As I said in my previous post, this is going to be the last of my ported review I will post. I did others reviews, but they aren’t as good and exhaustive as I would have liked. Also, since I already posted 3 times in a row reviews, I will actually take a break from them in the next couple of posts (at least 2) and post more about engineering of games in glitches. The next one is going to be a very well-known glitch that is in my opinion my favorite glitch because it’s very fascinating on the reasons why it works.
But on to the review, I might say it’s not the best review i could have done, but I found it good enough to be posted. Just again, keep in mind that this review will spoil everything and is intended as a retrospective on the game. This means that I do not recommend to read it if you never played the game. Also, you might want to read my Sticker Star review since I will actually refer to Sticker Star a lot in this review. Oh and just a little note, at the end of the review i say that I am optimistic for the Paper Mario’s series future. That was true when i wrote the review, however…..times have changed and I now am not looking forward to its future due to a certain recent announcement….
With that in mind enjoy 🙂
Bill Trinen: Mario & Luigi game…..or Paper Mario…..or both?
Ok I need to make a very important clarification before anyone intends to ever touch the game or review it: this is NOT a Paper Mario and NOR IS IT BOTH! There is really no arguing on that, the summary of the game literally tells it’s a Mario & Luigi (m&l) game featuring Paper Mario, they used the Dream Team (DT) graphical engine with the DT mechanics as base, the game plays like m&l and IS m&l. Like seriously, I want to make it crystal clear that no one should ever consider this a Paper Mario game, you can review how the Paper Mario series is influencing the game which I am about to do, but you cannot view this as Paper Mario.
Starting the game yay!
Ok, so the game start, first, the tittle screen of the game is kinda unique, at the beginning, not much happens, you just see the book……you hear the tittle screen music…….there’s really not much going on. Afterwards, this is getting way better, there are fun animations with the trio (and Paper Mario peeling the Paper characters, that was fun) followed by a rundown of the main side character and their papers. Overall, very nice tittle screen and the music is quite fun too, it didn’t make a huge impact, but it;s good. At least I get a good impression on the animations
Now, it’s kind of bummer you only have 2 files (trust me, sometime, it;s fun to have 3), but knowing that DT had also 2…….yeah…..oh btw, I think the file selection is like DT??? I am not sure, but it;s like…..say the Earthbound one, it’s simple….and honestly……doesn’t do much…..so let’s just move on
What Sticker Star is doing here?
I will do a lot of parallel with Sticker Star (SS) when I talk about the Paper stuff because this game got a lot of influence from it. I am just throwing this out there because this review is going to have a lot of what I expected vs what I got, it’s interesting to see the differences because I expected a lot of what others did, but got stuff that weren’t what I expected (in a good way). Basically, when I got the game was a lot SS based, I honestly……started to doubt the game because I knew SS can be fixed if you JUST take the assets and use it differently, bit SS had more problems. It didn’t have diverse assets, what I mean is you only had 6 areas that are…..very generic imo so when you come to Paper Jam and Alphadream pretty much had to use SS because of assets accessibility (this isn’t a fact, but it’s likely what happened)…….well you could expect stuff to get wrong. The first thing that I started to doubt was the world map for example, it felt……almost like SS which for an m&l game that historically has diverse areas……that could have been a problem. I will details what I expected throughout the review, but this is to give an idea of what happened and how I viewed the game after, you will see why it’s very important I talk about it.
Introduction and plot
So, the intro……probably the most rough and fast intro I ever did. Seriously, they even wait until a point to tell you that you move with the circle pad, in theory that’s bad design, but let’s be honest……if you didn’t figure this out…..I suggest you start reading your 3ds manual because you don;t know how to use it. Anyway, it’s extremely quick, it takes around 5 minutes and all the papers are already in the game……serious, it’s like very rough. I am not sure if I like this tbh, I tend to like intro that gives me an idea of what the game will be, but this one was…….too quick. Plus I need to bring this now…..no one ever told what the book was doing here……I WANTED TO KNOW!
But this intro after that….it’s one of the only plot only part of the game, it;s probably the longest one until the desert area since most of the game is basically explaining very basic stuff and the plot which tbh……is oddly simple. it’s just that you opened the book so papers everywhere and implying 2 bowsers and 2 marios, then put this and apply the classic mario plot……….
