How about a Mario game to keep you busy this summer? That’s good, unexpectedly revealed last spring, Paper Mario: The Origami King arrives this July 17 on Nintendo Switch.
Less known and popular than Super Mario, the Paper Mario saga celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and its sixth episode. Four years after Color Splash on Wii U, it arrives for the first time on Switch with The Origami King.
A jewel of creativity
The big highlight of this new title is its artistic direction. In recent years, Nintendo had already had fun playing with materials with titles such as “Kirby and the Rainbow Brush” and its plasticine world or “Yoshi’s Crafted World” and its woolly universe. This Paper Mario follows the same direction with a magnificent world filled with characters and decorations in paper and cardboard. When it unfolds before the eyes of the players, Paper Mario: The Origami King is a little gem of creativity, mixing 2D and 3D, both amazing and very pretty to watch.
The production nevertheless contrasts with the scenario which is very classic. King Olly transformed Princess Peach into origami and stole his castle. Impossible for Mario to enter since the enemy has wound up with six huge coils. The mustachioed plumber will therefore explore a vast world to remove these ribbons one by one. Mario can count on the help of Olivia, a sort of origami bell fairy, always there to help him when he needs it. During the adventure, he will also meet new characters who will join his team.
Paper Mario: The Origami King introduces new game mechanics. Mario is able to throw confetti, which he collects in a bag during the adventure, to fill in the holes and the damage caused by the origuerriers (origami warriors) around the world. By positioning himself on certain boxes, our hero is also able to use superpowers, the list of which grows over the hours of play. These notably use the movement detection of the controllers of the Switch.
An RPG dimension
Finally, like its predecessors in the Paper Mario saga, The Origami King comes in the form of an adventure game but also an RPG, a role-playing game. The most striking element remains the old-fashioned, turn-based fights. The confrontations also present some originalities since, before each combat, it is necessary for example to solve a small puzzle in the time allowed which requires to correctly position the enemies on the plate by playing with two. It’s nice and original but it also considerably increases the fighting. Thus, after ten fights to have to correctly place the enemies before they can attack them, weariness sets in.
Sometimes a little too repetitive
It is a defect which returns moreover in the rest of the game. Despite its originality, its creativity and the variety of its decorations, Paper Mario: The Origami King quickly becomes repetitive. The lifespan is considerable (more than thirty hours of play) but there is a lot of round trip to be made and it is not the scenario (or rather the absence of scenario) which arrives at make the game really exciting.
Humor is omnipresent in Paper Mario: The Origami King and the hundreds of paper Toads hidden in the decorations always have a little joke to do. But then again, after dozens of times, it’s hard to pick up a smile again and it is rather heaviness that sets in. Despite everything, over the hours, Paper Mario: The King Origami always manages to surprise and amaze. Game bosses are particularly fun and original, like this missile launcher pencil box. However, do not trust its childlike appearance. This episode also knows how to be difficult and demanding. The disposition of the enemies before the fights and the particular system of the confrontations against the bosses can thus sometimes require a lot of savvy.
Paper Mario: The King Origami shines with originality and artistic direction. It is a little gem of creativity that unfolds its magnificent paper world before the eyes of the players. But beauty is not everything. If the lifespan is solid, the game does not avoid some lengths and heaviness and the fighting system could discourage some players. However, let’s not ignore our pleasure, Paper Mario: The Origami King offers a long and beautiful adventure that will keep young and old alike this summer on Switch. 4/5