If you’re a Switch owner and aren’t too bothered by Forza, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin’s Creed or else are just rolling in money, you may be interested to know that Super Mario Party is launching tomorrow (that is, October 5th.) A sort of precursor to the hotly-anticipated Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, this multiplayer title has – to some extent – been obscured by the plethora of other high profile games that share the packed autumn schedule. Are you curious to know what is has to offer, and if so, is it worth buying?
Quite possibly, according to Metacritic. At the time of writing, Super Mario Party has a solid Metascore of 78, which isn’t earth-shattering, but neither is it a bummer. (I received the same result on my Year 7 science paper, and I was positively combustible.) Indeed, the best Super Mario Party review comes from the website Cubed3, who describe it as an “essential Nintendo Switch release” and a “true return to form for a franchise that was at risk of going stale.” Which is encouraging.
However, at the more lukewarm end of the scale, we have a review from USgamer who note that, whilst it takes advantage of Switch hardware in “unique and creative ways,” its “dialled-back board game and its lackluster extra modes let the whole package down.”
Some of this creative hardware use can be seen in the Toad’s Rec Room portion of the game, where players can engage in a ‘tabletop’ approach to gaming by lying their Switch screens on a flat surface and hooking them up to create larger maps. The motion-sensitive Joy-Con is also essential for many of Super Mario Party‘s challenges. Okay, it’s hardly a ground-breaking innovation given that we’re more than a decade from the game-changing Nintendo Wii, but – from what I’ve seen in preview videos – this title must utilise every conceivable Joy-Con manipulation across its 84 mini-games.
That being said, the big disadvantage with titles such as these is the fact that you need a group of friends in order to appreciate them fully – preferably friends who already own a Nintendo Switch. Mashable notes that, “the only thing that made Super Mario Party enjoyable was playing with someone I like,” adding that “playing by myself felt like a chore, because almost no part of it is engrossing enough to stand on its own.” The reviewer goes on to say that “the reliance on luck for success was annoying and made me lose interest, because trying didn’t really matter.” And this is a not-insignificant observation.
As I have previously pondered, this game may well be overlooked by many Switch owners who will be saving their hard-earned coins for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate later in the year. From what I’m hearing, though, this game certainly wouldn’t be a waste of money if you had it to spare – and of course if you weren’t distracted by some of the other (arguably more high profile) releases that surround it. VentureBeat describes Super Mario Party as “the most enjoyable party game Nintendo has ever made, one that makes the best use of the Nintendo Switch’s Joy-Con motion controls and the console’s cooperative play spirit.” Not too shabby.
How do you feel about Super Mario Party? Have you played it yet? Are you going to ignore it in favour of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate? Let me know in the comments below.