A little over a year before the turn of the century, Nintendo created a franchise that would end up changing thousands of people’s childhoods (and friendships) forever. You know it, you might hate it sometimes, but really we all love it — it’s Mario Party! On December 18th the Mario Party franchise celebrated its 25th anniversary, with the first game coming out all the way back in 1998.
The now-iconic series had its roots on the Nintendo 64, and the first three games in the series appeared on the console. Up until that point, multiplayer in the Mario franchise mostly boiled down to two-player versus modes, but Mario Party broke the mold and made the focus about playing with a group of up to four friends. The games were a hit, and the household name was starting to establish itself.
With the end of the Nintendo 64’s lifespan came the era of the GameCube, and Mario Party transitioned to the console quite well. The next four entries in the franchise all appeared on the newly portable home console, bringing with them new mechanics like a day/night cycle and the use of a microphone for certain minigames.
Mario Party’s journey onto the Wii was a time for innovation. The Wii remote supported a much broader way to play using motion controls, and allowed Mario Party’s minigames to branch out and explore tons of interesting concepts. Mario Party 9 and its sequel on the Wii U changed up the basic formula that had been ongoing up to this point, and had the players all riding in a car around the board instead of separately. This mechanic wouldn’t last beyond those two games, but it was a neat idea on paper at the very least!
As of now, the Nintendo Switch is the latest destination for Mario’s band of party pals. Super Mario Party and Mario Party Superstars returned the series to the classic format of four characters separately going around the board aiming to become the Superstar. It’s impossible to know where the party will take us next, but it’s probably safe to say that it’ll be the classic fun-filled friendship-fracturing experience we all know and love once again!
Leave a Comment