From the get-go, Nintendo has nailed the Switch’s marketing. It’s a home console that players can take with them to continue an experience anywhere. So far, they’ve lived up to that promise. With few exceptions, almost every game has supported both home console and handheld play. Unfortunately, next month’s Super Mario Party breaks that trend.
It’s been revealed that the title will not be supported in handheld mode. Meaning, you can’t take Super Mario Party on-the-go. The reason? Many of the minigames require Joy-Con usage. Motion controls, rearing its ugly head yet again.
Remember that whole, “play together anytime, anywhere” marketing slogan? It doesn’t apply to the upcoming Mario Party title, and that’s an issue.
Consumers care about transparency, and more so, living up to expectations. When a company offers a new platform with exclusive benefits then goes back on their word, even in isolated cases, it looks bad for the product as a whole. I can’t help but feel that way about the Switch and Super Mario Party.
Fans know the Switch as a versatile system, one in which every game can be played both in front of, or away from, a television. With Super Mario Party, Nintendo begins to hurt that narrative. A key title like this shouldn’t only be playable in all three styles, it should benefit from each. Adding to the detriment, too, is the fact that Super Mario Party doesn’t work with a pro controller. Now, players with a disinterest in motion controls won’t have a secondary option.
There’s no reason for motion controls to be required in a game created for everyone. The control scheme is one popular by virtue of it being new back in the Wii days. Since then, the tech has noticeably improved, but not to the point where consumers can rely on it for smooth gameplay. In short, motion controls still aren’t where they need to be.
To continue utilizing this archaic control scheme, to the point where a play style is hindered, truly leaves me wondering how much this will affect the experience as a whole. There can absolutely be a balance to this, however. Perhaps the title could implement motion controls when in TV mode, then, when the system is taken portably, switch to a more limited button layout. It would require obvious sacrifices and some developmental magic from the team behind the scenes, but shouldn’t that be expected of a company like Nintendo?
What do you make of Super Mario Party not being playable in handheld mode? Chime in below!
Related article: PAX West 2018 hands-on preview: Super Mario Party