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Friday, June 12, 2020

A Closer Look at Paper Mario: The Origami King

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Do I like what I see?

Just how does Nintendo react to Sony claiming the future of gaming?

With this video:


Hopefully, you remember our first look at Paper Mario: The Origami King from last month. Today, it's time to take a second, closer look, which hopefully answers several questions. And, I mean, look at that thumbnail. LOOKS PARTNER-Y, and the trailer even asks what kind of adventure it would be without companions to share it with. ...But this article is about a closer look, not just your first look. And Paper Mario: The Origami King is worth inspecting closely, since Paper Mario games have a documented history of having untrustworthy trailers.

Said partners include the amnesiac Bobby the Bob-omb, the curious Professor Toad the Toad, and KoopaTV staffer Kamek the Magikoopa.

Paper Mario The Origami King Kamek broom heard of me introduction
Not sure how one can be a KoopaTV reader and not already know about Kamek!
(I mean, he was a whole third or more of yesterday's reaction log!)

The trailer then states some partners will even aid in battling enemies, and before you think this is Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door again, I'd just compare these images:

Paper Mario Color Splash Bob-Omb enemy card Bobby Origami King Bomb Bump partner
If the partner doesn't have a full moveset, are they really that different than Paper Mario: Color Splash's Enemy Cards?
Although Bobby doesn't have a fuse and therefore can't explode, so he has a more boring “Bomb Bump”.
(You'd think there would be a YouTuber somewhere that would have an “All Enemy Card Animations” video for Paper Mario Color Splash. But it doesn't exist. I looked. Missed opportunity!)

Anyway, a lot of people were wondering about the battle system and what ring-based battles entail. This trailer provides much-needed answers. You can spin and slide the ring to line-up enemies into advantageous positions, and then use Jump, Hammer, or other weapons to optimally attack. Boots (jumping) will attack an enemy across one linear path, while Hammers will hit foes in a wider area but less deep. There's definitely a lot of potential for what the ideal range should be and which item to pick. It's widely believed that the basic Jump and Hammer weapons are always available, while specialised weapons like the POW Block, Tail, and stronger versions of Jump and Hammer are consumable items.

Paper Mario The Origami King Boots Hammer enemy range ring-based battle system mechanics
Top picture shows the range on Boots, while bottom picture shows the range on Hammer.
(Note the red areas on the ring showing the potential range.)

And then there is the Legion of Stationary, featuring bosses like Colored Pencils, Rubber Band, and Tape. (Rubber Band is a giant Rubber Band monster, as opposed to being a group of rubber-based musicians.) I guess it's better than risking my own scales as a boss again—although blowing up Mario was quite satisfying.

Paper Mario The Origami King boss battle fire bird water dragon
This fire bird boss doesn't seem to match the whole Colored Pencils, Rubber Band, and Tape theme the bosses have.

Like Color Splash, the environment is in tatters, but unlike Color Splash, it's repaired with confetti as opposed to paint. There are also MANY Toads in poor shape that could use some rescuing. Eh, whatever, go ahead and save them if you want, but remember that it's really Koopa Kingdom that needs saving from this origami threat.

I still don't know enough to be all, “Hey, this game is going to be awful!” or the opposite sentiment, but at the very least, the battle system seems... interesting and even promising. Though it's not quite “turn-based combat” if the whole thing is on a snappy timer.

Fortunately (?), the game's release is also on a snappy timer: July 17! That's little over a month from now. 

Ludwig thinks that he heard the narrator state “The Magikoopa with a penchant for... cream? Kamek.” He hasn't asked Kamek what this is supposed to mean, but “cream” can refer to many different things. The dairy product? Cream the Rabbit? Ointments? The colour? Is the narrator really saying crème? Discuss this in the comments section... along with the many other details revealed about Paper Mario: The Origami King.

Kamek's penchant is actually for CLEANING.
Ludwig reviewed Paper Mario: The Origami King, including its battle system. He was correct about partners.


  1. So far, it's looking like another major stride in the right direction. A larger one than Color Splash made. But still not getting there, really. The primary remaining problem is that it seems like one or more people developing these things are under the misapprehension that the Mario universe needs to be even MORE silly and weird than it already is.

    I mean, come on. Talking mushroom people? Hills with eyes on--LITERALLY? "Bullets" that travel at approximately 8MPH with faces? Things don't NEED to be more ridiculous than they already are! Some of the Mario games I've most enjoyed have added elements that are ON PAR with that level of silly--the block people and ancient civilization of LITERAL TALKING PILLOWS--on the nose-edly named the Pi'illo people on Pi'illo Island--but where Things went wrong was trying to be even MORE ridiculous than that.

    At the risk of overly elaborate analogy, I have a SEVERE sweet tooth. But even I draw the line at confections that are more than practically pure sugar. Like marshmallow Peeps. There has to be something ELSE to set off the sugary sweetness, like the cacao part of chocolate. If the trailers are any judge, they've done even better at adding the something elses than with Color Splash, but there's still just too dang much sugar.

    1. I should note...
      Comparisons I make for The Origami King to previous Paper Mario games are made simply as tools for the reader to understand what's going on with the game.
      The comparisons aren't making judgments about the game's quality. The Origami King doesn't need to be more like or "closer to" a previous game in the series to be quality.

      Also, talking mushroom people are completely normal to me. It's weird to me that yours are silent.

    2. Well, I'm willing to make quality comparisons, and to do it safely I'll be generic about it. But it's not about the game being just LIKE Paper Mario TTYD. If I was one of the diehard "WE WANT MORE TTYD" crowd, I'd have a lot more gripes with the game than just the bosses being way too silly even for a Mario game. I'd say if it wasn't for that I'd be genuinely hopeful that Origami King is an excellent game--not "another" TTYD but at or near that level of quality. With it, my hope level is more like, hey this seems like a really good game...not QUITE as good as that but genuinely good.

      To put it into 10-scale terms:

      TTYD: 9
      Color Splash: 6
      Origami King: (projected) 8

    3. 8 is pretty close to 9!

      I'd say there is plenty of potential for the Legion of Stationary being brilliant and making sense, such as it's an explicit callback to Sticker Star and Color Splash's Things that are tired of being there and used, so they're joining together to stop Mario.

      I mean, that'd be cool.

    4. Okay, well the thing is, with me and 10, each successive number is harder to reach. And to be worse than a 5 a game has to be genuinely bad in some way. Like...Sticker Star for me is a 5 and Paper Jam is sort of debated in my head as either a 5 or a 4. I thought putting TTYD as a 9 would have illustrated that--other than Breath of the Wild I can't remember even playing another game that I'd describe as a 10.

      So to put it another way, from Sticker Star to Color Splash they improved by 1 point. From Color Splash to Origami King they've improved another 2 points, which going from 6 to 8 would be comparable to going from 5 to 6 probably about a half-dozen times. Color Splash got me cautiously optimistic about the series' future. Now, I'm GENUINELY optimistic. And anyone who knows me could tell you that REALLY takes some doing.

    5. So basically it's a logarithmic scale.

    6. Something like that, yeah. It's logarithmic...ish.

    7. Is BotW's 10 based on your experience with it, your pre-release hype with it, or both?

    8. My experience with it. I almost never get hyped for games before release anymore (I'm not a very "hyped" person in general either) and I'd make effort for doing so not to color my opinion of a game when I experience it if I did.

    9. If you don't get hyped for games pre-release, what was all of this discussion earlier in the thread about The Origami King?

    10. My considered opinion of the time. Just as the discussion here is my considered opinion of a more recent time. "Hype" requires excitement. At no point have I been excited about Origami King.

    11. “Now, I'm GENUINELY optimistic. And anyone who knows me could tell you that REALLY takes some doing.”

    12. "Expecting the best in all possible ways. "
      "Having great enthusiasm."

      I suppose you could be expecting the best without being enthusiastic about it.

    13. Yes, that describes my mindset very accurately.

  2. The game looks fine, but it doesn't really look better than fine. There's a glut of very good JRPGs on Switch, so what does this game have to set it apart? The characters don't seem all that interesting. I'm not convinced the story will be great either. The world and battle system are kind of interesting but can they carry the game, especially if there isn't experience or progression? Why should I care about this one game when there's so many in the same genre on the same platform that look so much better?

    1. According to Nintendo's website, Paper Mario: The Origami King is not an RPG, and therefore shouldn't be compared to them. It's an action-adventure.

    2. Um. I'm not even sure I can name ONE JRPG on the Switch let alone a good one? At least, not one that isn't a rerelease of a previous game. I certainly don't OWN any myself.

    3. I tell a lie inadvertently, there IS Pokemon Sword & Shield, but one game cannot be said to constitute a glut.

    4. Octopath Traveler immediately came to mind.

    5. Right, I forgot about that one because I was bitter over missing it because I couldn't bring myself to get it not having ever completed Bravely Second. (Which was on the 3DS, not the Switch.) That's 2, but I'm still not willing to call a glut until it gets to 5.

    6. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses if we're looking for strictly exclusives that aren't remakes/remasters/ports. If we're also counting multi-platform titles that aren't remakes/remasters/ports, there are also games like Ys VIII, Dragon Quest XI S, and Atelier Ryza.

      I'd argue you could also count some remakes like Collection of Mana and Tales of Vesperia due to the originals being not as readily available.

    7. Dragon Quest XI S is absolutely a rerelease of Dragon Quest XI, or else I would've mentioned it!

    8. It's not fair to count Dragon Quest XI S as a re-release of a previous game. The Switch version of Dragon Quest XI was announced from the start, even though it ended up coming out later. I'd consider it more like a delayed port than a re-release. (Although that might be because of our definitions; I was mainly thinking of re-releases as remakes/remasters or ports of older games.)

    9. Well, Lheticus can reply if he wants if he's satisfied with this.

    10. Ahem... I further support my claim that Dragon Quest XI S cannot be considered a port of an existing game since now Dragon Quest XI S is being ported to other platforms.

    11. Dragon Quest XI S is most notably being ported BACK to the PlayStation 4.


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