Paper Mario and Wishful Thinking



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    What if, what if they just made a Paper Mario game that was literally just Persona 5 in 2D with puzzles and stuff? They could just do that right? I mean Intelligent Systems'd probably have to replace all the physical abuse stuff with a heartwarming story about Chain Chomps escaping the bonds inherent to their forms or something, but they could do it, right!?

    I mean, last year I was no-joke imagining a Paper Mario chapter that's a modern city street with sewers and Empire State-like Building way down at the end parodying King Kong and that's literally Mario Odyssey, yeah? So if the straight-and-narrow main Mario team can write Peach & Bowser cuckolding smut surely someone at Nintendo can stop making damned Fire Emblem games for a minute and finish a core Paper Mario one this decade!?!

    Of course Color Splash all but kills the chance of that happening anytime soon, but the prospect of fighting a Paper Mario battle in a colosseum-sized stage with as many 2D cutout sprites as they could render now animating in the stands is ssssooooooo alluring. And of course new chapters, power ups, characters, and puzzles are more interesting than however pretty they could make the lemons.



  • I don't typically watch game streams, but I found myself watching a bit of Ben's Thousand Year Door playthrough recently. I'm reminded just how creative and fresh the worlds and characters from that team can feel, so I'd definitely love seeing another entry in that vein. Guess we'll just have to wait and see; I've got way more games than I can handle currently, so I'm ok with waiting.

    Oh, but I'm very happy with all the Fire Emblem love. Intelligent Systems makes some wonderful things.



  • @Billy Fire Emblem is fine... for other people. Personally I don't get along with most strategy, auto-attack, and action bar games. If it's turn-based but I can move around, I'd rather just be fighting in real time where I manually execute each attack rather than just walking up to enemies and doing the same generic attack that that character always does. And then on the less action-y side of that, turn-based combat is inoffensive at worst, and a few series like Paper Mario do interesting things with it.

    But yeah, it just feels like, since Nintendo or Miyamoto or whomever sent the kill order for narrative Paper Mario games, that Intelligent Systems has put all their creativity into the many, many Fire Emblem games they've been releasing. I just wish I didn't have to play a Fire Emblem game with the squares and the rock, paper, scissors and such to experience that.

    Moreover, Paper Mario always had a very earnest portrayal of 'family frendliness.' There are few games I would call 'heartwarming,' but Paper Mario 2 & 3 are that IMO. And you get all the interesting paper puzzle mechanics and intricate environments. And Paper Mario's turn-based system always had a great physicality to it with the active button presses and the ground, spiked, and flying enemy dynamic.



  • At least they've confirmed they're abandoning the AWFUL card battle mechanics for the next Paper Mario game. It's a step in the right direction.



  • Or just abadon tge Paper series altogether and make a new Mario RPG.
    #BOOSTERFORPRESIDENT



  • My personal favorite Paper Mario was Super Paper Mario. I thought the 2D/3D flipping was so creative and unique, and it lead to so many cool puzzles. Not to mention the story, which I feel was the best in the series. I loved the town of Flipside and all the ways it unfolded as you explored, and all of it's citizens. The worlds that you went to in that game are also my favorite in the series, the Bitlands and the Underwhere are just so cool. I also liked controlling 4 different characters with different abilities. Peach and Bowser control so differently but they each feel great to play as. And the Pixls added so many new ways to interact with the world and solve puzzles. (If you didn't spend 75% of that game riding on Carrie you did it wrong.) Obviously I would have loved it if the Pixls had more lines and played a bigger role in the story since their introductions all had so much personality, but I feel like the other side characters were strong enough to carry the story, especially the villains. O'Chunks, Dimentio, and Mimi are some of my favorite villains in video game history. Mimi especially, her boss fight is kind of horrifying in a surprising way.

    The other reason I prefer Super Paper Mario is that while I typically prefer turn based battles, I kind of hate how Paper Mario and TTYD handle battles. Something about the system just irks me, maybe it's the number systems they use, maybe it's the rhythm mechanics, I don't know I just don't like it. Super Paper Mario was the best of both worlds, the amazing paper aesthetic, an RPG leveling and item system, and great platforming. Because everything happens in real time the world just felt more real

    Furthermore, as much as I love the game play of Super Paper Mario, I feel like it could be further developed. The puzzles are great but I feel like they are a little basic at times, with the amount of possibilities a 2D/3D world provides, there's got to be more that Nintendo can do. I can just taste the amazing things we could see and do in a Super Paper Mario 2.

