Released in 2007, Super Paper Mario is a game i never got around to playing, maybe it was the fact that i had just returned from a year away studying in Japan, and i was distracted by getting together with old friends and catching up, but either way, it slipped under my radar until earlier this week, when i was wandering around Best Buy looking to spend a gift card i found under my bed, i saw it in the bargain section, and decided to pick it up. This was definitely one of my better choices this week, as i haven’t done much else with my free time over the past few days.
A little history behind the whole Paper Mario concept, originally released as a spiritual successor to Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on the N64 in 2000, it became one of the N64`s best games, it was followed up by Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door in 2004, these games embraced a JRPG spin on the Mario series, combining the Mario ascetic with the turn based game play associated with JRPG`s from that era. There was no side scrolling in these games, just 2D cutouts of Mario and his friends, placed in 3D environments. The results were fantastic, with the Paper Mario being rated as the 63rd best game on a Nintendo Console by Nintendo Power back in 2006.
Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, breaks from the mold and resembles a more traditional Mario game. The Side scrolling platforming is back as the main form of play, and the RPG elements have been toned right down. There are still items to be collected and used, stores to visit, and characters to interact with, but that’s all sidelined by the platforming. The big difference here is the ability for Mario to “flip“ his perspective from a side camera, to right behind him, so he can move around in the environment, revealing things like hidden pipes or coin boxes that normally would be hidden in the side perspective.
If i can find a big fault with the game, it would have to be the ridiculous amount of dialogue in this game, and while it is extraordinarily well written, with Nintendo poking fun at almost anything you can think of, there’s so much of it, it can get in the way of game play, forcing you to come to a complete stop to read through some walls of text before you carry on with you adventure, which is something you don’t generally want in you more traditional Mario games.
That Minor gripe aside, there’s really no reason to not pick this game up if you haven’t played it, its part of the `Nintendo Selects`line up, meaning you can pick it up for a measly $19.99 at your local game store! trust me it will provide you with hours of fun, just be prepared for some reading!