It takes a special something for a spin-off to become as beloved as the main titles of a franchise, but that’s exactly what happened with the Paper Mario titles.
Originally billed to be the sequel to the Super Mario RPG for the SNES, Paper Mario has since established itself as one of the best titles, not just in the Mario franchise, but in video game history. However, as beloved as Paper Mario is, it hasn’t been without its fair share of duds and misses.
Case in point, the most recent instalments, in particular, those released for the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, did not do the spin-off series any good.
With that said, the latest instalment, Paper Mario: The Origami King, is looking less like the disappointment than the recent releases were and more like the first two adventures that many gamers today have fond memories of.
Here’s everything we know about Paper Mario: The Origami King so far.
Availability and Release Date
Paper Mario: The Origami King is set for a July 17, 2020 release on the Nintendo Switch.
The title retails for $60 and is currently available for pre-order.
Similar to other Nintendo titles, it does not have pre-order bonuses, nor is it available in a special edition.
What is the Story?
The story of Paper Mario: The Origami King is rather straight-forward, or at least, from what we can tell from the released trailer.
Basically, King Olly, the titular Origami King, takes over the Mushroom Kingdom and kidnaps not just Princess Peach, but even the almighty Bowser. But, unlike previous takeover attempts by other villains, this was a rather silent one. In fact, Mario and Luigi only found out about this kidnapping later on.
In a surprising turn of events, King Olly seems to hold some kind of power that allows him to control Princess Peach and turn her into one of his most active recruiters.
She’s even trying her hardest to turn Mario into origami. Imagine that!
How this will all unfold (get it?) will be rather interesting, but what’s even more curious is if the game will come with a Princess Peach side story, similar to the first three games of the Paper Mario series.
Anyway, after visiting Toad Town we’ve got as many questions as you do, including how Bowser got ensured, as well as what sort of role Olivia, the sister of King Olly, will have in the story.
Will There Be Companions?
What made the first few Paper Mario games so amazing was, not just because of the magic that Mario has, but also that of his partners. Unfortunately, we haven’t seen companions utilized in the last few Paper Mario titles, which is why we’re excited to announce that they’ll be back again, albeit with a couple differences.
If you had noticed from the trailers, Mario gets to meet various characters throughout the story, some of which will be available as playable characters or companions.
One of the few companions that we’ve had confirmation on is the amnesiac Bob-omb, Bobby. We also have reason to believe that Professor Toad and Kamek the Magikoopa will be available as well. Of course, the aforementioned Olivia might also be included as a companion in the game.
Unfortunately, though, these companions or partners are not permanent.
According to one of the explanations provided by Kensuke Tanage, in Paper Mario: The Origami King, some of the partners will leave at certain points of the game. You’ll have no control over this.
While this is a bummer, we also see this as a positive.
By basically forcing players to play with specific partners throughout the story, they will be on their toes the entire time and continuously challenged.
Of course, we’ll see just how exactly this pans out once the game actually releases.
What Kind of Bosses Will We See?
Another fun part of the Paper Mario franchise is how it’s not afraid to toy and experiment with ideas, especially when it comes to bosses.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is no exception.
The titular Origami King, for example, is already a play on Paper Mario itself. But, as it turns out, other bosses will also be taking a jab at the Paper Mario franchise, as well as our favourite paperized plumber himself.
Case in point, Paper Mario: The Origami King will have a boss made out of colored pencils, one made out of rubber bands, and even another that’s essentially a roll of tape.
Nintendo revealed all of this in a video released earlier in June and it’s highly unlikely that these fun jabs at the Paper Mario franchise are the only creative bosses that players will get to meet inside the game.
What’s Gameplay Like?
First off, when we said the latest Paper Mario title is a step in the right direction, we also meant that it’s a step towards making the world open.
Yes, Paper Mario: The Origami King will be an open-world title instead of progressing via chapters as the other titles did. This means that players will be able to traverse between accessible regions whenever they please.
More importantly, Paper Mario: The Origami King will give players various means of transportation, including but not limited to a boot-shaped car, as well as a boat and an airship.
Moving on, Paper Mario: The Origami King will feature the Battle Ring System.
This all-new combat system will let players take control of the battlefield by literally allowing them to line up enemies into favourable positions. However, this is only possible for a limited number of times. Also, this presents another challenge wherein players will have to think creatively and fast so that they can do as much damage to as many enemies as quickly as possible.
Boss fights will play out differently as well, as the enemies won’t be moving around, but instead, players will be the ones rotating around the field.
Basically, what will happen is that the boss fight will revolve around creating a path for Mario until he’s close enough to deliver the finishing blow/s.
Leave it to Nintendo to take some of the spotlight away from the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X.
With most people looking forward to the next generation consoles, Nintendo has just given people a reason to invest in a new Nintendo Switch and another exclusive title.
From the looks of it, it’s no longer just a question if Paper Mario: The Origami King will be a good game. Rather, it’s quickly becoming a contender as arguably the best Nintendo Switch title today, and it hasn’t even been released yet.
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