Paper Mario: The Origami King for Nintendo Switch review

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Paper Mario: The Origami King review: This brand new Nintendo Switch game is ideal for family-friendly fun

Paper Mario: The Origami King was released by Nintendo and Intelligent Systems on Nintendo Switch on July 17, 2020 and unfolds an all-new chapter in the Paper Mario franchise.

The fifth instalment of the platformer RPG series sees the Mushroom Kingdom ravaged by origami menace King Olly and his army of Folded Soldiers, who have transformed Princess Peach into origami, stolen the castle, and sealed it with paper streamers.

The £49.99 Nintendo Switch game follows the traditional Rescue-Princess Peach-plot as you explore distinct areas (familiar and new) and journey across the land. 

Paper Mario: The Origami King was released on Nintendo Switch on July 17, 2020 and unfolds an all new chapter in the Paper Mario series

From enchanted forests to scorching deserts and even sailing the high seas, join Mario and his companion Olivia as they master new magical powers. You’ll also team up with unlikely allies such as Bowser to help save the world and defeat the Origami King. 

The Paper Mario franchise is renowned for its sharp self-aware humour, wonderfully weird characters and wacky story plots, and this new addition doesn’t disappoint. You’ll be chuckling away to paper-puns and fighting bosses such as giant pencils, as well as completing amusing puzzle-filled quests.

The gameplay is smooth and fluid and the graphics showcase Nintendo’s distinct charming style. I was also delighted when Mario started to nod off and snore when I shortly left the game in standby. 

From what I’ve played so far, Paper Mario: The Origami King is a whimsical game filled with vibrant colours and witty characters. The inventive yet silly (in a good way) puzzles and battles are fun and engaging. Plus, as someone who loves to listen to relaxing Nintendo music, the soundtrack is, quite literally, music to my ears.  

It utilises the Nintendo Switch‘s motion controls for special moves such as the 1,000 Fold Arms, but you can choose to switch these off in the options and use the analog sticks instead.

By equipping the hammer and pressing B, you can collect rainbow-coloured confetti from surrounding cardboard trees and tissue paper flowers. Use the confetti by pressing ZR to repair the damage caused by the Folded Soldiers and giant Papier-mâché Goombas. By repairing these holes, you’ll be rewarded with coins.

Paper Mario: The Origami King sees Mario team up with unlikely allies such as Bowser to help save the world and defeat King Olly

Paper Mario: The Origami King sees Mario team up with unlikely allies such as Bowser to help save the world and defeat King Olly

You can also rescue hidden Toads trapped in all sorts of predicaments, who will help cheer you on in battle to defeat enemies. There are also a number of collectables peppered throughout the game, some of which might require special moves or your puzzle-solving skills to reach.

Paper Mario: The Origami King‘s new ring-based battle system steers away from the traditional RPG system and instead opts for puzzle-like combat, which sees Mario positioned in the centre of a giant circle with scattered enemies around him.

You must line up enemies before the time runs out by rotating and/or sliding the lines. You’ll get an attack boost if you achieve the ‘perfect lineup’. Select an appropriate weapon and press A at the right time during your attack to maximise damage. 

Paper Mario: The Origami King 's new ring-based battle system steers away from the traditional RPG system and instead opts for puzzle-like combat

Paper Mario: The Origami King ‘s new ring-based battle system steers away from the traditional RPG system and instead opts for puzzle-like combat

This new combat system is likely to divide gamers, particularly fans of the traditional RPG system in the first two Paper Mario games on N64 and Gamecube, as battling does not result in gaining experience to level up Mario’s strength or health. The only reward you’ll get for winning a battle is coins.

Newcomers to the franchise or younger players might however find this battle system fun and engaging. Whichever side of the fence you stand on, the battle system can still put both your tactical thinking and puzzle solving skills to the test. 

As someone who is used to playing RPGs with a level grinding aspect, it is a little disappointing that this has been removed from the gameplay, but it doesn’t affect my love for this game. 

Overall Paper Mario: The Origami King is a delightful game filled with family-friendly plots, sharp humour, engaging puzzles, and a wonderful world to explore. 

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