That’s it, I cannot say I was impressed, for an m&l game, it was VERY odd. usually, the story is more complex, deep and you just want to know the truth, but this game…..it;s more as if the plot happens…….and goes,…..and happens, it’s not like you would be motivated to play the game because of the plot. So, I expected that it would get deeper later……and nope, it’s really really simple. Though, tbh, at least there;s one like SS had none, that;s a huge difference so I can;t say it’s bad, but I had my reasons to doubt the game.
Extra cutscene features with manual
I guess while we talk about cutscene (cs), I should mention 2 things that the game has and it’s new. First, by holding the R button, you can fast forward around 85% of every cs which tbh, I suggest to only use it if you already seen that cs before because it;s really fast if you use it. It’s good, but I wouldn’t use it to read the text normally, it;s clearly not made for that. Though, I really love how the game keeps mentioning it and breaks the fourth wall like there’s a toad that once said to not fast forward because he wanted attention or one that talks for so long he suggests you to use it, it’s really fun and very m&l humor The other thing is 5% of the tutorials are forced…..yes, it;s that low and all of them, except the card battle are at the beginning and the other 95% are in a guide. That guide really is a good way to teach stuff because it tells everything if you never played an m&l game before and is a huge time save if you did because you would just not read a big portion of it. It’s Ike a glorified manual and I know people tends to say “muh, manuals sucks I WANT THE PLAY THE DAMM GAME!”, but this one is a really helpful manual. Honestly, I sincerely suggest you read it, it only takes some minutes and it does help if you don;t care about the electronic manual.
So, yeah, after the peach meeting which is just small talk and a very funny thing with both Mario loving Paper Peach (PAPER IS SUPERIOR YAY!!!!), you have to find paper toads that are hidden. Yeah, they are….confused apparently because they are in this world,. but not until you touch them, seriously, big video game logic might there lol.
So I guess I should talk about the minigames……they are probably the only notable bad part on the game……except I was fine with them. The game especially before the desert area has A TON of minigames. So much that they do become…….a bit annoying to see them at such a high frequency. They are diverse, but they just happens so often. The first one is a hide and seek one, others are races, others are misc stuff about like throwing bombs, or pure puzzles, etc…. there’s a lot of diversity, but one thing is very obvious: they are filler. In fact, it;s the part of the game that imo feels like the game was partially rushed…..which oddly reminded me of another game I played and loved.
Super Mario Sunshine.
I loved that game, it’s actually my favorite 3d mario platformer, but it was partially rushed. The blue coins made it really obvious that it was rushed partially, there’s so many blue coins it’s obvious it was filler for probably levels that couldn’t have been done…..Then it had other problems like the camera and the L target, but the blue coins is when it became obvious and if you remove them, the game starts to feel way less rushed…..minus some controls. And most importantly, they never really affect the core gameplay, them being optional helps too (you don;t even need any to beat the game).
This is very awfully similar to the minigames in paper jam, they are obviously filler, they don;t affect the core gameplay, but the only differences is most of them are required. now, the thing is, like I said they are diverse so it’s not that bad because it at least didn’t felt that repetitive and the required one especially the toads missions were honestly very well spaced. There’s other evidences of the game being partially rushed, but the important part here is you might not like them, it honestly shouldn’t change your enjoyment this much because they don;t affect the core gameplay much……..
As for what I expected….lol I actually expected A LOT worse. To me, I thought the paper toads rescues were like the Pillow from DT, but they are not implemented as strongly as DT. It’s really except the first area (common theme here) 2-3 are required after a couple of hours, very reasonable. A lot of reviewer were telling a pacing issues…..I didn’t notice any…… Sure, the minigames might be annoying for some, but tbh….they aren’t as bad as what I heard or saw (I only saw the first area and the game really gets better and better after that). So yeah, that was a pleasant surprise there
Now, you do this hide and seek and then……plot stuff……it;s not this interesting, but it gets way better so. After you see nabbit which stole every bros attack, drops 2 which you get, but this is where the game starts to really be good in dialogues. 2 toads sad to not have been able to save the bros except 2, are really overdramatic to the point of saying “this is the end and the end of this game!”, that was a very fun 4th wall and honestly, much better than DT and it’s only after 10 minutes.
