The Wii-nation is eagerly awaiting the release of Super Paper Mario this Tuesday. We got our hands on the innovative RPG/platformer a bit early, and cornered X-Play's Emily Mollenkopf into telling us all about it.
She's been playing Paper Mario non-stop for a day, and here are her bleary-eyed impressions:
GamePlay: Paper Mario is a lot less like an RPG than the last game. It's more of a platformer with RPG elements, not vice versa. It's text heavy with lots of puzzles. Unlike the last game, the combat is not turn-based combat; it's conventional Mario jumping-on-heads combat.
One of the most innovative aspects of the game is the turn from 2-D to 3D space. So you'll see a 2D level, and the change into 3D reveals hidden objects and secrets. You can use it to evade enemies, but you can’t stay in 3D permanently. It works a little like swimming. Eventually, you'll lose hit-points for staying in 3D too long. Very cool.
Controls: You use the Wii-mote on its side like first Nintendo controller. It's comfortable and workable. Very little motion control, other than navigating menues and the like.
Story: Very saccharine story-line: Pure hearts and rainbows. Nintendo doesn’t seem to care about men playing their games at all. (Wait, I still want to play it, and I'm all-man. Ed.) No testorerone at all. This game will turn a he-man into a little girl, I swear. But, while the story is thin, the game's dialogue and prose is hilarious, well-written, and clever, particularly the send up of gamers. It's spot-on and very funny.
Graphics: Mario's visuals are really neat. Think geometric etch-a-sketch. Because the concept of the world is 3d vs. 2d, sparse and flat. While the graphics aren't going to blow away a polygon and shading geek, they completely serve the game itself. The graphics are stylishly minamilistic. It's not going to change perceptions of the Wii's graphics, but that's not really the point of this kind of game.
Overall: You'll want this game.
Watch X-Play on April April 16th for the full review!