1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Welcome to Lake Valor!
    Catch, train, and evolve Pokémon while you explore our community. Make friends, and grow your collection.

    Login or Sign Up

Article Eclipse Expounds - Mario Party: Star Rush

Discussion in 'Video Games' started by Eclipse, May 2, 2017.

  1. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★

    I'm back, everyone! ...Well, it's not like I ever actually left; I've just been busy and preoccupied with other things. In any case, it's been a fair while since I've put out one of these articles, and there are tons of new faces here that have appeared since the last installation, so I'll start by introducing myself.

    My name is Eclipse, and I'm part of the Writers team at Lake Valor. We usually put out interesting bits of information to read, like brief news bites, the occasional interview, game reviews, and even forum-wide e-blasts.

    This article series of mine here, entitled "Eclipse Expounds", involves me giving a thorough review and analysis of a video game I have played and enjoyed, with a comprehensive experience of what's in the game, regardless if people own it or not. (And it's persuasive in part too - if you've heard of the video game and you're on the fence about it, perhaps what I tell you will help you better make an informed decision.)

    So, putting aside the fanfare, I shall now give my review of this title:



    Mario Party: Star Rush is the latest entry in the widely popular Mario Party series of video games, well-known for being, and informally referred to as such, the 'destroyer of friendships'. (I disagree slightly in that it strengthens and destroys them simultaneously, but that's a personal stance - also semantics.)

    After the release of Mario Party 8, the series has become somewhat experimental in nature, relying on slightly different game formulae besides the strict collecting of coins and trading for stars on a loop-shaped gameboard. (This may be due in part to the fact that Hudson Soft is no longer involved with the series, as it was with every title beforehand. Nd Cube has since taken the series over.)

    This also carried with it the transition from 10-sided die blocks to 6-sided ones, with Mario Party 9 and Bowser Party Mario Party 10 on the Wii U adopting a race-to-the-finish approach with all players traveling together, and Mario Party: Island Tour on the Nintendo 3DS being similar, just with each player traveling separately. Star Rush, however, uses a formula that is closer to the older games, with you collecting stars and coins on a grid-shaped board instead, with free cardinal (i.e. up-down, left-right) movement. It also instituted a few new bits to the game as well, perhaps in response to people's misgivings about some of the mechanics.

    For example, do you ever recall being frustrated at having to wait for a somewhat inattentive player to take his turn?

    Not anymore.

    There is a lot of stuff to do in this game, as they give you many different kinds of games to play, so expect this particular article to be a rather thorough read - but I'll try my very best to trim out any extraneous information.


    Game Versions

    Mario Party: Star Rush comes in two versions: a full version, plus a 'Party Guest' version that functions as a glorified demo of sorts. The Party Guest version is only available via the Nintendo eShop, but it's free, and takes roughly 2700 blocks.

    The main purpose of the Party Guest version is to expedite multiplayer. As with Mario Party DS and Mario Party: Island Tour, it's still possible to use Download Play for multiplayer, but you're only able to use the more basic, ubiquitous features (4 out of the 7). With Party Guest you can use all 7 in multiplayer, though the other 3 are more esoteric features that may not be used as often, so if you're just worried about playing with friends, the Party Guest version may not be necessary. It does, however, remove the start-up time that Download Play requires.

    Initially, the Party Guest version can only utilise a few functions in single-player mode, but can unlock more things to do when in multi-player mode that can carry over to playing alone. It's most useful if you know someone who has the full version, and you don't feel like buying the full game yourself. The drawback is it doesn't have all the features (for example, it can't host a multiplayer lobby, and there is VERY little it can do in single-player), but it will save any progress and things earned while in multiplayer. Also, if you purchase the full version later, you can carry over your save data from the Party Guest version.



    Star Rush features a level-up system that is used to unlock new things you don't have yet. When you start the game off, you are shown your "Party Level", which starts off at Level 1. When you participate in activities and minigames, you will earn a certain amount of EXP - this applies whether in single-player or multiplayer mode, and applies to both the full and Party Guest versions of the game.

