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on September 28, 2011
I have always been a fan of the "Paper Mario" franchise. They all feature a very unique direction for a beloved character, consistently delivering the same miraculous top-tier quality as the rest of Mario's mainstay adventures. In some ways, Super Paper Mario continues in the unique vein of the first two Paper Mario titles (and even , Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars on the SNES, which was a clear inspiration for the whole Paper Mario series in general) while injecting some radical new directions of its own, branching off quite a bit in the process.

First of all, this is the least RPG game in the whole Paper Mario series. The one thing you must know going into Super Paper Mario is that this is a platformer, first and foremost. Gone are the dynamic, theater turn-based battles of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, and in are the jump-on-an-enemy-and-watch-him-go-poof of the classic Super Mario Bros. games. Heck, gone are most RPG elements period! The only RPG anything in this game are items, and the fact that after a certain amount of "XP" points, your characters level up and gain more health, more damage in attacks, etc. That's it. No, this is more like a classic Mario side-scrolling platformer with the Paper motif and a light dash of RPG concepts. It is mainly 2-D except for one genius addition to the game's formula, and a definite game changer, in that Mario can manipulate the reality around him and go from 2-D perspective into 3-D. What is an impenetrable wall in 2-D becomes a mere pole in 3-D that you can easily side-step. The puzzlelike quality of getting from point A to point B using the 3-D mechanic is brilliant, and the puzzles were quite excellent throughout the entire game. I was impressed. If you don't find joy in it, you have no soul. Really, the only downside to this 3-D "mode" that I can think of is that the graphics become downright sparse and ugly in 3-D. In 2-D, however, the graphics are exceptionally stylish and eye catching. The artistic direction in this game is phenomenal. World 3 is done entirely using 8-bit sprites as a throwback to the classic NES system. Places like this are so fun to adventure through.

This time around, you get to play as Mario, obviously, but Bowser, Peach, and Luigi also become members of your party that you can switch to on the fly. Each of these characters also comes with their own unique ability you will need to progress through the game. Unfortunately, only Mario can switch to 3-D, and because that is such an essential ability to make it through most areas, you end up using Mario exclusively for most of the time, lest you want to keep switching and therefore chop up the pacing. It's too bad, because the other characters are a blast to play as, but it becomes impractical to constantly keep switching to Mario to get past one part and then switch back. For one who always wanted to play as Bowser as a main character, that is my only complaint in terms of character set-up (Then again, there's always the excellent Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story ). You also get little fairy creatures that follow you called Pixls who basically give you additional powers that Mario & Co. will need to advance through some puzzles. These range from a bomb to blow away certain blocks, to a cowboy Pixl called "Slim" who makes Mario paper thin to squeeze through super skinny pathways in the walls (Seriously, how genius is that?). The Pixls are a nice added wrinkle to the already engaging puzzles. Despite being a good ol' side-scrolling platformer at heart, this game has a very surprising amount of depth in its gameplay.

Like the other entries in the Paper series, and unlike any other Mario game outside of that, Super Paper Mario actually attempts to spin a yarn in its narrative. Is it a groundbreaking, incredible story worth buying the game alone for? No, but it is pretty cute, quite heartwarming in places even, and it achieves the goal it is supposed to. I enjoyed it a lot, personally. One aspect that you will either love or hate with the story is that it makes the game extremely wordy. I cannot stress that enough. You will read a novel's worth, and then some, in dialogue from this game. That didn't bother me (as you can see by my review, I too am wordy), and I rather enjoyed the dialogue myself. In fact, the characters and their words can be incredibly hilarious in a tongue-in-cheek way. Heck, one of the main bad guys is modeled after the boss Lumbergh from Office Space. Another boss is the hilarious embodiment of all things forum-dwelling, nature photographing, sci-fi watching, video gaming, comic collecting, jaded complaining nerd. Awesome. Even my wife, who initially felt that this was a bit too much of a "kiddy" game from the graphics and music, thought the characters were very cute and eventually changed her mind about SPM because of its undeniable charm. Nintendo's localization teams are known as some of the best, and Super Paper Mario is a great testament to that.

