Sunday, 13 June 2010
Super Paper Mario
Publisher - Nintendo
Developer - Intelligent Systems
Format – Nintendo Wii
Genre – Platformer (with RPG elements)
First thing first, this is the third game in the Paper Mario series but don't look at it as a sequel to Paper Mario 1 or 2, you're likely to be disappointed if you do. See it as a stand alone title with no connections to the previous two.
A bigger bad than the Bowser has come along, the monocled Count Bleck, and it's up to Mario and his gang to collect the maguffins (pure hearts in this game) and save the day, the world and yes, even the princess.
Super Paper Marios twist on the platformer genre is that when playing as Mario you have the the option to flip your view point turning the world from 2-D to 3-D, hidden blocks appear, new passages are visible, enemies weak points glare. Mario isn't the only playable character but he is the only one that can flip. Accompanying you are a band of things called pixls which all have their own skill they lend to you such as giving information on characters, enemies and surroundings, helping you expose hidden curiosities, letting you traverse spikes and there's a fair few more.
Eight worlds with four chapters each must be travelled through and a pure heart lies at the end of each, all are nicely themed and even though the art hasn't been updated much it works well enough. My only problem with the worlds is when flipped, which is a focal point of the game and you'll spend plenty of time viewing the game from this perspective, is that the worlds often look rather barren and empty.
A points meter hangs at the top of you screen and stomping goombas and collecting shrooms gets the tally rolling. Every so many points you'll level up and your HP and attack stat will increase in turn. Extra points can be earned by flicking the wiimote as you bounce off enemies but the extra points don't amount to much and you'll soon forget to do this.
The main story will last around 15 hours but there's much to collect if you so choose that that time estimate will be pushed up considerably. Most of the pixls will be acquired through the plot demanding so but there's some non essential ones to be sniffed out. Cards are a neat addition, every type of enemy has a corresponding card that can be purchased or you can try to turn one of the bad guys into a card of themselves, these both serve as collectables and for any type of bad guy you have the card of, double damage will be dealt to them when you attack, giving collecting cards a great incentive. Recipes, two pits of a hundred trials, the sammer guy challenge and some other side quests too. This game is certainly not lacking in that regard.
A big change I wish had been made is the control system, Super Paper Mario uses just the wiimote on it's side, which gets uncomfortable after a while and I see no reason the nunchuck couldn't have been used. The controls would map as well as to just the wiimote and possibly even better seen as a few instances the game requires you to point at the screen.
If you have a wii pick this game up, it's not a game that would convince anyone to buy a wii but it's a definite must have if you do have one. I'd pay up to £25 for this game and wouldn't feel let down.