Super Paper Mario review!!


Rating: 4 out of 5 “Shine Get!”

Hey all!

Well, its 4:30 PM, and I just beat Super Paper Mario…I must say that this quite a fun platformer/RPG. I beat it over the course of 2-3 Sundays (my gaming days), for a total of about 20 hours game time…..For this review, I’m gonna talk about the story, controls, gameplay, and graphics, ending with a final thought.

Story

Its just your typical day in the Mushroom kingdom… piranha plants are blooming, winged koopas are flying, Bowser is attempting to marry Princess Peach. Everyone’s favorite plumbers who havent plumbed anything in their lives are off to save Peach *again*, when suddenly an evil wizard comes from out of nowhere to wisk the whole wedding party away! Naturally, Mario finds himself in this bizarre world called Flipside, where it so happens that he (along with Luigi, Peach, and Bowser) are a part of a prophecy written in the Light Prognosticus as the ones who must save the world from complete destruction….

How’s that for changing it up a bit?

You (as Mario) must collect “pure hearts” from different worlds that you access from the white tower in order to take down the evil Count Bleck (BBLEEEEEECKKKKK!!!) and fulfill the prophecy. You’re not alone though.. With the help of Tippi, a Pixl ( think Navi), that follows you and gives advice (HEY!!! LISTEN!), you navigate the 8 worlds, meeting new Pixls, and assembling your party of Mushroom Kingdom heroes.

The story may seem farfetched, but the writing sure isnt! (or is….either way its good). Many characters will have you laughing out loud, from Old Man Whazzit (Whazzzzit?!) to Francis, the epitomy of all things nerdy (all of World 3 is amazing). There is alot of text in this game, so luckily they did a great job localizing it and throwing in great references (“If the world ends, it will be the ultimate GAME OVER!”)

Elliot…I mean…Francis using a dating sim game to win over Peach’s heart.. the text reads “I aint never seen/An ass like that/The way you move it/You make my pee-pee go/’Doing-doing-doing'”


Controls

The controls for this game are simple…you hold the Wii remote (no nunchuck) sideways, like the old school NES style, which gives this game an old school feel. Movement is with the d-pad, you jump with the 2 button, and the 1 button uses which ever Pixl you have. Throughout the game you get different Pixls with different powers that enable you to do things such as grab enemies, do a butt stomp, lay a bomb, and even dash! The huge A button is used only as Mario to switch from the 2-D world to a 3-D world, in which you can see hidden secrets such as items, pipes, or passageways. The motion sensing is even used in this game….After jumping on an enemy, you can shake the controller to give your self “cool” points…which essentially speeds up your leveling up. (LEVEL UP!!!). If at any point you have Tippi, you can turn the controller to face the screen, and a flashing circle will come up that you can use sort of like a Pokedex….pointing it to enemies will give you hit points, and tips on how to beat them. Tippi is also often used to uncover hidden ledges or doors.

Hey!! LISTEN!!….THERE’S A FRACKIN DOOR HERE!


Most of the controls work as a dream. It took me a while to get used to the jumping….there is no “hold B to run” thing in this game, so it was hard to adjust…(you know….unlike every other Mario game where you hold B throughout the level). Things worked out in the end though, I finally beat the Pit of 100 Trials to get that Dashell pixl…My only other gripe about the controls was the fact that sometimes it took a while to register that I was turning my controller to the screen, often causing just enough delay for an enemy to hit me. Luckily you dont really HAVE to do this often.

Gameplay

This game is like a cross between a platformer and an RPG. The platformer part is apparent…the coolest part being the whole 2-D/3-D thing….you will find yourself switching to 3-D every 5 minutes to see if there is a hidden block or passageway, and often there will be one! Many puzzles require you to flip in order to see which order to hit certain blocks, or ways to get around a pipe, etc. Flipping never really gets old, even when you get to the point where it seems they are recycling the puzzles near the end. Some other reviews I’ve read complain about that fact, but I really didnt find that as a problem…Flipping is just too much fun to do.

Flip 3-D to see cool shit!

Speaking of flipping, Flipside acts as your homebase, from which you trek into one of the 8 worlds to find the Pure Heart. To defeat most enemies, you simply jump on their heads. However, jumping on them only causes you to do a set amount of damage to them, that increases as you level up..Likewise, when you get hit, HPs are taken away. In order to regain HPs, you can use items such as mushroom shakes…

Thats where the major RPGness comes in….not only do you have health items, you have items that will give you regen, increase your attack/defense, unleash a barrage of fireballs to the screen..etc. The sad thing, however, is that I hardly found myself using any of these items but the health ones (and even those, not that often). Flipside serves like your hometown…there is an inn, a place that will cook items into better items according to recipes, item shops, fortune teller…etc. Finally, you can find cards in the levels that will cause you to do more damage to the enemy that is on the card. Thats a fine and dandy idea, but I never really cared much for actively searching for the cards, when I’m such a bad ass I can kill them fast anyway.

Bottom line is for as much as they wanted this to be an RPG, I really felt it was a fancy flipping platformer with RPG-like story.

Graphics

I play my Wii on my HDTV using component cables, so I was happy with the crispness of the graphics. Its really hard to say anything amazing about the graphics other than they didn’t fail. Obviously, since this game was originally going to be released for the G-cube, there was nothing really spectacular about the graphics….

However, the art style of the game is really cool. Each world has a different style to it, from traditional Mario greenery, to pixelated, outerspace-ness (oooo Mario Galaxy, cant wait). Naturally, Intelligent Systems went for the retro look that works so well with the fact that the whole world is flat. Its hard to describe the coolest part of the graphics…which is where the levels are “drawn in” with lines and then colored in afterwards…(you just have to see it).

The world drawn in pixels…pretty neat, huh? Too bad Bowser’s not welcome around these parts..

Final Thoughts

I really enjoyed Super Paper Mario for the great platformer that it was…the story, though sort of out there, was decent, but it best served as a vehicle for the hilarious dialogue. I didn’t really get too much into the cooking items and stuff, but it was cool that it was there. There is still a lot of stuff that I can do now that I beat the game, however. Now that I am post-game, I can explore Flipside a bit more, search for cards that i didnt get, play at the arcade in the basement level, and search for treasure as a side quest. As far as recommending this game, I would have to give this game 4 out of 5 Shines, for its awesome dialogue, lots of stuff to do beyond just “princess in another castle”, and great art style. This is a pretty fun, innovative, and kick-ass platformer that I would totally recommend for the buying.

-Jesse

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3 Responses to “Super Paper Mario review!!”

  1. Nice review! I’ve really been wanting to play SPP; maybe I’ll hit it up over the summer…

  2. TOO LONG! can’t read it all! i hate you! the usual!

  3. Yeah…I agree it was pretty long…

    The narrow borders also make it seem longer than it actually is. Anyway to change that?

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