Paper Mario: The Origami King - Review

Paper Mario: The Origami King - Review. The villain of Paper Mario: The Origami King goes beyond the ambition to become king or marry the beautiful princess Peach: he wants to be the true god of that universe, transforming the creatures he knows into origami and subjecting them to his will.

Fold the world in a new way, to be in his image and likeness. The villain of Paper Mario: The Origami King goes beyond the ambition to become king or marry the beautiful princess Peach: he wants to be the true god of that universe, transforming the creatures he knows into origami and subjecting them to his will.

This disturbing subtext tints the entire setup, enriching it with elements that seem almost out of place in a title of the saga. Faceless toads, monster-infested ships, and most of all, big uncontrolled origami foes follow each other during game hours and the way they integrate into the mushroom world is fantastic. 

The rest of the environment, in fact, is the colorful and playful old world that we know, enriched by new and unexpected locations, as is the tradition of the Paper Mario saga. 

The characters we know are also familiar faces, with the exception of the new antagonist and his sister, but not for this do they sin in personality, but quite the opposite: they are fun and irreverent as always. 

The multi-colored toads are hidden in the areas we explore, caught in logs or walls, or folded in origami, and gradually releasing them allows them to return to their usual activities. After our passage, the world is populated by toad restorers, park rangers, nudists or captains. 

The enemies are also the classics of the saga, but in this case many of them reinvent themselves as our allies: the palpable threat of the new origami tyrant brings together all the inhabitants of the kingdom in a single army, creating contradictory and strange collaborations. I always dreamed of fighting alongside Kamek, he has aces up his sleeve.

The mistake of some old titles in the saga was to start slowly, introducing curious elements and various peculiarities only after a few hours. Paper Mario: The Origami King instead begins with a bangand from the first area he makes us explore the toad farms and makes us observe the dancing trees. 

The structure of the game allows you to dare, inserting very different areas and configurations between them without altering the credibility of the story. Mario and his assistant are called to free Peach's castle from the surrounding ribbons, following them one by one and finding the point where they meet the ground.

Each tape is intuitively protected by an enemy boss, but the areas also force us to confront other beasts originally friendly and corrupted by the king of origami, named Cartomagni. These creatures can give us power over the elements, which in some areas of the game is necessary to continue or to find secrets and gifts.

The double boss system in each area immediately made me think of The Legend of Zelda. As in the Hyrule hero saga, here too it is necessary to complete a shrine to obtain a new power that will then be used to confront the enemy that presides over that region. 

The feeling grew more intense when we reached the ocean area, which is in all respects a tribute to Wind Waker: the calls are undeniable and very, very welcome. Exploring mini dungeons requires solving small environmental puzzles that are never overly complex, as well as finding hidden toads and the many secret passages. A Zelda with a mustache and paper, nobody will take this idea from my mind.

The fighting system was a cross and a delight for me. During my first few hours of playing in Paper Mario: The Origami King, I hated the presence of the circular grid with myself, asking us to orient enemies to line up and hit them with a single attack. 

It is possible to rotate a ring or a column and in a limited number of movements and time it is necessary to find the correct form, which also provides an attack bonus. In essence: either the puzzle is solved, or the battle continuesnecessarily for more than one turn, which can be very annoying if you are in a hurry or if you want to save movements. 

This system also makes it marginal to perform jumps and attacks with the proper time, since the additional damage that is obtained with a movement made at the ideal moment cannot compensate for any error in the enemy's disposition, which does not allow to recover the additional turn needed to win. 

There are ways to sweeten the pill. Continuing the story, you have a chance to earn extra time to stack opponents or pay spectators of the Toad of our battles, who jump out of the stands and change the grid for us, or throw hearts and items at us. 

It also unlocks the potential for self-solving puzzles early in the battle, but I haven't thought for a moment about activating it:I will also refuse to put origami online, but I do not pretend to distort a fundamental element of the game, it would be almost immoral. The rare times I have been successful in the company, the satisfaction has been remarkable, I somehow reluctantly admit it.

Boss fights are great: With only one enemy on the screen, the matter changes completely. We no longer have to align origami, but create a path by moving arrows, objects and action squares on the board, planning a turn that includes the possibility of healing, attacking from a distance or activating abilities. 

This mechanic is not only fun, it is also well thought out and allows numerous variables depending on the abilities of the enemy monster. Burned, frozen, frozen boxes ... anything is possible and each battle requires a different strategy, which is pleasant to decipher and never too difficult to understand. 

In addition, on these occasions the time available to decide how to place the boxes is greater and this reduces the tension, which in normal battles seemed frankly excessive:Paper Mario: The Origami King also offers a good variety of weapons to equip, which are represented by more or less sbrilluccicanti improvements to the shoes and the basic hammer. 

The default weapons are always available, while the brightest ones need to be bought and equipped and tend to wear out and break in a few fights. A good compromise, more acceptable than the consumable labels of the previous titles, which nevertheless makes it even more annoying to waste shifts and unnecessarily exhaust our purchases.

The strength of Paper Mario: The Origami King is, as I imagined, the attention paid to detail. The individual areas are full of secrets (and nonsense), the characters are resourceful, the soundtrack fits each area elegantly, the collectibles are hidden in every corner. 

The game includes a real museum that fills up during our adventure, thanks to secrets unlocked or collected. We talked about the number of toads found, but also about the treasures found, the trophies won, the stitched tears, and the prey trapped in the fishing minigame. So much and so much variety would appeal to every player and even me, who am not a natural completist, delighted with the research, helped by "radar" accessories that reveal the secrets of the area.

Everything is orchestrated following the notes of a story that reaches unexpected peaks for a title of the saga, even moving. That is all you could ask for from a Paper Mario and I would like nothing more. 

Maybe I would have liked a different battle system, also due to my personal ineptitude in time management and the game's grid, but the one chosen for the game still tries to innovate the series with a certain originality, so I don't have want to demolish it without appeal. 

The gem that I loved is the references to Color Splash, which we've probably noticed in four cats. That title does not deserve to end in the background and mentioning it in the new chapter is an unexpected gift. There is much, much good in Paper Mario: The Origami King and without hesitation I recommend it to all Nintendo Switch owners.

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