Latest Game Reviews

Super Paper Mario Review - Wii

7
Gameplay: 7 stars 7
Graphics: 8 stars 8
Audio: 9 stars 9
Innovation: 7 stars 7
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Introduction

Mario’s RPG heritage actually goes back lot further than many may suspect, beginning with the… err… allegedly awesome Super Mario RPG for the SNES. Since then, most of the subsequent Mario RPGs (excluding the Mario & Luigi series) have shared common traits. They’ve all contained a search for seven stars, they’ve been long, 3D adventures with great stories and humour, and they’ve all been pretty damn awesome. Until now.

Gameplay

So, it’s finally here. After a painful wait of almost six months, Super Paper Mario arrives on Australian shores. The story goes that while Bowser is planning another attempt to steal Peach, the evil Count Bleck crashes the party and warps them all off to a different dimension, far away from the Mushroom Kingdom. Count Bleck makes Peach and Bowser marry, fulfilling a prophecy in the ancient Dark Prognosticus and ripping a dark void into the universe that grows larger with every passing hour. The only way to stop the end of the world is with the Light Prognosticus, a book written eons ago to counter such an event. Mario finds himself in the town of Flipside, and soon enough sets out on a quest to gather the seven Pure Hearts that hold the key to defeating Count Bleck.

The story is pretty tongue-in-cheek, with a good sense of humour – at least at the beginning. Midway through, it feels like they ran out of jokes. It picks up a bit at the end, but it’s certainly inconsistent, which is disappointing considering the quality of the stuff at the start (‘I am error’…classic!). The weird thing is that you’ll more than likely skip all the way into the title screen, start a new game, and watch the opening cinema. However, that doesn’t tell you the full story. You need to watch what happens before the title screen even loads to understand what happened once the opening movie ended. This seems very odd to me, as I’m sure there are plenty of gamers out there who will never stop to watch this little introduction, assuming it would be the same as what is explained in-game. So yeah, that’s a bit strange.

I’m going to come right out and say it: Super Paper Mario messes with the formula perfected on Gamecube by Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The key concept at the very root of this game is the ability to switch between 2D and 3D at will. When viewed normally, the world is flat in the classic side-scrolling 2D Mario style. However, early on in the adventure you’ll acquire the ability to switch perspectives by ninety degrees, and view ‘along’ the world. You can only stay in this view for a limited time – maybe twenty seconds maximum – as determined by a meter on screen. When you flip back into 2D, the bar will automatically regenerate. If you fail to flip before the meter is empty, you’ll lose a hit point but the meter will be refilled.

This is obviously used for some fairly ...

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