    Don't worry - this won't involve grinding. You only need to level up 12 times to unlock all the features, after which the game won't even bother to track your EXP anymore. You start off able to access 3 of the 9 modes: Character Museum, Minigames, and Toad Scramble. The game also has 12 playable characters, of which 8 are available from the start (Mario, Luigi, Peach, Daisy, Yoshi, Wario, Waluigi, Toad), and the other 4 (Toadette, Rosalina, Donkey Kong, and Diddy Kong) unlocked as you level up.


    Game Modes

    The one thing I really like about Star Rush is that it gives you a lot to do. While I own both Mario Party DS and Island Tour, and DS has top-notch boards while Island Tour has top-notch minigames, Star Rush gives you boards, minigames, and a whole lot of other things to do on top of that. This is what has endeared me most to the game, because it isn't just Mario Party. Indeed, my favourite mode actually isn't one of the Party-related modes, so this game has a little something for everyone!

    There are a total of 9 modes to play in the game. I'll explain the 3 more important modes that appear in the game (i.e. the ones you'd more closely associate with Mario Party), and the others I'll explain near the end with just a paragraph apiece. For easy scrolling, I'll put the major modes within spoiler tags.


    As veterans to the series are no doubt aware, minigames are the bread and butter of Mario Party, and are what really destroy forge friendships. They're separated into 4 categories: Free-for-all, Boss, Coin Chaos, and Bowser's Gauntlet; and you can free-play any minigames you've unlocked in other modes, as usual.

    In contrast to previous Mario Party titles, which gave you detailed descriptions of a minigame's controls and objective, Star Rush gives you only a brief description and throws you at it. To compensate, the minigames are relatively easy to learn, and the controls are rarely much more than the Circle- or D-Pad to move around, plus A or B to do an action - or sometimes they're just entirely touch-screen. And you can still always Practise any minigame by pressing B at the beginning, if you need to - I myself don't, and start right away, but that's just because I've played Mario Party a lot in the past.

    Toad Scramble (this game's Party Mode)

    The goal of Toad Scramble is to try and collect as many Stars and Coins as possible. The boards are large grids subdivided into square spaces, and can be traversed around relatively freely (though there are usually ramps and such dividing the board up). There are a total of 15 boards to choose from, five 'worlds' numbered 0-4 with three boards each. (World 0 serves as a 'tutorial' world to teach you the basics of the game.)

    In Star Rush, it is important to note that everyone takes their turns at the same time. Each round, all players will roll their dice, then based on the roll, you plot out how you're going to move. You can move north, south, east, or west, however much your roll permits you. You can even move in circles if you want - pretty much the only movement not allowed is going back and forth between the same 2 squares. After you've selected your path, all players move their chosen paths at once.

    There are all kinds of squares littered over the board - some contain coins, others give you items (or let you shop for them), and still others are special obstacles that only certain characters can break. For most spaces, you need to land on them by exact count, though with Coins, Balloons, or Allies, you get those just by passing through them.

    Balloons and Allies will appear over the board at set intervals during the game, and on random squares. Balloons give coins to whoever passes through them first, and start off a minigame. Minigames will give coins to all players based on how they placed, with the winner getting the most. Allies are the other playable characters (Mario, Luigi, etc.) you can find, and passing through one adds him/her to your team. Each ally has its own special effect and unique die block when leading your team - for example, Peach is really good at rolling 4s, while Waluigi will either roll a 6 or steal some of your coins. It's possible to steal Allies from other players, by landing on the same space and challenging another player to a duel, which can noticeably turn the tide of the game.

    Toad Scramble games aren't based on turn count, but rather boss count. At the start of the game, a boss will appear somewhere on the board at random, and hold 1 Star 'captive'. Whenever a boss is defeated, the next one appears elsewhere on the board, and the game continues until all bosses are defeated. Each board has 3-5 bosses to fight, based on the board chosen. The boss fought is chosen at random from among 9 bosses (save special occasions where you fight Bowser), though you'll never fight the same boss twice in one game.

    A boss minigame begins when a team(s) lands on it by exact count. Those teams have a head start; anyone else who wasn't on that space needs to catch up - by mashing the A button. The farther away the team is, the more it needs to button-mash, and if a team doesn't make it to the boss before it's defeated (unlikely, but possible), it gets no rewards.

