After the recent success of both Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door as well as its predecessor, Paper Mario for the N64, now comes an innovative new addition to the series: Super Paper Mario for the Wii! It has quickly become a well-known game by many as itâ€™s innovative gameplay set it apart from other Wii games such as Rayman Raving Rabbids that distinguished itself as a Party game, filled with innovative Remote uses topped with physically daunting gameplay, and brought itself more into the likes of games like Elebits, that set itself apart from a crowd filled with mini-game collections and simple adventure games. But is Super Paper Mario all itâ€™s cracked up to be? Is it worth your time and money? If youâ€™re wondering these questions or if youâ€™re deciding whether or not to purchase the game, please, do read on.
You would automatically assume that this time around, Bowser kidnaps the Princess, escapes into an Air Fortress with her in tow, and you, the hero, have to go save her from Bowserâ€™s clutches. Well, if youâ€™ve been disappointed with the lack of story development in Marioâ€™s most recent outings, Super Paper Mario will turn things around. A mysterious, dark shadowy figure named Count Bleck has done his research and has journeyed to Marioâ€™s simple, carefree world to fulfill an ancient prophecy â€“ the wedding of Bowser and Peach (yes, you heard me right) is what will set off a series of events that will culminate into the destruction of the universe! Well, Count Bleck forces the two into marriage and after the wedding ceremony, a destructive force known as the Chaos Heart emerges from the dark, shady prophetic book and Count Bleck uses this to create a void, a rift between time and space that will consume all worlds. A mysterious butterfly-like creature, named Tippi, is a Pixl who enlists Marioâ€™s help to put a stop to Count Bleckâ€™s evil scheme. Mario turns out to be a match of a hero prophesied in a bright book known as the Light Prognosticus that reveals the series of events that must occur in order for the Dark Prognosticus not to come true. Along the way, youâ€™ll meet the likes of a bunch of shady characters, as well as some familiar ones. Youâ€™ll love the twists this gameâ€™s story contains and I must say itâ€™s one of the best in a Mario game!
So, you wanna know how the game plays exactly? Well, first of all, you should know that the Wii Remote is held like an NES Controller â€“ sideways with the buttons facing up. To move Mario, you simply use the D-Pad and although it may not seem ideal at first, since youâ€™re traversing a 2-D space, itâ€™ll grow on you and you wonâ€™t mind it at all! You use the 2 Button to Jump and the A Button to traverse 3D Space, again, with the D-Pad. The Remote does get some time to shine, though, other than it being held sideways, albeit still somewhat limited. Tippi can be used to survey the surrounding area. There are secret blocks and doors that can only be seen and accessed once seen with Tippi so expect to use it quite a bit over the course of the game. Additionally, if you shake the controller after jumping on an enemy, you can earn bonus points but it feels somewhat tacked on. The menu can be accessed with the Plus Button and you can use items, change party members and select a Pixl from your party. Youâ€™ll spend a lot of time in the menus, unfortunately, so get used to it. The scoring system from preceding Mario games is still evident here â€“ achieving a certain number of points will cause you to level up and, sometimes, this will give you special attributes, such as an increased attack power. There are special Catch Cards that can also be collected that will give you an upper-hand over enemies. For example, a Goomba may require you to step on it twice but with a Catch Card, you only need to step on it once. It adds some sort of semblance to the game but itâ€™s nothing to go on an all-out search party for, especially since the game can be beaten without the usage of these cards. The whole innovation behind this game is the idea of traversing between 2D and 3D space but whatâ€™s neat is the developers have used it to their advantage to add a much more puzzle element to the series which extends the gameâ€™s length while possibly limiting your patience levels in some of the later chapters. Itâ€™s really neat and itâ€™s fun just to switch dimensions, but you can only stay in the 3D Realm for a little while as youâ€™ll begin to lose HP if you stay too long. That being said, you can refill the gauge and youâ€™ll only lose one HP so itâ€™s not a huge loss if you were to stay in the 3D space too long. It should also be noted that the touch-based battle system has been removed in lieu of a more classic gaming experience, if not for nostalgic value. Think more along the lines of classic Mario games where you simply jump on enemies once or multiple times. No battle system here unfortunately.
Well, as it is a Wii game, expectations tend to be a little lower when it comes to graphics but this game is pretty nice, visually. Not only is it easy on the eyes, but everything looks and feels like classic Mario, if not a little bit more visually impressive. And since you can navigate between 2D and 3D space, you may find the game that much more visually appealing. Itâ€™s not something you should consider as a breaking point in your decision to purchase the game, though.
The game is stellar, all around but there are some areas where the developers could have done better. For starters, the Health System is a bit too reasonable in that you wonâ€™t find yourself getting two many Game Overâ€™s in this game as long as your stocked up on items (which, by the way, donâ€™t cost that many coins to buy in the first place and you have a lot of coins at your disposal). Secondly, the AI is a bitâ€¦ lacking. Some of the enemies are just too easily defeated in that they donâ€™t put up as much of a fight as they did in the touch-battle system in the preceding games. On that note, the game is too short which bears itself to the fact that the touch-based battles have now been removed which makes the game slightly less difficult than its predecessors. Also, the collection of the Catch Cards is completely useless considering you could beat enemies just as easily on your own without having to go on a hunt for the Cards that would only do more to put a dent in the gameâ€™s level of difficulty. The gameâ€™s flaws are a little bit less notable for some, but as an unbiased reviewer, I feel that they should be brought to your attention as some of these flaws were behind my decision to not purchase the game after I rented it.
Fun Factor/Gameplay: 9/10
The game is filled with fun moments. Trust me. Youâ€™ll have a great time flipping between dimensions and solving intricate puzzles to move on, if not, you'll have a lot of fun trying.
As I mentioned earlier, the game isnâ€™t as difficult compared to prior games in the series and it may or may not hamper your overall experience with the game.
The story is great. What else can I say? Itâ€™s not one of those love-hate games. Kudos to the developers for being a little more creative, if not less traditional.
The game looks great but you wonâ€™t be able to enjoy it as much because of all the time spent in the menus. Otherwise, the interface is very easy to use, even for younger players.
Replay Value: 7/10
The game has notably less replay value than Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year-Door in that once you complete the gameâ€™s storyline, all that thereâ€™s left to go back to is to the Arcade (to play one of 4 mini-games) or go on a hunt for all Catch Cards â€“ itâ€™s one of the gameâ€™s worst points. Going on a search for all the Catch Cards is pointless and playing the mini-games in the Arcade will wear on you after about 3 days, a week tops.
If you love the recent VC Game outings on the Wii Shop, youâ€™ll love this, I can almost guarantee it.
If you been following the series up till now (i.e., Paper Mario) as I have, then you should give this a rental. Iâ€™m glad I did because the asking price is just ridiculous for this game.
Whatâ€™s an ideal price for this game? Iâ€™d say about 39.99. The MSRP is just too high, and if you were in Canada when this was released, that was 59.99 â€“ completely and utterly ridiculously priced for a game of this stature and length.
Thank you for reading my review and I hope this helps. In some cases, this game is very overrated but all in all, itâ€™s a great game, itâ€™s just not worth the full asking price, nor is it nearly as lengthy as its predecessors, but it surely is more captivating.
[size=x-large]Overall Rating: 77/100[/size]
Written by KnucklesSonic8