Paper Mario. Man, there’s a franchise that’s seen better times. I remember the good ol’ days. The days when we were treated to those hilarious commercials for the original Nintendo 64 game that started it all. You don’t remember it? It featured a cardboard cutout of our favorite plumber, along with Princess Peach. It very much took the “paper” aspect of the game literally, as did the actual game, and it made for all sorts of fun and unexpected humor.
Check out the original commercial below.
But what I didn’t expect at the time was that the game would be damn amazing. It turned out to be a fantastic JRPG, complete with turn-based combat, level-ups, and an intricate (yet charmingly simple) story. In an era where turn-based RPGs were all the rage, it managed to stand out as one of the few available on the Nintendo 64, and therefore held a warm place in many hearts.
Nintendo leveled up the franchise with Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door, a wonderful evolution in the franchise. But when the Wii came along, things went downhill. Super Paper Mario was a quirky little platformer, but it had little to no RPG elements. This trend continued with Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Paper Mario: Color Splash. Don’t get me wrong…these weren’t terrible games. They were fine, but they didn’t scratch that Mario RPG itch that gamers fell in love with with the original game.
The real sad thing here is that the non-RPG Paper Mario games had officially outnumbered the RPG ones, which is a damn shame. With this happening, it was increasingly hard to get excited about Paper Mario rumors. After all, Nintendo seems to be doing just well capitalizing on the more platforming-based ones. There’d be no hope in getting worked up over the franchise potentially returning to its origins.
Well, that’s exactly one big rumor. As we reported earlier in the week, Paper Mario is joining a long list of rumored Mario games. But according to Venture Beat, the new game will represent a return to the franchise roots. In other words, it’ll be leaning closers to the Nintendo 64 and Gamecube games, “leaving behind the baggage of more forgettable entries on 3DS and Wii U.”
As a fan of those original games, I couldn’t be happier. The charm of this franchise, to me, lay in its more RPG-esque mechanics. Plus it helped to further set it apart from the other more platform-y Mario games. While we can’t confirm nor deny this rumor on our end, this does fall in line with what the Nintendo Switch has offered.
More than ever, we’re seeing it gearing up to be one hell of a JRPG machine. Plus, it represents, in almost every case, a culmination of what fans have always wanted from all of their biggest franchises — Pokémon aside, of course.
What do you think of this latest Paper Mario rumor? Let us know your thoughts down below!
LRM Online contributor and active Army soldier Kyle Malone needs your help. CLICK HERE to lend a hand to the cause!
Have you checked out LRM Online’s official podcast feed yet The LRM Online Podcast Network? This includes our flagship podcast Los Fanboys, our premiere podcast Breaking Geek Radio: The Podcast, GeekScholars Movie News, and our morning show LRMornings. Check it out by listening below. It’s also available on all your favorite podcast apps!
SOURCE: Venture Beat