    As for Fire Emblem, keep 'em coming. I've recently learned to love tactical RPG's and the character interactions are so endearing.


  • Banned

    I consider Paper Mario dead at this point.

    The series will never go back to what it once was because Nintendo has this weird obsession with homogenizing the Mario franchise. Nothing can be new or unique. It all has to be in order and follow strict guidelines while maintaining its toy like plastic appearance to everything.

    And it all started with the "NEW" series.



  • @Art I may have feared this before, but Super Mario Odyssey seems to herald a turning point in that mentality. Koizumi seems to have taken on a more prominent role in the company, and he's been pushing for more story and creative freedom in the Mario franchise for years.



  • @El-Shmiablo they did. it's called Mario & Luigi.



  • @Yoshi Meh. M&L games, while good, simply aren't on the same level as SMRPG.



  • @Yoshi Admittedly, Mario & Luigi, while delightful, has a different vibe than SMRPG. It's interesting how different people gravitate towards the different styles. I enjoy them all, but the first two Paper Mario entries sit up top for me in the Mario RPG hierarchy.

    Also, just to clarify, Mallow > Geno. The internet commonly gets this wrong.



  • @Billy said:

    Also, just to clarify, Mallow > Geno. The internet commonly gets this wrong.

    Cloud mage royalty who thinks he's a frog or star spirit possessing a doll and transforming imaginary attacks into real ones to help restore balance to the world. Nah, I'm pretty sure the internet has this one right.



  • I'm just going to go into spoiler mode because, if you haven't played Paper Mario 1-3, why are you in this thread?

    Super Paper Mario is such a unique game, the only other games that evoke its puzzle / platformer / RPG mix are maybe Playdead games and of course TTYD. It's definitely got the best story in a Mario game. TTYD was more about the chapters so the X-Naut and Shadow Palace stuff fell kinda flat to me since it was very generic JRPG stuff by then. But the foreboding atmosphere of Super Paper Mario is incredible, with the Majora's Mask-style doom growing ever closer in the sky.

    The way they trickle out the party members with their end-of-chapter segments is fantastic, 'cause by the time you get to Luigi the death flags are hoisted high. The party getting murdered and sent to the Underwhere was one of the great twists in the series, and they didn't even exacerbate the underwear pun.

    It's really a shame so many consider the method of killing things to be all-important to a video game, otherwise great stories and campaigns might still be alive at Nintendo.

    @Billy Odyssey really makes me wonder. What would cause Nintendo to put the kabash on Paper Mario stories after Super, then a decade later use the exact same premise of Peach getting kidnapped and forced to marry Bowser? Both games even put a similar emphasis on traveling to separate dimensions/kingdoms. It's probably nothing that we'll ever benefit from outside of Odyssey I guess, but I really want to know the politics of the Mario team using the same exact idea as Intelligent Systems.



  • @Haru17 said:

    It's really a shame so many consider the method of killing things to be all-important to a video game, otherwise great stories and campaigns might still be alive at Nintendo.

    I'll take engaging gameplay teeming with world building over bland gameplay with a decent at best overall narrative any day. I don't need Mario to go all Uncharted. If the game was as good as you make it sound, it wouldn't have been received so poorly, simple as that.



  • @Mbun That's not really a good test of whether or not a game is good. The Wind Waker was received poorly because it was different then what people were expecting from Zelda but with time people have come to love it. Okami and Earthbound both sold very poorly and yet Okami won Game of The Year and Earthbound is a cult classic that lots of people (including myself) are obsessed with. It's the same with SPM, it wasn't the turn based RPG Paper Mario fans were expecting so it wasn't very well received, but if you ask anyone who's actually played it, they'll say that it's a really good game.



  • @michemagius Wind Waker is a decent comparison, but it's a way different situation than Okami and Earthbound. When you say anyone who's actually played it you mean all the way through, because the game leaves a pretty bad first impression with it's obvious downgrade in combat and partners from previous titles in the series. I finished it and still think it's vastly inferior to what we had before and did it's part in leading towards a downplay on charming, well thought out partners. If you look at any of the Paper Mario games after Super you'll see that the partners in them more closely resemble the ones from that game, and that's not a good thing. While some of the rest of that game has merit, it's what started the downfall of the series. Hell, if it sold well they'd just be saying partners aren't important at all outside mechanics.