    Boss battles are where Allies serve to your advantage. You control your team leader, and the CPU controls all your allies. Your Allies help you gather points and increase your overall score, so it's in your interest to gather as many as possible. Thankfully, if your allies get in the way or mess up, you aren't penalised; a team will only lose points if the leader is the one to mess up. When the boss loses half its HP, it enters a 'pinch mode', changing its tactics to some degree, becoming more difficult to fight. Upon a boss's defeat, the team with the most points gets the Star, and the other teams get coins based on placing. If it was the last boss fight for a board, all rewards are doubled.

    After all bosses are defeated, final rewards are tallied. This is where the sets of Bonus Coins are given out (akin to the Bonus Stars of previous games). Like the Bonus Stars, the criteria chosen can be anything, from landing on the most boss spaces, to most time alone, to most minigames won, to most items used, to least spaces moved...you get the idea. Lastly, there will also be a Lucky Ally, where 1 of the Allies gathered this game is chosen at random, and its team gets a set of Bonus Coins.

    Then, all Coins that the teams have are converted into Stars, at the rate of 10 Coins to the Star. Whoever has the most Stars at the end is the winning team. (If there's a tie for Stars, then remaining Coins on hand is the tie-breaker...and I haven't seen a tie after that yet, but I assume it would be high roll like it was in Mario Party DS.)

    In addition, if the winner has at least a certain amount of Stars (the amount varies from board to board), that's called a Star Rush (hence the game's title). There's also a Super Star Rush, which is a certain amount even higher than that. If you've ever won a board with a Rush, you'll get a special stamp for that board - a Star Rush nets you an orange stamp with a white star in the middle, while the stamp for a Super Star Rush is blue instead.

    Coinathlon (a real-time coin race)

    In Coinathlon, you run laps around a race track by collecting coins. (Interestingly, the map bears a strong resemblance to Perilous Palace Path from Mario Party: Island Tour. Perhaps that was intentional.) Before each race, you're told how many opponents you'll have (1 to 3) as well as how many laps must be completed (either 3, 5, or 7). Three minigames will also be chosen at random, which is what all players will be playing this race, alternating in a cycle.

    Your aim is to collect as many coins as possible. Each coin will move you forward 1 space, and each lap is 90 spaces. Each player has his/her own 'arena', so other players can't try to nab coins away from you - but the games are played in real time, and your opponents will have opportunities to disrupt your progress with items (which are obtained after collecting a certain amount of coins). Items can have varying effects, some beneficial to you, others disruptive to your opponents (for example, the Double Up Medal will double all coins you get for a short time, while the Lightning will slow an opponent down to half speed for a short time).

    Each minigame lasts for 60 seconds, so you have that much time to collect coins. At the end of each minigame, whoever got the most points for the game gets 3 more coins (and thus advances 3 more spaces). The next minigame to play will be the next one in the cycle. This repeats until a player has crossed the finish line.

    Occasionally, Bowser will appear and disrupt the cycle - when this happens, everyone has 30 seconds to survive Bowser's attack, or until only 1 player remains, whichever happens first. Whatever players were hit by Bowser are sent back (either 5, 10, or even 15 spaces), so try not to let Bowser hit you!

    There are two ways to play: Rival Race and Free Play. In Rival Race, the game will choose how many laps and which CPUs you'll be playing against, and you have to preserve a winning streak, to get as far as you can before you are beaten - though you can quick-save your streak at any time with START. In Free Play mode, you get to choose your opponents (and their AI level), the number of laps, and what the 3-game cycle will be - so single races instead of a streak.

