Pin It
Favorite

The Player 

by Marty Demarest & r & & r & Super Paper Mario Rated Everyone; Wii


& r & & r & & lt;span class= "dropcap " & S & lt;/span & uper Paper Mario is the sixth videogame in which Nintendo attempts to tell an actual story starring their most famous hero. Most of the countless Mario games have no more plot than "rescue the princess." But beginning with the Super Nintendo's Super Mario RPG, Nintendo has periodically released role-playing Mario games in which the hero and his cohorts are characters in a story, not just figures in a game of skill.





The stories that Mario has endured are not complex literary creations. Super Mario RPG was subtitled Legend of the Seven Stars, and Super Paper Mario may as well be named Go Find the Eight Hearts. These are basic quests -- the same sorts of arbitrary adventures undertaken by the likes of Odysseus and Baron Munchausen. The heroes must solve some challenge, and in the course of solving the challenge, the heroes grow and develop.





Three of the Mario role-playing games, including Super Paper Mario, have featured Mario as a storybook character -- a flat animated paper cutout who can slip through cracks and fold himself into paper airplanes as he adventures through the game's equally flat world. It's a cute idea that went nowhere in the Nintendo 64's original Paper Mario, got stepped up a notch for the GameCube's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and now finally works in Super Paper Mario.





One of Mario's newest powers in Super Paper Mario is the ability to flip between two and three dimensions. Like the classic Super Mario Bros., much of Super Paper Mario is a two-dimensional romp across stacks and platforms built of breakable bricks. But one press of a button and Mario flips into three dimensions, in which his brick platforms might be farther apart than they looked in two dimensions. Some enemies even disappear, and others only appear in the 3D worlds, turning into invisible flat foes when the screen returns to two dimensions.





Further moving this Mario entry along is the action that takes place between sections of storytelling. Enemies are defeated here just as they are in most Mario classics: by jumping on them. Gone is the choppy turn-based combat of past Mario role-playing games, in which the story would stop so that Mario (and pals) could battle enemies, one turn at a time. Now combat flows from the story with all the addiction of classic Mario gaming, making it the smoothest Mario story Nintendo has ever told.





THE GOOD: I haven't been in control of this many Mario superstars since Super Mario Bros. 2 let me direct Mario, Luigi, Peach and her servant. Super Paper Mario tops that by giving me a role-playing party that consists of Mario, Peach and Bowser -- the holy trinity necessary for any Mario game.





THE BAD: The plot of Super Paper Mario is so unimportant that at one point in the game, Mario falls asleep while listening to the reason why he must save the world. If Nintendo is going to take the time to make a role-playing Mario game, they should take some time to tell a genuine story.





THE BOTTOM LINE: A paper-thin role-playing game that's buoyed aloft by a gently surreal setting and some puzzle-rich inter-dimensional Mario action.

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • Robo-Reporter
  • Robo-Reporter

    Can robots take over local sports coverage?
    • May 20, 2015
  • Dude, Where's My Bike?
  • Dude, Where's My Bike?

    A new tool to protect your bicycle; plus, finding a new police ombudsman
    • May 20, 2015
  • The Contenders
  • The Contenders

    Candidates have filed to run for office in Spokane. Here's what's at stake
    • May 20, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Never Forget 343 Stairclimb Memoriam Reception

Never Forget 343 Stairclimb Memoriam Reception @ Mukogawa Institute

Sun., May 24, 2-5 p.m.

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Marty Demarest

  • The Cowboy's Cowboy
  • The Cowboy's Cowboy

    A Canadian sings about the life —  not just the lifestyle — of the new West
    • May 15, 2013
  • Completing the Trilogy
  • Completing the Trilogy

    Mass Effect has finally arrived
    • May 23, 2012
  • Minecraft
  • Minecraft

    Adventure and survival too often give way to mindless crafts in this building-block simulator.
    • Feb 8, 2012
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • On a Roll

    Just-announced reforms do little to safeguard Spokane against the danger of oil trains
    • May 6, 2015
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Comment


Briefs


Publisher's Note


marijuana


education


© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation