In a move that I’m just going to go ahead and file under the big “things that should have been done a year ago when the pandemic started” folder, Nintendo dropped a free update for Super Mario Party on the Nintendo Switch and it’s actually a pretty big one. It doesn’t add new boards or characters, but what it does do is add online play.
Now you’ll be able to play online with your friends either from your list or via an invite code. There’s still no voice chat support so you’ll be plugging your headset into your phone for Discord chat once again, but that part is par the course with Nintendo.
There are two things to take note of with this update, however.
Firstly, online play does not save or affect your progress. If you’ve been wanting to unlock more things in Super Mario Party but don’t want to condemn yourself to the lonely existence that is “single-player Mario Party” this won’t do it for you. Nothing you do in online mode affects the base game itself.
Secondly, you can only play with people on your friend list or via an invite code. If you’re just looking to hop on and play against some humans, you won’t really be able to do it. Hopefully, we’ll see a hashtag start (like #mariopartyinvite), similar to things in Animal Crossing where people on Twitter start putting up invite codes to get people together. Twitter is a butt, but I’ve seen it become an absolute godsend for Nintendo games that have poor communication issues.
Again, I would have loved to see this update happen a year ago when stay-at-home orders were first starting, but it’s still cool that over two years later we’re getting such a big update for Nintendo games.
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I still, absolutely, do not understand why Mario Party, a game that is purely designed for multiplayer, has never received the online play options that Mario Kart or Smash Brothers received. Heck, Mario Tennis still stands to be the best online experience of any of their games which is insane. But hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for the House of M(ario).
One fun thing though, is that when you play online, as this doesn’t affect your online progress, all characters, boards, and games are completely unlocked for the online mode. So even if it’s not going to help you unlock anything in the base game, you can at least pretend you already did.