Community Review: Paper Mario: The Origami King

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Community Review: Paper Mario: The Origami King
Image: Nintendo

The wait for a new Paper Mario was so long, and suddenly it seemed, The Origami King blissfully appeared out of nowhere.

I don’t know who or how Paper Mario: The Origami King ended up as funny as it did. But if you haven’t checked The Origami King out yet, it’s worth grinding through the boss battles just for the humour. As former Kotaku alumni Chris Kohler (who since moved onto Digital Eclipse, makers of the Lion King and Aladdin remakes), Paper Mario is made by people who love Mario just as much as anyone else:

I don’t know what the people who write Paper Mario’s English-language scripts are getting paid, but I know that it is not enough. I can’t remember the last game that made me laugh so hard so many times. Often, it’s some kind of deep-cut reference to a previous Mario game. Sometimes it’s a funny observation about real life that’s somehow even funnier when it’s spoken by a Toad. Sometimes you wander into a coffee shop to find a Goomba and a Shy Guy arguing over lattes about which one is the best basic minion. If you love Mario lore, this game is made by people who love it as much as you do, and probably more.

The only real crime against the game is Nintendo’s willingness to let Paper Mario be an RPG, something that makes no sense in The Origami King. Also, the boss battle puzzles can be particularly annoying, although at least you’re able to try and fail without worrying about running out of consumables.

If you haven’t picked up Paper Mario: The Origami King yet, it’s available for $64. Decent offering for the 30+ hours you’ll get from it. If you did pick up Paper Mario, what’d you think?

Comments

  • I am in love with it. The story is really good and has that nintendo feel. The art design and the colours are beautiful! Also, that water…. haha

    I know people have problems with the fighting mechanics but i think we need to move on from TTYD, its been done. This new system keeps it challenging and fun all the way through

  • 100% agree with you on the humour Alex. You put up with the battle system just to see the humour and the story. Although I enjoyed it for the boss battles, more on that below!

    I had a whole lot of fun with it. The story, art and humour are on great but imo the best on the game is the soundtrack, it’s awesome. This is specially true of the battle and boss themes, sometimes you just want to sit there and keep on listening to the track. Can’t do it too much because timed-puzzle though! Took me around over 32h to complete and it was well worth it, I had a blast. There are also a ton of Easter eggs too, nudges to Metroid, DK, and a whole heap to Zelda.

    Legend says there are motion controllers for this game, but I turned them off immediately after the first time using the 1000 fold arms so I can’t really say if/how well they work in battle.

    If I had one complaint, it would be the battle system. It can be a bit tedious to align every enemy all the time. Especially if you’re backtracking for any reason and run into a crappy enemy like a Goomba. Game tries to prevent this by killing enemies outside of battle so long you either jump on them or hit them with the hammer. However, this doesn’t work very well when enemies rush at you or they’re spiky. IMO it would’ve been better to just auto-kill low level enemies bumping into you.

    Puzzles seemed to range from completely easy to WTF am I supposed to do here, there doesn’t seem to be much of a happy medium. It’s a good thing that the game feeds you a non-stop stream of coins because getting the Toads to cheer you on is the best time-saver for those WTF moments.

    There are accessories to give you more time and you can buy more time, but in my experience if you didn’t figure it out in 30s, you probably won’t figure it out with an extra 30s (300 coins). If you spent those 300 coins on Toad cheering they might move the board at least once and make the puzzle easy.

    Where the battle system really shines is in boss battles, because bosses will sit in the middle and throw something unexpected at you and it’s just a whole heap of fun figuring out when and how best to attack. My last Paper Mario was Sticker Star and I really disliked that if you didn’t have the specific sticker for that boss you wouldn’t clear it no matter what. Here (I think) you can brute-force it most of the time, but it’s much more satisfying discovering the weak spots.

    Also, PSA, careful not to kill your save-file: https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/07/paper-mario-the-origami-king-bug-prevents-you-from-beating-the-game/

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