Paper Mario The Origami King was released on the 17th July 2020. Published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch, it is also compatible with the Switch lite. Paper Mario The Origami King was developed by Intelligent Systems, the same developer as previous Paper Mario games. They have developed games across many previous Nintendo systems.
Paper Mario is a role-playing game that combines 2D characters with 3D backgrounds and it does so brilliantly! It’s a turn-based role-playing game combined with features from previous Mario games.
Mario and Luigi have been invited to the Origami Festival at Princess Peach’s castle, but on arrival, they quickly realise something is amiss. Folded soldiers want to remake you into the folded glory that is origami!
You’ll find yourself in the dungeon not long after starting and Bowser is in a bit of a predicament. The situation is so dire you’re all going to work together! Upon escaping from the Dungeon you’re once again greeted by folded Princess Peach and a yellow folded Shyguy. Of course, Mario will decline the offer to be folded, and King Olly will make his appearance. He is determined to turn Bowser’s paper minions (and you!) into his loyal folded soldiers. He wants to fold, crease and bend the entire paper world to his whim into order to create a new origami kingdom.
Fortunately, you’ll have some help on your adventure in the form of King Olly’s sister, Olivia. She provides helpful hints at the beginning of the game and even grants special moves. The first one she grants you is 1000 folded arms. All the classic Mario characters make an appearance, from Goombas to Shyguys.
As King Olly wraps the castle in five colourful paper streamers and lifts it from the ground your adventure begins. The streamers are spread out across the Mushroom Kingdom and your mission is revealed. Unwrap the streamers, reach Princess Peach’s castle that is now sat atop a mountain, and rescue the Princess. Don’t worry, she is definitely in that castle… maybe.
During your adventure, you will fill in the Not-Bottomless-Holes by collecting confetti. Make sure you keep your confetti bag as full as possible for this, you’ll be rewarded for filling in all holes in each section of the game. Collecting the confetti felt very satisfying and you’ll have a chance to upgrade this feature early on.
Once you’ve progressed past Toad Town you’ll have the opportunity to return with the warp pipe. It is definitely worth doing as if you’ve rescued the right Toads you’ll have access to the item shop and accessory shop. Save your coins for this if you can as you can purchase and equip valuable accessories. Along with Toads to rescue, there are also collectables to seek out that will fill up the museum as you go.
One thing Paper Mario: The Origami King does well is its comedy. There are some excellent funny moments from a lot of the characters, Olivia and the Toads, in particular, provide some great laughs along the way.
The battle system is a combination of turn-based and action. You can defeat large enemies with your trusty hammer if you attack from behind, but for the most part, you will be entering turn-based fights. As your attacks become stronger you will be able to take out easier enemies without triggering these battles.
Wave battles also appear where you fight a few sets of enemies on the bounce. During the turn-based battles you will have to line up the enemies. To do this you will need to turn and slide the rings surrounding Mario. Once lined up you can use your boots or hammer to attack a row or a block of enemies in true Mario style. These battles are relatively simple, although you are on a count down to line them up before your turn ends.
Boss battles shake things up a little. During these, you are placed on the outside of the battle area and the boss is in the middle. As in the normal battles you need to turn and slide the rings, this time to line up arrows for Mario to follow to reach the boss.
Toads make an appearance during your battles, the more you rescue, the more there are. They cheer you on, grant extra time for the ring puzzles, deal damage, simplify puzzles and even heal your health. The amount they do depends on how many coins you’re paying them.
The motion control function is introduced at the beginning of the game, however, you can turn this off in the settings. From special moves to the fishing game, the game makes good use of these features.
I played this in docked mode and handheld mode and there was not a noticeable difference between the two. Overall the game is aesthetically beautiful to look at with bright colours and sharp folds in the origami characters. Graphics are crisp and even close up they’re smooth and detailed. There have been no frame rate issues or graphical glitches that I have seen.
The audio is as expected from a Mario game with its satisfying dings and chirpy background music. What the music does do is add to the Mario style feel of this game. The museum also lets you hear the music from each area.
Several hours in and this game is still going strong! This is one game you can play for hours. There are plenty of collectables to search for and you can keep track of these the Toad Museum once you have access to this. From the music player I previously mentioned to the art gallery and statue collection, there’s a lot to collect! I also stumbled upon the warp pipes here which open up as you progress to each area in the game. I’ll say it again, Paper Mario is a beautiful game to look at and for the most part a joy to play! I found the turn-based battle system a little tedious as I progressed, but certainly not enough to put me off playing.
Mario fans have been hoping this game lives up to the previous entries in the Paper Mario series, the most popular seeming to be Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite measure up to it. That being said it is still an amazing game and I urge you to give this a go. If you’ve played previous Paper Mario games you’re going to enjoy returning to the series on the Nintendo Switch!
In my opinion, the motion controls did not add to the experience of the game and I opted to turn these off. The battles can feel a little pointless as the puzzles become old quickly, and there’s little reward for completing fights asides from coins and confetti. However, it has a well thought out story that is engaging from beginning to end. I enjoyed seeing some favourite characters return for this title, and Princess Olivia was an excellent addition. I have no doubt I will be returning to Paper Mario in the future.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.