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Super Mario Party Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
 
7.9/10 from 2 user ratings

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Thanks to the timing of a couple of Best Buy promotions, I picked this game up last weekend.

My early review after playing a single two-player match: pretty fun! I was racking my brain to think of a good game to play with my lapsed gamer buddy who was in town. (BTW, Puyo Puyo Tetris is NOT that game.) SMP fit the bill nicely. Which is to say, it was absolute and total bullshit. He actually won! But a good time was had by all.

I really appreciate having multiplayer games in which I don't just steamroll everyone. That could be due to good handicapping features, emphasis on non-gaming skills, or just socialist game design. Intentionally sandbagging all of the time is no fun for anyone. My typical list of 'everybody' games consists of Jackbox, Karaoke, and Buzz Quiz. And Jackbox is the only one (very specific company excepted) in which I have a real chance of losing. Well, Super Mario Party is another proud addition to that short, short list. Because, even though it hews closer to a normal video title, this game is, again, bullllshit.

Anyway, quick impressions: The presentation is amazingly good. Very charming. Mini-games have been fun so far. The character exclusive dice are a neat mechanic. Allies are also a neat mechanic, but kind of OP. The first board was a little small and simple, and the prices of items and stars are too low. In fact, the game is almost tuned like a pinball machine, with tons of coins and stars dropping at all times. That definitely keeps things exciting, though. Complacency has no place in SMP.

I've only played the normal party mode so far, so I can't comment on the other stuff. But, regarding board movement, I never hated the previous mechanic. It was a novel (for a while) solution to the extended length of the board game portion of each turn. And it honestly felt a lot more strategic and much, much snappier than the standard mode in SMP. At least in terms of the first board. There was a lot of opportunity for chaos, but not much strategy.

It sounds like I have a lot of complaints, but I'm actually pretty happy with my purchase of Super Mario Party. I just hope that they patch the game to improve it in some of these areas. (And I certainly wouldn't turn down some free DLC!)

Recommended (so far)!

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Posted: 10/08/18, 18:37:44  - Edited by 
 on: 10/08/18, 19:39:23
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I'm in the same boat. I actually have a lot of complaints but I'm loving it so far. Maybe it's just because it's a NEW Mario Party?

Things I like:
- Presentation is really slick. Maybe too slick? I miss some of the Mario themed fonts everywhere but do appreciate how easy the UI is to read.
- The minigames steal the show for me. I think most of them are really good so far. Even the motion controlled games don't seem too annoying.
- Pacing seems pretty good. Games go by more quickly than in some Mario Party entries.
- Lots of choices. Even though the boards are smaller, you hit a lot of forks in the road, causing you to make decisions. Do I go for the star, or do I try to get more coins/allies? Do I even have a chance of getting the star, making a grab at it a waste of time?
- The Dice Blocks - I like how they have some risk/reward involved. Any time that Mario Party allows the players to make choices is a good thing IMO. That was the main problem in 9 and 10. You just jammed on the A button until it was time to play a minigame.
- New characters - playing as Bowser's minions is a ton of fun. Hammer Bro.'s "Ohhh noooo" makes you feel pretty bad for him.
- Playing as Bowser - I thought this would feel "wrong" for Mario Party, but it's not really that bad. I'm still kind of a staunch advocate that Bowser should be lurking in the background of Mario Party, not a participant, but he works fine.

