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Super Paper Mario review

AT A GLANCE
  • Watching the world
  • Character interactions
  • Countless NES shout-outs
  • Repeating tasks
  • Shut up, already!
  • Starts strong, peters out

There's much more to this game's charm than simple nostalgia, however. Anyone with half a heart will absolutely fall in love with the characters, the graphics, the dialogue, the old-school shout-outs to previous games, the little visual effects lingering in the skies of every world... the love just keeps plopping out of the speakers at an incredible rate. For every annoying, excessively long fetch quest or mundane puzzle, there's a huge, cutesy payoff that makes all the trouble worthwhile.

Two quick examples: Early on you're saddled with a million dollar debt. You're supposed to work it off by running in a hamster wheel for about 20 minutes straight. Then you find a way to cheat the system and sneak by with only 10,000 bucks, just in time to watch the bank teller literally explode in shock.

A little later in the game you're searching for a piece of sacred parchment. The investigation spans an entire moon, takes most of level 4-2 to accomplish, only to have someone wipe their butt with it in the end. Honestly. The dude uses it for toilet paper. Some might get a little pissed, but we thought it was damn cute.



But if you want to get super technical, these aspects aren't all that different from Paper Mario 2. It was cute, overlooked and all that too, but other than a side-scrolling presentation, what's Super Paper doing different? Well, there's this whole "changing the world's axis" thing to make the game feel completely different from, well, almost anything you're playing today.

So you're running through a normal Mario level. Seen it a lot, probably. But with the push of the A button, Mario can move the viewpoint behind him and see this flat, 2D world from a whole new perspective. It seems simple and gimmicky at first, but there are so many creative uses in this 20+ hour quest that you'll be dying to invert axis the next time you bust out a 2D game. (True story - one editor went back to playing Symphony of the Night and had to re-adjust to the static side view.)

By moving the screen, impassible walls are just paper-thin shreds that have no depth and can easy be passed. Enemies that spanned the whole screen are now pushovers. Bottomless pits now contain caves that go "into" the screen and come out somewhere else. It's hard to describe, but the first time you switch views and see out into Mario's world, you'll totally understand.

More Info

Release date: Apr 09 2007 - Wii (US)
Sep 14 2007 - Wii (UK)
Available Platforms: GameCube, Wii
Genre: Action
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Intelligent Systems
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
PEGI Rating:
3+

5 comments

  • Darkhawk - September 14, 2011 10:26 a.m.

    "it's easy to get 75% through this and call it a day". How appropriate! I'm 75% of the way through the game, and I just came here seeking the GR verdict to see if I wasn't alone in getting tired of this game.
  • nick-101 - September 27, 2008 10:32 p.m.

    i love this game...i was a bit sceptical buying it at first after not liking the turn based rpg version on the game cube, but i was amazed when i was playing it, the only flaw i can find is the sound text makes when it scrolls down gets damn annoying...and on a completely differtent note I LOVE KARL PILKINGTON
  • adrenaguy - November 24, 2008 4:36 p.m.

    first paper mario game for me, freaking loved it, working towards finishing the 100 battle place with the chinese dudes, and true, SHUT THE F**K UP ALREADY AND LET ME PWN YOU!
  • Trapped_In_Hiskool - November 15, 2008 12:19 a.m.

    I own all three of the papare mario games for their respective systems, and I have to say this game really isn't the same. first you can't use a hammer for the first 13 individual chapters. The flipping is cool but loses its fun after a couple minutes, making you flip just for the sake of slowing you down. Finally you dont have to waste a partner with a stupid tattle ability, but the backup partners from the old games were loveable, unlike the new Pixls. All in all, this game is fun to play but just doesn't feel like Paper Mario.
  • secretsearcher - April 18, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    I like the turn based paper marios better actually. But I still love this game :)

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