Nintendo’s Paper Mario flattens out with The Origami King
Nintendo’s got a way of taking its franchises and doing something different with them every time. The conceit of Paper Mario is that everything is made of paper, and the world and its characters know it.
In the Origami King, the bad guys are the usual enemies which have been folded up and brainwashed by the titular ruler. Mario straightens them out by engaging in turn-based puzzle combat. He stomps on or pounds enemies to flatten them out into proper two-dimensional creatures.
As Mario navigates this paper world, he has to repair holes in the landscape that expose the wire framework upon which it was constructed. To do this he needs to collect confetti, which he then throws onto the holes to patch them.
I enjoyed exploring the world and searching for collectibles more than the combat, which involves you rotating the rings of a circle in order to line up enemies for grouped attacks. It’s a clumsy mechanic that breaks the paper theme.
But it doesn’t destroy the game, which is a typical, cute affair that is winking at itself the entire time.
Paper Mario: The Origami King releases today, exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.