Paper Mario: The Origami King Could be A Return to Greatness for a Beloved Franchise

It’s July! That means that Paper Mario: The Origami King — the sixth entry in the Paper Mario series — releases later this month. I’ve wanted to break down the extended trailer for a while, and now seems like as good a time as ever.

The Paper Mario series started off hot with epic entries on the N64 and GameCube, but the more recent entries have messed with the traditional RPG formula a little too much and haven’t given fans the same enjoyment. I last experienced the series with the Wii’s Super Paper Mario. That game had some truly great writing, but it was also more of a platformer with RPG elements than a true RPG.

From watching the extended trailer, it looks like The Origami King is a return to form for Paper Mario. There seem to be huge worlds to explore, fun sidekicks to experiment with, and some wacky dialog to keep things interesting. The most intriguing part for me is the ring-based battle system. Players have a limited amount of time to rotate and shift the battlefield around before attacking, and doing so will allow Mario to more efficiently punish his enemies. It’s certainly a creative twist, but I won’t know how well it works until I get my hands on it.

Here are three more things that stood out to me from watching the trailer.

The bosses are office supplies

I wish Nintendo would have kept this part of the game under wraps, because it is truly bizarre and hilarious. It seems at the end of each world Mario must face off against terrifying monsters such as a pack of colored pencils, a rubber-band man, and Scotch tape. What better way for the Origami King to terrorize a paper world than with bosses that can bend paper to his will? I’m looking forward to figuring out how to beat these guys and I’m REALLY looking forward to whatever Nintendo hasn’t shown us. A three-hole punch would be almost unbeatable.

Kamek is on your team?

Paper Mario vets are used to Mario teaming up with Goombas, Bob-Ombs, and Koopas, but Kamek? This is the Magikoopa who is always trying to kill you! In Yoshi’s Island, Kamek tried to kidnap the Mario Bros. before they could even be delivered to their parents. Does Origami King exist on a different timeline than other Mario games? Is the threat of the titular villain so great that Mario must team up with his most nefarious rivals? I guess he’s teamed up with Bowser before, so maybe it’s not that crazy. Still, I’m interested in seeing what the most notorious Magikoopa brings to the table.

Gooper Blooper is back!

The ink-squirting, tentacle-slapping, cork-chewing champion of the sea is ready for battle once again. After battling this lovable idiot so many times in Super Mario Sunshine I’m psyched for a chance to beat his sorry ass in high definition. Bring it on, you spineless sack of organs! That’s not really a dig, since he literally has no spine.

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