After……it;s really basic, the only thing I will mention id you meet a lakitu that is going to be….slightly important (he just carries the paper toads to peach castle, he doesn’t become this important later, he is just./…..a lakitu….)
But then you go to the plains which are……fairly basic grass area with a…..basic music (aka, I don;t have much to say other than it’s a bit too basic). Then you meet paper goombas which is the first fight of the game after you…..crumpled the goomba, ok these paper stuff are going to be fun
I really liked the superstar saga battle theme and tbh, I didn’t like the overall ost that much so that was really fun to hear You only hear it before Paper Mario, but is really cool
Ok, I guess because the fight is only with 2 (for now), I will start to talk about the idea behind the m&l battle system because as soon as paper mario arrives, it changes a lot.
Reminder on why I didn’t like the m&l battle system
It’s pretty much like DT, so I am going to tell how DT felt. The m&l games tends to have a battle system that focus a lot more on the execution aspect than the strategical one. It’s actually closer than the original smrpg than paper mario is, because Paper Mario is heavily into strategy and the execution part is minimal. What happens with a system this different from Paper Mario is good and bad things. it’s good because it’s simple and the dodges (and even the attacks!) requires precise well-timed and diverse input giving a satisfaction feel when you get an excellent and making the boos fight harder as you need to focus a lot when you try to dodge the attacks. In fact, the bosses in m&l are known to be REALLY intense since they are very long, has very hard attacks to dodge and you have to figure out on the fly how to beat them which most of the time you REALLY have to get it first, the game likely will hint, but you still have to learn it. it might sound cheap, but it’s not, it actually gives really fun fight and this feel when you beat a boss is so good, I liked that from smrpg and Paper Mario doesn;t have this because the bosses are more strategy based than execution.
The problem with superstar saga is this was good, but too bland, the bros attack…..realyl felt underwhelming and the attacks options felt way too low. I tend to like to have a part of strategy, smrpg did had that.
and DT felt worse! It was insanely execution based, so much that I stopped to care to do battles until the end because they were ridiculously hard and I didn’t even beat the final boss because i didn;t think it was worth to grind for it. Seriously, it became very annoying on how DT was done towards the end.
All I want from m&l is please, give us more options! It’s really annoying if the game becomes a fully execution based, it becomes too annoying to do.
Now, with pj, it is about to change, the 2 bros only fight though felt exactly like DT….which is expected, this game is based on DT after all.
So after some fights, you actually get to a group of paper goombas which jsut does a wheel attack and….the bros gets KOed which is the worst video game logic ever like god, this makes no sense, lol But this is where you get Paper Mario which btw, I really loved his entrance……as quirky as ever and he even does a spin from pm64
So, THIS is where the core part of the review happens: what did Paper Mario changed to the core battle system?
The battle system or aka, this game is good
From DT, you still have everything it had before……but you have an extension: more and vital strategy options. They really did a fine job to finally solve the biggest complains I had in DT by having Paper Mario, seriously, he is my savior (he always was though……)
Mario and luigi turns are just hammer, jump, items, bros and run………you cannot get this more basic than that/
Paper Mario has a variable jump, a variable and dynamic hammer, TRIO ATTACKS (you get it a bit later, but let\s talk about it now), COPY, items and run.
Let’s check what is different there, first, copy. The copy block is literally what makes the battle system this clever, it allows Paper Mario to have copies of himself attached to him (max 6 or 8 with a rank bonus) and this does several things. First, it’s a really effective defence because when you get hit, you won;t lose hp, you will lose a copy (maybe more if the hit is hard) preventing any damages. Second, it improves a lot your attacks, jumps is now becoming a power bounce with the number of bounces being the number of copies you have. Now, it’;s really damaging like a power bounce so if 10, then 9 and etc…. so you can realise how much damages you can do with more copies. The hammer is even more awesome, if you have copies, it will try to spread the attack on the enemies as evenly as possible with one copy attacking one enemy, but an enemy can get multiple copies to attack him. So, if you fight 6 enemies and have 6 copies, it’s one copy per enemy. If you have 2 enemies, it’s 3 per enemies and one has all 6 copies making the damages…….hit really hard. The huge drawback from it is that his hp stats sucks, he really should never be trusted for his hp, it’;s so bad, that the copy becomes a necessity and the clever thing about it is it waste your entire turn.
