The clock is back an hour, the trees are turning yellow and brown and that can only mean one thing: autumn. The summer sun is gone for good and we need to be indoors more than ever because of the global pandemic. Fortunately, there is a game that allows you to completely escape that depressing weather: Paper Mario Origami King.
Paper Mario: Origami King
Don’t let the title put you off as you don’t need to be an expert in Japanese folding origami. It does help if you’ve played Paper Mario games before, because then you know what to expect. However, it also works against you: certainly the beginning of this game throws a lot of dialogue screens and explanations at you. This means that the adventure starts somewhat slowly, but at the same time it offers you the opportunity to immerse yourself deeper and deeper in the funny world of Paper Mario.
Developer Intelligent Systems has been making Paper Mario games for a long time . It is the Mario series in which the world of the Nintendo hero is made of paper. Nice and flat. However, that is not the most characteristic of this series, because that is the humor. The characters of Mario are constantly being scoffed at and in any case there are many comical and funny moments that you can enjoy enormously despite the fact that it all mainly goes through speech bubbles.
On a journey of discovery
It’s up to you to comb through the entire game world in Paper Mario Origami King for all kinds of collectible items. However, that will not be made easy for you, because there is a whole army of bad guys ready to fight against. The combat system is still the same as known: turn-based and timing-based. However, a kind of disc system has been added, which makes timing even more important. The only regret is that you don’t get any stronger as the adventure progresses. This makes Mario seem to stand still a bit, despite the fact that he has a whole new -giant- world to discover.
Another addition is that you can sometimes use vehicles to traverse the world. One of the big disadvantages of Paper Mario is that you sometimes have to walk back a bit. Thanks to the introduction of vehicles, you can do all that a little faster, which is a big plus. In addition, Mario has received a kind of fold-out arms, with which he can get even more out of the world. He can tear away walls with it. Very handy.
Paper Mario: Origami King thus has a number of innovations that seem small, but do have a major impact on how the game feels. It really feels like new. Certainly because the origami king you are up against sends all kinds of enemies in origami form at you, the game is also slightly different in terms of look than we are used to. The combat system remains good here, because you use familiar Mario attack methods in a completely different way to reach the same goal: kill everyone. It is only a pity that he himself does not necessarily come out stronger, so the difficulty level does not fluctuate enormously throughout the game.
At least after many hours, I tended to avoid fights if I could. It is getting a bit monotonous, even against the bigger bosses. That’s the only thing that is a shame about this game, because otherwise Paper Mario Origami King is fantastic. That turn-based combat where your strategy becomes more important through the rings, is interspersed with discovering the world and chuckling at countless puns and references to other Nintendo games. It is something that makes me forget for a moment that the big sitting inside is really starting now.
Mario has often put a big smile on my face in Paper Mario. One that made me enjoy even the somewhat monotonous fights in the end. Ultimately, Paper Mario is actually what is happening all over the world right now: we seem to be standing still this year, without much progress, but we also get the chance to see the world in a very different way. And in Mario’s case, that’s a whole new world, full of cuteness, jokes and happy animations.