In our present time, it is common to see video game remakes of games from the past which have been received well. Pokemon games have seen their share of remakes like Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen , and Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver. The inevitable remakes of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Versions are out there nearing the horizon. Notably, past games of the Mario series like Super Mario World and Super Mario Bros 3 have been remade for the Gameboy Advance handheld system, and have been received exceptionally well in both criticism and sales. Whether changes are small or notably large, remakes of video games from popular franchises tend to be received on a higher note. Since both the Mario and Pokemon series’ have a good history for providing one of the best video game experiences, remakes are to be expected. Since this is a Mario Party site, obviously this question needs to be asked: Should the current developers (NdCube) consider remaking the 3 games that started it all?
Before considering remakes, developers need reference to how well certain games have been received overall by the public. Remaking games which didn’t appeal to the audiences at the time of original release will have the least chances for great success. Obviously, developers of major video game corporations want the highest possible success for their video game releases, there’s no change in that philosophy for any of them (I don’t believe any of them intentionally want to fail). The first 3 Mario Party games fit in pretty well with these few standards:
(source: VGChartz and Gamerankings)
Though not an enormous success, it’s enough to consider these games to have been well received and in some cases are also considered to be the best of the series. Because of the series’ widespread demographics, these games will sell extremely well if remade using modern standards. Not only will those who grew up with these games be able to enjoy them once again (revamped), the ones growing up in this generation will also be opened to the glory and joy these games brought at the time of their births. Of course, that’s ignoring those kids who apparently are allowed to play games such as Call of Duty (it’s quite unfortunate seeing kids playing those games)
From Yoshi’s Island to Super Mario 64, remakes from past home console games have been a norm for handheld Nintendo systems. The Nintendo 3DS has mistakenly been known as a handheld of remakes (yet, only a few games have been remade. Which makes it a fail for those who called it as such), but the remakes were very welcomed considering the updates and revamps to such great titles. With that aside, should there be a new entry of remakes for the Nintendo 3DS? Sure, why not? How about, the N64 Mario Party titles?
The N64 Mario Party titles have a long standing legacy since they were the marks that set a go for the entire series. Most of the long-lasting Mario Party fans have grown up with these great titles of their time and it’s a shame to see them simply end and wear away. Currently with the modern Mario Party games, people of now did not have a chance to experience what was once a change in the way video game enthusiasts and commoners look at console party games. So I stand now, to generally say that yes, remake those great games, and have them join the great Nintendo 3DS library.
Obviously, if developers chose to do this (they haven’t even mentioned this once) there must be decent collaboration among each personnel involved in the making for possible games. What must remain the same? What must change? Simple questions will then lead to amazing answers.
What must remain the same…
- The mechanics that kept these games alive. Obviously, if they are the best of the series (as many claim) changing the formula will be a terrible thing to do. It’s when the formula was in its fresh state with just a good amount of growth throughout each installment, which aided in their road to success. Small things like adding items, spaces and wild board events also played a great role in the development of each installment as those changes added greater involvement for each player while also keeping the same charm. In an overall state, the amount of boards and events which occurred already in the games should not be removed. Everything was fine how it was back then. Hunt for the stars the classic way!
- Rules and gameplay for the mini-games must remain the same. The N64 Mario Party games hold the most memorable mini-games out there, so it would be a shame to remove or destructively modify one or another.
What must change?
- Though it’s preferable to keep things how they were, it’s foolish to not change some aspects to fit in with modern standards. The amount of boards and which boards appeared should remain the same; how they appear graphically and visually should not. Each of the three games used a modified version of the same Mario Party engine, so it would be preferable to use one new modernized engine for the probable remakes. The change here is obviously the engine. Have the boards be filled with a modernized form of visuals. Instead of flattened decorative backgrounds, have those decorative backgrounds in full 3D (graphics, not stereoscopic 3D, which would be either way with the 3DS). Sure, still have the Koopa Banks and Item Shops pop out of the ground, but don’t just stamp the location of an Item shop with the word “Item” and a Toad image on the ground. Have a nice sign or an animation of some sort informing the player of a nearby item shop. Animate the backgrounds and the creatures or natural happenings.
- The perspective of how one moves about on the boards could use a change. Not like changing the perspective permanently per se, but more like have alternatives from the simple top-down view of the game board. Perhaps have the ability to move the camera around when strolling about the board with the gyroscope of the 3DS? Or maybe use the touch screen to control how your camera angle is currently.
- The boards themselves need depth. Whether the road where the spaces are located remain flat doesn’t matter, as long as it actually looks like one is up high on a road of clouds in Mario’s Rainbow Castle with the large tower looming not too far off. Or perhaps allow the fragments of Eternal Star feel like they are really broken apart and are maybe spaced differently away from one another. The boards should be similar to how Mario Party 4 has them, just without the gray walkways for spaces. Use the ground or surface from the original 3 N64 games’ boards for the matter of spaces, like the ocean floor for Deep Blooper Sea or the coastal beaches for Pirate Land. One thing to keep in mind though: not having the boards with increased depth graphic-wise will significantly reduce the appeal of the game since the 3DS has the ability to hold up to 64 times more data than the original 32MB used for the Mario Party games (if the 2048 MB (2GB) card will be used for each game (64, hahaha)). There’s no excuse to not revamp those already colorful graphics of the N64.
- Character count needs to change, obviously. One who has no experience with the N64 Mario Party titles will find it rather odd how the 12 character roster from Mario Party 9 has gone down to 6 for the first Mario Party. Perhaps have the same amounts of characters for each of the 3 games (for example: have the same 10 or 12ish characters available to play for each game).
- Though it’s preferable to keep the same exact mini-games from each of the games, it’s not like there can’t be some enhancements or adjustments made. Perspective is key. Like those few Perspective mini-games from Mario Party 9, have several different perspectives available (for one to toggle on and off) for the mini-games. Imagine escaping the wrath of the Spiny’s in Ice Rink Risk but in a 3D perspective (not top down), or in first person mode for River Raiders. The possibilities are endless! (those might be bad examples, just use your imagination!)
- Online mode? Yes, indeed. If current Mario Party games won’t have online capabilities, then offer us (the fans) some fun online play worldwide or with friends. Sometimes, one is just too far away to play with one’s best friend, sibling or boy/girlfriend, but would like to enjoy a nice fun Mario Party experience with them. Or perhaps one is too far away to play with strangers locally! Well, make that happen already! The series is dying to see online play!
- Controls need not a great change. Simply comfortably adapt them for 3DS usage and things will go smoothly. Adding a couple touch screen options for mini-games or onboard mini-games or events that perhaps use the gyroscope will take advantage of the possibilities Nintendo 3DS has in its arsenal. You decide developers. No wait, take time to listen to the fans, and see what you can come up with.
Even if they happen to do this, how will they go about doing such a thing? What CAN they do? Well, the developers can release them separately as one game each and gain profit from each individual sale. Or, they can also release an entire N64 Mario Party collection in one 4GB 3DS game card. Even if the graphics remain at a gamecube level (considering that the 3 games will be sharing that 4GB in some way.), it will still end up selling enormously considering how other Mario titles on the 3DS have sold. Newcomers and Mario Party veterans alike will be able to enjoy these classic titles on the go with enhanced…..everything! Who wouldn’t want that?