved change.
There weren’t any elaborate “hexes” to place on spaces anymore, only a series of free stars and negative stars. When a player landed on a red space, or any other “trap” space, only they were affected, while the rest of the passengers remained perfectly intact. If that wasn’t enough, the boards themselves were relatively short, and mini-games were sparce.
All of the things that once made the series fun and charming were completely overhauled.
If this all sounds Greek to you, picture a game of Monopoly. Everybody moves at their own pace, and part of the challenge was avoiding other players’ properties, while building up your own. Your goal was to get as much money as possible, yet various events occurred that hindered that from happening.
Now picture the same game, except everybody is the car piece, the game itself holds all of the properties, and ends once any player gets to the end. The goal is still the same, yet the concept is vastly different.
That’s what the last few console Mario Party games have been.
With Super Mario Party, the series returns to its roots, with characters running around a board once more, and traps affecting more than one person. The classic formula has been restored!
3 vs. 3. vs. 3, vs. 3…?
While it wasn’t mentioned directly, the video showed a unique concept for the Mario Party series: a party system.
No, not a party in the celebratory event kind, but a party in the RPG sense that we’ve come to know and love.
It took some careful watching, but I noticed that once one player moved, two other characters moved with them.
“Wait, what is this?” I wondered. “Is this some sort of controller sharing team thing? Or is it something else?”
Once another scene showed Mario switching dice to a Yoshi Dice Block, with Yoshi and Rosalina trailing behind, I finally understood.
“Oh! It looks like the characters following you have their own unique dice blocks!” I exclaimed.
What took me even longer to get, was that the numbers under the dice block were the different numbers on the block.
It looks like this may be a crucial element to gameplay, so pick your allies carefully!
***Update June 25, 2018***
After some digging around, it turns out that this Party system isn’t entirely new, as it debuted in Mario Party:Star Rush. I never got to play it, so of course I was ignorant of the Party system!
Multiple Switch Gameplay
One of the coolest and innovative features Super Mario Party brings to not only the series, but the Switch itself, is the ability to use multiple Switch systems to create mini-games!
20 seconds into the video, a group of friends decide to play a tank mini-game, but use a second Switch console to create a level that spans both consoles. After moving the two consoles together, a finger is swiped across both consoles, and the mini-game begins!
Within seconds, Wario moves across the newly constructed battlefield, seamlessly moving from the edge of one screen, to the other.
Even if I weren’t interested in the game or series at all, this tells me something great about the Switch: there’s still more tricks this new dog can show us!
If this is possible in a Mario Party game, imagine how it could be used for future releases!
There’s no word as to what this feature/functionality is called, but whatever it is, it just might be the first thing I try! (Provided I can find another Switch…)
***Update – June 25, 2018***
After more research on Nintendo’s website, it turns out to be a feature used in a mode called “Toad’s Rec Room.”
According to the site, up to two Switch systems can be used in this mode, so levels won’t be able to get as fancy or elaborate as I’d expected. Still a very interesting concept!
Sprinkled throughout the video, the game shows off some of the playable characters. The first few characters that caught my eye were Bowser, a Goomba, and Bowser Jr., mostly because they haven’t been regular, playable characters in the Mario Party series.
However, as I watched more and more, I realized there are a lot of characters invited to Mario’s latest party!
So far, here’s the list of invitees:
Koopa Troopa (Green)
Pom-Pom (Red Koopaling)
Pretty much, with the exception of some enemies, toad, and toadette, almost everyone is in Super Mario Party! And even then, who knows? There may still be some other characters yet to be released!
When’s the Party?
One of the last things to be shown in the video is the release date, and to keep things short and sweet, you can expect to test friendships and throw your own party on October 5th, 2018.
So there it is, everything we know so far about Super Mario Party. What do you think about this latest entry? Leave your thoughts below!