Mario has had a hell of a career so far. His place in the annals of history has already been etched out as a true saviour of the industry after the horrific collapse of the video game industry in 1985. Super Mario Bros. was the game that made Mario a house hold and in the process saved the industry from extinction. He hasn’t looked back ever since!
Any new Mario game always incites the same reaction as the first Mario game did 25 year ago. The industry which has long since graduated to things far more mature and complex, and yet Mario games still garners such rabid attention, which is bewildering.
The most impressive feature of Mario’s career has been his versatility. Nintendo has put Mario in some really interesting positions and scenarios, and every time he comes up trumps hence it’s no wonder that the brand Mario has endured for so long and is still relevant to video games. Take a look back at his different sorts of games and you will be surprised how varied and unique some of his games really are.
From jumping and leaping to Peach’s rescue, dominated the race tracks, sinking in put after put, being the centre of attention at parties to scoring goals and home runs, duking it out with his pals and even going into space traversing different planets, Mario has done it all. However, for me his biggest achievement, especially for a character that lives life on the fast line has how Mario has taken up RPG mechanics and made them work quite spectacularly!
Mario RPGs have quite a history and EVERY SINGLE time those games have performed at the highest level. The first Mario RPG was created, not surprisingly, by Square Enix (Soft back in those days) in the last days of the SNES. That game showed the world that Mario can indeed excel in an RPG setting as the game was full of both Mario’s charm and ample of Square Enix typical flair.
This was lightning in bottle moment for Mario games, which was furthered capitalized by two companies later, Intelligent Systems and Alpha Dreams who seemingly mastered the new development in Mario illustrious career.
Let’s focus this article on the Paper Mario series from the talented team of Intelligent Systems. Right of bat we knew Paper Mario was going to be special due to the really unique visual look, where everything in the game looked like it was made from paper. The entire game world was essentially a huge scrap book in which everything could be folded or torn.
The novel design wasn’t just for a show either as these mechanics played right into the game play itself from exploration and the battle system. The games look very different from the usual Mario fare and manage to differentiate itself from the other spin off games.
Intelligent Systems packed in amazing amounts of story and plot to get through which is quite in contrast to the main games in the series. No RPG is complete without a roster of insane characters, and Paper Mario excels in that regard as well. And the best part of any Paper Mario game is its very funny dialogues and its self-referential humour that makes these games quite memorable.
Paper Mario series has a robust and action-packed battle system which makes every battle fun and really interactive. Every move requires player input that makes the turn based mechanics pop out and shine. Intelligent Systems has struck a perfect chord with RPG mechanics, and Mario’s twitch based game play. That resulted in a great mixture of both these mechanics which made Paper Mario games a dream to play!
Paper Mario series already has three games in its bag. Nintendo 64s only top-tier RPG was the original Paper Mario, which was given very high marks by critics and fans. Game Cube had Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door which is considered by many as the best in the series.
Utilizing the power of the GameCube, the game looked quite amazing and told a fine albeit humorous tale and brought in subtle changes to the overall game play. The last game came on the Wii in the shape of Super Paper Mario and is a bit divisive among the fans as the game was a 2D platformer with light RPG mechanics. The game was still good, but it just wasn’t a proper RPG.
So now after 5 years of being out of the lime light Paper Mario is set for another adventure, this time on the hand-held. This is the first time a game in the series will come out a handheld and with that it has a lot expectation attached to it.
Right now, 3DS has almost no RPGs on it, which makes Paper Mario: Sticker Star an oasis for a very barren genre on the system. The game has the same look as previous games in the series, but time round the 3D effect of the 3DS will make the visuals more interesting.
The biggest addition in the latest game is the use of stickers in battles, which will bring strategic elements into play. Earlier reviews of the game are very promising and are bound to excite the RPGs players on the 3DS! The game releases 11th November.