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Friday, December 10, 2021

To be fair to the NSO + Expansion Pack, Paper Mario by itself is worth $50

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I'm not ADVOCATING for this or anything, but...

Have you recovered from last night's The Game Awards 2021? Nintendo is still positioning it prominently. On the front page top banner of their site. As a news release with the very small list of winners. And even on their in-console Nintendo Switch Online home menu page:

Nintendo Switch Online news app Game Awards sale Paper Mario expansion pack
The Game Awards is front and centre... but it should be swapped with the top right.

You can now play Paper Mario if you have access to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, which is way more interesting than The Game Awards 2021. You already know that KoopaTV's own Family Group doesn't have access to that because it's a poor value and we won't stand for that. That said, we are huge Paper Mario fans on the staff—this website would at least look very different without Paper Mario's existence, if it'd even exist at all—and in my view, the first Paper Mario game is both the best game in its own franchise, as well as on the Nintendo 64. The Nintendo 64 has... a comparatively weak and otherwise obsolete library. But the first Paper Mario still stands that time test. It's worth $50 in today's (inflation-eroded) money; though Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack isn't a one-time payment by default. (Note that I'd have to pay $80 a year for the Family Membership... Ehhh.)

All that said, you can still get Paper Mario for a one-time $10 purchase on the Wii U's Virtual Console. That's... probably a better idea than going into the Expansion Pack, which can only go downhill from here. In January there'll be Banjo-Kazooie. (...You might read that and think very positively of it, but I see everything as “inferior to Paper Mario.”) And to be fair to Nintendo, this would be the only way to play Banjo-Kazooie on a Nintendo console that isn't the Nintendo 64 itself, so that's actual progress that isn't immediately invalidated by something else. ...Let's ignore the fact that Rare Replay exists... and if you want to play Banjo-Kazooie on a subscription, you can get it with Xbox Game Pass... Ahaha...

Ludwig won't write a review of Paper Mario or anything because he's supposed to write a review of the other Paper Mario game available on the Switch, but he did once do a Let's Play of Paper Mario badgeless. He even did as much non-linear activity in that as he could... which isn't anywhere near what you can do in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but still more than the other games in the series. If he wants to go play it, he still has it on his Wii's Virtual Console. Ludwig thinks that the Expansion Pack is actually less bad than The Game Awards, though maybe he's only saying that as someone who doesn't have it but did watch The Game Awards.

Ludwig discusses that The Game Awards eShop sale in more detail.
A week after, they added five Genesis games to the Expansion Pack... but no one is subscribing to play those.
Ludwig wrote a review of Paper Mario: The Origami King a couple weeks later.


  1. Well, I AM advocating for it. If there's even the slightest chance it'll help Nintendo to see that style of Paper Mario game is still loved, it's worth it.

    1. I don't know how robust Nintendo's telemetry actually is, but it's possible that they'd be able to track, say, the number of new Expansion Pack subscribers, and then their first actions when opening that, being playing Paper Mario.

    2. And the response to this data would be,

      “Aha! They clearly very much enjoyed Paper Mario and the Origami King, snd they want to see the other titles. It has nothing to do with the originals actual merit. We will continue to disregard partners, badges, and exp as they have led to this increase in paper Mario’s popularity”.

    3. Re: Ludwig: That's a good point. I'd better make sure the data shows I have more play time on PM64 than any other N64 game, too.

      Re: Capn: GOD I hope not. Although, while they've already stopped disregarding partners (they're just not going hard enough on them) and I view the lack of EXP as just as asinine as anyone else does, I honestly hope badges DON'T come back.

      The badge system was broken as hell, to the point where only a filthy casual like me would even consider upgrading anything but BP for most of TTYD and till it maxes out in 64.

      The formula NEEDED something else there. They haven't hit on anything GOOD to replace it with, but I believe they can, IF they start viewing the series as an actual dang RPG again and approach the problem from that perspective.

    4. Captain Stitch actually hit on... the most probable outcome.

      Reminder this is the same company that interpreted people not mentioning "Story" on a Club Nintendo survey as "they don't care having a story at all, so our next game will omit one."

    5. Ugggh I honestly forgot about that incident X_X abandon hope, all ye who enter the classic Paper Mario fandom... D:

    6. Yeah, that was the villain origin story for the fandom.

  2. I am just wondering if they would put the original Super Smash Bros on there and if it will be playable with online play. That could be a great way to have a Soraless Smash instead of getting Nick All Star Brawl.

    1. NASB might actually be better than Smash 64. Not sure!


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