    Other Modes
    So far, I've only mentioned 3 of the 9 modes in Island Tour. That doesn't mean the other modes are any less fun or significant - they just require a bit less explanation, and aren't the 'main focus' of the game, but they're still just as great:
    • Character Museum lets you view all of the characters (both playable and various beasties) that you've seen - try and find all 57!
    • Balloon Bash is basically Toad Scramble Lite, with no bosses or allies to worry about, but plays much the same way.
    • Rhythm Recital is a rhythm game where you tap the Touch Screen in time to circles - no, really.
    • Mario Shuffle is a small board game where 2 players control 3 playing pieces, and try to get their pieces to the other end of the board.
    • Boo's Block Party is a match-three puzzle game, where you can play either by yourself (endless), or against another player (versus).
    • Challenge Tower has you climb up a tower while avoiding bombs akin to Minesweeper.

    amiibo Support

    Mario Party: Star Rush features amiibo support for the game. It's nothing too large, and usually the bonuses amount to just a special decoration or starting a game off with an item, but they're nice to have.

    amiibo can be used for any playable character in this game, except for Toadette. Whether a compatible amiibo for Toadette will be released (and if Star Rush will have an update for her accordingly) is yet to be seen.

    Note that I don't own any amiibo myself, so the descriptions here are the ones that the game itself gives, so they may not be fully accurate.
    Benefits are listed for each game mode separately, in the spoiler tag.

    Character Museum: When viewing a playable character's page, you can make a stamp on the bottom screen to show you own the amiibo for that character.
    Minigames: No amiibo functions.
    Toad Scramble: Scan an amiibo to start a game with that character as an Ally.
    Coinathlon: Every item you acquire during a game has its effect doubled.
    Balloon Bash: Brings along 1 item to start the game with. They appear to be special die blocks, and may depend on the character.
    Rhythm Recital: No amiibo functions.
    Mario Shuffle: Brings along 1 item to start the game with. They appear to be special die blocks, and may depend on the character.
    Boo's Block Party: No amiibo functions.
    Challenge Tower: If you lose, you can scan the amiibo to instead keep going from where you lost, but you have to wait 24 hours before doing so again.



    First of all, I already like it more than Island Tour out of the gate - but that isn't hard, really; Island Tour isn't a very good game. As for whether I like it more than DS, that's hard to say (those are the only 3 Mario Party games I've played). Regardless, what I like most about Star Rush is that it isn't just about Mario Party; it gives you several other modes to play as well, all of which can be just as fun - Rhythm Recital was my first experience with any sort of rhythm game (and finding out they require even more perfection than I thought), Mario Shuffle was way more fun than I thought it would be (it's actually my favourite mode), and Challenge Tower is a more amazing Minesweeper spinoff than Knuckles' Mine Hunt.

    And I'm sure everyone wants to know (I did too, don't worry), but people always want to know how the Party mode shapes up, in reaction to how people didn't like how MP 9, 10, and Island Tour did theirs. Nd Cube is learning, apparently, as while it's not exactly like Hudson's formula, it operates on the same principle - collecting Stars and Coins to win on a non-linear board. Putting the game on a grid, as well as implementing free movement and everyone's turns happening simultaneously, are also big plusses - I know a fair handful of people whose largest complaint about Mario Party was having to wait for other players to take their turns.

    (It gets better - I didn't mention this above, but the Party modes actually have a 30-second timer for moves. Granted, that's more than enough time, but it still addresses the inactivity problem.)

    What I found most surprising, however, is the relatively small number of minigames: only 26 general minigames, compared with DS's 57 and Island Tour's 68. Perhaps the developers wanted to give ample attention to all the various facets? but it does strike me as a little odd. In my opinion, I think Island Tour's minigames are much better, but Star Rush, on the whole, is a better game. There are more boss minigames available (12, compared to DS' 5 and Island Tour's 6), if you enjoy those - and, as usual, Bowser is in top form, so there's no disappointment there.

    All in all, I think Star Rush is an extremely solid title, and one you should pick up if you have any love at all for Mario Party, or if you just want to jump into the series. The EXP system isn't intended to be punishing, but rather to reward you for, and encourage you to, play the game more often. The amount of boards you can choose from is, to my knowledge, more than any other MP game to date (the usual is around 5). The game itself is rather pricy, though, which is what stopped me from picking it up at first - and there's no netplay available either, which is a pity - but I definitely think it's well worth it.

    Thanks for reading along for this entry of Eclipse Expounds. If you want to make any comments or observations of your own, feel free to do so - I'd like to know any questions or comments you have about the game as well, if you have anything to share. Until then, I'll see you in the next article!

