Paper Mario: The Origami King has landed on the Nintendo Switch, and what a pleasant surprise it is. This latest addition in the ongoing Paper Mario series is developed by Intelligent Systems and features an all-new story, new gameplay mechanics and abilities.
Does Paper Mario: The Origami King live up to or match the grandeur of The Thousand-Year Door, which many fans feel is the best game in the series? Let’s find out!
Paper Mario: The Origami King Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Genre: Action-adventure, role-playing
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
A Kingdom ravaged by an origami menace
The game begins as the Mushroom Kingdom is throwing an origami festival. Naturally, Princess Peach has invited our two favourite brothers, Mario and Luigi to help celebrate. Though, when the brothers arrive, something seems not quite right with Princess Peach. When Mario refuses to fold himself like Princess Peach, she takes the floor out from underneath him and sends him down into a pit.
As the origami plot unfolds, the self-proclaimed ruler of the Origami Kingdom, King Olly has hatched a plan that threatens the entire world. As a result, he’s transported Princess Peach’s Castle to a distant mountain and wrapped it in giant, colourful streamers! And, he has transformed Bowser’s minions into Folder Soldiers to use them against Mario. And, to cause destruction and chaos in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Mario is not alone on his adventure, he has the help and guidance from his new partner Olivia—who just happens to be King Olly’s good natured sister. They team up with the Toads and Bowser to fight off King Olly and his Folder Soldiers!
Ring-based battles, new abilities and more
Much like other games in the Paper Mario series, The Origami King rewards for your exploration with a variety of items including coins, Toads and collectables. Our favourite Italian plumber has new abilities, my favourite being 1000-Fold Arms. Mario’s arms grow really long and you use motion controls to reach up to tear back parts off the paper environments to reveal secrets.
Turn-based combat has evolved and now adds an all-new ring-based battle system. These dynamic turned based battles allow you to strategically take out your enemies one-by-one. While at first I enjoyed this new gameplay mechanic, I quickly grew tired of it. Limited by a timer, you can slide and rotate the rings around to line the enemies up for attack. To be honest, it made combat more of a pain in the butt than it did fun. And, I found myself trying to avoid combat more often than not.
Conversely, boss battles flip this idea and put the boss in the centre and you in the outside rings. You then have to slide and rotate yourself to gain the optimum attack advantage. This, I actually enjoyed. Though, thinking back about it, it’s probably because these boss battles happen less frequently.
In lieu of a leveling system, Mario is rewarded with coins for doing well in battles. These coins allow you to buy weapons and charms to mix things up. Charms have many benefits such as boosting your health, extending the battle timer, and giving you better defense—to name a few.
A beautiful origami adventure accompanied by an amazing soundtrack
Paper Mario: The Origami King is a beautiful game on the Switch and it’s visuals use the Switch’s hardware well. The world feels alive, open and vast with so many different ways to explore it. I also thought that the entire origami cast of characters not only looked incredible but were superbly animated.
It’s hard to believe how well crafted and the amount of detail has been put into the Mushroom Kingdom. On top of everything else, there are a whole slew of hidden collectables scattered throughout for you to collect and discover.
One of the game’s highlights is its soundtrack. It has to be one of, if not the best in the entire Paper Mario series. From full-on orchestral metal to disco grooves, I found myself humming right along with the tunes.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is one of my favourite games in the series
Paper Mario: The Origami King is one of my favourite games in the series. Aside from the ring-based battle system, the game features a fantastic story, enhanced gameplay mechanics, beautiful origami visuals and one of my favourite soundtracks this year.
I loved exploring the Mushroom Kingdom, meeting iconic Mario Bros. characters and searching for collectables. In total, you can expect to spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of 20-25 hours to pretty much see and do everything in the game.
Paper Mario: The Origami King is another great addition this summer to the Nintendo Switch lineup of games, and one that I recommend.
+ Beautiful visuals and outstanding soundtrack
+ Boss battles are inventive and fun
+ Engaging storyline filled with humour
– Ring-based battle system makes combat a chore
– Lack of a leveling system for your character
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF PAPER MARIO: THE ORIGAMI KING
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5