On paper, Nintendo had everything on its side to make its great sagas shine like never before. You know, a successful console that leads to more resources and ambitious (or at least brighter) developments.
The morale of the teams also improves something that we have seen reflected in great games like Luigi’s Mansion 3, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, or Super Smash Bros: Ultimate. They beyond everything we had seen in their respective sagas.
I was happy to see after many hours having a great time that Paper Mario: The Origami King joins the club. It is not a revolution like Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nor does it have the ambition of Super Mario Odyssey.
However, it does contain a strong desire to recover what had made the Paper Mario series great. The Japanese from Intelligent Systems show that they have delved into their history to return the magical sensations that we received with their first game, especially with The Millennial Door for Gamecube. So much so, that my feeling is that they have taken the magnificence of that game and have transferred it to this series for Nintendo Switch.
Humor Above All
If I had to explain an ingredient in Paper Mario, that would be his mood. It is indisputable. The 25-30 hours of adventure are riddled with sparkling, mocking dialogue, but always in Nintendo style. The latter is essential to understand it.
It is harmless and somewhat innocent humor, but without neglecting a particular touch. That balance is not easy to achieve, and that is why I want to emphasize the expertise that Intelligent Systems has acquired on the subject. All without neglecting localization, with superb translation work, one of the best that the Japanese label has made for our territory.
I do not want to reveal a single one of the situations that are lived, because they are surprises that the user must discover. However, I must convey the idea that Paper Mario: The Origami King is an excellent parody of the RPG genre through the Super license Mario.
All the imaginable characters are part of a delusional script, again under the guise of saving the kingdom and Princess Peach.
So, narratively, the game is not the no more, but the Paper Mario has never shone for what is said, but how it is told. That is why the thematic and artistic resource of origami is exciting, but in reality, it works as a layer of novelty that does not hide what this saga continues to be.
What I mean is that despite the new facade, the game is continuous. In fairness, I don’t think that a license like that would be convenient to get rid of its essence. Based on abundant dialogues, it has enough exploration and turn-based combat. Of course, all these elements transformed and enhanced. Let’s see it in parts.
When it comes to exploration, there is no doubt, the world of The Origami King is the most ambitious in the Paper Mario saga. It has several interconnected regions. Some of which offer generous exploration possibilities.
For me, one of the funniest things in the game was kicking me around every corner looking for lost Toads, as well as uncovering collectibles and streamer-filling the glitches caused by the evil King of Origami across the world.
There are very well hidden elements, with many “eureka” moments. Not only by the accessory elements to the main adventure but by the missions that arise. In particular, I didn’t expect Intelligent Systems to be that rogue when it came to proposing specific puzzles or challenges, but I’m sure it’s something veterans will love.
I must admit that there were a few occasions when I feared that I would not be in time for the analysis. Aside from fighting in which I lost my life, it is possible to get bogged down, even by silly situations where once resolved, you put your hands to your head.
Does this approach work? Very Much.
The game is divided into regions, and each one offers a particular challenge. Ultimately, the goal is to gain paperwork powers, and doing so involves having previously gone through many battles, including boss battles.
One of the most controversial aspects of the game is its combat system. However, you have to applaud the bravery for proposing such innovative battles.
I cannot hide the fact that they have been tedious at times. The feeling is that Mario preferred to explore rather than enter these contests (many can be avoided).
Defend your role
The battles of this Paper Mario are far from everything we have seen so far. They are based on a circular ring divided by panels that can be rotated both vertically and horizontally.
The key is to align the enemies to kill them in the fewest number of turns possible. This is a small puzzle that gives way to the typical jump or hammer attack, with button press included causing more damage.
The problem is that the approach, with the passing of the hours, can become heavy. Many times I just wanted to smash goombas and koopas, but I was forced to fight the enemy’s line continually.
Personally, I admire the playable dynamics, but right now, I’m wondering if it couldn’t have been reserved for the more significant matches.
Paper Mario: The Origami King Final Boss Combat
In the final bosses, the combative scheme changes towards an exciting and original approach.
However, there are several things that I did like about the combat system. One has been to see the Toads in the stands, which are increasing in number as you rescue them.
Also, I found it funny that you can pay them to help you with your enemies. But the best part is that the battle system fits perfectly with the final bosses, each with a different vulnerability.
Finally, Paper Mario has always stood out for interpreting J-RPGs in its own way. That is why you will not find any levels of experience here.
That would be going towards the conventional, and that’s what makes it different. You can fight better only by obtaining better objects (hammers and boots of higher quality), as well as powers in the style of the paperwork.