Well, it’s finally here. After much speculation about a new Paper Mario game for the Nintendo Switch, Paper Mario: The Origami King has now been announced for the console. Featuring a new storyline where Mario faces off against Olly, the titular Origami King, the game is set to release worldwide on July 7th.
Here’s the debut trailer for the new game:
As well as a whole slew of screenshots, artwork and box art pics showing off even more of the title:
So what do we think of it? Is it the long awaited return to form the Paper Mario series needs right now/
Well to be honest, we’re not sure. The trailer could very easily cut both ways.
On the one hand, the battle setup looks worryingly Sticker Star/Color Splash inspired, and the art style overall shares more in common with those than the older games. Add this to the generic NPCs we’re seeing as characters, and the heavy presence of familiar Mario foes in the trailer, and there’s a definite Sticker Star vibe to it overall.
At the same time though, the very title makes us optimistic in of it itself. Why? Because as the trailer shows, the main antagonist isn’t Bowser this time around. No, it’s a brand villain, one that presumably goes by the name of the ‘Origami King’.
And this guy has a very different plan up his sleeve compared to the Koopa King. Instead of kidnapping Peach, he corrupts her and turns her to his side, before taking over the kingdom. That’s a much more interesting setup than the one we got in Sticker Star or Color Splash, and opens the door to a lot of new characters and enemies making their debut here.
Including the return of Toads and other NPCs with actual design differences between them. Such as this Asian looking guy who rides with you on a canoe through a Japan/China inspired area:
Or this Toad with an explorer hat and gear:
Who in our eyes, looks suspiciously like a partner from the earlier games. Familiar species + unique design and personality? Seems like a check to us.
If it turns out characters like this actually help you navigate the world or appear in battles, then that’ll be a huge step up too.
Add this to the unique settings we see there, the new origami inspired moveset (like using long arms to pull down walls and obstacles) and the presence of Bowser as a helpful NPC, and there’s a lot promise here overall.
So we’ll stay hopeful for the time being. The trailer makes the game look a lot better than Sticker Star and Color Splash before it, and the injection of new locales, characters and ideas to the series definitely makes it seem like an attempted return to form.
However, what do you think? Are you hopeful that Paper Mario: The Origami King might be the franchise revival Paper Mario needs? Or do you feel like the Sticker Star esque aesthetics and potentially questionable battle system might hold it back?
Tell us your thoughts on the matter in the comments below, or over on the Gaming Latest forums today!