Recent Articles

Why are we so concerned about Paper Mario: The Origami King?

Nintendo is gearing up to release Paper Mario: The Origami King, for Nintendo Switch later this summer. Serving as the 6th Paper Mario title, Origami King features a new villain and quest by Mario to save his world. However, the concern doesn't come from it being a new Paper Mario game as much as the game style it follows. In this case, we're referring to it following in the footsteps of Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash.

Paper Mario (N64) and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GC) were heralded as two of the best games of all time by fans. Their well-paced and interactive gameplay complimented the soundtracks, clever scripts, and memorable characters perfectly. These JRPGs brought something new to the table and pulled out depths of creativity from Intelligent Systems. 

Video courtesy of Nintendo Insider.

While Super Paper Mario, the third title, deviated from the turn-based genre, it still exuded an unfathomable level of charm. Developed by the team behind The Thousand-Year Door, this platformer/RPG hybrid delivered a haunting tale that belied its colorful, Mario aesthetic. While some may have detracted from the real-time gameplay, this title received positive reception.

Unfortunately, when Nintendo chose to develop Paper Mario: Sticker Star for 3DS, they left out many of the crucial elements that made the series recognizable. In this case, Sticker Star left out much of the charm in the dialogue. For instance, Bowser, one of the most recognizable trash-talkers in the series, was left mute being possessed by a strange crown. 

Paper Mario: The Origami King screenshot
In terms of character design, Mario had no special partners like before. The title also lacked the polished narrative that drove the first three games. Mario fought alongside the game's storyline partner, Kersti, whose only job was to offer useless advice. Moreover, enemy design was relegated only to Mario-exclusive characters that appeared in the mainline Mario series. Original character designs created by Intelligent Systems would not appear in this game.

Sticker Star didn't just flub on its lack of writing, either. The gameplay elements meant no EXP gain, rendering battles pointless. Plus the pacing became a mess when you needed key items and didn't have them in your inventory. Sometimes you would even use the same key item twice. There was no telling what to use. Only vague hints would tell you what to swap your inventory out with. This atrocious level of pacing meant minutes, if not hours, of back and forth to pick up a fan just to get past one part of a stage and finally move on. 

Paper Mario: The Origami King screenshot
Paper Mario: Color Splash for Wii U did no better to alleviate the criticism. As with Sticker Star, it featured little more than Toads to help drive the story. Even though it featured the occasional laugh, the Paper Mario aesthetic alone was not enough to win back the fans of the original Paper Mario titles.

The Origami King keenly looks to continue the aesthetic design used in Sticker Star and Color Splash. Plus, the notable lack of original characters does nothing to restore faith in the fans. The most include the Origami King himself and Mario enemies redesigned some new looks. 

Paper Mario: The Origami King screenshot
While Paper Mario: The Origami King has at least chosen to restore partners in the series, this is only one facet of design, outside of many possible options, that Nintendo chose to return. Nothing promises that this title will appeal to the fans of the classic Paper Mario series outside of the two brief trailers we have seen so far.

Paper Mario: The Origami King releases on July 17, 2020, for Nintendo Switch. If you're interested in the game, be sure to keep up with us at The Geek Getaway. Like and follow our social media pages in the links below and stay up to date with us as we uncover more info as the release date draws nearer.