Review: Super Paper Mario

18 04 2007

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For many Wii owners like myself, there havent really been many decent Action-Adventure games for the console. It started off with the bang that was Twilight Princess, but ever since then, it’s been slim pickings (Elebits, and Godfather…… Is that really it?). Well, your wait is over, with the release of Super Paper Mario.

Now, just to warn those of you who are hoping for a “True” Paper Mario 3, this isn’t it. SPM leaves behind many elements from the previous games, such as the Turn-Based battle system, the equipable badges, and your fully 3-D locations. Not to say that this is a bad thing however, as SPM is a superb game and an excellent addition to the series.

In what you might call a RPG-Platformer, the game returns the Mario series to its roots. The standard viewpoint in the game is that of a 2-d platformer, but, with a simple push of the A button, the world gets turned on its side, adding a very cool 3-D perspective. This makes for some very interesting puzzles, as some things that cant be seen in 3-d can be seen in 2-d, and vice versa.

Another thing that has been changed from the previous games in the series is the character system. As opposed to just having Mario playable, the game takes a cue from Super Mario Bros 2 for the NES, by giving you 4 playable charavters to choose from. Peach, Luigi, and Bowser are each excellent additions to the game, each having their own (and remarkably similar to their SMB2 counterparts) Abilities. Peach can float, Luigi can jump higher than Mario, and Bowser breathes fire. Also changed is the partner system, in which your “partners” are little sprites called Pixls. These Pixls grant your chatacter certain powers, like the ability to lift and throw blocks and enemies (SMB2 again!), the power to blow up walls, or the ability to hover over spikes. There are also many more Pixls in this game than partners in the previous games, and you are not guarenteed to find them all over the main course of the story.

Unfortunatley, there is very little Wiimote functionality in the game. The game is played by holding the controller horizontally, like the classic NES pad. The controls are fairly simple. A is to flip between 2 and 3-d, 1 controls your partner, 2 makes you jump. Pushing 1 & 2 simultaneously brings up your quick menu, for swithching between characters and pixls. This can get fairly annoying, however, as often you will hit one of the buttons a second before the other, not opening the menu. By pointing the remote at the screen you can get the dirt on enemies, and locate hidden objects.

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The visuals in this game look superb, but unfortunatley not much of an improvement over it’s predecessor, the Thousand Year Door. Actually, let me rephrase that. It looks IDENTICAL to Thousand Year Door on an SDTV. The compatability for 480p and widescreen is nice, but you will get the feeling that this indeed was once a Gamecube title. The audio is also very well done, remixing classic Mario tunes and creating memorable new ones.

By far one of the best things about this game is the Story. I really have to applaud NOA’s localization team here. They did an EXCELLENT job, from the fairly deep story, as well as supplying the game with a healthy dose of humor, and making the Jokes relevant to western society. By far the best part are the “Nerd Jokes” from level 3-4, some of which prove to be true for myself, sadly. The story may be a bit much for young children however, as the game is very wordy

If you own a Wii, and are looking for a game with a little more meat on It’s bones, Super Paper Mario is a must buy. I highly recommend it.

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img_sprite1.gif –Kyle “Jastrick”

 

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