It's not all perfect though. I really enjoyed Super Paper Mario on its own merit, but in the context of the other Paper Mario games, I have to say I much prefer Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, as well as the original Paper Mario, over this title. I miss the dynamic turn-based battles and the audience that got involved in them. I miss the decidedly much more epic storyline and dynamic characters in 1,000 year door. I miss the unique characters like Admiral Bobbery the Bob-omb, Yoshi, and Koops that join you on your quest. I miss the unique RPG system. Heck, I miss the MARIO elements in SPM. For some odd reason, the character design and even some of the "dimensions" you visit made me feel like this didn't really belong in Mario "canon" as most characters are not in any way related to Mario games. 1,000 door was full of classic Mario elements like koopas, bob-ombs, goombas, heck, even the piantas from Super Mario Sunshine are there. In contrast, Super Paper Mario has almost no recognizable Mario elements, and as a result, felt weirdly foreign to me. Sadly, any recognizable characters like Bowser's Koopa army, Goombas, etc, make only the briefest of appearances! I know Mario & the gang are supposed to be in other dimensions, but still... it felt strange. Almost through the whole game, the only characters I was completely comfortable with were Mario, Peach, Luigi, and Bowser. That's it. Mostly gone are the classic characters and baddies, replaced instead by bizarre, abstract enemies that look like weird squiggly lines and oversimplified polygonal shapes. Weird. Part of the Paper Mario series' strength was how well it channeled nostalgia and charmingly rendered familiar things from Mario's universe in that awesome Children's pop-up book motif. When so many of those things are gone, it's sort of off-putting at times. To put it simply, Super Paper Mario suffers a bit from "Doki Doki Mario" syndrome (aka the US version of "Super Mario Bros. 2." The *real* No. 2 game, known here now as "Super Mario Bros: The Lost Levels," was deemed too difficult for the US, so Nintendo of America took a totally unrelated Japanese game called "Doki Doki Panic" (also made by Mario mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto, so it's not totally unrelated to Mario, sort of) and substituted Mario and the gang for playable characters and voila! "Doki Doki Mario" was born. Bizarre, I know).

I would summarize Super Paper Mario like this: An excellent game, but very strange compared to all other Mario games. It feels like an awesome black sheep, a totally different take that feels excitedly adventurous and a wee too liberal at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I love SPM. I may have preferred Thousand-Year Door or the original as Paper Mario games, BUT Super Paper Mario makes so many radical steps conceptually that it's hardly fair to consider it in context of the others, as I have pointed out. In its own genre-busting world, it is amazing. Where else does a star-man turn Mario into a hulking 8-bit NES version of himself to stomp and destroy everything in his path? Where else do you get an item that calls a miniature army of NES versions of the character you're playing as to mimic your every move and go kamikaze? Moments like this are too cool. This game oozes its own quirky charm, and it is all the better for it. Would I recommend it? Absolutely! However, I would give you the advice of playing this with the attitude of it being a stand-alone adventure, because taking it in with the other Paper Mario games in mind might skew your expectations of what is to come. Remember that. Really, its only downside is that its "Paper Mario" title is misleading. Still, Super Paper Mario is one of thee definitive Wii games and a must-have for your library, just appreciate it for what it truly is! Now that it is at such a reasonable price, this is an even sweeter deal. Buy it, cuddle it, and enjoy its undeniable, enchanting charm.
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on September 30, 2011
When I first booted this game up, I was amazed -- the presentation was awesome, the dialogue was funny, and the unique flipping controls were very cool. I made it about halfway through the game, spurred on by the entertaining dialogue that genuinely made me laugh out loud at points. It's clear that the people who translated this game were having fun, and it has a lot of charm in that aspect. But the gameplay can't keep up.

Around halfway through the game is when I tired of it. There was too much backtracking and it became a chore to play. You'll find yourself navigating in 2D for most of the game, which is intended, but the sparsely populated 3D world doesn't offer much of interest when you do switch to it. You have to switch to it mainly to solve really simple puzzles. There's not much thought to it; if you are stuck, just switch to 3D and you'll likely find a solution. The fact that you can only switch to 3D as Mario is a disappointing design choice, because you have to switch so often. Switching involves opening up the start menu and choosing a character, which gets extremely tedious.

Another major issue I have is that a core part of the game, the RPG elements, are extremely poor, because ultimately, they don't matter. The game is easy, and you have very little to no control over your character's development. It's not like the Paper Mario RPGs in which you choose a stat to increase upon leveling. The game itself chooses "power" or "health" for you when you level. For this reason, it feels like the RPG elements are tacked on. Most of the time, you won't even notice when you level up.

Basically, this game is a poor RPG and an average platformer. Would I recommend it? It depends on what you're looking for. At the reduced price of this version, I think it's worth a buy if you like silly, fun stories. Like I said before, it really does have a great, funny translation and good dialogue. If you dislike dialogue and are mainly interested in gameplay, I would look elsewhere.
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on November 18, 2012
This was the first paper mario game i have ever played, and i absolutley loved it. Once i finished this game i played the original Paper mario and TTYD(the thousand year door). As popularity goes, the original was great, and the TYD was the best paper mario. In my opinion, TYD is tied with Super Paper mario, because of the features. This game allows you to switch to 3d and 2d anytime, which allows you to unlock puzzles and finish objectives. Also, the story really blew me out of the water, and i thought it was beatifully planned out. Many people seemed not to like this game because it was only side scroller, but that didnt bother me, i thought it was clever, for a paper mario title- as well to flip to 3d. Overall, this game is amazing, and i loved every minute. All paper mario games are wonderful, with super paper mario in the lead right next to TYD.
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on March 10, 2013
I'll say this right now, Super Paper Mario is NOT an RPG game like the previous games. I think it's odd to slap the Paper Mario title on the game and then make it seem like it's an RPG, but of course, the trailers showed it wasn't an RPG at all. It's like it was trying to combine an RPG and a platformer and you get this weird game that doesn't fit into either category. So expect lots of talking and clicking through dialogue.

Super Paper Mario is not known for its gameplay alas. Rather it's known for its compelling story. The story seems to be similar to the first two games. Peach is kidnapped and the Mario brother assume that Bowser the one to kidnap her...only when they get there, Bowser reveals that he was going to but missed her. It turns out Peach was kidnapped by a mysterious figure named Count Bleck. Count Bleck then decides to kidnap Bowser, his henchman and Luigi leaving Mario in a place called Flipside where he's awoken up by a pixl named Tippi. Mario soon learns that Count Bleck's goal is to destroy everything with the Void that was written in the Dark Prognosticus and that the Light Prognosticus was made to counter the end of the world. To do this, he must find the Pure Hearts of every world.

Meanwhile, Count Bleck forces Bowser and Peach into a marriage to start the end of the world as a forced marriage with no love (on one side) means the end. Peach later escapes after the marriage and joins Mario in the battle to collect the Pure Hearts (thus setting her off in this game as an action girl and the one that needs saving is Luigi). Bowser would soon escape and join Mario and Peach to get back at Count Bleck while Luigi is...

The story is noticeably darker because Count Bleck's goal is the destruction of the universe while previous villains like Bowser was just selfish and wanted Peach or the Shadow Queen being an evil monarch that could only be released with the right vessel and stands out by being the most sympathetic villain while trying to complete his goal. The story is also not afraid to explore all the different types of love. The power of love is the essential theme in this series whether it's romantic love, platonic love, unrequited love, family love, etc. In fact, all the villains are driven by love. Either for the affection of someone, the love of attention or the love of destruction (in Dimentio's case, he would be lust for destruction instead of love).

Which reminds me, the villains are the best part of Super Paper Mario. All have very good backstories. While Count Bleck's backstory is fleshed out for every chapter completed, the other characters have to do sidequests in order to learn about their motivation for joining Count Bleck...and of course, you get creepy implications as a result. Still Mimi and Dimentio are still the craziest Mario villains ever created. Dimentio is like the Joker of the franchise and that says something especially with how he's probably the villain with the highest kill count in the franchise.

And I swear this game is the main reason why I always assumed that Mario and Luigi weren't as close as the creator would like us to believe. With this game and Smash Brothers Brawl though, I see a lot of self loathing on Luigi's part. But I disgrace.

The game is relatively easier than the previous two given it's not an RPG. As a result, it's easy to abuse the level up system (which is set instead of you choosing what you want it to be). You're limited to just jumping and using items which limits your attack method and many of the stages is getting from point A to point B instead of an open area. (Then again it's a flip side/flop side). Mario can switch between 2D and 3D to get past certain obstacles but other than that, its not that useful in boss battles where characters like Dimentio love to follow you around. Peach's special ability is being able to use her parasol as a shield from above and was made to be easy to handle Mimi in battle. Bowser has the special ability of doing more damage and being able to use his flames (which is very broken in comparison) and while you don't get Luigi until near the end of the game, he jumps higher...and that's honestly it. Why Luigi isn't available until the end is part of the plot, but seriously, I like what this game did for Luigi in terms of expanding his personality and giving a lot of implications for fanfiction writers and other people to work with because Brawl took this personality and ran away with it.

