Last weekend Reece and I decided that our next joint game purchase was going to be the new Super Mario Party for the Nintendo Switch. I often get a bit worried buying party games like this as there's the potential that they'll just sit and gather dust on the shelf until the rare occasion someone comes over and actually wants to play. But as I've said many, many times before I am a big sucker for anything OG Nintendo, so how could I say no?
Firstly I just want to say that this current design era of the Mario Nintendo universe are in is my absolute favourite of all time. Since the characters went 3D they've not only developed more dimensions, but also more personality too. Everything just looks so shiny and clean and soft and it's pretty cool seeing some characters that you've only ever known as 2D sprites finally getting their time to become more 'real,' (and before you ask, yes I am talking about Monty Mole because I love him.)
The beauty of Nintendo's simple yet effective design is that it feels like time and effort went into making the game, but in a strange way it felt like they almost had a lot of fun making and developing it? Heck, if my entire job was to look at a chubby little mole all day and make him play mini games with his friends in a colourful, fun-filled world, then I think I'd be pretty happy to. Nintendo's current Mario design pleases me aesthetically, but also dynamically as the world itself also has personality that compliment the range of kooky characters within it.
So, onto the party itself. There are a lot of cool and different features in this game, and also the entire focus isn't on the main 'party format' as it usually is. One of the most notable new features is that each of the characters has their own unique dice block. These can range from the villain characters that possess high risk/reward die, or the good characters having die that are more level-headed. This can make for a unique experience every time you play with a different character, for better or worse, and more so now that they also introduced allies! Passing certain spaces on the board will allow you to team up with other characters and harbour the use of their special die. It's so much fun seeing who can get the biggest posse by the end of the game and how they can either make you a champion or bugger your chances completely.
As well as the main boards there are also loads of side games/quests that are just as fun. There's the river survival mode, where you and your three friends must paddle down a treacherous river and make the finish line just in time, whilst completing mini games on the way. There's partner mode, where you and a friend can complete the game boards in a pair and work your way around strategically. There's also rhythm mode (my new favourite) where you play through a series of mini-games that are all (you guessed it) rhythm based. I love this mode so much because it reminds me of one of my favourite games of all time, another Nintendo classic, Rhythm Paradise. The best thing is is that we've only just scratched the surface of SMP and there's so much more to unlock! This version really feels like it's evolved beyond just being a 'party game' and has actually become something you can enjoy at any time. Granted, there's nothing more satisfying than watching the light in your best friends' face die as you snatch that last star from just beneath their nose, but it's still a fun game all the same!
Overall this year we've invested a lot of time and money into Nintendo, what with buying the Switch and a few other games, but when they keep producing such fun, colourful titles like this one then it's really hard not to. I know they often get criticised for being 'babyish' or 'easy,' but its hardly as if you load up a Mario title to be scared half to death, or to try and get the highest kill count. Mario games are reliable and sturdy and never fail to put a smile upon my face. I'm constantly in awe of Nintendo and the quality of their original titles, especially when it's a party game that's much more than just a party game.
This post is dedicated to Monty Mole because HE IS THE BEST.