Nintendo has really made a giant leap forward with its newest installment in the Mario Party series. Ironically, it took them taking a few steps back to get there. The best thing that Super Mario Party has done for the series, without a doubt, is its return to the simpler gameplay which you can find in the franchises’ older installments. However, there is one modern change that the franchise needs to embrace. That is the much-needed addition of a Super Mario Party DLC.
DLC Done Right
DLC has become one of the most controversial subjects of the modern gaming era. While many make the argument that all content should be available with the game at launch, it’s becoming more and more clear that for games to have a lasting impact and a steady player base content must continue to trickle out after its release. As controversial as that is, I think that most of us can agree that Nintendo has managed to handle DLC for its titles very well.
Many will still point to Mario Kart 8 as one of the best examples of DLC done right. For just $12 Nintendo gave players 6 new characters, 12 new tracks, and 8 new vehicles. In addition, this content was split into two packs both with different release dates. This was genius because it was not only affordable but it gave players a reason to keep coming back to Mario Kart 8 all year long. Just when you thought it was finally time to take that Mario Kart 8 disc out of your WiiU a new DLC pack would release and you would find yourself online again racing the night away.
Since Mario Kart 8, Nintendo has released a slew of well-received DLC packs for several of their biggest titles. From all of the amazing content that came out of Smash Bros. WiiU/3DS, to both the Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Mario Odyssey DLC, Nintendo has proven that they know how to handle post-launch content.
Not Content With The Content
Super Mario Party is a very conflicting game. On one hand, it’s a return to form for a series that I love. On the other hand, the light amount of content makes the experience a little less replayable. Don’t get me wrong, even in the few short days of its release Super Mario Party has offered my friends and me plenty of reason to keep playing.
The problem is I’m not sure how long that is gonna last. With only four maps available for the main Mario Party mode, the game can already feel a bit repetitive. Even if the matches you play on one of these boards can be vastly different, I already feel a bit too familiar with the formula of the game.
Another problem is that the boards themselves also feel a bit small and claustrophobic. Which is not good for a game that aims to be fair and make players feel like they have a fair shot of obtaining stars. Many of the matches, I have played on the Mega Fruit Paradise board have ended up with each player stuck on a separate island praying that Toadette lands on their corner of the map. This makes the game feel more luck based than anything. The spaces for Toadette to land on and sell stars are also so close together that my opponent was able to use a power item and obtain two stars in one turn.
The game is a lot of fun, but with the content provided on the cartridge I can’t help but feel there could be some major improvements. I appreciate all of the extra fun little distractions and game modes that Nintendo provided in this installment. But to be perfectly honest I would trade them all away for a few more boards in the main game mode. Here is the thing, thanks to the technology in modern gaming I shouldn’t have to make that choice.
DLC Or Not To Be
Nintendo made a game that I want to keep playing in Super Mario Party. My problem is there just isn’t enough to keep me going. Here’s a crazy idea though! Why not release an amazing DLC pack, or better yet a Season Pass? Out of all of the games that receive a season pass already, I really couldn’t think of a better one to take advantage of that roll out than Super Mario Party.
Think about it. If every couple of months we were to receive two new game boards, a handful of minigames, and maybe even a few more characters, I would be more than happy to give Nintendo my money in advance. This would allow many of the game’s shortcomings to be fixed immediately. For example not only would there be more boards to choose from, but the developers could really play around with new ideas and maybe even create some lengthier maps.
This also gives you the perfect excuse to have friends over every couple of months to keep playing more Mario Party. The fun would never get stale if there is more content and just by adding a few maps and minigames there would be enough variety for my friends and me to keep coming back long after the games initial release.
But by far the thing I want Nintendo to take advantage of most is its large library of legacy characters. In the Mario Kart 8 DLC we saw levels and characters from both The Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing. So tell me Nintendo, why I can’t play Mario Party with my homeboy Kirby and my homegirl Samus?!?!
Could you imagine how awesome it would be to play a round of Mario Party on the planet Brinstar? What about collecting stars in the land where most of the citizens use them for transportation, Dreamland? Mario Party is the perfect series for Nintendo to embrace their massive library of classic games and really develop some kick-ass content.
Nintendo finally embraced that mentality with Mario Kart 8 and it really paid off for them. Even one of the most popular games under Nintendo’s belt, Super Smash Bros., relies very heavily on the fact that gamers don’t just love Mario, they love Nintendo. Nintendo really needs to recognize that and I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to do that then by spicing up the Mario Party formula. I don’t know if you realize this Nintendo, but here in the year 2018 we include everybody, so you should really do it too.
Super Mario Party DLC needs to happen and even if Nintendo never embraces its legacy characters, I would be more than happy with some form of DLC that keeps the party going. For all, we know Nintendo could already have something planned. But if not then I can’t help but feel that Super Mario Party is one big missed opportunity.