Paper Mario: The Origami King
"Paper Mario: The Origami King is an enchanting Mario adventure that is characterized by a difficult and lengthy combat system."
Excellent level variety
Annoying combat system
Platforming may lack precision
About a third of the way through Paper Mario: The Origami King, A bob omb performs a touching act of self-sacrifice.
One of the main characters in the game, Olivia, is unable to act and it is up to Mario and the Bob-Omb to save her. The search for an item followed, and when they returned to Olivia, I realized that Bob-omb knew that he would do this selfless act all the time, even though I didn't. It's a beautiful scene and reminded me why I love video games at all.
Paper Mario: The Origami King shines brightest at these moments. It's a shame that a frustrating combat system is dragging out this otherwise great game.
The paper router
The story of the game is pretty simple. Mario and Luigi are on their way to the Mushroom Kingdom for an origami festival, but when they get there something is going on. Princess Peach is folded and behaves creepy and asks the brothers if they want to join her. If they refuse, they will be thrown into the dungeon of the castle. You'll soon learn that an evil origami king named Ollie has transformed the princess into this lifeless form and a squad of Bowser's enemies into folded soldiers. He wants to do the same with the entire mushroom kingdom.
Mario teams up with Bowser, who is hilariously folded into a square and tries to avoid being detained. He finds Olivia, Ollie's sister, in the dungeon. Olivia does not share her brother's hatred, so they begin a search to save the kingdom and stop Ollie's evil plan.
Ollie takes Peach's castle and takes it to a distant mountain. He covers the kingdom with five colorful ribbons and captures everything. It's up to Mario and Olivia (and a bevy of supporting characters) to untie the tapes, stop Ollie, and make the kingdom normal again.
So far, so good, but the narrative gets more confusing from there. Mario and Olivia must defeat four origami elementals (fire, ice, water, earth) so that Olivia can learn her powers and become strong enough to hold high-performance office supplies (scissors, staplers, punches, etc.) that guard the guards tapes. Along the way, they also discover Ollie’s origins. It's an attempt to add depth, but the revelations are exactly what you'd expect.
Throughout the trip, Mario and Olivia visit scenic green meadows, expensive desserts, water temples, slippery ice caves, musky dungeons, and volcanoes filled with lava, to name a few. As is often the case with Mario games, the story offers an excuse to serve a variety of levels that keep the game's scenery fresh.
There is a lot to do and find in the game. Hundreds of toads are hidden in every corner and endless secrets are scattered all over the place. One of the main mechanics of the game is to fill holes across the country with a bag of confetti, and it's a blast. There are collectibles to find, trophies to earn, and even an in-game museum to show Mario's victories.
Like other current Paper Mario titles, Origami King is a cross between an RPG and a 3D platformer. This hybrid approach works largely. Mario can move and jump, strike his hammer, and interact with items such as characters and other characters. Moving around the world feels fluid and seamless.
However, it is not perfect. Because the camera is static, it can sometimes be difficult to judge where Mario will land. Especially later in the game, platform sections can be unforgiving due to the amount of health lost during a fall. At least healing items are easy to get and store.
Another game mechanic includes magic panels. Mario uses Olivia's origami powers to turn his arms into long stems that sweep the screen and look for hidden panels to uncover new ways or secrets. These use motion controls that can be difficult. There have been a couple of times I've spent so long finding the portion of the screen I needed to get ahead that I thought the game was buggy. I would recommend turning off motion control for more accuracy.
The game also has a potentially gambling problem. Later in the story, Bowser's son is cut up and has to be rejuvenated in a number of hot springs. The road to last spring involves a number of measures that must be carried out in the correct order. There is a way to run them in the wrong order, stopping all forward progress in the game and forcing the player to either revert to a previous save or restart the game completely.
Fight the battle, win the war
While the platform takes place in the world of The Origami King, fighting puts you in a turn-based combat system. Here the game becomes a slog. When Mario encounters an enemy or a boss, a circular grid is triggered with a time limit. In normal battles, the ring puzzle is manipulated so that enemies are positioned so that they are easiest to attack. If done correctly, Mario will receive an attack bonus. If done wrong, the fight will drag on. And further.
There is no real incentive for battles since Mario does not collect experience points. You only get coins that are easy to get when you explore the world. Mario gets stronger by improving his health when he finds improved hearts around the world and by using stronger weapons.
The game offers many options to simplify battles. Mario can ask Toads to cheer him on by spending coins, and they will improve his health and solve the puzzles halfway for him. He can also use coins to buy more time. He can also buy accessories that increase time, health, and strength for his allies during battles. He can even flee, although it works less than 50% of the time.
Mario can avoid some battles. I used the help a lot and avoided battles as often as possible because I didn't like the combat system. The circular grid doesn't feel intuitive, and even with help, fighting feels like a chore.
Boss fights are even more difficult because they involve certain movements that affect the field, like an enemy who adds fire on a path that Mario must avoid. Although it is satisfying to stomp a boss to pieces, I have often made a small mistake that made me lose a round and dragged the fight out for a relentless amount of time.
In particular, the last battle involved a puzzle mechanic that only appeared once in the game, along with a very tight time limit. While some would call it invigorating, I found it stressful.
A visual delight
Despite my disputes about the combat system, Paper Mario: The Origami King is a beautiful game full of hearts.
The music is an oasis of sound – a mixture of live instruments, electronic music and airy woodwinds. The graphics are clear and sharp, with water, sky and earth effects that contradict the colorful style of the game. It's a feast for the eyes and I loved getting through the game just to see what Paper Mario had to show me next.
During the game, I visited a full amusement park with a hidden ninja house; I flew up in the air with Bowser's cannon ship. I fought a giant squid on a cruise ship and navigated a ship in a section of sail similar to the legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, complete with my own nautical chart. You will find Easter eggs everywhere, both acoustically and visually, that will delight even the most laid-back Mario fans.
Just when a section feels monotonous, the game throws something completely different at you. And despite healthy forward dynamics, tracking is encouraged and often rewarded.
Characters in the game
Olivia is the emotional center of the game. She is a small folded yellow figure that Mario can summon to ask for clues. Thank God for that because I got stuck a couple of times and she always told me where to go next.
Mario is a silent protagonist, so Olivia takes care of all the emotional lifting, and the game's authors obviously have not only a deep institutional knowledge of Mario, but also a concern about his story. The writing contains sadness, joy and a lot of humor. During the many clever moments in the game, I often found a smile on my face.
At some point, Olivia learns of another character's sad fate. The game itself slows down and I couldn't go on until Mario cheered her up. I'm not going to spoil how he does it because it's funny, but the scene shows how touching and heartfelt this game can be.
Paper Mario: Origami King is a heartwarming, entertaining addition to the Paper Mario franchise, which is blocked by a lengthy and frustrating puzzle battle system.
Is there a better alternative?
Both Game change and Breath of the wild are classic Nintendo Switch games that do justice to the occasion. Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling and Hollow Knight are also good alternatives, although the latter is much more difficult.
I also really enjoyed the remake of The Legend of Zelda: Link & # 39; s Awakening.
How long it will take?
It took me about 35 hours to complete the main story of the game, and I could easily spend another five to ten hours finding everything in the game.
Should you buy it
If you can overcome the battles, it is a great game full of surprises, good writing and fun moments. If you are a Mario fan, this game is definitely worth a visit.