The Paper Mario series is one that consists of high peaks and deep valleys. In my opinion, the paper version of our favorite plumber did not always surpass expectations, yet sometimes it blew my mind. For example, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was one of the best games on the GameCube. Two months ago, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems proved that they can still come up with surprises when they announced Paper Mario: The Origami King.
Like many other Paper Mario enthusiasts, it thrilled me to hear such news. However, at the same time, that joy was suppressed by the fear that the game could also be quite disappointing, as we have seen in the past. The redeeming word is out, because the game is now on the shelves and I can say that I am now a lot more reassured than before. Here is my Paper Mario: The Origami King review on Nintendo Switch.
A STORY WITHOUT FOLDS
Intelligent Systems’ Paper Mario: The Origami King is largely about origami, of course. Pretty soon the thought came to me why no game has used it before. The link to origami is quickly made if you have a game that is all about paper. The Japanese paper folding art is a beautiful craft and has now really been put into practice.
This brings with it a funny, but not too profound story and some new characters that we have never seen before in the Mario universe. This is something I always appreciate, especially if the characters are well developed and contribute clearly to the story. And that’s certainly the case with Paper Mario: The Origami King.
Mushroom Kingdom is suddenly ravaged by the evil King Olly, who wants to turn all paper inhabitants into slavish origami subjects. If you are not a king yourself, but would like to become one, you must, of course, force it, otherwise it will not work.
This evil train of thought is not followed by his little naive sister Olivia, and she and Mario set out to thwart her brother’s evil plans. The result is an adventure through all kinds of areas that involve a diversity of characters, environments, and enemies. Immediately from the beginning of the game, you will notice colorful surroundings and feel a sense of joy.
PUZZLES AND COLLECTIBLES
The game’s story may be as paper thin as a sheet of A4 paper, but that’s okay. It is full of humor where you occasionally get an enormous grin on your face. In fact, it is one of the best aspects of the game, because I really got surprised by dry jokes and unexpected twists. Take note that Paper Mario: The Origami King largely consists of solving puzzles to get a bit further in the game.
The puzzles are sometimes quite difficult, but that should not spoil the fun for you. It does bring some challenge in an otherwise very simple game. If you have moments when you no longer know what to do, Olivia can come to your rescue with a tip or reminder so that you can continue your way. This is always useful. For the completionists among us, there is enough to experience outside the regular storyline.
It is also your task to free as many Toads as possible. King Olly has folded them into all kinds of origami ornaments and by unfolding them with a simple blow of your hammer you give them back their freedom. In addition, there are plenty of collectibles that you can collect and view in the museum.
Intelligent Systems’ Paper Mario: The Origami King at least also thought of people with a collective urge. For some of those collectibles, you can purchase special items that show that you are near one of those collectibles. Not an unnecessary luxury, because some of these items are quite well hidden.
PAPER CUT BATTLE SYSTEM
Unfortunately, not everything about Paper Mario: The Origami King is a success, because the battle system is one of the few drawbacks of the game. Unfortunately, this flaw is an essential part of the game. You have to fight a lot of battles to get through the story. The RPG elements have been thrown overboard. You automatically become stronger as the game progresses, but you have no further influence on this.
You can also not see how much health your enemy has in this game, so you have to guess. If you’ve done enough battles, you’ll know roughly what it takes to eliminate certain enemies, but it’s not necessarily an improvement over previous battle systems used in the series. Nintendo has chosen to completely overhaul the system.
Now you have to do a puzzle that lists the bad guys so you can attack them. If you do this well, you will strengthen your attacking power. In that sense, it is therefore useful to do those puzzles. However, these puzzles quickly become monotonous and it really feels like a task rather than entertainment.
In addition, conducting those fights will not earn you much, because you earn confetti and money with it. The money is nice, but confetti is also abundant in the game world. Soon you’ll notice that you will try to avoid these fights as much as possible. It’s nice that Intelligent Systems want to implement something new, but this just doesn’t come out well.
AUDIO ON POINT
In order not to completely end on an unpleasant note, because the game simply does not deserve that, it is also important to highlight the audio of the game. Throughout the years I have noticed that the audio used in a Mario game is of superior standards, and they have yet again not failed us this time around.
I can certainly say that the music in Paper Mario: The Origami King was very nice for the ears. The music always fits well with what we can see on the screen, and the different tunes will always cheer you up. The audio is as colorful as the environments you are exploring, so it all melts together very nicely.
Do you want to try Intelligent Systems and Nintendo’s Paper Mario: The Origami King? What do you think of my Paper Mario: The Origami King review on Nintendo Switch? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games featuring Mario? Check out our reviews for Mario & Sonic At The Olympics, Super Mario World 2, and Super Mario Bros. 3.