The Mario Party series brings back all kinds of fond memories for us here at Everybody Plays - many a Sunday was spent repeatedly destroying poor Koopa's hut on Mario Party 4, and sitting in amazement at our friends' super speed button mashing skills when it came to catching cheep cheeps. Sadly though, as sequel upon sequel has hit Nintendo's consoles, the series has been on something of a downward spiral, with each new instalment moving the game further away from what actually made it good. With that in mind, it's perhaps easy to see why Nintendo's use of the words "new direction" and "fast-paced" to describe what's always been a fairly traditional board game has us worrying a bit.
The main mode in Mario Party: Star Rush, called 'Toad Scramble' will apparently use a new open style of map which lets up to four players move around the gridded levels freely, rather than being locked to the traditional linear pathways of previous games. Players now all roll the dice at the same time, and move at the same time too, so you don't have to sit and wait for your friends to take their turns - not that we can ever say we've begrudged one of our friends a few seconds to stroll six spaces either. Staying true to the mode's name, in Toad Scramble, everyone plays as different coloured Toad characters, while the familiar Mushroom Kingdom faces you would have been playing as in previous games are scattered all over the map. By strolling over the space they occupy, you'll 'recruit' the likes of Mario, Peach and Daisy, and they'll "help the player throughout the game" by "participating in various events", whatever that means when it's at home. Apparently, each of the different themed boards will also have it's own boss battle too, which sounds… different, to say the least.
Multiplayer has always been at the heart of the Mario Party games, and it seems Star Rush will be no exception either, with options for both the all important Download Play, where everyone can play off a single copy of the game, and Local Wireless/Multi-Card Play for friends who are much flasher with their cash and each own a copy of Star Rush. As this is the "first time in series history" multi-card play has been an option, we wouldn't be surprised if this means that those playing off a single cartridge will have a more limited selection of modes to choose from, with the full range only available if you each shell out for your own copy - although of course, this is just conjecture at the moment.
Launching alongside Mario Party Star Rush on the 7th October will be a new round of Super Mario themed amiibo figures, including new poses for Wario, Donkey Kong and Rosalina alongside the debut of Boo - the Boo figure sounds like it will be especially fancy, as it will glow in the dark too (although likely will still only have a minimal effect on the game). Hitting stores around a month later, on the 4th November, will be newcomers Waluigi and Daisy, as well as a redone Diddy Kong too. We're assuming this means Mario Party Star Rush will have some kind of amiibo features too, although of course, this hasn't been confirmed yet either.
Mario Party Star Rush will be racing onto the 3DS on the 7th October in Europe, although seemingly won't hit the US until the following month, on the 4th November. Why not check out the new trailer below: