Super Paper Mario

Up until a few weeks ago, Mario's sorta-2D adventure was confined to the GameCube. It kinda made sense, seeing as it's a pretty simple, side-scrolling game like the classic days of old. But now, Super Paper Mario is a Wii-only title, infused with a few tilty-shaky ideas and a much better shot at becoming a successful release. After a quick run through of level 2-2, we're convinced you're gonna flip over this game. It's that fun. A pristine blend of classic gaming and that surreal paper-world visual style that made the RPGs such a blast.

While roaming through Merlee's Mansion, we called six adorable traits that are going to sink their sugar-coated teeth into you and never let go. As follows:

Above: Pressing 'A' will spin the world around to the side. Pretty cool

1. The 2D plane shifting - Mario's crew with a different view

Left-to-right running and jumping is second nature to any Nintendo fan. We've seen Mario's world so many times that it'd take a small miracle to actually shake things up in our eyes - even the excellent New Super Mario Bros., fun as it was, didn’t totally floor us. Super Paper Mario, on the other hand, lets you shift the entire world into a new perspective. As the screen above shows, hitting A will spin the area around, adding depth to Mario's normally flat, 2D lifestyle. Blocks that appear to block your path in the normal view are actually just in the foreground - switch views and you can walk around the obstacle with no trouble.

One room tried to trap us by dropping a ceiling full of spikes on our head. A simple button press revealed that the lowering ceiling was actually half the width of the room we were in. Once it lowered all the way, we just hopped on top of it and rode it up. Switching back to the normal view let us continue in the room, above the spikes, ready to search for new paths and powers.

There's one catch - staying in the "behind the back" view slowly sucks away Mario's powers. If the meter runs out, you'll lose some hit points. Yup, hit points. That takes us to number two.


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