before I get into what it implies, let me just explain trio attacks. Basically, assuming all 3 are not affected by status or faint, you can do an attack that involves all 3 characters, they are really fun like, Paper Mario honestly is fun when you get transported in a paper map and you do the commands from there with REALLY BIG DAMAGES! On this note, there’s an attack called trio kite where you put the enemy on a kit and just…..make it go up before smashing him down with paper mario’s hammer, first, the map is awesome and OMG IT’S SO FREAKING FUN! ….And the damages is huge, but it;s on one enemy You have a lot of options for attacking everyone, but kite was a favourite for sure The other tricky thing is, you NEED to use them in paper Mario turn only.
So let’s add this up. Mario and luigi turns are very straight forward, no need to question that. Paper Mario one, you can jump or hammer, but copies improves a lot and you don;t copy, you can trio, but then you can;t copy until you risk loosing more with a dodge or even loose your so precious hp and finally copy which wastes the entire turn.
This is heavy decision you have to do each turn. “Do i copy, or not?” sure if you are maxed the answer is no so in theory if you are perfect with dodges, you never need to, but the reality is this is m&l, you WILL misses a lot of dodges because you have to learn them. Now, you could also say that you woudln’t care for paper mario……that is a very bad decision because the bros stats actually has flaws making them a bit more vulnerable and they can get lots of damages so loosing trio is loosing a vital option. not to mention his speed is ridiculous meaning that often, he will be the first of the 3 to attack and for such an important turn, you want it to happen asap. Oh and for trio, that can only be done if everyone is not faint…..meaning that you basically even have sometime to waste his turn for a revive!
So the summary is this: it;s finally having a lot of strategy and I honestly was blown away when I realised that all it took was this copy block, a trio moves and enhanced attack with copy. It really feels like both style are together, it;s still m&l so do expect a lot of execution, but this is also Paper Mario in how you have to make tough strategic decisions. Followed by this mind-blowing, I realised that the bosses……
Omg, the bosses clearly shows how much better this system is. Look, I am not joking when I will say this but I sincerely believe this is the best m&l battle system. They require SERIOUS decisions and EVERY TURNS COUNTS! doing damages with the least amount of turns possible with all kind of situation you will face becomes an art and it feels so damm good. I get a whole lot of strategy options, but I also get hard attack to dodge, this is the perfect balance. Like this might also sound weird, but this might be the closest we get from smrpg, smrpg was very well-balanced between the 2 aspects and you did fought with trio. Really, this game man, just the battles and bosses worth it, it;s so good and fun!
The ONLY drawback from this is that you actually can beat bosses with solo paper mario if you dodge well enough, but tbh, I don’t recommend it because EXP and because it’s super risky and the fight can take forever.
Now, with this mind-blowing system, i do have other stuff to say that they added which I didn’t cared much, easy mode which….is what it sounds, assists which lets you know every time who is getting attacked, pls keep it off it’s fun without and the emergency block. Which is really interesting, by pressing X, you just…..duck and cover and you will receive damages, but less…..HEY THAT’S PAPER MARIO MECHANICS! The sfx when it happens is even the SS one and that;s for all the trio, I really love this because it’s fun to see mechanics influences
speaking of mechanics, I love the paper enemies. Their differences are really there and to the point where they mix regular and paper enemies and you have to know their difference in timing. This gives very interesting battles and even influence which enemies you would take down first. It;s not like SS, oh no, it;s much deeper and much better implemented, but you will see a lot of animations from SS, they are just used better.
So from now on you will notice a pattern, this game truly gets influenced a lot by the Paper Mario series and no matter how SS it is…..it doesn;t matter much for the core gameplay. It really doesn’t! This game is a good representation of the design decisions that should have happened with SS because it’s so much better. I expected a mix of style, and oh god I got it…..
Controls, it gets even better!