Overall, this game is great...despite it not being an RPG so while the game is easier, I rated it high because of the wonderful story of love and betrayal making it the darkest Mario game up to date. I swear the things this game gets away with is amazing and that's only because of its cute graphics.
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on December 31, 2011
I really enjoyed Paper Mario for the Game Cube so I got this for the Wii as a Christmas gift. I was a bit disappointed in this game. It's more of a side scroller action game rather than an RPG, like the GC version was. Though the game is good, there were several things that really annoyed me

The bad:
1. It's good to have some dialogue in a good video game, but Super Paper Mario over does it. You have cut scenes between cut scenes, with a short cut scene in between that. All the reading got on my nerves and I found myself just laying back hitting the buttons just to get it over with, without reading what was going on. Especially in world 7. The end of world 7 was ridiculous. "blah blah blah blah blah blah blah" I'm thinking when are they going to shut up? I hated world 7. It was annoying, long, and didn't even fit the natural line of the game. world 6 is kinda dark and gloomy. Dark colors, creepy atmosphere and then all of a sudden you're in world 7 with fluffy clouds, cute little angel like things and god awful background music. World 7 seemed to drag on and on. I hated it. When you finally get through this level, after the tormenting long dialogue, you go to the next Chapter, 8. Which is also dark, gloomy and black. World 7 just didn't fit the game at all. World 8 sucks. Enemies pop out of nowhere, enemies that are difficult to avoid. Cheap shots, etc.

2. GC version, the music was really cool. Kinda catchy. Not in this one. SPM is a bunch of random goofy sounds put together and was rather obnoxious (especially the awful level 7). Yeah.... didn't like the music. World 2 and 6 weren't bad soundtracks.

3. Endless walking and wandering around. Before you can proceed to the next Chapter of the game, you have to find what is called a "Heart Pillar", which can be confusing. You find yourself walking around town, the outskirts of town, above the town, under the town and everywhere else, trying to find the stupid pillar. There are no clues as to where the next heart pillar is, so you find yourself wandering around the town of Flipside without any direction. And it gets worse in the later chapters of the game, because not only do you have the town of Flipside, but you also have Flopside. And sections of the game called "Underwhere" and "Overthere" and it turns into this jumbled confusing MESS because all the names and places are so similar so it's very difficult to find your way around, especially since Flopside is a mirror of Flipside. So be prepared to waste time just roaming around, flipping into 3D and back, falling over edges and everything else trying to find the next part of the game.

4. Controls kinda suck. I'm not saying the controls are BAD, but it has it's flaws. There seems to be a slight delay from the time you hit the button to the time you jump. 3D mode can be confusing because it's hard to tell exactly where you are. For instance, if you are trying to hit a block, it's difficult to tell whether you are under the block or not. If you have to jump over a pit, it's hard to tell where the pit starts and ends so you end up falling down the hole.

5. It's action. Not RPG.

6. Too repetitive. It would have been nice to be able to travel to different towns, meet different people and do some more interesting side quests. But you're pretty much stuck in the same area throughout the whole game. It gets boring after awhile because there's nothing new to see in town.

Aside from all that, the game wasn't terrible. It had it's good things. The characters were charming and I found myself laughing at much of some of the dialogue (the dialogue I actually payed attention to. Very creative. You have to stop and wonder, "What were they smoking when they made this game??? This is your brain on drugs." I especially enjoyed playing as Bowser. He was the best character to play, his dialogue was funny and he's just awesome. The only character that can breathe fire as a method of attack. Peach can block with her umbrella but it's pretty useless IMO. There probably could have been more interaction from the pixl fairies. With the exception of Tippi, the others just seem to just "hang out".

If there's one thing I don't like, is a short game. This one wasn't too terribly short. I'm on my 4th day playing and have about 20 hours of play time into it, but I haven't finished it yet. I'm on Chapter 8 so I'm nearing the end. The game would be longer if you buy the treasure maps, find the treasures and do the quests for some extra treasure, but the treasures just aren't worth it. A card, mushroom, eh. Nothing important. But it's a little something extra if you really want to waste your time with it.