    ** From the desk of Eclipse, the Pure-Black Dragon **
  2. ClefairyKid

    ClefairyKid (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻)

    Dec 15, 2016
    Psychium Z ★★★★Poké Doll ★★Waterium Z ★★★★Ice Stone ★★★★Love Ball ★★★★★
    The last time I played a Mario Party game was when I was renting them for N64 from blockbuster :'D A lot of my issue with the series is that I don't ever get the opportunity to do multiplayer with real people, plus the fact that I prefer games with plenty of unlockables/grinding. That being said, do you think this or one of the other newer MPs might be worth a go? I like playing mini games somewhat, but I don't want something that gives a significant reason to sink time into it, other than bragging to friends since that won't be happening :P
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  3. Eclipse

    Level 82
    Apr 3, 2015
    Marshadium Z ★★★★★Dragon Fang ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★Comet Shard ★★★★Mewnium Z  ★★★★★
    Good questions!

    Keep in mind that, in regards to the Mario Party games on consoles, I've only seen them being played (I've never owned one), so my opinions there will be incomplete (or even just absent). I do, however, own all of the handheld ones (excluding the super-obscure Mario Party Advance), so I can begin there.

    To begin, the lack of online multiplayer is still a major hurdle that MP needs to overcome; all MP titles to date only have local multiplayer (yes, this includes both 10 and Star Rush), so unless you can get people near you to get interested in MP, you may be out of luck - and based on how you've said you live out in the middle of nowhere, that may not be an option.

    As far as unlockables go, strictly speaking in MP there isn't a lot; you unlock new video games and goodies as you see them when in Party Mode. Beyond that, Mario Party DS has little badges you can wear - or board decorations you can view, and you get more the more "Mario Party Points" you garner, with the last one you get at 50,000 points (for a perspective, you get around 800 points per party on average). Some of them you can only add to your gallery after you meet certain conditions when on a board. Star Rush, as I mentioned above, has you unlock the other modes and playable characters as you play, and it doesn't take you long to get them all.

    Speaking strictly in terms of an unlockables system, Mario Party DS has the best one (out of those I've played), not only because it takes several weeks to get to those 50000 points, but because of the specific conditions to get the others. (Some of them even have the condition 'No hints - do your best to find it!', encouraging repeat plays.) If you want to get all the goodies for a game, Mario Party DS will easily keep you the most engaged.

    For minigames, I think Island Tour wins here, only because it has so many of them, and they're all pretty good. I don't think minigames are the main make-or-break point of the game (as, I mentioned before, I don't think Island Tour is a good game overall), and the major draw to Mario Party is to party (it's not like minigames don't exist in other video games, either). DS and Star Rush are roughly tied in my eyes on minigames, but DS has team-based minigames, whereas the other two don't - in fact, after Mario Party 9 came out, there haven't been any team-based minigames.

    (To clarify what I mean by that, most minigames are a 4-player free-for-all, where there is 1 winner and the others are ranked accordingly. In MP 1-8 and DS, there are blue, red, and green spaces to land on - blue being good, red being bad, and green being either. After each round, everyone plays a minigame, with everyone separated into teams based on what space they landed on that round, red vs. blue - the green players are given a colour at random. So it could be a free-for-all, a 2-versus-2, or even a 1-versus-3, based on how the dice came up.)

    Given what you've told me about your game preferences, I'd actually recommend Mario Party DS as your first foray into the series, due to the unlockables factor, which you ranked a bit higher. The game's look may be a little primitive to what you may be used to (it is the Nintendo DS, after all), but the boards are fun and engaging, very colourful, and a lot of experiencing the game involves nabbing all of the collectibles. A downside to this game is that the AI for CPU players when on the party board (not on the minigames) can act strange and make bad decisions (the difficulty setting only applies for minigames, apparently); this is especially noticeable on boards where a lot of shops are present OR when the character in question is in 3rd or 4th place, and because of that, the AI is much more predictable. Newer titles don't seem to have this problem, though.
    ClefairyKid likes this.

Share This Page