Paper Mario: The Origami King was the star of today's Nintendo Treehouse presentation, and while much of what we saw was pretty familiar, we also got a fresh look at new boss mechanics and some neat elements of exploration.
We've already seen how Mario can manipulate the environment using accordion-like stretchy arms, and today's showcase also showed how he can repair the damaged world using scrap paper. You can collect confetti by breaking or searching little interactables scattered around - like finding Rupees in Zelda - and then use that confetti to patch up holes in the world. This will unlock secrets ranging from bonus coins to hidden Toads.
Speaking of Toads, the mushroomy figures can be found all over the place. Like the Koroks in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Toads are tied to mini challenges ranging from minor puzzles to secrets hidden in plain sight. Some Toads will become townsfolk once discovered, unlocking new shops or services, and every Toad found will expand the battle crowd. By spending coins in battle, you can have the crowd help you out, either by distributing buffs or taking out enemies.
We saw this crowd mechanic put to use in the game's first boss fight, which is a box of colored pencils, fittingly enough. This fight also puts a spin on the Origami King's ring-based battle system. Rather than rearranging enemies to line up attacks, bosses challenge you to arrange paths leading from the outer ring to the boss in the center. By rotating and moving tiles, you can pick up coins and power-ups as you make your way to attack the boss. And as we saw in today's demo, hitting bosses in specific ways can shut down or weaken their attacks, all while creating windows for bonus damage. All of the combat footage until this point has been pretty similar and made fights look fairly easy, so it's nice to see some new, challenging mechanics added in.
Paper Mario: The Origami King will launch on Nintendo Switch next Friday, July 17.
Here are all the other upcoming Switch games (opens in new tab) for 2020 and beyond.