Thursday, 27 October 2016

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush


Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

When we heard that we can play Nintendo's Mario Party game together using our Nintendo 3DS handheld systems, we got really excited! We have always wanted to play a game together using our Nintendo 3DS handheld systems, but most of the games only come with a small part that is multiplay-able. So having a full (almost) game that we can play together is a new experience to us!

We can play on our Nintendo Wii U of course, and it's perfect for when we have a large party so that everyone can see what's happening. But I'm guessing that the kids get a bit shy while being watched, so when we used our own Nintendo 3DS handheld system to play, we were more focused on our part of the game (not getting distracted by other player's screen), and hence are more connected to the game and with each other.

We aren't being anti-social at all either. We still talk to each other, laugh at the one that sulks (Clay walked off to another room sulking jokingly at one point, but he was still playing the game with us haha), or push (pretend bump) the one that sabotage our move. It's just really funny, and we had a great laugh!

The good news is that we can get all that fun with just one copy of the game, as guest players can download their game (although with limited features) for free. It is a brilliant feature, and it makes playing party games like Mario Party on the go possible (for example, play together in the same game instead of individually on the plane or ferry, or even in the hotel room during break time). We hope that Nintendo can bring out more games like this for Nintendo 3DS handheld systems!

If you want to know more about how this works, read on for our Nintendo 3DS - Mario Party: Star Rush review.

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush (RRP £34.99 and comes with a notebook, or download directly from Nintendo eShop; pegi 3) can be played with 1 to 4 players, and it comes with 3 game modes: Toad Scramble, Balloon Bash and Coinathlon at the beginning.

Another 5 game modes will be unlockable, and players can also access over 50 mini games directly through the main menu, which normally appears in the game modes.

Game modes can be played by 1 player against computer controlled characters. To play with other players, as long as there is one player who owns the game, up to 3 other Nintendo 3DS family system owners can join in by downloading the free Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush - Party Guest software from Nintendo eShop.

And if all players has a copy of the full game, they can play all modes through Local Play instead.

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
The new Nintendo 3DS is the host, and the Nintendo 2DS is the guest

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
Pondering about their next move

Toad Scramble:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
In single player mode, player plays against 3 computers
Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

In Toad Scramble, instead of playing as Mario or his friends, players play as Toads, who have to go through the game board by rolling the dice to move, defeat the bosses and rescue the stars.

There are coins and special items for players to collect on the board, which help players win the game (the person with most coins and stars wins). What's special in Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush though, is that players can also collect allies on the game board:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
Right: Red Toad and Daisy's rolls will be added together
Players can collect Mario and his friends to be their allies on the game board (each player can have up to 4 allies), who will follow players around the board, but at times are also controlled by the computer (for example, during the boss mini games). Players can choose to swap an ally to control as well.

Allies' dice rolls will be added to the player's roll too. For example, if a player has 2 allies, the number of steps they can take during their move will be the total of 3 dice's numbers added together.


Having an ally really gives you a step ahead especially during mini games, but just because you collected them, doesn't mean that they will be yours forever, because other players can steal them from you!

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

I wasn't having much luck with my rolls during a single player game, but then I collected an ally from the game board, and stole another 2 from other players as well (Imagine if I was playing against the kids haha!). I literally had 4 dice to roll during each round!


This still doesn't mean that you can grab everything on the board though, because in Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush, players roll the dice and decide their moves at the same time. So after carefully planning your move and assumed that you'll land on the special block you had your eyes on, someone else might reach it first!


This new gameplay has certainly cut out a lot of waiting time (which is great for people with short attention span, and those who are playing during travel), making the game more fast paced.

Together with items that allow you to sabotage other players (deduct 2 from a roll of a specific player, for example. A hand appears and give the player's character a big slap on the head!), it created lots of hilarious moments, hence more sulking for some of us! The words that frequently comes out from us are "HEY!!" and "Whaaa?!", with plenty of laughter, fights and tantrums:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
Clay throwing a tantrum like a big baby because we kept taking what he's after and he ended up coming last!
It's obvious that he was having fun though
This fun gameplay is only made possible with Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush, because we can't see each other's screen. There wouldn't be a surprise if we were playing it on Nintendo Wii U, where everyone can see each other's screen (except for the person holding the Gamepad, that's why Nintendo Wii U Mario Party 10 can have it's own surprises).


Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush
Boss stages

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Toad Scramble is a really fun game to play, and you won't know who the winner is until the last minute, because bonus coins were given out, with reasons like:

player with the least time with an ally
player that has taken the most steps on the game board or
player with the secret lucky ally

I was winning by a lot, but ended up coming 2nd by 2 coins (10 coins equal 1 star)!

NOT FAIR!

*Ehem* Anyway. Each completed game will earn you points towards your Party level, which I believe will unlock other game modes when you've reached a certain level.

We are definitely going to play it again, and I'll try to steal the kids' allies.. *evil parent laughter*


Balloon Bash:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Balloon Bash is similar to Toad Scramble, but players have more characters they can choose from to play, there is no specific location on the board the players have to be, and their aim is to collect as many coins on the board as possible by running after the coin balloons, then turn them into stars by catching the star balloon.

Only the number of stars will determine your winning position, so for example, a player with 2 stars 0 coins will win a player with 0 stars 40 coins.

There is a lot more mini games involved, as each balloon catch will open one. And if a Bowser balloon appears, it will activate a boss mini game, where players will be split into 2 teams to compete against each other.

While in Toad Scramble players steal each other's ally, players will be stealing coins in Balloon Bash. You can still use special items to help you sail through the board, or sabotage other players.


Coinathlon:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Coinathlon is a bit different. Players will be playing mini games on their own using the main screen, but their scores will be used to move them on the race track on the touch screen. It is a race against time as well, so the sooner you finish the laps the higher your rank is.

In a single player game, you will be competing against 1 computer instead of 3.


Minigames:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

Players can also access the minigames through the main menu. There are over 50 mini games to play, and it'll be a great opportunity to practise and familiar yourself with all of them, giving you a head start when it's time to compete with others again!


Character Museum:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

When you meet new characters during your play, their information will be added to the Character Museum, including those from foes!


amiibo:

Nintendo 3DS Mario Party, new Nintendo 3DS multi-player, Mario Party Star Rush

You can use amiibo characters in different game modes. For example, in Toad Scramble, an amiibo character will become your ally that comes with a rare item. And if the amiibo character has saved data from Nintendo Wii U's Mario Party 10, you can collect a special dice from them too.

New Super Mario amiibo figures have been released as well, with new poses for Donkey Kong, Rosalina and Wario, plus a glow in the dark Boo! And Diddy Kong, Daisy and Waluigi amiibo figures will be released on Friday 4th November 2016.


We really enjoyed playing Nintendo 3DS Mario Party: Star Rush! You can have all the party fun through one copy of the game, and connect with your family and friends during the time when you would normally play on your own. The kids love the idea that we are playing together, and because it's easier to grab hold of our Nintendo 3DS systems than turning Wii U on and bringing out the remote controls, we can have a quick game here and there.

We had a great laugh playing the game together, and even though Clay was sulking at times, it's obvious he was enjoying it. We also chose to sit together so we aren't just playing in our own corners, although I caught Abby peeking at my screen a few times!

We can't wait to unlock the rest of the game modes and all the other minigames that we haven't tried.

I would highly recommend this game to family and friends, and as a Christmas gift!