#440 Paper Mario

Posted: 25th November 2015 by Jeroen in Games
Tags: , , , ,

468th played so far

300px-Papermario

Genre: Role-Playing
Platform: Nintendo 64
Year of Release: 2000
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo

Here’s a bit of a landmark. Thanks to Peter’s friend Kat’s help, we played quite a few Nintendo 64 games early on. And none since then as we simply didn’t need them. That means that this is the first Nintendo 64 game we have played since game 41, some four years and 427 games ago.

It was time, then, to play another, and we’re starting with a good one. I had played some Paper Mario games before and, in general, am simply a fan of the Mario RPG series. I’ve been looking forward to this…

Our Thoughts

Paper Mario is absolutely charming, getting everything right in true Mario style. The game makes good use from its paper stylings, with Mario really behaving like he’s a 2D flat piee of paper (that still animates), giving other characters similar traits and making the world paper art, with buildings that folds open when you enter them.

The characters are as you’d expect, grounded firmly in the Mario world with many familiar faces, while slowly introducing new species as needed. Most of these either are existing Mario species or ones that return in later games, making them feel less wasted than the many elements of Super Mario RPG that never returned.

On that note, while technically this is the sequel to that game (in Japan at least), this game really stands on its own. The timed hits and defense are oen of the few things that return, with the plot being more standard “Bowser kidnaps Princess” fare, gathering stars to unlock positive powers so Bowser doesn’t have the power of all wishes.

The battle system slowly grows in complexity, with advancement giving you HP, flower points (effectively MP) or badge points. The last of those is the most interesting, as aside from giving simpler damage upgrades, it usually adjusts your attacks, giving different options, or changes your defenses. It’s an interesting system, even if the lack of simple damage upgrades keeps numbers low and makes high HP opponents unexpectedly tricky.

Final Thoughts

The game looks good (especially for its age) and has aged incredibly well. The battle system, while not my favourite for its reliance on button presses (I can’t get the jumps right) is really nice and gives you plenty of options – more than there seem to be at first.

It has been a  long time since we last had a Mario RPG to play. The wait has been worth it – and we still have four more to go. Yay!

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