I can’t actually think of another publisher that would neglect titles that sold even half as much as Super Mario Party. A bonafide success by any measurement, the game has received practically no support post-launch, and that seems set to continue after Nintendo announced Mario Party Superstars.
Revealed during its E3 2021 conference, Mario Party Superstars is a standalone game with 100 classic Mario Party minigames and 5 special boards from the original Nintendo 64 games.
Launching on October 29, Nintendo says the new title will support online play for all modes and mid-game saves, if playing with friends. The Nintendo Treehouse stream confirmed that you’ll be able to play this game with “buttons and sticks”, including the Pro Controller or the Nintendo Switch Lite, something that can’t be done with Super Mario Party today.
A lot of the UI for Mario Party Superstars is borrowed from Super Mario Party, along with the practice space players get before mini-games so they can quickly become accustomed to the rules. A new curtain feature has been added, too, stopping other players from copying or screencheating.
It’s still not hugely apparent why this couldn’t be patched into Super Mario Party; that game undoubtedly would have benefited from button support. Interestingly, Mario Party Superstars is a much bigger game than the original. The official Nintendo site lists Super Mario Party as having a 2.8GB install size, compared to 3.9GB for Mario Party Superstars.
It’ll be nice to see the refreshed N64 Mario Party maps, and I would have even sacrificed some of the non-button compatible mini-games from Super Mario Party to make it work. On the flip side, Mario Party is all about chaos and inconvenience, so maybe launching as a standalone game makes total sense.