- System: Nintendo Switch
- Publisher: Nintendo
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release Date: July 17, 2020
- Pricing: $59.99
- Rating: E
- Genre: Adventure, RPG, Puzzles, Platforming
- Players: 1
- Official Website: https://papermario.nintendo.com/
Paper Mario: The Origami King - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch
Who it Caters to
The Origami King has a lot in common with Color Splash, the previous Paper Mario, released in 2016 for the Wii U, but all Mario games share pretty much the same essence, so it's safe to assume that all fans of Nintendo's platforming will definitely enjoy this new adventure.
What to Expect
If you enjoy a true Nintendo experience and you're ok with trying new mechanics, then you might enjoy The Origami King. On the other hand, if what makes you play a Mario game are the fast pacing and real-time encounters... well, the new battle system is not for you and you'll have a hard time trying to progress.
What we love about all Mario games is Nintendo's attention to detail, and this one is no exception. All areas are fun to explore and full of life in their own way, from the ocean to the desert, and all these places are also full of characters that really help with story-telling. The final touch is how real the origami enemies look and feel, almost encouraging you to grab a piece of paper and try to create them all... although this comes as no surprise given how they nailed the cardboard and wool aesthetics in the past.
Take Toad Town's theme, for example. Every time you visit this area, one of the first places you get to visit in the game but also one of the most important places in the Mushroom Kingdom, there's a chance the background music plays different, according to your game progress. This is not new, and it certainly has been done in several Mario games already, but that doesn't make it less fascinating.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is full of minigames, little cutscenes, and even some quite unexpected performing acts, which means a few background tracks played on a loop wouldn't be enough. A game like this needed a triple-A soundtrack too, and it has it!
This is how Paper Mario: The Origami King starts, and so you need to destroy the 5 streamers wrapping the castle. Every streamer is protected by a boss that's some kind of nemesis to paper, like scissors, rubber bands, a hole punch, etc. If we want to beat them, our regular attacks won't be enough, so we need to help Olivia conquer the abilities of the 4 Vellumentals, origami animals who control the 4 elements: water, fire, earth, and ice.
In JRPG games, random encounters can be annoying too, but at least you can grind for better weapons or just experience points to make you stronger. In this game, the only thing you get from regular battles are coins, but poverty will never be a problem for you. In fact, you can earn lots of powerful boots and hammers—they will break, though—just by helping Toads and other people, so the only thing worth buying are collectibles.
Another thing we have to mention is the use of confetti. Every tree, flower, grass, or enemy you defeat will give you confetti to fill your confetti bag. Once you have enough, you can use it to restore the world no normality and fix the not-bottomless holes you'll find all around the Mushroom Kingdom. Sometimes you need to fix the floor just to get to the other side of a platform, some other times you need to fix a door, but even if it's just a harmless hole, fixing them with confetti is one of your primary objectives if you're going for a 100% run. Oh, and every time you defeat a boss, your confetti bag gets bigger.
Having Olivia by your side comes in handy when you find shining magic circles on the ground since she can help Mario use some specific techniques. Other than the Vellumental ones, the most common technique is called 1.000-Fold Arms and it uses the Joy-Con's motion controls to smash things or peel things off the walls. As you can tell, there are a lot of gameplay mechanics involved in Paper Mario: The Origami King, so again, when we say we don't fancy the new battle system, it's because it doesn't match all the other fun stuff and not because it's actually bad.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Of course, it's not good enough to top Super Mario Odyssey, but it definitely proves to be one of the best Nintendo Switch exclusives, and arguably one of the best Mario spin-offs of the last few years. Sadly, it misses the mark when it comes to combining platforming and RPG elements, something that was a landmark of the Paper Mario saga.
- Amazing soundtrack that invites you to hum it as you play.
- There's always a new minigame or unexpected cutscene to suprise you. We loved the Shy Guy TV game show!
- A simple premise sparked a truly fascinating adventure full of charming characters, like our favorite, Bobby Bob-Omb.
- Boss battles are ok, but regular battles are rather boring and repetitive.
- We miss the RPG elements or previous Paper Mario games.
Honey's Final Verdict:
For the record, if you’re an origami fan, you’ll be amazed at how beautiful the designs are. Too bad we can’t even fold a crane, let alone a Vellumental!