Nintendo dropped a bombshell on everyone once again by announcing Paper Mario: Origami King. Not only was there a trailer announcing the game’s release date, but information on Nintendo’s website and other videos have provided a slew of information on the previously unknown title.
So far, we have a fairly solid picture of what the game is going to be like, and knowing the franchise helps too. Let’s take a deeper look at Paper Mario: Origami King and get an idea of what to expect.
The story doesn’t bring us to any exotic new places like previous titles, but instead is a throwback to the first game. Mario and Luigi receive an invitation from the Princess to attend an origami festival, but something is up. They find a cruel origami Peach folded by the Origami King Olly, ruler of the Origami Kingdom. The whole Origami aesthetic is also a callback to Thousand Year Door, where Mario received messages from a little card Peach who looked similar the origami one, and Mario’s folding techniques.
Using giant streamers, King Olly transports Peach’s Castle away as part of his plan to refold the world. Mario, of course, must rescue Peach and stop the King. On his journey, he’s joined by the King’s sister and other allies. The vibe of the refolding revolution is one of horror. In the trailer, we see a few sections of the game that are creepy, and origami Peach’s speech in the intro is akin to a cult in a horror movie. The writing seems like it will be on par with Color Splash‘s cleverness.
Origami King is really putting a new spin on the combat style. Battles actually involves rotating enemies to line them up for maximum damage. Mario and enemies still take turns fighting, but this is a totally new system for the franchise and one that is definitely welcome after the poorly received card and sticker systems from previous games.
In a short video clip of the game’s combat, we get an idea of how it will operate. The arena is now a dial in a 3D space with Mario in the center. This is interesting because it looks like enemies may move from the outer edges in to attack, meaning there could be an enemy priority mechanic. Goombas typically jump on Mario, and that seems like it would be difficult to do if another enemy were in front of them. It will certainly make for great boss fights.
Mario can use the dials to line up enemies for a damage boost and to hit them all in a row with an attack. In Mario’s attack menu contained Boots and Hammer options. When selected, they move up like in the card battles. Since the menu they’re on is limited, it may just be an attack menu, and the Boots moving up is just to signify the selection. It’s still a little concerning, though, as they could be origami boots and something to collect like the cards or stickers, just on a lesser scale. Timed attacks are still in play, since Mario jumps across all the Goomba’s heads like he would with a line jump attack in previous games. Judging by his pose as he does it, stylish moves are back too.
The second thing we noticed is the return of an audience. Thousand Year Door had a system where battles had an audience who would help or hinder Mario and enemies and contribute to building up Star Power, the games special moves. We don’t see the audience doing anything in the clip, but the fact that there are stylish moves suggests a similar system could be in place. Arena upgrades could also return.
Lastly, there appears to be a timer on the battle HUD, and Mario’s HP varies throughout the trailer. The timer could just be for a challenge, or battles could now have a time limit before Mario gets overwhelmed. All together, it would make for a much more robust combat system than the previous two games. The change in Mario’s HP may signal that leveling or a relevant progression system is also making a much-needed comeback.
Every Paper Mario has unique abilities for solving puzzles, and this game looks like it has puzzles aplenty. However, we don’t know too much about abilities in this game. We only see one, and even the Japanese website doesn’t reveal anything more. It’s likely Nintendo doesn’t want to reveal everything at first, but it looks like Mario’s only ability may be his accordion arms. These can be used to reach higher areas and pull, push or attack enemies. The trailer is rife with unique puzzles and challenges though, so its possible that’s where all the puzzling is.
Allies seem to be back, though not in the traditional Paper Mario way. It looks like a more traditional party system, and they don’t appear in the overworld with Mario. They appear to be selectable in combat, but beyond that, we don’t know what their role is yet. So far, this Paper Mario is shaping up to be the comeback the series has needed.
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Paper Mario: Origami King was announced, and it may bring back elements missing from the last few games. Here's what we learned.