  • @Mbun I don't actually see how the situation is that different from Okami and Earthbound, they were both different from what fans of each genre/developer had played previously and sold poorly as a result. Okami was a Zelda style adventure game that was far different than anything Clover had ever published and was pretty much the only game like it on the PS2. Earthbound was a zany and surprisingly dark JRPG set in a caricature of America. There were no games like it on the SNES and no games like it on the market period. Because they weren't what fans expected/wanted they were poorly received at the time of their release. Now that time has passed most people would agree that they're good games.

    As for SPM being vastly inferior or leaving a bad first impression I have to disagree in the strongest of terms. I fell in love with that game within the first 15 minutes and I continued to enjoy it immensely all the way through. The only time I found myself having less than a good time was during the Overthere because I felt the music was too repetitive. Most people I've talked to who played the game mostly agree with my views on the game. While it's not everyone's favorite most people still consider it a great game. And I agree that the companions in TTYD are stronger than the Pixls in SPM, but I'd argue that the Pixls don't need to be anything more than what they are, utilities. SPM has 4 great main characters, a strong and varied supporting cast, and the absolute best villains in the history of the Mario Franchise (at least in my opinion). Not to mention, the best story in the entire series (and I think you'll find I'm definitely not alone in that thought). With great main characters, great side characters, phenomenal villains, and an amazing story, I don't think SPM is losing that much without companions, since it beats or matches the previous Paper Mario games in all those categories. As for the combat being a downgrade, I'm not sure how it could be. Comparing a platformer's combat to a JRPG's is like comparing a fighting game to rhythm game. One is made to focus on combat and the other isn't. You could technically say that the combat in Final Fantasy XIII is better than the combat in Super Mario Galaxy, but not many people would say that FF13 is the better game. And as for the loss in charm, I'm not sure what you saw, but to me SPM is oozing with charm. The environments are all super unique, and just like the other Paper Mario's the writing is great. Sure, SPM isn't as light hearted and it certainly doesn't tell as many jokes, but I don't determine charm based on the concentration of jokes per hour or the cheerfulness of the tone.

    Lastly, Sticker Star and Color Splash or nothing like SPM. For 1, they're not platformers. 2, they don't have nearly as many abilites to use, ways to explore the environment, or unique puzzles to solve. 3, unlike SPM with the unique races of characters (the Merles, Filp/Flopside residents, and varying residents of each world), SS and CS feature almost entirely toads. 4, The story in both is downright terrible unlike SPM. And lastly, 5, the worlds are not nearly as interesting. How you can say that SPM somehow lead to the downfall of Paper Mario because of it's lack of fleshed out companions, I don't understand. The legacy from SPM isn't based solely on its companions so I highly doubt that what Nintendo learned from SPM was that they could skimp out on characters. If anything, by SPM being as poorly received as it was at the time, logically Nintendo should have learned to return to the formula set out by the original Paper Mario and TTYD. Clearly they had some new vision in mind when designing SS and CS. I don't know what happened to Paper Mario, and I don't like it either, but SPM can hardly be blamed.

    What it comes down to here, is not that Super Paper Mario is a bad game or overall inferior to the previous Paper Mario games, it's that it's probably not to your particular tastes. And that's fine. Maybe you just really prefer turn based combat, maybe you just don't like platformers, maybe story isn't super important to you, and maybe you prefer side characters to main characters/villains, I'm not sure, I don't know you. If any of those statements match up with your personal feelings on games, then I understand why you don't like SPM. But none of those things make SPM any less of a great game. For everything you don't like about the game, there's someone else who loves it. And I think if you talk to people who have actually played the game through, you'll find that they enjoyed it. I know that there's plenty of people who dislike SPM and agree with your opinions but I don't think that initial or partial audience reception determines the worth of a work of art. And audiences are fickle anyways, just like Wind Waker, Okami, and Earthbound, people didn't like them at first or at least didn't want to try them, and love them now. I think that change is happening with Super Paper Mario. I keep seeing more and more people who say that they love SPM, and I keep seeing more and more people who are trying it for the first time. I have no doubt that in a few years Super Paper Mario will be looked upon just as fondly as any other Paper Mario game.



