A Look Back at Super Paper Mario
Before Paper Mario: Color Splash, Super Paper Mario on the Wii was probably the most divisive game in the Paper Mario series. For many fans, it’s on one side or the other of a turning point in the series: either the last great Paper Mario game, or the point where the series started to go downhill.
What is it about Super Paper Mario that causes such controversy?
The first two Paper Mario games were turn-based RPGs. Super Paper Mario, however, was an action RPG, with gameplay more akin to a sidescrolling platformer than the previous games in the series. It had four playable characters, each with different abilities, such as Mario’s ability to “flip” between 2D and 3D to navigate certain areas.
Not everyone liked the change in gameplay, but Super Paper Mario was still an RPG… and it still had the heart of a Paper Mario game.
While the two most recent Paper Mario games have been criticized for their lack of a story, Super Paper Mario had quite possibly the best and most epic plot in the series so far. Mario’s quest to stop the evil Count Bleck from destroying the universe with the power of the Chaos Heart is filled with twists and unexpectedly dark moments, although a handful of players felt there was a bit too much story.
Of course, the plot alone isn’t enough without a strong cast to carry it…
Super Paper Mario dropped traditional partners in favor of Pixls, fairy-like characters who give you new abilities, and they unfortunately weren’t as well-developed as the partners of the first two Paper Mario games. On the other hand, Super Paper Mario had some of the most memorable villains of the series. Count Bleck? Dimentio? And who could ever forget Mimi’s transformation scene?
Even without traditional partners, something fans are still waiting to see return, Super Paper Mario had a strong cast of characters.
Super Paper Mario was significantly different from Paper Mario and The Thousand-Year Door, but it was a good RPG in its own right. Personally, I would love to see a Super Paper Mario successor in the future, with the same level of storytelling.
What are your thoughts on this controversial entry in the Paper Mario series?