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Taking the ‘Party’ Out of Mario Party

The Mario Party series has been around since 1998, the era of the Nintendo 64 console, and has continued to be released on every Nintendo console following the 64. Mario Party is a family-friendly party game that features a board game-like experience playfully interjected by fun minigames. Its logo, from the very beginning, was a party. Chunky, blocky, rainbow-colored letters spelled out the game’s name in every variation from 1 to 10 (released in 2015 for the WiiU). The eleventh Mario Party title was set to be released for Nintendo’s new (and incredibly well selling) console, the Nintendo Switch. Instead of taking on the title of ‘Mario Party 11’, the new Mario Party game became ‘Super Mario Party’. With the new game’s release, we lost the chunky, rainbow letters spelling out the title. Super Mario Party’s logo typeface is very curved with Nintendo now choosing to stay away from the many hard angles it had in its previous Mario Party logos. The rainbow is now limited to ‘Super’; ‘Mario Party’ is now displayed in black and white.

‘Super Mario Party’ logo is a punch to the nostalgia of children who grew up playing Mario Party games. The logo is not awful because of this. It just shows Nintendo’s new age. The Nintendo Switch console was created to recover from the catastrophe of the WiiU. The WiiU sold horribly, especially compared to competing consoles like the PlayStation 4. Upon releasing the Switch, Nintendo has done its best to separate itself from the previous console. This could be one reason for the big change in logo. The other reason could also be as simple as Nintendo wanting to ‘switch’ up the Mario Party series. The games are very similar experiences, and have all had very similar logos from 1998-2015. Upon the new console’s release and passing the ten game milestone, Nintendo probably wanted to start fresh. Super Mario Party has introduced new game mechanics and new ways to play. Separating Super Mario Party from previous titles was wise; it breaks the monotony. Though, this conclusion is ironic considering Super Mario Party is very monotonous. Game developers focused on the new mechanics but neglected the scope of the maps, the balancing of certain game-changing elements, and limited the amount of minigames present. The logo is more successful than the game.

4 Comments

  1. bhaskett wrote:

    Because of the word limit (which I went over already), I did not get to mention a few other things I would have liked to. The colors of the ‘Super’ in Super Mario Party is a throwback to the first Mario Party game, which you can see an example of above. The use the same pattern of colors as the ‘Mario’ in the first Mario Party logo. I believe Nintendo knew this was a punch to the nostalgia and attempted a throwback to its origins this way.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink
  2. daguero wrote:

    Although nostalgia is great, I understand why Nintendo decided to change the game’s most recent title/logo. It successfully separates itself from its past renditions, but it’s still tied to them through the colors in the first word. I think it works, but I also feel like from a child’s point of view, the newer logo is not as eye-catching. But that also brings up the question of whether the logo even needs to be eye-catching, especially since everyone already tends know and trust Mario/Nintendo games.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink
  3. rnadeem wrote:

    In today’s gaming industry, cover art and logos have become an afterthought, which I ranted about in my very first blog post. Seeing a Nintendo staple like Mario Party change its logo to something un-party-like is disappointing to see, but not surprising.

    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink
  4. btobin3 wrote:

    Agree that Mario Party was trying to make a fresh start and appeal to a new demographic. But, I am not sure that the logo change actually succeeded. The lightbulb theme in the new logo is reminiscent of an old-school movie theater marquee, which seems at odds with the younger demographic Nintendo probably hopes to attract.

    Saturday, April 20, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink