Super Paper Mario Wii review folds from 2D to 3D effortlessly

2 September 2007
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Super Paper Mario for WiiIt’s time to brush up on your origami skills as everyone’s favorite plumber embarks upon an all-new quest that is truly out of this dimension in Super Paper Mario on Wii! With the power to flip between 2D and 3D, Mario must embark on a big adventure to reunite his lost friends and save the world.

Super Paper Mario mixes the role-playing game-style adventure of its predecessors with the platform action of classic Mario games from yesteryear, bringing players a deep, entertaining quest that is truly the best of both worlds. So make sure your platform gaming skills are honed as Mario bends, twists and flips his way into a new adventure.

System: Wii
Genre: RPG, platformer, adventure
Release dates: April 9th 2007 (USA), April 19th 2007 (JPN), September 14th 2007 (EURO), September 20th 2007 (AUS)
Players: 1
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Origin: Japan

Super Paper Mario 2D to 3D screenshot

As with the previous two games in the Paper Mario series, all characters are as flat as a sheet of paper. However, our hero Mario can manipulate the environment around him to his benefit, opening up new paths and possibilities with the ability to ‘flip’ from 2D to 3D at will. This ability comes in handy throughout the game and is crucial to the progress of the player in his rescue mission. Seemingly impassable barriers are only as thin as a piece of paper when viewed in 3D allowing our hero to walk past with ease and fearsome 2D enemies expose their weak spots in 3D. The action sprawls across eight worlds filled with traps, puzzles, bizarre mysteries and items that often draw themselves out of thin air.

The adventure begins when the mysterious Count Bleck, a mad genius who is determined to fulfill an ancient prophecy, kidnaps Princess Peach, Bowser and Luigi. Bleck forces Peach to marry Bowser so that he can unite good and evil and create a Chaos Heart that will destroy the universe. Only Mario escapes his clutches and now it is up to him to rescue his friends from the evil Count and save the world!

Players start out controlling Mario, but later on can unlock and control Princess Peach, Bowser and someone else as well, as you free them from captivity. Each character has their own unique ability allowing them to overcome different puzzles and obstacles. Also lending a helping hand are small sidekicks called Pixls,which Mario will encounter during his journey. Each of these Pixls has a different ability, which can be used to aid the player on their journey. These range from Tippi, who will give information on enemies and items pointed at with the Wii Remote, Carrie who will lift Mario over impassable gaps, and Dottie who can shrink a character to minuscule proportions.

The majority of on-screen action is controlled simply by holding the Wii Remote sideways, like the traditional NES controller, using only the Control Pad and two buttons. You’ll use the Wii Remote’s pointer function to find hidden items and its motion sensing abilities to increase Mario’s attack and score. The more points you score, the faster Mario levels up. However, the motion sensing abilities of the Wii Remote also add a dynamic edge to the gameplay. Unique special moves and abilities can be activated by shaking and moving the controller; so that players can not only set up chains and earn bonus points when defeating enemies, but also use abilities like fire, thunder and ice attacks.

Watch the Super Paper Mario storyline trailer.

Some of Super Paper Mario’s main features:

* What at first glance appears to be a 2D side-scroller ripped straight from the stylized pages of the Paper Mario universe soon turns into a hilarious dimension-shifting platformer possible only on Wii.

* Players run through vibrant 2D worlds, stomping on enemies and breaking blocks … then, with the press of a button, they flip into 3D.

* Players can shake the Wii Remote to pull off stylish moves.

See some more Super Paper Mario gameplay footage.

In conclusion let’s see how much fun Super Paper Mario is on a scale from 1 to 10?

FUN FACTOR – 8.5
Super Paper Mario is a fantastic mix between a classic platformer and text-heavy RPG. The new 2D-to-3D level switching dynamic is very smart and makes you think the surprisingly complex puzzles over before continuing. Don’t expect any super deep combat elements; the game’s intent is on keeping enemy encounters casual and enjoyable.

As you can expect from Mario RPG games, most of the story and characters in it are likable because their designs are charming, encounters entertaining and personalities very very funny. While some of the level designs and visual detail could’ve used some more polish, but the complete game is so hilarious and addictive that you’ll want to see it through to the end. Some games just have that magic dust sprinkled all over them and Super Paper Mario’s new style of gameplay has the power to make just about anyone with an interest in either genre like it.

Graphics – 7.5
As colorful, beautiful and heavily stylized as the 2D graphics are, switching to the 3D perspective makes that side of the world look a bit barren, so that could’ve used some more polish.

Audio – 7.5
The midi style music fits the 2D-3D world well, the tracks that stand out take a page from the classic Mario games. Loads of funny little sound effects add to the quirkiness of the world.

Ingenuity – 8.5
You control the characters by holding the Wii Remote sideways, sometimes having to shaking and moving the controller to activate special moves and abilities. Alternatively with the Pixl Tippi or Tiptron, you’ll point to the screen with the Wii remote to identify features on the screen as well as hidden objects. Gameplay isn’t as smooth as it could be, since you’re forced to browse the menus during item selection and character switching, which you’ll be doing a lot of. Unlike previous Paper Mario games, there is no turn-based fighting; instead you face enemies in real-time on screen as in a usual Mario platforming game, and through experience gains and special items, the amount of damage dealt can be increased in a light-RPG style. In spite of the menu browsing, the result is a genuinely well balanced control scheme that makes playing easy and fun.

Replay Value – 8.5
Expect to be playing the single player game up to 20 hours. If you like to collect every last item, then there’s probably up to 40 hours of total playtime to be squeezed out of this huge adventure, as you can track back through the game after you’ve gained new abilities to reach new sections. That said, a lot of that time will be spent reading (no cutscenes nor voice overs here). But you already know this game is text-heavy, so I doubt you’ll mind following the highly entertaining and comical storyline. If you have a Wii, do yourself a favor and check it out.

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About the author

Ferry Groenendijk By Ferry Groenendijk: He is the founder and editor of Video Games Blogger. He loved gaming from the moment he got a Nintendo with Super Mario Bros. on his 8th birthday. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and at Google+.


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