Continuing the game, you first realise…..man this sucks I have to press a b and y to just jump…..until 5 minutes later when you receive the dash socks after a minigame and this lets me praises how cool the controls are. it’s m&l so one button = one character, but the X button…..what about it? well, it allows to have the trio do a jump (slightly less high, but most platforms will do) and a dash. The x button seriously is why this bad and sucky system became so easy to use omg! no more A + B + select + twist your head + cry in a corner, NO, this is simple. I cannot express how better it is then superstar saga which I got so mad, it become painful (I hated the l and r with the select). it;s even better! to switch ability, you CAN use l and r……but hey, there’s a touch screen option…..you literally can move your thumb to any of the abilities and switch to any instantly, no more “Press r twice, l 5 times, select, do the dance, say the number pi” and etc….. Oh and it’s not done yet, I said you have a dash meaning travelling is quicker and better……and it even doubles as a first strike options like the hammer and jump……
I know the previous paragraph was very hyperboled, but I can;t hide the satisfaction I had to finally freaking stop worrying about “how much time do I need to press l or r to select the attack?” AND JUST FREAKING USE IT! They finally got it guys, they finally found the best control system for not 2, but 3 characters! The DT one was good enough….but you didn;t had touch screen ability switch, you had 2 buttons jumps and you had no dash. The controls for the first time in all the m&l game I played felt seamless and natural for the entirety of the game. No doubt in my mind it was the best controls in m&l.
So, after this mind-blowing simplicity, I just described the core part so this review will go a lot faster from now on yay!
Well after the usual fight and realising paper mario can get through cracks, Peach has the worse anti kidnapping technique…….having cardboard peach with a device saying repetitive words……how can you fool anyone with this? of course they gets kidnapped
Oh and I forgot to mention, bowser and kamek hate their paper self, but not boeser jr which is very funny like there’s a lot of funny insults given and just basically SHOT FIRED everytime between eachother except bowser jr which is the total opposite
Then you fight petey, fairly simple and basic.
This is around where you get the trio hammer and when toadette realises…..hey, I have a brain and paper toads hands so let’s make paper craft (yes the paper toads are for that and a thing towards the end).
Which actually leaves me to the lakitu center, this is where you rescue paper toads which, guess what, ARE JUST MINIGAMES! , but fear not, these are well spaced and are simple. Actually the lakitu center also allows to replay any minigame and most have a hard mode which gives more medals…..and more medals gives you more battle cards which i will explain in due time. You could buy cards at the shop, but the one they give you at the center are really useful.
Papercrafts are cool
After, this is where we had our very first papercraft battle and…..they are really fun imo a lot better than the giant battles from DT since you have 3d environment and you….oh gosh MOVE 0_o
Ok seriously, I liked the giant battles, but the limited choices….not so much. papercraft battles feels much better and a bit more complex, well they get better and better after each time you do them, but the idea is you have a throw to attack a lot stunned enemies and you have a dash to stun them…..simple, but fun because you have to reach behind or after they charge. You have a health bar, but you also have a charge bar which you charge by going into toad pads and press Y to the rhythm of a music, cool. I just want to mention, even the enemies dances along lol this was fun too
That;s all i had to say, they are quite fun phases,but they get much better after.
Ok we finally passed the plains so this is where the game starts to really shine as the pace gets a lot better from now on, the minigames are much better spaced out.
World design, with papers!
Now, I should once talk about map design so let me do it now. Take JUST m&l and……it;s what I expected, bland, basic, SS like, urgh, it didn’t sound good for m&l, but then the cardboard stuff happens and suddenly everything changes. It now looks….odd ina good way because you have grass on your left…..and a freaking cardbaord montage of flashy lines and a paper tree with bushes that shakes when you hammer on them and looks fragile. This is really awesome because now the worlds feels like something didn;t belong here and that’s the paper stuff, it gives a really cool feel of diversity and it really feels they merged both style well. Even if it’s SS, I already said in my SS review that the artstyle was the best part of SS minus its diversity, so having it implemented just like SS to give life to bland worlds is really a well use of SS right there. Mostly liked the world design because of them, they just look odd sitting next to m&l stuff
Even more stuff…..
