Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Super Paper Mario - A New Reason to Own the Wii

Super Paper Mario was once a Gamecube game, like many other of the "to-come" games on the Wii's release list. We're still waiting on Kirby's new platformer, Donkey Kong's Bongo Flying Game, and perhaps even that Pennant Chase Baseball that disappeared (since First Party companies can still use MLB rights to make a game, just not any other 3rd Parties aside from 2K). But regardless of its heritage, there's a ton to like about Super Paper Mario. Here's my early impressions of the game.

It’s hard to explain… in fact I’m not even sure how to classify SPM. It’s part platformer, part RPG, and part adventure. In my hour and a half last night though there were a few things that stood out to me. I’ll have to wait a bit before giving my final "verdict" but initial impressions are good. Here's 3 main reasons I'm totally digging the plumber's new adventure.

1.) The art style. It’s something you simple don’t see. And veritable proof that great graphics come from art, not polygons.

2.) The flipping from 2-D to 3-D mechanic adds a whole new dimension to a classic style of Mario play. If you’re stuck, you press A, flip the world, and find your way around the obstacle. For instance, at one point I went down a warp tube and found myself confronted by about 6 Whomps moving way too fast to run under safely. Press A and *POOF*, just waltz right on behind them.

3.) The writing. I’m not sure who does the localization for this game, but whoever it does deserves a hearty pat on the back. The dialog is some seriously funny stuff, ranging from old-Nintendo throwbacks to just plain silly banter like a Scottish badguy referring to fighting as "Chunking". IE – "I’m going to CHUNK you!" Freakin’ goldmine of goofy quotes it is.
It’s slow at 1st, as you go through the typical RPG "Introduction" story part, but after about 10 minutes of animated story (made bearable by said funniness), you’re on your way jumping and stomping. There are power ups, like in any Mario game. You have hitpoints and you use Mushrooms to restore hitpoints, not grow big. But there’s a power-up (star maybe?) that makes you HUGE, but not just a big Paper Mario, I’m talking the actual pixilated Mario from the 80s taking up the whole screen, and you just mow through the levels, busting through blocks, enemies, and even tubes. Very cool looking stuff.

All in all, it’s probably one of the few reasons to have a Wii right now, but I won’t "score" it till later. Early indications are that the reviews are right though. It’s a keeper.


Anonymous said...

I <3 Mario! I can't wait until we get a Wii... you know once we can find one!

Bildo said...

Aside from Zelda, Adele, this one's the game to pick up. :) I was starting to think I should have got my 360 1st and my Wii this fall (that's saying A LOT from a Nintendo fanboy), but Mario reminds me why I was there at midnight to get my Wii. Nothing beats a solid Nintendo game. :)