Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Should Mario Party Superstars be this much fun?

 Mario Party Superstars reinforces to me that Nintendo has refined history and nostalgia to an exact science. Using a hundred mini-games and five boards from the earliest Mario Party releases, it is asking players  to dive back into an idealized past like a Norman Rockwell video game time machine.

(That would make a great name for a Rolling Stones cover band)

And for me, it works. Mario Party Superstars has been a really fun gaming experience.

But here’s the thing. It’s only the second Mario Party game I’ve ever played and the other one is Super Mario Party, the other one for the Switch. I have zero history or emotional connection to the older games.

I don’t think this is some kind of argument that the older games are the best and you young whippersnappers don’t know what it was like back then. (You don’t know what it was like to stay up until eleven to watch a grainy Doctor Who rerun with bad reception. And I hate you because I wish _I_ didn’t know what it was like. Streaming is AWESOME) I think this proves that you’ll get quality of you cherry pick anything to an inch of its life.

Frankly, as a board game/video game hybrid Frankenstein that uses our old enemy Roll-and-Move as a primary mechanic (I still love you, Backgammon), Mario Party is an odd beast. I’m shocked that I enjoy it as much as I do. As a serious ‘game’, it’s lacking but it really makes the party part work.

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