Paper Mario and the Origami King is out on the Nintendo Switch. I’ve already played the game and to be honest … I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed it for a while, but it really seems like Nintendo was the least ambitious in the class and went for the ‘a pass is a pass’ mentality. Soon I got bored with the fighting.
Why Paper Mario is getting boring
The dialogues were top-notch, there’s a lot to explore, but beyond that, it often feels like Nintendo just played it safe. Recently I reviewed Paper Mario: The Origami Kingdom for a Dutch games website I write for as a freelancer. I gave the title a 6.5/10. Why? Because I think Nintendo has not listened enough to their fans and just delivered another title most Nintendo gamers never asked for. It just missed passion. It just felt like the creators got the job to deliver ‘yet another Paper Mario’ without wanting to listen to critics.
The game lacks the creativity and exciting battles a lot of indie games offer. Fortunately, Nintendo does not have a monopoly on games in which you play a piece of paper. Since Nintendo does not take the step to innovate this game series, we looked for projects that did what Nintendon’t. There are a lot of indie games out there that are very similar in concept to the paper-thin Mario, but are slightly different. All of them attract the audience that used to love the Paper Mario games, before they got bored.
Bug fables does what Paper Mario doesn’t
A game that is highly appreciated by many indie game players is Bug Fables. Nintendo gamers can even find it in the eShop! The game has been promoted as a Paper Mario successor, and for many, the game has been labeled as better than anything Nintendo has released in recent years. Although it takes some getting used to going through this adventure with a few bugs (a bee, beetle, and a moth), it would be the story, characters with depth, and also an interesting combat system that keep you busy for a long while.
The gameplay I have seen so far gave me the impression that the developers behind Bug Fables are very good in worldbuilding and delivering a battle system with many interactions between the protagonists. The battle system offered a lot of interesting elements that Paper Mario fans would have welcomed in The Origami King. This adventure offers a lot more strategic elements and battles that are more interactive. There is always something to do, even if it is not your turn in the turn-based battles! Each attack asks a different approach and you can choose whoever attacks and defences your team.
I have not completed this game yet, but I am impressed by what I have seen so far. The game is definitely a title on my enormous backlog, which i should finish soon. When I combine my first impression with the many reviews I have seen of this game, this game seems too much more interesting than what Paper Mario offered me.
Heroland as a Paper Mario successor
Also Heroland is a video game that is heavily inspired by Nintendo’s paper adventures. Hero Land is an RPG that is serious at the core but involves a lot of humor. This is something we can also find in any Paper Mario game released so far. In Heroland your not Mario, but just a random guy who tries to make some money as a tour guide. As a tour guide, your job is to guide some part-time heroes safely through the theme park’s dungeons. It seems like there is a deep and funny story behind the charming Heroland world.
Heroland’s fighting system is slightly different from normal role-playing games. It lets you tactically assemble your team of visitors. You can also equip them with different weapons based on the monsters that are coming. Here is also listened to the old guard of Paper Mario gamers. Where Paper Mario battles remain very basic, Heroland is a bit more extensive. The game got bought by a lot of people who became sick of waiting for Nintendo to release a classic Paper Mario battles.
Now people hope to see more Paper Mario inspired indie games like Heroland and have them released on Switch. Hero Land got released on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Microsoft Windows.
Solo developer delivers Scrap Story
The last title that might give the creators of Paper Mario some inspiration to improve their next paper-thin adventure is Scrap Story. This game is heavily inspired by the classical Paper Mario title Paper Mario and The Thousand Years Door. This paper styled game lets you discover a world full of fruit. You have to find as many fruits as possible to become happy. You have to search for these fruits in a lovely paper-thin world.
The videogame is being developed by a solo developer, who released a PC demo on Itch.io. It is impressive what a solo developer can do things Nintendo works on with a whole team. The game will be released in the first quarter of 2021. Currently, it is in an early stage of development and the demo only shows a small part of this very interesting paper game. Still, I definitely liked what I have seen so far.
I only played a small part in the demo yet, but based on it I think this can turn out to be a really enjoyable indie title. Even the demo was more likable than what I have seen during my whole playthrough of The Origami King. I think it would work best on the console, but currently, it is in development for PC and that turns out great anyway. All the papercraft is very lovely and Nintendo could definitely learn a lot from this passionate and hard-working solo developer. I can not wait to play the full and polished final game.
More indies that do what Nintendon’t
There are other indie titles that do things that Nintendo AAA titles don’t. Many titles show that the project is being worked on with great passion. At Nintendo it seems as if Paper Mario: The Origami King has just stepped out to just release a Paper Mario title. It is this passion that distinguishes the indie developers and ensures that people massively hope for more indie Paper Mario successors.
Especially on the Nintendo Switch they could do very well! Many gamers who hope for a better Paper Mario experience, own that console. I want to play the three titles I mentioned earlier on the Switch!