Games such as Super Paper Mario are all you need to justify buying a Wii. This is a true system seller, reassuring players that while Nintendo will milk Mario with disasters like Mario Hoops on the DS, there’s always a way to bring him back. This is a game just shy of perfection.
After an overly lengthy text-based introduction, you’ll soon forget that time waster as you run through a 2-D Mario creation, stomping on Goombas and hitting blocks for coins. With a sharp, clean graphical presentation, this superb throwback level immediately involves the player from the first time they begin moving the classic plumber.
There’s depth here though, and that’s to be taken literally. Mario can switch at anytime into a 3-D view of the level, radically altering the mechanics and leading to some of the most ingenious puzzles Nintendo has ever dreamt up. Since the switch always occurs directly behind Mario, there are no camera problems and the enhanced shadow keeps players on the right plane when trying to knock out an enemy.
The Wii Remote is held sideways, as it would be when playing some Virtual Console games. Actual uses of the motion sensing controls are relatively weak, such as pointing at the screen to reveal hidden object or to complete a series of motions to use a power-up. Still, while by no means revolutionary (they could have been handled by any controller), required uses of these moves opens up another avenue of exploration when trying to solve Paper Mario’s levels.
During the quest, additional characters become available. Some are directly controlled (such as Princess Peach), and others are Pixls, creatures that grant the lead character a special skill. Swapping between these is the game’s most significant hindrance. There’s no option to swap between characters without digging into the menu system, stopping the game entirely while you make changes. Worse, the flipping into 3-D view is a Mario exclusive making the swaps more apparent.
It’s definitely something you can grow used to over time. You’ll be far too involved in the fun mechanics to notice the majority of the time regardless. Nintendo has managed a few basic concepts, kept the simplicity new players will appreciate intact, and still avoided feelings of repetition. Puzzles are crafted in a way that each one feels unique, even when at their core they’re the same as the last one.
The game’s story is riddled with comedy, and loads of references to the company’s past. Boss fights always bring something different to the table, both in terms of advancing the story and their means of defeat. Some struggles can take an entire level to clear.
Paper Mario will surely be on “best of” lists when 2007 winds down. There’s an exhaustive amount of content to find, explore, and play through contained on this disc. This is the best title in the Mario RPG/Paper Mario line by far.
Super Paper Mario is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief and Mild Violence.Powered by Sidelines