The game was OK, but I really expected more from it.
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on June 10, 2014
I am very much disappointed by this game. In my opinion, it shouldn't be called Paper Mario, as it is nothing like the previous Paper Mario games. Instead of potentially being a great successor to the superb Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, Nintendo decided to drop the RPG elements that made the aforementioned game great. The combat system eschews the turn-based style for real time, and there is no customization aside from whether or not you want to purchase XP. In short, I'd call this an adventure game with platforming and puzzle elements. That being said, the storyline pales in comparison to the TYD, and may even sink below the original Paper Mario. The chapters are short and pretty much follow the same formula as the last. The controls are rigid and the "flipping" gimmick only serves to annoy me; it's also the "go to" for any hidden objective. Aesthetically, the landscapes are boring looking when you recall the 3D paper maché look of the previous games, and there aren't any hidden areas not required to get through the chapter. The characters/creatures are boring/incredibly stupid looking. The game just seems to roll along without any real difficulty or cunning, and any difficult part is from game design, which gets quite frustrating. In short, the game has very few redeeming qualities. With this, Nintendo tries to mask it's mediocrity with an "innovative/technology advanced" subject matter and look, typical of them during the Wii era, but fall short. Very, very short.
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on September 6, 2011
For me, nothing beats a Mario game. I started with the original, and have been playing pretty much all of them since. I love the Mario Galaxy games, and I like this one equally as much. For those of you who might feel like the artwork is too childish, as some of my friends have pointed out, I can guarantee that once you start playing, you will forget about all of that. The game is fantastic and rivals the best of the Mario games, IMHO. So if you have been unwilling to pull the trigger on this game due to a higher price, now is your chance to dive into the game for a cheaper price and have unlimited number of hours of fun. The game has high replay value, just like any other Mario game. I have played it through 10+ times already, which is pretty high for a Wii game for me. Though I still never tire of it. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I do!
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on April 9, 2013
I am a Mario fanatic. I love nearly all the super Mario bros games on all the different systems. However, this particular game I do not much care for. It's slow, the subtitles seem to me, to be never ending, and to boot it's just kind of boring to play. Obviously there are a lot of other people who feel differently. So don't only take my word.
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on November 10, 2012
Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door was one of my earliest fondest game memories. It also is one of the many games along with other golden titles such as Metorid Prime, Animal Crossing, Wind Waker, Tales of Symphonia, Super Smash Bros melee, and maybe Mario Sunshine that make me think the GameCube is one of the greatest game systems ever. The whole game was interesting and charming and unforgettable. Super Paper Mario was long on my list of games to buy but I had never gotten around to it till now. But I had heard from various places it was a odd game and not as good as the first two Paper Marios. So I was not expecting much.
I had my doubts about a more platforming style game. No turn based battles and a flat world seemed unappetizing for Paper Mario. But it worked well although I am glad thing will return to normal in Sticker Star. The Worlds I thought would be less interesting in 2D but I found they were all relatively interesting. I absolutely loved the town Flipside. I had so many fun hours there just exploring or just walking around for business. Flopside was also good yet I couldn't decide if It was good doubling the size of the town only to have it mirrored. Maybe a whole new designed town would have been better? It was no real problem though. The worlds were all good. Some might have been better in 3D and some I loved. After completing the first chapter I wasn't too terribly impressed but the second chapter was fabulous. It was all a big mystery and mimi was a fabulous villain. The fifth and seventh were also awesome. I love those Cragons!
I a lot had fun fooling around with the cooking. I have done quite a few of the recipes but am still missing too many disks to do them all. The Story was pretty good. It didn't knock my socks off but it was great.

Flipping was an interesting mechanism but it was also a down side of the game. It made some interesting puzzles and added depth to the world. But every time you filp you go from a gorgeously decorated 2d world to a rather plain 3d world. If you can even call it a world. It is a little slab of a world. But that is only a small offense as you hardly stay in the 3d space. Except you must use it a lot. And doing anything when flipped is a lot harder. Flipping excessively just to find secret things gives a headache. So as a rule I flip only when I am compelled to do so. It worked for me as I have beat the game. The Third chapter was really rather boring. The castle at the end was ok but I was not impressed with the rest. The sixth chapter also wasn't that great. It was ok but that is all. And Flopside's music wasn't as good as Flipside's.

This game may be flawed, but man was it a good experience. Not as good as The Thousand Year Door but close. It combined with Galaxy and Skyward Sword makes the wii worth having. In sort it is one of the best games of its generation.
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on March 27, 2012
If you've played the other Paper Mario games, you'd know what made 'em great. Some games do well with change, while others shouldn't be tampered with since there's nothing wrong with them. No one was complaining about how bored they were of Paper Mario's gameplay so WHY OH WHY did Nintendo go and interfere with such powerful forces? This game would have hit the Hall of Fame if not for ONE THING. The battle style. What happened to Paper Mario's RPG attack-turned-base battle sequence?! IT'S GONE. Every Mario game is spent jumping on things, if I wanted to jump on things some more, I'd play over Mario Galaxy. Paper Mario was the get away from all that, something new to mix it up every once in a while. But noooo,they went and made this a "jump-on-head" game to, so now it doesn't feel ALL THAT special or different from any of the others except for being flat and flipping the screen. The RPG style was what set Paper Mario apart in the first place! Not the 2D graphics for crying out loud. Boy oh boy did they mess up. This game has an epic story, epic graphics, epic comedy, an epic cast, epic music. Heck the whole flip-the-world-upside down thing was working! It was all there, it was suppose to be perfect. Then I realized I jumped on an enemy's head and he just died. I was like "whaaaaa??". I believe Nintendo realized this because the new Paper Mario for the 3DS has gone back to the old style. Thank god they only tried this once.
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