Screenshot
Screenshot

Grab your friends, its time for another Mario Party!

Main ImageMario Party Star Rush
Intial Release Date: November 4, 2016
Developers: 
ND Cube 
Publishers: 
Nintendo 
Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
Game information was freely provided by IGDB.com

Mario Party has had a weird and somewhat confusing life since I was younger, shoving everyone inside a car and forcing them to ‘work together’. Mario Party: Star Rush takes the idea of cooperation and throws it out the window, and goes back to the series’ roots. Sorta.

The biggest thing with Mario Party: Star Rush that needs addressed istoadscramble the fact that this isn’t the Mario Party you played before. Gone are the long waits between turns as your friends decided what to do with their life. Star Rush is all about everyone moving at the same time. ‘Toad Scramble’ mode has you and up to three friends all moving around a board at the same time. Rolling your dice to move to fight the board’s bosses, collect coins and items, and recruit fun ally characters. While the rules themselves are different, the idea of classic Mario Party is still the same: collect the stars to win, and don’t let your friends get any stars. Moving around the board at the same time doesn’t feel chaotic as I feared it would be though, with the only penalty for landing in the same spot as another player being that you have to have a minigame battle. The entire thing feels weird, but not necessarily bad. The only shame that even now, there’s still no online aspect to Mario Party.

As you complete games, you’ll find yourself unlocking new game modes. My personal favorite of these modes are Coinathlon and Balloon Bash. Coinathlon has you playing minute long minigames to collect as many coins as possible. These coins have you moving across the board for each coin and competing in a race around the board. The only downside of this mode is that you’re playing the same three minigames repeatedly, as the difficulty is increased. It is fun to see yourself and notice that you’re getting better though. Balloon Bash could be called a “Mini Party” and be completely correct. With tiny boards, you’re thrown into tr
ying to collect coins and then hit star balloons to buy stars. This feels like a pseudo-party, as it holds so much promise but the small boards lead to an overall disappointing feeling. The absolute strangest thing about Star Rush is the minigames that have been turned into game modes. These include a rhythm game, a weird climbing game, and a off-brand boosblockpartyPanel de Pon puzzle game.

The game however does make it insanely easy to play with friends. All your friend has to do is download the ‘Mario Party: Star Rush – Party Guest’ app off of the Nintendo eShop. This allows your friends and anyone without the game to play with you in modes that only would be through local play normally. Load times are short for the most part, and the unlocks are transfered if your friend decides to buy their own copy of Mario Party: Star Rush.

Not unlike the kid who when he realized he was popular, switched up their wardrobe and started talking with a strained fake accent, Mario Party has seemed neglected in the past few years. For years it’s felt like Mario Party had lost what made it Mario Party. Competing against friends for stars, ruining their chance to win at the last second, and fun and addicting minigames. While Star Rush isn’t perfect by any means, it might have captured a bit of that old Mario Party charm. The minigames are fun, and the love is there, but something just doesn’t feel right. An unlockable “Classic Party” mode would have been perfect for a final unlock I think, and delivered a reason for classic Mario Party fans to take a chance on this new and (somewhat) confusing ride.

Pros:
  • Colorful graphics and music.
  • Fun minigames
  • Tons of game modes, for better or worse.
Cons:
  • No online, still.
  • Weird shoe-horned amiibo support.
  • No "classic party" mode.
Graphics Pixl Score 5 5
Story Pixl Score N/A N/A
Sound Pixl Score 4 4
Controls Pixl Score 5 5
Fun Factor Pixl Score 3 3