I figured I’d use this week’s RetroNight as an opportunity to shed light on my childhood favorite game. Paper Mario was the start of what is now a five game series with a flattened plumber as the star. This game takes Mario to the wonderful world of RPG’s on the Nintendo 64. I’m not just going to plug a favorite without giving you the reasoning behind it!
Paper Mario offers some of the most well built and charming atmospheric elements in gaming history. I know that’s a bold assertion, but hear me out. This game combines the vibrant soft and bubbly energy of the main Mario franchise, and injects it with a heavy dose of RPG complexity, character development, and uniqueness.
What makes Paper Mario so great from a mechanics perspective is the level of interactivity within a turn-based combat system. While it draws from the classic Final Fantasies of the world, it also adds its own Mario spin, allowing you to jump and swing hammers in a way that feels authentic, and very Mario-like.
The game flow is also worth acknowledging. While the story isn’t going to bring you to tears, it does set the stage for a fun journey around a beautiful world. You’ll find many high-points worth remembering for a long time, both figuratively and literally.
The visual style of this game combines the paper aesthetic of the main characters, with a shoe box diorama art style for the environments. This makes for some funny gags throughout the game, but never really manages to take you away from the fact that you are in a living and breathing Mushroom Kingdom.
If you’re looking for a way to play Paper Mario, you’re in luck. The game is available on the Wii U Virtual Console as well as the one for Wii. It’s a really good game, so if you’re into RPGs and are looking for a really strong and fun experience built from the ground up for Nintendo consoles, give it a try!