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Is Paper Mario: The Origami King The Best Paper Mario Game? | Paper Mario: The Origami King Review

Find out if Paper Mario: The Origami King is the best Paper Mario game yet!


Welcome to our review of Paper Mario: The Origami King, available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We’ll reveal everything you need to know before you play, and determine if we think this is the best game in the cult series to date!

Transcript

Hey how’s it going guys! Welcome to our review of Paper Mario: The Origami King, available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We’ll tell you everything you need to know before you play, but before I do, make sure to hit subscribe and the notification bell for reviews, interviews, features and more. You’re not going to want to miss it. 

The Paper Mario series has long been considered a cult fan favourite. Incorporating various RPG elements into the usual platforming formula, there’s a dedicated group of players who advocate them as some of the best Nintendo games ever. 

The thing is, each game is completely unique, often introducing new game mechanics and play styles with each iteration. That’s why it’s hard to predict what to expect from the latest entry in the franchise – Paper Mario: The Origami King.

In completely unexpected fashion, Princess Peach has been kidnapped by the nefarious origami monarch – King Olly, who’s also encased her castle in paper ribbons to keep wouldbe heroes out. In equally unexpected fashion, it’s up to our moustachioed plumber to find a way to cut each of these ribbons, storm the castle and save the day. 

But with the highs of The Thousand Year Door, and the lows of Sticker Star (don’t hate me), where does our latest trip to this papercraft universe fit into the scale? Watch on to find out…

Firstly, this is undeniably one of the best looking games on the Switch. Each world is just brimming with charm and colour, not to mention some of the best water effects I think I’ve ever seen. The paper-based characters look as if they could leap off the screen, and it’s not often a game makes me smile purely based on its visuals.

And there’s plenty of this gorgeous game to explore, being undoubtedly the biggest Paper Mario game to date. Each world is massive, some even offering vehicles to get about in, and that’s not to mention the great variety they offer. From aquatic boat trips to a neon lit, pseudo Las Vegas, it took what made the worlds of Mario Odyssey so good and somehow made them ever more impressive. But if there was any game I could compare this to, it’s the Legend of Zelda series. Steering the boat on crystal blue waters reminded me of Wind Waker, the temple puzzles seemed inspired by Breath of the Wild, and overall this world felt comprised more of exploration than set pieces.

And this will be divisive, as much like Zelda the lack of a substantial narrative and emphasis on discovery gives The Origami King a decidedly slower pace than you might’ve expected from previous games in the series. For me personally? I couldn’t get enough of it, as spending time to truly absorb the world is how you grasp it’s undeniable charm.

Taking the time to interact with other characters is always rewarding, with dialogue hilarious, kooky and occasionally a bit meta. With King Olly causing all kinds of mischief, Bowser and his minions have called a temporary truce with the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom, meaning you can interact with former foes that you might’ve only thought about jumping before. And from this wider pool of allies, you can call upon some to become temporary companions, alongside you and Princess Olivia, King Olly’s sister who’s defied her brother to help you as your main assistant. 

Beyond this narrative flavour, there’s an embarrassment of secrets to uncover. From collectables, to mini games and even more than once opportunity for an extended dance sequence, there’s so much to see outside of the main story. Sure, it might not be as deep as a more mature RPG, but for younger players looking to get into the genre, it’s a great introduction.

However, the one thing that did let down the experience for me was the combat. It takes the traditional turn based system into a circular arena, where you have to defeat origami enemies. The problem is there just isn’t enough variety to keep it interesting after a while, and the fact the game doesn’t have an experience system means there’s no real need to grind out victories. And as combat can occasionally be avoided, there’s not a great deal of incentive to engage, if you can help it. On the plus side, the boss battles are a much better affair. With creative characters and a reasonable difficulty curve, they were some of the most exciting moments of the game.

To wrap up, Paper Mario: The Origami King might not be the best title in the series, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great game. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face the whole time I was playing thanks to the enchanting world and its charismatic inhabitants. If you’re a fan of more slow burn exploration, then I can’t recommend it enough. Combat aside, and even that’s more repetitive than outright awful, it’s an absolute delight.

But what did you think of Paper Mario: The Origami King? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to like, share and subscribe for more videos like this every single week. See you next time!


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<strong>Tom Baker</strong>
Tom Baker

I like Star Wars, heavy metal and BBQ Pringles.

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