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Super Paper Mario Review

It's a Wii Mario! Do you see what we did there? How original!

This is an important title for the moustachioed maestro. As the first 'proper' Mario title on the Wii, Super Paper Mario is the game Mario fans have all been waiting for, and should it fail to deliver, it's going to be a blow that will take a while to recover from.

Thankfully, for the most part, these concerns aren't an issue. As an overall package, Super Paper Mario is a clever, colourful, funny title that Mario fans will lap up with joy. However, there are still a few niggles that are annoying enough to potentially become an issue.

Before looking at these though, let's focus on the good points, of which there are thankfully many. First and foremost, the game looks incredible from start to finish. From the huge crowd scene in the intro sequence, to the way the game 'draws in' each level before starting, to the fantastically clever and much-hyped '2D to 3D' ability, everything is so artistically stylish that you'll be tempted to pause the game at times and place a picture frame around your telly.

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You're Having A Laugh!

Ultimately though, it's not the graphics that'll win you over, it's the dialogue. Simply put, Super Paper Mario has one of the wittiest and funniest scripts you'll ever come across in a game. It's one of the most referential games we've ever played and it's constantly poking fun at itself, its characters, other games and even other gamers, the key example of this being the level set in the mansion of a giant frog named Francis who happens to be a huge gaming geek. Francis loves collecting anime video tapes, has programmed robots to fetch him his latest manga issues, and loves going on the internet to criticise games he's never played (a clever little dig at the online anti-Nintendo fanboys there), and his level is the clear highlight of the game for any hardcore gamers who will get all the in-jokes.

As a result of this witty dialogue, the game feels more like the Mario & Luigi games on the DS and GBA in terms of comedy. Whether it's Mario being told he has a "level 5 moustache" or some Goombas asking Bowser to join Mario and Peach to save the day, whereas in reality they just want him out of the castle so they can have a party, the whole game will have you chuckling like a loon throughout its 20-or-so hour duration.

There are also heaps of old-school Mario references for die-hard Nintendo fans, such as the Starman which turns your character into a huge 2D sprite, or the stage which perfectly replicates World 1-2 of Super Mario Bros. The game feels more like a celebration of all things Mario, and it's a treat to play at times.

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Of course, a funny and nostalgic game's no use if it plays like a dog, so thankfully there aren't too many problems in this area either, mainly thanks to the countless innovative gameplay twists thrown into the mix. Among the most initially impressive moves (and the one you'll use the most) is the much-touted ability to flip the screen from 2D to 3D, allowing you to see the stage from a whole new perspective and uncover hidden passageways and clues. The first time you do this, we guarantee you'll be grinning from ear to ear, since it's such a simple idea yet, at the same time, such a revolutionary one in terms of Mario platforming. Suddenly you realise you'll have to rethink the way you handle the game's puzzles.

Tearing Up The Rulebook

Unfortunately, while there are many other abilities to be unlocked, none of them match this in terms of originality or innovation. Instead, most of it is standard platform fare, such as the ability to place bombs, the ability to grab and throw enemies, or the ability to jump and perform a ground smash. While this is no bad thing, it's still a slight disappointment when you meet a new Pixl (the floating little sprites that give you these abilities) only to realise you're only being given the ability to run quicker (something which, this being a Mario game after all, should have been available from the start).

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Comments

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  1. arcticace Friday 18th Apr 2008 at 23:46

    A great game worthy of more praise in my opinion. I think 81% is too low.

  2. Anonymous Monday 26th May 2008 at 18:14

    What I've played of the game is great and I would liked to continue it. Sadly a glitch ruined my game :( .

  3. yellowhead Friday 8th Aug 2008 at 13:14

    I'm dissapointed that this game isn't turn based like the thousand year door, which is so much better in terms of gameplay.

  4. gamingprincess Saturday 23rd Aug 2008 at 11:43

    What I've played of the game is great and I would liked to continue it. Sadly a glitch ruined my game :( .

    What glitch did you have because i also had a glitch when i played this game :?: :?:

  5. gamingprincess Saturday 23rd Aug 2008 at 11:44

    I'm dissapointed that this game isn't turn based like the thousand year door, which is so much better in terms of gameplay.

    I agree i liked it better when it was turn based. This is a good game but could of been better :)

  6. DBZFan355 Tuesday 30th Dec 2008 at 14:36

    The score is bang on what I would've given it! Yup, it is very imaginitive and who better to use the idea on than mario? Well, paper sonic would be really cool, but the game can get a bit boring after a while

  7. ShadowofPain Tuesday 6th Jan 2009 at 13:13

    ONM underated this quite a bit. It's a really fun and innovative game with a good concept. The only problems I have with it are the crappy PAL conversion and the huge amount of text. I think 88% is a more suitable score.

  8. Andy88 Monday 12th Oct 2009 at 21:33

    Super Paper Mario is a quirky, enjoyable game and overall I agree with what I think is a good and fair review.

  9. Rabbid_girl Wednesday 14th Oct 2009 at 07:37

    I really liked this game but something went wrong and I couldn't finish it. Which was a shame because I really enjoyed it :(

  10. Rabbid_girl Monday 18th Jan 2010 at 17:42

    What I've played of the game is great and I would liked to continue it. Sadly a glitch ruined my game :( .

    What glitch did you have because i also had a glitch when i played this game :?: :?:

    There is a majour glitch on chapter 2-2 where the game freezes when you talk to mimi on some discs. If you have one of these discs, then go back to the point before it freeses then if you go to the room with the spiked ceiling, when it comes down if you go into 3D you can jump on top of the spiked wall. When you reach the top, you have to find a key by flipping into 3d. Its very complicated, but it tells you of the glitch here. if you type this into your adress bar, at the end of the development paragraph it tells you about the glitch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Paper_Mario

  11. blublur101 Sunday 14th Mar 2010 at 13:17

    81%!? what the heck!?! 93%!! sure, the space level is dull but that's about all that's wrong with it.

  12. layton lover Sunday 25th Apr 2010 at 11:45

    I almost always agree with you ONM, but not here. This game has an amazing story and loads of great game mechanics, quality graphics and LOL inducing dialogue. Admittadly the space level sucks bum but other than that this game is enjoyable, quirky and overflowing with brilliant memorable moments. 93% = better.

  13. mariomadness56 Sunday 3rd Oct 2010 at 10:28

    I think this game deserves much more than 81%. It has one of the most innovative features and its hilarious. It deserves a gold award in my mind

  14. master sword Monday 17th Jan 2011 at 08:19

    What I've played of the game is great and I would liked to continue it. Sadly a glitch ruined my game :( .

    What glitch did you have because i also had a glitch when i played this game :?: :?:

    There is a majour glitch on chapter 2-2 where the game freezes when you talk to mimi on some discs. If you have one of these discs, then go back to the point before it freeses then if you go to the room with the spiked ceiling, when it comes down if you go into 3D you can jump on top of the spiked wall. When you reach the top, you have to find a key by flipping into 3d. Its very complicated, but it tells you of the glitch here. if you type this into your adress bar, at the end of the development paragraph it tells you about the glitch: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Paper_Mario

    I had the exact same glitch on my version, fortunatly there is a way to get past it :)

  15. DimentioLives Friday 21st Mar 2014 at 17:43

    francis isn't a frog! he's a chameleon. duh. and this game should've gotten waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more than 81%! this was the game that got me into mario! it has the best villain ever, Dimentio!

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