Title: Super Paper Mario
Platform: Nintendo Wii
Release Date: April 9, 2007 (US)
Developer: Intelligent Systems
My Rating: Somewhere between a 2 and a 3.
Really, don't play this game.
I was very excited for Super Paper Mario when I first purchased it. I had just got my Wii. While I had my eyes on other games, Super Paper Mario was the vote that made the cut with the family. I love Mario though and have never played the original Paper Mario, so I was very excite to play it...
...that is, until I turned it on. Super Paper Mario's biggest problem was apparent from the very first screen. There was too much talk; not enough action. As a RPG/Platformer crossover, you do expect a fair amount of story. However, when a game consists of more reading than playing, there is a serious balance issue. This shows even more when the player actually stops and read the story. A great story can be very fun to read; however, the story in Super Paper Mario was, well, paper-thin. It was clearly geared towards a younger audience, but I have a hard time believing that the kids would have much more interest than I did.
It is possible for me to see past the story, even if my button mashing finger does get tired of mashing the button. Unfortunately, I had a hard time finding much of worth in the actual game. Want to play through all of Super Mario Paper? Follow this pattern: explore the new area in 2D, be sure to talk to everybody, flip, explore the area in "3D", be sure to talk to everybody, defeat large monster, click through pages and pages of text, repeat.
If that is not enough to keep you away, let us discuss some of the "mechanics" in Super Paper Mario. First, the 2D to "3D" flip. Notice I put "3D" in quotation marks. This is because of the sprites in Super Paper Mario are just that, sprites. All of the character sprites, good guys or bad, are done in 2D. There is little 3D modeling. Much of the 3D is actually rather flat. Sure, you can move in 4 directions instead of 2, but the extra dimension of movement is very narrow. Moving on, you would think there was not much to be able to be lost in Super Mario Paper; however, you will spend an incredible amount of time circling the levels trying to figure out what to do. Sometimes, you are supposed to walk through a solid wall, with absolutely no clue that this is what you are supposed to do. At another time, my personal favorite to hate, you advance in a level by hitting 3 coin boxes in a specific order. Later in the same level, you come to another set of 3 coin boxes that you also must hit in a specific order. Unfortunately, the order is a combination of 20-something different hits. You only find the combination by venturing back to the beginning of the level and talking to a specific guy. Sure, he informs you that you must write it down, but really?
All in all, I would say the graphics are not what you would expect; even from a Wii game. The gameplay is simply not fun. The story is worse than the gameplay. I am not sure who would want to play this game. Little kids will be turned off by nonstop reading, as will adults. Those who get past the reading probably will not make it past the constant searching for nothing. By the way, I did not give fair mention to all of the extra content. Why did they even bother? I could not imagine anybody that felt obligated to beat the game would want to waste more time with it.