As for the dessert……well yeah it;s pretty straight forward like you have a link to the castle so you go there first. Later you get the trio hammer which is like hammer, but with the trio so it;s stronger. Ok, you DO have to press a + + Y, but don;t worry, you don;t have to say the number pi Okay seriously, what I mean is it likely won’t bother you because you will only use the abilities if needed and honestly, it’s not hard for the amount the game asks.
Then you get into a cave because a pokey with his paper made you dropped so we now see clever mechanic of the trio hammer which seems fun in the overworld. Then you eventually get back to a toad village and…..a lakitu center so some toads missions.
They allow to make a paper trampoline which allows to reach the pokey and fight them,. this is where the fights gets hard, but fun The idea is you try to beat one than the other, simple.
After you fight papercraft kamek with a luigi paper craft and the only differences is the throw takes down spiky enemies because he has a hammer. The attack of kamek are cool, it’s he throws geometry at you, it’s fun
Then, as you try to cross the bridge, it gets destroyed by a canonball so you can;t reach the castle, but bad stuff happens. The koopalings and some charging chuck basically stuns you and you faint you even lost the book luigi had so now, they have the book…..which is bad.
What’s worse is your now in jail in a dungeon underneath the beach area. After Paper mario uses the most clever trick ever (he literally turn on his side to go through the door lol) they start to complain luigi lost the book……and he cries but then Paper Mario turns into a tissue and let him be used with luigi, this was so funny, I loved how Paper Mario is still quirky
I like Paper Mario cause he has animations!
Actually, I should talk about that, he has much better animations like if you heal him, he is happy, then spin and has a ready to go pose before a fun sfx plays, I really love his animation. when he levels up, you have him do all sort of happy pose and a cute sfx, it;s little things like this that you really start to like Paper Mario, he is cute and quirky
Then there’s a minigame because they actually stole every command black, I liked it because you have very limited options until you get some back.
Then you just go through the dungeon, and you learn trio grab which allows to have Paper Mario be sort of whip between the bros in a stack and basically swing the grab stuff, it’s cool and fun
This is an m&l game, not solitaire so why cards?
Then you get the battle cards tutorial and it;s a way better extra mechanics than DT with eh badges. You have a deck of 10 cards you can choose which card you have in it and each turn, you randomly draw a card, they do various effect in battle and there;s even cards that lowers the final boss levels! you do need star points (WOOHOO TTYD!) to use them which you gain by being good at attacking essentially. This mechanics really is fun because it extends a lot the battle deepness and overall are very fun to use, they aren’t OP btw, except maybe the bowser and koopalings cards, these can be when fighting them lol.
I like uncompressed music
After, this is where we hear a sad music and this music is intentionally SO OVERKILL! it’;s full with piano, slow tempo and everything, but everytime it plays, it’;s clearly exaggerated and it;s never taken seriously. The music in this game was better than I expected because of the context, DT is still better, but the ost in pj is really good. I liked the typewriter thign they did in the lakitu center, I liked how soothing the icy area was and so on, I even liked the minigames music because they were fun to listen to while doing them. It’s a good ost even though DT is better.
The game destroys the 4th wall by saying hey remember this place it’s going to be useful later, that was funny
then before exiting, you fight 2 koopalings, very intense fight but fun
I finally started to speed this review because it was getting long lol
Ok I am going to now start to speed up significantly because it;s getting long , you got the original idea, they just get better so here’s the notable moment after that:
again, the sad music on a toad who can;t use a boat, never taken seriously love it. Paper Mario being used a sail was AWESOME! The paper petey fight was awesome, it;s hard to figure out, but you have to attack the only copy that moves,. very clever.
Then the woods, relaxing music, green and a wiggler you help, very fun and calm area. The bosses at the end wa however VERY hard intense and you really need to be good to do it, it;s like very intense until you learn him, you might have to retry sometime, but it;s a really cool boss, you beat the enraged wiggler that kamek did bad stuff before damaging kamek with very limited turns. The attacks hit hard so you have to dodge.