Things I don't like:
- I've said this numerous places so I'm probably a broken record here: The game doesn't have a "suspend" feature. You can't a.) Save a game to resume later, or b.) Soft save/suspend a game to resume later. I like playing 15 or 20 turn games, but we can't always realistically complete them in one sitting. Plus, it's the Switch! I rotate games all the time. It's unrealistic that I wouldn't want to try and level up in another game, or maybe we want to play Mario Kart. This game should be auto saving after every turn!!! Plus, if there was auto saving after every turn, online play would make way more sense. That way, if a player loses connection, you haven't lost your progress. I don't know how even Nintendo would omit a feature like this.
- Lack of online play - It really doesn't make sense to me. I have friends that I play Overwatch with for 2, 3 hours at a time. We've always wanted to play something like Mario Party together. I don't understand why we can't play the main game online. Another time where I'm like...can't Nintendo just do things the way other companies do?
- Pacing is a little TOO brisk sometimes - I like the faster games in general, but I also miss the fanfare. Using the magic lamp or stealing a star in past games always took forever. Now it goes by in the blink of an eye. This isn't bad, but I would almost prefer a middle ground. Declaring the winner at the end of the game has virtually no fanfare at all. No curtain unveiling, no stair climbing, no cutscenes. Just a split screen with some text. I wouldn't mind some slower moments for special events in the game.
- Not enough boards. The boards in the game aren't bad, but I'd like more of them.
- Soundstage - This mode would be AWESOME if the rumble and my TV audio weren't so out of sync. Even on my TV with slightly less input lag, I can't help but feel that the rhythm is off. I wish there was a way to calibrate the audio.
- River Rapids - I love this mode as well, but motion controls are required. I'd understand it if this mode was shorter, but it's actually pretty long! And there's no nuance to the motion - it's just waggle. I'd much rather press a button. ESPECIALLY given that you have to beat this mode three separate times to unlock Donkey Kong.. Speaking of which:
- Unlocking Donkey Kong - Seriously? I'm all for making the player work to unlock things, but this is a bit much, especially since you didn't have to do this in previous games.
- Walking around the plaza - This is a cute little feature, but at the end of the day, the menu works fine. I'm not sure that this was the best choice to select modes in the game. After the first hour with the game, I've essentially stopped using it.
- Playing as Bowser - I know I put this as a positive, but I'll also list it as a negative. Toad and Toadette just aren't the most charismatic hosts, and I think I'd prefer that THEY are playable instead of Bowser. At the very least, Toad has experience explaining games to you. I do wish that the Bowser spaces were back though. I live for the BIG moments in Mario Party, and Bowser spaces definitely fit that bill in past games.

Again - I know that sounds like a ton of complaining, right? But I'm having a ton of fun with the game. Definitely makes me optimistic about future games. I'm so glad they ditched the car mechanic.
Posted: 10/08/18, 19:59:10
My fiancee and I had two games yesterday. One at 10 turns. Another at 15 turns. We we're having a bunch of fun. I'm loving the game so far. I can't wait to play with other past fans of the series who haven't played one in years.

The minigames are really fun so far. I'm liking the motion controls aspect.
Posted: 10/08/18, 20:45:53
@PogueSquadron
I do kind of miss Bowser's asshattery. Kamek is okay, but Bowsy had more panache.

I totally agree with your suspend feature, but I actually wish that the pacing were more brisk (possibly because I was trying to finish in a hurry in order to squeeze movie in afterwards).

And I remember 9 & 10 being more strategic regarding board movement, taking advantage of the items and ability to occasionally move backwards to maximize your mini-stars or screw over the other guy. Granted, I've only played one game of SMP...

By the way, four of us picking this game up on launch weekend is pretty impressive. It just might have hit the party game zeitgeist!
Posted: 10/09/18, 00:53:26  - Edited by 
 on: 10/09/18, 00:54:12
Played about four turns last night with a buddy before heading out to the bars. Maybe we weren't in the right frame of mind for it, but it wasn't my thing. I was pretty disappointed in the lack of personality; I get why they do it, they want it to feel more "modern" in the sense that this is just a generic board game starring Mario characters so it can have a wide appeal, but man, I'll take Mario Party 2 over this any day.
Posted: 10/15/18, 01:05:45
Played it with friends and played it again tonight with my fiancee. Wonderful fun still, though whoa the CPU had it out for her.

Do you guys play on Normal, Hard, or Very Hard mode when it comes to the difficulty setting? What's your favorite of the three base maps?
Posted: 10/15/18, 03:26:13
This is good. My sister-in-law got it and we've played a couple quick 10-round plays. The best addition for me is the alternate dice--there's now some genuine strategy to rolling, and I think it's great! I particularly like the character dice that have high probabilities for certain numbers, like Shy Guy and Daisy. Really clever addition to the series. The minigames have been universally enjoyable too, and the large roster is impressive. I've only played one of the side modes (the rhythm one) but it was actually nicely done with some fun presentational elements.

I'm still a bit surprised that some elements of Mario Party still haven't been brought back or improved upon though. For instance, I always loved the macro sense of progression in the first one with the stuff you can buy in the shop and the quest to get 100 stars for the final board. That element has always seemed really dialed back in every subsequent game. It's also puzzling how there seem to be a lack of options when it comes to board speed, game saving and using the Pro Controller. Playing with a single Joy-Con is kind of a pain, even though the high fives are fun.
Posted: 10/18/18, 07:12:23
The only macro progression seems to be getting the gems (which you seem to get from completing boards in the various modes) but apparently all that does is unlock a cutscene.
Posted: 10/18/18, 20:47:40
We've liked recent Mario Parties so I'm curious about this one. It seems similar to Mario Party Star Rush with its special dice blocks per character and the ally collection, but I never got the chance to play that in multiplayer so this game would help with that.
Posted: 10/18/18, 21:26:40
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