Paper Mario is a role-playing video game developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 home video game console. The series began two decades ago when Paper Mario for the Nintendo 64 launched in Japan on 11th August 2000. With Nintendo’s new release of Paper Mario- The Origami King for Nintendo Switch in July 2020; the series has grown to six games in the Mario Franchise. The latest release brings back memories from young days of obsessing with the Nintendo. Especially Paper Mario, the series combines humour, colour, and character in a supremely playable package.
So let us revisit all the previous Paper Mario games and rank them from worst to best also review the new Paper Mario- The Oragami King.
In this post:
- Ranking the previous five Paper Mario Games.
- Reviewing the new Paper Mario- The Origami King
5. Sticker Star
Paper Mario: Sticker Star (3DS)
Paper Mario: Sticker Stars marks the downfall of the Paper Mario popularity. Because unlike its predecessors, Sticker Star has one-time-use items. If you run out of a sticker, it’s gone; you have to travel back to the town to regain it. This process adds nothing to the game and is infuriating at times. Also, Special travel companions are missing. They added value and provided context on the places Mario visits. The charm of the game is missing without the companions.
However, it is not all that bad, like the game is visually appealing. There is a consistent design throughout the game. Stickers are everywhere in this game. You pry them off walls, buy them in shops and also receive them as awards after battles. Additionally, everything is Paper, and the storyline is good, like every other game on this series. The paper gimmick seeps into the gameplay and narrative as well. Goombas can fold themselves into paper aeroplanes to increase their attack power, or they can fold together to create a double-sided Goomba. The visuals are great, but the gameplay is just not up to the mark of the other games.
4. Color Splash
Paper Mario: Color Splash (Wii U)
Players were already a little miffed at the fact that companions weren’t in Sticker Star, but not having them in the next game made some folks more upset. Players use trading cards to attack, and if there are multiple enemies, players don’t get to choose which character they attack. Worst of all, cards disappear after use which can make fighting bosses a real hassle. Some positive points are that Color Splash makes some much-needed tweaks that cause the many, many battles with grunt enemies feel like a worthy time investment. There’s no traditional XP-based level system in Color Splash, but it does smartly implement an experience system where the more you battle, the more you can increase your paint storage. As you progress, you also earn upgrades which increase your health and how many cards you can hold.
3. Super Paper Mario
Super Paper Mario (Wii)
Super Paper Mario offers hilarious dialogue. This game has some of the most ridiculously funny writing you will encounter in a video game. It also allows you to travel with a star-studded team complete with Mario, Bowser, Peach, and Luigi.
The best part about this team is that each member has their unique skills and problem-solving talents that help you get through each level. This game offers a unique platformer-RPG style gaming, unlike the traditional ones as seen in the previous games. The combat system seems less challenging than the games that came before it. While some aspects of the game are indeed hilarious, some of it misses the mark. Neither is the plot completely flashed out; instead, there are too many dialogues that only act as filler.
2. Paper Mario
Paper Mario (N64)
Paper Mario is the first game of the series. During a time when 3D graphics were brand new and exciting, it brought things back to the basics with its simple paper aesthetic.
Though the game is a departure from SMRPG in many ways, it still proved to be a success. The gameplay is still very similar to SMRPGs. The game has witty dialogues which should make you chuckle at least a few times. It’s all well written and adds some life to the Mario world, which is usually devoid of much text. This game is oozing with charm and class, plus it changes up the whole Peach-getting-kidnapped-by-Bowser thing since you get to play as the princess at the start of each chapter. Overall, The plot is excellent, and the characters are super fun.
1. The Thousand-Year Door
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door (GCN)
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is well built on its predecessor by taking what Original N64 brought on the table and adding up on it. The travelling companions that Mario meets during the game are plenty and each one has a distinct look and skill. Also, the turn-based RPG battle system is challenging and yet fun. The unique badges you find during the game influnces Mario’s as well as his companions’ gaming styles. With a perfect plot and the ability to customize attacks, fighting is much more enjoyable in the game.
Players also get to control Princess Peach between chapters. The new enemy in the game is Sir Grodus who kidnaps Princess Peach. During her sequences, Peach does all she can to undermine Sir Grodus’ crew, the X-Nauts. She also meets TEC-XX, a computer that decides to help her e-mail, Mario, in exchange for learning what love is. It might sound cheesy, but these interactions between them are the funniest in the game.
During the game, players must fight several interesting bosses, including ghosts, evil pirates, a dragon, and various other baddies. More the puzzles you solve more secrets you discover.
With a fabulous plot, fun travelling companions, witty dialogue, and an enjoyable battle system, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, is not only the best Paper Mario game but also one of the best RPGs of all time.
Without any further a due, let us review the latest Paper Mario- The Origami King.
Paper Mario- The Origami King
The Origami King (Switch)
The Origami King features the traditional Paper Mario humor and does it better than any game in the series so far. The storytelling here is excellent- your companions are motivated, and the humor seems to land well regardless of age.
There’s no levelling, you don’t control what your allies do in battle, and the combat system is lenient to the point where you take no damage between puzzles.
A compelling Story
On-point humour has been a penchant of Paper Mario games since their inception on the N64, but The Origami King brings in ups, downs and emotional moments better than any other game in the series.
Paper Mario’s puzzle-solving twist to enemy encounters could be so much better.
The bare bones of the combat system show a lot of potentials: You twist and shuffle opponents into favourable positions for your attacks, and in doing so correctly, you gain a boost to your attack power. The problem is, it is consistently lenient, to the point that it becomes monotonous.
Hence, if you look for a challenge in the fight, you end up getting frustrated at the game.
A secret-filled world
At first, the hunt for collectables, crumpled-up Toads and hidden blocks seem predictable and old, but the payoff is worth the time.
The Origami King becomes all the more enjoyable when you keep the search for these secondary objectives in the back of your mind. Throw in a few challenges unrelated to the main storyline throughout your quest, and there are plenty of bread crumbs along the way to keep you going when the battling gets tedious.
Mario doesn’t grow
One of the things that stood out in previous games is the number of customizable elements.
You could use badges to change the sound effects in battle, automatically dodge attacks when at low HP, inflict status conditions and to give your partners new abilities.
The Origami King has some amount of mix-and-match, too. But the wealth of options fans loved at the beginning of this series is gone.
Cutscenes and set pieces
Some of Paper Mario’s best moments are also the most bizarre, which, you know, sounds about right.
The Origami King leans into the silly side of things sometimes, from its love for dance and music to its nonsequitur dialogue. Small doses of the tone this game brings in its best moments make you want to see more.
The origami princess is the real star of this game. She’s as unforgettable as any character in this series. Her dialogue, from the, deadpans to the big emotional moments, is just sensational, and you can see her literally and figuratively grow as the story unfolds. If nothing else, you’ll probably want to stick this game out for her.
To say the least, all Paper Mario games are amazing; we simply arranged them in the order of the games we love the most. For us, The Thousand-year door stood out as a winner, maybe its different for you. Let us know which games amongst the following is your favourite. Also, did you play the new Paper Mario- The Origami King yet?