Paper Mario: The Origami King and everything in between
Paper Mario: The Origami King is finally out and I'm sure plenty of people are wondering what it has in store. The Origami King is the 6th full Paper Mario entry or you can even say 7th if including the crossover with the Mario & Luigi series. After the second game each one has a different gameplay/ battle system style. As a huge RPG lover I greatly appreciate the creativity in making a traditional turn based battle system into something new.
The game starts with the very loveable duo Mario and Luigi headed for Peach's castle to celebrate the Origami Festival. When you arrive at Toad Town, which sits in front of the castle, it is deserted and trashed. Peach then greets you at the front but she has been folded into an origami version of herself and there's something very off. You encounter Olly the Origami King who ties up the entire castle with streamers of different colors, lifts it up, and sets it a top a volcano. You now team up with Olivia, Olly's origami sister, to take down the streamers, access the castle, and kick some folded origami butt.
Olivia is your companion and sort of guide for this game. She's able to use her origami abilities to help fold you and herself to take down enemies but also solve puzzles on your journey to Peach's castle. Olivia as a character is a little bland. She doesn't have the most personality but she is very focused on the take down of her brother. The other teammates in the story that help in battle are also not the most dynamic. They leave you after a certain point so you're never able to make an actual party. In battle they dont help a whole lot. Sometimes they miss but when they do strike it can be devastating to the enemies.
The characters with the most over the top personalities would have to be your bosses. Each streamer has an art supply that is guarding its spool. They are super wacky which makes it so enjoyable to watch. The story is very heartwarming and quirky. Just like all the games in the series it has a zany kooky feel. What draws me the most to this franchise is not only the aesthetics but the silliness that comes along. Plenty of times I found myself giggling and oogling the atmosphere. The game is gorgeous, the music is fantastic, and it just puts me in the happiest of places.
The battle system is something of its own. I have yet to come across a game that uses the same wheel technique such as this game. The goal is to either line up your enemies or group them together in a 2x2 form. You do this by turning the rings or sliding down sections. You only get a certain amount of moves and are on a fairly short timer. If you succeed in lining and grouping perfectly you get a little power boost. The timer can be nerve racking but later in the game you can get certain options to help you out. One thing being an accessory and another a setting. If you can't quite get the line up just right never fear the toads are here. Offering coins to toads can help hit enemies for you and even give a heart for a little bit of healing. I didnt find the timer to be too bad and there's a very entertaining way to train in Toad Town that can really help your puzzle skills.
Boss battles work a different way. The stage is the same but you are now on the outside of the rings and your boss sits in the middle. You have to move the rings around to make your path to reach your boss. The bosses are clever so you will have to think on your toes and absolutely strategize. The boss battles were my favorite part. Ordinary battles can be a bit tedious at times (just like a lot of other turn base RPGs) but bosses were something I totally looked forward to. The timer is intense and the stakes are high. Miss your opportunity and it could set you back. These battles take more planning than anything else.
I definitely can't forget to mention the last type of battle which is straight action RPG. The paper mache enemies are HUGE. You do not stop to start a battle sequence, you just go straight into kicking some butt by hammering them in just the right spot. If you're a fan of RPG's, puzzle games, and strategy you'll absolutely adore and fully enjoy this game.
1,000 Year Door is the most highly regarded game in the franchise. Fans of the series are quick to compare any new entry to it. This may not be the next 1,000 Year Door but that really doesn't make it any less enjoyable. Let's face it, plain turn based isn't the most exciting and running into battles over & over again when you're just trying to get somewhere can get tedious. I really challenge anyone with doubt to give all other Paper Mario games a chance. Using cards and stickers in Sticker Star and Color Splash but also skipping the turn based battle system entirely in Super Paper Mario. Have an open mind and have a good time.