Paper Mario: The Origami King Review
Paper Mario: The Origami King is the latest entry in the long running RPG series. It is also the first of its kind to come to the Nintendo Switch. Is Paper Mario The Origami King a fun game or is it as paper thin as its hero? Time to find out once and for all. Welcome to our review of Paper Mario: The Origami King!
A Paper Mario game’s story should never be taken too seriously and that holds true of The Origami King. There are some surprising moments of seriousness, but overall, the newest Paper Mario is just as funny, goofy, and silly as the other games in the series. The writing in The Origami King is fantastic and absolutely the best thing about the game.
There will be some who are disappointed by the game’s lack of good ol’ fashioned RPG leveling up. Not everyone will like the games unconventional battle system. But if you get over what the game lacks and grapple and explore it’s unique battle system, then you’ll find a very rewarding experience waiting for you.
Players should be prepared for a challenge though: boss battles are not easy. The battle system in The Origami King is more like a puzzle strategy game than an RPG. In normal battles, the player can muddle through and win even if they don’t solve the puzzle. In boss battles though, the puzzle must be solved and that can be a bit frustrating at times. That being said, if you’ve been doing a lot of battles leading up to a boss fight, and amassed a ton of coins, you can always rely on toads for assistance.
The boss battles are the hardest part of the game generally, and can take a bit to solve. The game does offer some solutions such as a cheer button (the Y button) that offers health power ups and a line that lets you know where you are going. Cheer is helpful, some of the other clues you can get in the boss battles can be too. If you really are stuck, think about collecting one of the envelopes scattered on the game board – it might just have the hint you need to best the behemoth in front of you!
If you make it out of the boss battles, then you’ll be fine. I struggled with many of the boss battles (though one was pretty easy), but time, experience, and learning from each mistake ultimately lead me to citory. The reward for getting through these battles is pretty great as well, not only as a personal accomplishment, but for the coins you will receive as well. The Origami King does an excellent job of giving you that heightened sense of satisfaction each time you complete one of the many boss fights.
Each region in Paper Mario: The Origami King is full of secrets. There are tons of toads to fine hidden around the world waiting to be hammer flat or pulled from an unfortunate position, items, mini-games (fishing), and hidden surprises to find. The exploration in this game is wonderful. I love that Paper Mario: The Origami King has an open world instead of chapters like previous games. While previously discussed boss battles can be frustrating, they are well worth beating so that you can get to see where Mario and company get to next!
The world of Paper Mario: The Origami King is a treat to explore and it looks excellent too.
This game is yet another wonderful looking Nintendo Switch game. So much care and creatively was put into this game’s graphics: from the paper thin heroes to the Origami villains and everything in the middle. The Origami King is one of the best looking Switch games and that’s saying a lot because there are so many good looking games on this system, including Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
The music in The Origami King is pretty good too. The real standout for me was the western themed music in Sweetpaper Valley, but I enjoyed a lot of the music overall. I wouldn’t say it the best part of the game but its very good. The sound effects are great as well.
Paper Mario: The Origami King isn’t going to be everyone’s favorite of the series. It has excellent writing and graphics, but its gameplay, especially its battle system, can be a bit too challenging at times, as well as a bit repetative. If you can handle it, you will find The Origami King rewarding and the game well worth your time.
There is so much to see and do in Paper Mario: The Origami King, during your 25-30 hour adventure. If fans of the series can get past what this game isn’t (its not The Thousand Year Door), then they’ll find a game with great writing, fun things to do and see, and an experience that’s worthy of the series legacy.
Thank you to Nintendo Canada for providing a digital code for this review. Paper Mario: The Origami King is out now in retail stores and on the Nintendo Switch eshop!