My childhood favorite game was Paper Mario. That’s no exaggeration, up until the moment when I played Xenoblade Chronicles, the first Paper Mario game was easily my favorite game ever made. I loved the vibrant imagery, the funny characters, the cute story and tone, and the upbeat music. If I ever felt down, I could go to that game to experience a living, breathing version of the Mushroom Kingdom. Even in writing this, I’m recalling some of my greatest memories being associated with this title. The combat was awesome, a simplistic watered-down RPG that capitalized on the atmosphere of the Super Mario universe, while still paving its own way.
This series, is in my opinion, the second most painful decline I’ve witnessed in our industry. Especially in a series that has at the very least, always made fun games. Super Mario 3D World doesn’t measure up to the Galaxy games in terms of atmosphere and overall quality. But it’s still a super fun party game experience, with some insane level design.
Fast-forward from the adventurous shot in the dark that was the first Paper Mario and take a dive into its sequel, The Thousand-Year Door. While this game isn’t my favorite in the series, there’s no denying that it is indeed the best. It offers everything that made the original titles good, and slaps on additional mechanics and controls to make a sequel that surpasses the original in every way. Even the story is deeper with more unique characters. Everything feels original and different, yet it’s a tried and true Paper Mario title.
Super Paper Mario is my favorite piece of this discussion, because that game shows that you can change every single mechanic in a game and yet, the game’s overall feel can still be true to the series it’s part of. RPG gone platformer, Super Paper Mario offers something that I truly value above all else. Story. Character. Atmosphere. Between its brilliant look into the minds of three favorite characters, Luigi, Bowser, and Princess Peach, and its unique and creative cast of villains, such as Dimentio and Count Bleck, Super Paper Mario brings a new level o f narrative to this classic franchise in a way that was never done before, and has never been done again.
I don’t want to go into the things that are so truly awful about Sticker Star and Color Splash, because I want to focus on what made this series great. Complaining about these two titles will come later.
Again, it’s never fun to watch a series you love decline in quality so much. From one end to the other, Paper Mario has undergone massive trials. Yet still I am truly hopeful that fans will band together and demand something great. I hope you all enjoyed reading this article, and come back soon for more from the GAME ROOM!!!