The icy area, soothing music and this is where you get the trio drill which allows to go underground and dash and there’s a lot of puzzles making it really fun
The bowser jr papercraft battle was really awesome, you do it with papercraft peach and you have a parasol that deflects projectile and hover
Then you get the thing to go in bowser’s castle int he wall the game told you (lol) and you fall,. but Paper Mario is a parachute (man I love him in this game).
you go back to the dungeon, get to bowser castle before gaining the trio airplane which is really cool, but straight forward, you glide. Then there is a paper craft fight with yoshi which you can use a tongue , really fun
You eventually fight bowser jr, very cool fight, they even have a game when you fly paper mario further than paper jr and you get damage if you don;t it’s cool
Then the castle goes in the air and you fall because starlow forgot her teeth was holding the group, lol kamek was complimenting the teeth and she felt for it lol
And then…..they literally hit the top part of the castle with a canonball, that was huge cs action.
Now you go back to the woods, but it’s more carboard filled in the plains, you even go in the clouds!
The woods are haunted and king boo appear and take everyone but luigi so you actually play with luigi alone and he;s scared, but starlow is cheering and…..omg this joke literally made me bash my forehead several time: “THERE’S EVEN A WHOLE YEAR NAMED AFTER YOU!” and “IT’S BASICALLY LUIGI RPG NOW!” this….omg the 4th dopes it exist?
This part was awesome, you had to do clever stuff to reach the other side of each map before finally finding mario and you are tricked by a fake paper mario with a king boo fight. I liked this fight because most of it is not with paper mario, you only get it temporarily, loved it
You get back to the icy area again with cardboard and as you reach the top, you fight king bomb omb which is one of the best fight, you have a timer and if it hits zero, you die, but you gain time by dodging one of his attack. This is really clever because you have to use quick stuff and you have to decide fast
Then the paper toads does stairs to reach the new castle, little reference to SS here actually.
The castle is basically a lot of puzzles and minigames then a boss rush with koopalings which is really intense and fun again before finally the final boss, which is a lot more reasonable than DT and really, again, intense, challenging, long, really great final boss, loved it
Then the game ends by putting everyone back in the book …..including Paper Mario
Optional stuff and the best reward
the game now has an OST PLAYER, HOLY GEEZ, I LOVE THESE!
And it;s not SS cheap either, this one is full feature. All music, 3 playback mode between linear, loop or shuffle, PLAYING IN FREAKING SLEEP MODE! and last but not least……we finally see paper luigi next to the player in the beach area as cameo, HE IS ALIVE GUYS!
the optional things are expert challenges which are basically hard achievements, there;s a secret boss, you have a percentage for item patches, blocks, beams spot and paper toad rescued, so completionist would love that.
in conclusion (you are still here?)
ouf, this review was huge and I had a lot to say, but let me just say this: the game is partially rushed, but it’s a really fun and good game. Dont; get thrown off by the SS influence, this game has a lot of influence from the Paper mario series and a lot of them are made much better than SS. the plot is simple, yes, but the dialogues are so good, much better than DT. The battle system is perfectly balanced, the controls are seamless and oh my god!
huh, I just love paper jam. I really don;t care if anyone says “but…..but…..it has no original Paper Mario characters!” WHY IT MATTERS THAT MUCH? This game was all about merging both series together and be an m&l game, that;s not only exactly what it did, but it did it well, you don’t need this to do that, you just need to have clever design decision to have it work. This game has clever design, it might have been rushed partially, but it;s like sms, it doesn;t matter this much. Like this is really good for the m&l series because can finally say it:
the best m&l game I played of all 3 I played, i mean it, I never had an m&l game where I had the least impedance by stuff like the controls or the battle system and it has freaking papers, what’s not to love?
Now, for the Paper Mario series, this looks very good imo. They really showed a lot and pushed heavily THEY EVEN EXPLICITLY SAID IT IN A DIALOG! that paper mario really stands apart from mario. he just does and his quirkiness has never been so obvious in this game, yes, there is paper pun, but it’s not as bad as SS, they are actually funny.
Like, I now am optimistic for the Paper Mario future, sure, they had to use SS now, but they tried to move away from how bad SS was to make it really good and actually make me like the thing that is usually found in the Paper Mario series that I loved. this however being still not a Paper Mario game is why it;s so good.
look, even if you won;t like the abundance of minigames, JUST the bosses and battles worth the price.
Final comments, it ends here I promise!
Basically, it turned out better than I expected even though I doubted the game a lot, I shouldn’t have, it’s really good.