Mario is probably Nintendo’s most famous game character, but we’re about to get introduced to the plumber’s new makeover — origami. As the Japanese video game company’s first Mario game of the year, Paper Mario: The Origami King is an extension of the beloved Paper Mario series, though now they’re bringing an origami theme and look into the fold, to be launched 17 July.
The Nintendo Switch console is currently seeing a worldwide scarcity, thanks to a surge of gamers wanting to keep entertained during lockdown, though the expected popularity of this new title will probably start a new frenzy of purchases. Existing Switch owners and those lucky enough to snag a console can rejoice though.
Here, the artwork is fresh and intuitive, especially when we see familiar characters and landscapes rendered in 3-D delight, while still honouring the traditional Japanese craft of paper folding, and with a unique tactile feel to the effects.
The story goes like this: there’s now a new threat to the Mushroom Kingdom — King Olly, who has predictably seized Princess Peach’s entire castle and recruited Bowser’s army to protect his claim to the throne.
You’ll be playing hero and protagonist Mario on his journey to free the castle, and along the way, join forces with King Olly’s sister, Olivia, and — plot twist — even have to form an uneasy alliance with arch nemesis Bowser in order to defeat origami Folded Soldiers and more.
As for gameplay, we’re told that this one’s a new ring-based battle system “that challenges you to strategically line up enemies to maximise damage”, making it a cross between turn-based titles and the RPG elements of the previous titles.
Out of battle, Mario also has a new folding power: a 1,000-Fold Arms ability that extends his arms to interact with the landscape, “by “stretching out and pulling, peeling and revealing new locations, helping you to solve puzzles and uncover unexpected surprises”. Talk about a power up!