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Super Mario Party Didn't Feel Like A True Mario Party

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  • Posted on 05th Aug, 2022 13:15 PM
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Super Mario Party does not live up to its name. Although it is a passable party game, it lacks what made previous Mario Party games excellent.

Even though the Mario Party series has been running for a long time, Super Mario Party felt more like a step back than a true sequel. The game did show some ambition with a wider character roster and new types of minigames. However, the game itself had no shortage of shortcomings, and in some ways it feels less complete than previous titles.

The Mario Party series started on the Nintendo 64, and has seen releases on every Nintendo console since. The gameplay has remained the same throughout the series, with Mario characters moving across the game board and playing minigames between each turn, with the winner being whoever collected the most stars by the end of the game. It is a format that clearly works, considering how long the series has persisted and how successful it has been. Even though Mario Party once gave Nintendo 64 players blisters, it is trailing only Mario Kart at this point in terms of the most famous Mario spin-off series.

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Despite the series' high pedigree, Super Mario Party does not feel like the next step forward. The game failed to meaningfully build upon what the entries before it provided. While calling Super Mario Party a bad game may be a stretch, one can easily call it one of Nintendo's more underwhelming entries, especially considering the series it hails from.

Super Mario Party Has The Series' Weakest Board Selection

Aside from the minigames, the boards are the biggest draw of the Mario Party games. Each board has its own gimmick that requires players to incorporate it into their strategy, even all the way back in the first Mario Party. Unfortunately, the boards in Super Mario Party fall short in several ways, especially compared to Mario Party Superstars' collection of classic boards.

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First, Super Mario Party has only four boards, one of which is locked at the start of the game. This already sets the game behind the rest of the series, which traditionally features at least five boards per installment. In addition, many of the board gimmicks in the game have either been done before, or have been done in a better way in other games. For example, the Whomps that are the main gimmick in Whomp's Domino Ruins have been an element in several previous boards. Finally, the boards feel quite small compared to the series' norm, and playing on them feels rather unimpressive without the large amount of side patch and wild board events that the series has featured before.

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Super Mario Party offers a small amount of rather generic and uninteresting boards, and that is one of the things that hurts the game the most. While Mario Party Superstars' lack of unlockables is a sticking point for some, at least it has a decent set of well-liked boards to play. The boards of Super Mario Party start the game on the wrong foot, and the rest of the game struggles to measure up in response.

Games Of Super Mario Party Are Far Too Short

For a long time, Mario Party was about as time-consuming as a real board game. Between the strategy involved as well as the minigames between every turn, an average game could take an hour or more depending on the amount of turns selected. When playing with friends, this was no problem at all due to how fun the game is, as well as the competitive nature of Mario Party keeping things exciting. However, Super Mario Party cuts things down a bit too much.

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In Super Mario Party, games can only be played for 10, 15, or 20 turns. Considering that earlier Mario Party games could go up to 50 turns, this combined with the smaller boards makes Super Mario Party feel tiny in comparison to its predecessors. The shorter games go by too quickly, and there is less time for players to strategize, or for an early lead to be whittled down. Not to mention, fewer turns means fewer minigames as well. The 10-turn limit is especially bad, as that is barely enough time for a game of Mario Party to really get going in the first place.

Mario Party has never been a gaming epic, but the best Mario Party games provide full, satisfying experiences. In contrast, Super Mario Party is guaranteed to be shorter, and it doesn't pack enough content into that short time to feel worthwhile. While Mario Party doesn't have to be a marathon, it at least needs enough time to amount to something.

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Although Super Mario Party Is Shorter, It Feels Slower

The short length of Super Mario Party is a problem, as mentioned previously. Despite this, the game often feels like it's moving more slowly than a typical Mario Party game would. This is a combination of several factors rather than a single overarching issue, but it is something that becomes very noticeable while one is playing, especially with experience from previous Mario Party games.

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Following every team minigame, unless an all-AI team wins, players will be prompted to high-five for extra coins. Whether or not they do so, this drags the ending of the minigame a few seconds longer than necessary. Especially when playing Super Mario Party online, these unnecessary delays become tiresome. When several team minigames get played over the course of a game, that time adds up. In addition, the normal dice block only ranges from 1 to 6 rather than 1 to 10 like most Mario Party games, making movement feel slower despite the smaller boards. While some of the personalized character dice blocks can provide those higher dice rolls from old games, they also frequently result in rolls of 1 or no movement at all, making moving across the board feel slower and less exciting.

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Super Mario Party may provide the shortest Mario Party games, but they are also the slowest. Rather than turns going by quickly and fluidly like the other games, they get bogged down by slow movement and unnecessary padding. Even Super Mario Party's surprise update didn't do anything to affect this slow pace. Although there are some attempts to speed this up, such as allies that add to the player's roll, they do not do enough to help in the long run.

Despite the name implying something truly grand, Super Mario Party fails to reach the same heights as its predecessors. Despite having some fun side games, the main party mode is lacking in content that will keep players coming back. Despite initial high expectations, Super Mario Party ultimately failed to capture the true spirit of Mario Party.

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