Super Mario's role-playing adventure has always been playful twists in the genre. Role-playing games can be tense, all melodrama and end-of-the-world plays. But games like Super Mario role-playing game and the Mario & Luigi The series took what made RPGs great – the strategic battles, lengthy adventures and huge stories – and added humor and charm to them. Paper Mario: The Origami King continues this tradition, but updates it in many clever ways. It's the rare game where the greatest strength is being funny.
Like most Mario adventures The origami king includes trouble with Princess Peach, but not in the typical virgin in need. To begin with, Mario and his brother come to Toad Town for an origami festival to discover that the city is largely deserted. Inside the castle you will find a disturbing – and origami-conceived – version of the princess. "Why didn't you join me?" She asks. As it turns out, the princess and much of the kingdom of mushrooms are under the control of an evil origami magician who wants to re-create the world in his image.
It's an admittedly stupid premise, but it works. The bad guys and their intentions feel appropriately evil, and it's a good excuse to venture around the world. As part of his plan, the origami king uses five gigantic pieces of tape to pull Peach's castle up out of the ground and transport it to a remote mountain peak. The goal is simple: destroy the ribbons to get into the castle. Your goal is almost always in sight; If you are outside in the world, you can see the tapes stretch across the landscape until you finally manage to remove them.
The origami king takes place like an open world role-playing game. They play as a flat rendering of Mario venturing through the world – into ancient deserts, underwater dungeons and abandoned theme parks – and often solve arcane brain teasers to open up new areas, eliminate the origami threat and dispose of the tapes . There are RPG-like mechanics such as upgradeable weapons and additional party members, including an amnesia bob omb and a toad archaeologist. Battles are clever turn-based matters that are essentially puzzles: you have to spin enemies around on a wheel to align them so you can make the right attack before a timer runs out. In most role-playing games, I press the attack button through random battles, but I actually had to be careful here.
Many of the elements streamline what can often be a boring and fiddly genre. The battles outside of the bosses are snappy and fun, and you just have to take care of a few things and skills to be successful. If you get stuck, a helpful origami friend named Olivia is always available to give you helpful tips, similar to a less annoying version of Navi Ocarina of time. The origami king creates a good balance between accessibility and depth. It's also wonderfully tactile. While Mario can jump, he also has a hammer to smash everything and everyone around him, what he does to open secret areas, solve puzzles and save flattened toads that are hidden almost everywhere you look.
The game looks and plays wonderfully, but the star is really his sense of humor. It is downright silly. There are many word games and visual jokes and all sorts of things that don't make sense, but are still delightful. For example, since you are made of paper, you can use a fax machine to travel around the world. The game calls this "fax trip". Once, after walking through a forest of talking trees, I came across firewood that sang “Light me!”. and "we have to burn!"
Everything is stupid: The most difficult bosses are sentimental office supplies, and there are several surprising musical numbers and performances, including a multi-part stage play that ends in a Shy Guy ballet. Similar to the latest Luigi's VillaMuch of the silliness comes from slapstick comedy when you take your hammer and smash things to see what happens. It could be an unusual toad that unfolds after being disguised as an origami frog or butterfly, or a secret café full of grumbling Bowser minions. At least you will see colorful confetti raining from the tree you just popped. The story even has rare moments of poignant drama to round off the experience; Paper mario It's not a game that I expected to be shocked by the death of a character, but the Nintendo team did it masterfully.
The fact that The origami king is a great game that almost feels like a bonus. It could just have been a vehicle for Nintendo's fools, and I would have enjoyed it, rarely are really funny comedy games. But it's also a fantastic example of how to refresh the classic RPG formula with a few new ideas and clever simplification. The latest in almost every respect Paper mario is anything but flat.
Paper Mario: The Origami King launches on July 17th on the Nintendo Switch.