  • @michemagius said:

    I don't actually see how the situation is that different from Okami and Earthbound

    How a new IP does is always different than how a new entry in an existing series does.

    While it's not everyone's favorite most people still consider it a great game.

    It's like a 7, compared to TTYD and SMRPG being both 10s. Even Paper Mario 64 is like an 8.5. 7 isn't bad, but it also doesn't live up to what came before it.

    I'd argue that the Pixls don't need to be anything more than what they are, utilities

    They don't need to be, but you gotta admit if they were their own interesting characters it'd add more to world and overall package.

    SPM has 4 great main characters
    Lastly, Sticker Star and Color Splash or nothing like SPM

    They're characters we're already intimately familiar with from the franchise, unless you mean Tippi, who once again strongly resembles the direction of partners they took for Sticker Star and Color Splash with Kersti and Huey. It's kinda impossible not to draw a direct correlation between those characters, and your entire defense about how SPM isn't similar to Sticker Star or Color Splash is silly. There's tons of platforming in those games. They do have their own weirdo versions of overworld abilities, that mostly are enabled through "things". Sticker Star's story is terrible, but I'd probably put Color Splash's story on the same level as Super Paper Mario, just chocked full of disgusting memes that pull you out of it constantly. Then again, Super Paper Mario has Francis...

    the absolute best villains in the history of the Mario Franchise
    the best story in the entire series

    Smithy's gang are much more interesting. Hell, the random side characters like Booster in SMRPG are much more interesting than doting secretary, spider waifu, and backstabbing jester. We don't even need to talk about O'Chunks. The overall story aside from twists like the Underwhere is pretty predictable and not as incredible as you make it sound either. I think pretty much as soon as I learned Count Bleck's deal, I understood who Tippi was. It's a pretty plain tragic love story overall, which is different from what you normally see in Mario games yes, but nothing super special overall. Hell, TTYD had a tragic love story in it with Don Pianta's daughter and knocked it out all within the same chapter.

    What it comes down to here, is not that Super Paper Mario is a bad game or overall inferior to the previous Paper Mario games

    I'm not even trying to call it a bad game. It's just a mediocre game, a 7, which is only bad in the grand scheme of the series when the others are so good. Yes, there's still reasons to play this entry, but you can directly draw lines with the change in how combat works and dumbed down partners to how the series went from what it was then to the sad place it resides now.

    Maybe you just really prefer turn based combat, maybe you just don't like platformers, maybe story isn't super important to you, and maybe you prefer side characters to main characters/villains

    It's not that the combat was different. It's that the combat lacked the depth it had before. There's so many elements to TTYD's combat, including offensive and defensive button timing, stylish timing, stage mishaps which you can also time defense on, audience participation, the roulette, all the crazy in-depth badge tweaking, partner position for mitigating damage, partner swapping, partner abilities, appealing, defending, and so on and so on. It's ridiculous how much depth there was. Super simply lacks that level of depth to it's combat system. Btw, I LOVE platformers. That's straight up my jam, my wheelhouse. I think anyone playing a Mario spinoff would to some degree. Yes, I'm on record saying story isn't my number one priority in video games, but when it comes to these spinoffs it is something I look for, and this one really didn't feel as amazing as it seemed to be to you. I mean Mr. L is so painfully obvious it hurts. Yeah, I'll take the fleshed out world and side characters of TTYD to a predictable narrative and shoddy villains any day. Most of the villains don't even have motivation. They've just been brainwashed. That's LAZY!

    For everything you don't like about the game, there's someone else who loves it.

    Yeah, but there's someone who loves every game, well every game except Sticker Star maybe.

    I have no doubt that in a few years Super Paper Mario will be looked upon just as fondly as any other Paper Mario game.

    If the Paper Mario series can manage to recover from where it is now, people will blame Super a little less for "destroying the franchise", but I still don't see it ever being held in as high regard as TTYD or SMRPG. Super Paper Mario is a good game, just not a great one that lives up to the legacy of the ones before it. Least it looks amazing next to Sticker Star and Color Splash!



  • @El-Shmiablo @Billy

    you know Paper Mario 64 was literally called Super Mario RPG 2 before it had its named changed near the end of development right?



  • @Yoshi I'm aware.
    Still doesn't compare.