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Paper Mario: The Origami King

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Spoiler

Paper Mario has had a Game Show aspect in the past three games and it's always one of the most difficult mini games. The ironic thing is that Shy Guys Finish Last is probably the easiest of the three game shows.

Getting flashbacks to Colour Splash's Snifit or Whifit... That was brutal.

 

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47 minutes ago, MindFreak said:

Shy Guy? If so, yeah, that's quite understandable. There should be some strategies to get through it, though. 

Yeah. You can probably cheese most of them just using the Switch's record/screenshot tools. If you can play them at leisure then I might attempt it.

Not sure what happens if you fail to get 100 points, but I felt that shouldn't be required to progress the story. The probably was that you can get thrown into the higher level version first and I don't do great with time limits.

Part of the problem might be that the game is starting to feel a little worn in the tooth now, to be honest I'm not liking the battle system. Everything else about the game I like (apart from some of the mini-games). I think it's the better Paper Mario out of Sticker Star and Colour Splash.

I'll see how I feel later, or maybe I'll come back to it someday.

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OK, finished the game today. Final section was pretty fun as was the final boss. I looked up what's required to get all the trohpies but it requires re-fighting the bosses which I'm not willing to do, so I'm done with the game. Unless I get an urge to finish it off.

The battle system is kinda weird, completing the ring shortens the battle considerable, but failing it just prolongs the fight and you take some damage. I hadn't really considered the game doesn't have status effects until I read @Dcubed's review. The game does but are fairley limited.

Intelligent Systems obviously took people's feedback about battles being pointless and avoidable... by making some of them unavoidable. Unlike Sticker Star (if I remember right) you can't run out of attack methods since you keep the basic attacks. Stronger attacks are given out frequently and you can just buy more if needed so it was never a problem.

For the bosses, it was pretty hard to keep track of everything. The path you need to take, sometimes I mixed up the magic circles, the time limit. Olivia even straight up gives you bad advice. Sometimes you end up wasting attacks because the boss is immune or something as if you are meant to know that beforehand. Granted the game gives you healing items to sort of balance it out though. If you know what you're doing you can beat them really quick, but when you are fighting them the first time it can take a long time. I feel like some of this is on me, but it felt quite frustrating sometimes.

I liked everything else though, the writing was funny, the characters were likable

 

Spoiler

Bobby noooo!

and some interesting references.

Spoiler

Wasn't expecting a Pop-up Pirate reference.

 

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When I was writing my review, I found myself thinking long & hard about what, at an absolute base level, makes a turn-based battle system, or any sort of RPG or strategy game for that matter, interesting and enjoyable.  And I did ultimately come to a conclusion...

The answer is Resource Management

What makes these games so enjoyable is the act of balancing a limited array of resources.  This could be something as simple as just time or even just HP, or it could be a complex array of limited units, moves, time & money in an Advance Wars game for instance; or an array of status effects in an RPG.  Having to think on your feet and find ways to make the most of a limited array of resources is what fundamentally makes these kinds of games fun.

The fact of the matter is that, as far as the regular mook battles go, there are no meaningful limited resources to manage in The Origami King.  As such, there is no real strategy involved as a result; and all battles devolve into solving the Rubik's Cube and then wailing on your foes with your (basically unlimited) attacks (all of which play out in the same way BTW).

The boss battles on the other hand? They are a different matter entierly as all of a sudden, not only are you at a very real risk of dying, you also now have a limited number of turns/moves to consider; and you now have to balance between attacking, healing, opening up spaces on the board to use later on and reducing the amount of self-inflicted damage that you have to take from each board's gimmick.  It works, and it works well!

That's the difference.  That's also why Color Splash & Sticker Star's battle systems still worked for me; despite the lack of an extrinsic motivation (Exp) to fight enemies.  They all had meaningful resource management gameplay.  The same cannot be said of The Origami King's mook battles; but CAN be said of the boss battles.

Edited by Dcubed
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11 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

The boss battles on the other hand? They are a different matter entierly as all of a sudden, not only are you at a very real risk of dying, you also now have a limited number of turns/moves to consider; and you now have to balance between attacking, healing, opening up spaces on the board to use later on and reducing the amount of self-inflicted damage that you have to take from each board's gimmick.  It works, and it works well!

I feel like the bosses encourage you to attack though, it gives little room for healing sometimes and I think that's they give healing items on the board. If the boss is charging a special attack then you usually need to use a magic circle. Unless you haven't opened the chest and pressed the On Switch. Sometimes you don't have the resources in the first place to able to do it. There's a bit of RNG involved and on-the-fly planning which maybe I wasn't doing very well.

I do like that the bosses required varied strategies (even if some were similar but dressed in a different way). Apart from the Ice Velluntual, that one sucked (pretty sure they intended you to use the Switch's screenshot function here). They had some great boss battle music as well.

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14 hours ago, Ike said:

Apart from the Ice Velluntual, that one sucked (pretty sure they intended you to use the Switch's screenshot function here). They had some great boss battle music as well.

I quickly realised that the key to memorising the Ice Vellumental's gimmick is to focus on what panels Mario needs to walk over to get to where you need to go. Because there's only one correct path, it's shown to you before the shuffle and that the boss never slides panels, only rotates them, it's quite easy to realise what you need to do.

It's strangely the least RNG based of all the bosses because of that. It's just overwhelming at first because it seems more complex than it is.

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Staff credits music is SO GOOD, especially the last minute or so.

I might have put this credits sequence into @Cube's challenge thing had I known, something about Nintendo games actually make you want to watch them.

 

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Late to the party but the credits rolled last night. The games battle system grew on me in the end but I didn’t completely love it. The rest of the game was superb though. Funny references, humour, Olivia was lovely, a few jokes that I’m sure were mocking. 
I loved the final battle. Didn’t have much trouble after figuring out what to do when he was in the Earth Vellumental form, and the second stage was such fun. I had it on motion controls and it seemed like a workout. Finished off the last form easy enough and was moved to tears at that final story part. 
 

I may go back and find some of the things I missed, I didn’t get a lot of the helpful items, the ones on the page with the life extender and block guard things. I have about 4 I never got in the far right box. 
it took a while to get into it, but I enjoyed the game and happy I stuck with it. 

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I fired this up for a quick go on Friday and then started the game properly yesterday. I've finished the first two areas/castles and I'm on my way to the yellow ribbon/streamer. It's been a fantastic experience so far.

The writing in the game has been top notch, with many lines actually make me laugh out loud. This started with Bowser at the very beginning of the game and has carried on throughout. 

Spoiler

The scene where Bobby asked to join the team had me howling. Olivia saying that it probably wasn't a good idea and then trying to ignore him, while he slowly shuffled towards her and Mario, was brilliant. :D 

Battle wise, I really love the boss battles. Having to actually think about your movements and plan ahead is something I'm really enjoying. Working out how to attack and damage each of the bosses is a puzzle in itself and the timer just adds that little bit of pressure to keep things interesting. 

Wandering around the world really appeals to my completionist nature. Having the Toads to find, chests to uncover, ? Blocks to hit and holes to fill up, all scratches that itch nicely. Knowing how many are left in the area is a nice incentive to keep looking around for things. I also like how there are various little activities and quests to do whilst wandering around. It helps to keep things fresh and interesting between areas.

My main complaint is that the standard battles don't serve much purpose at all. The only rewards you get are coins and confetti, of which there is already an abundance of. I've already got over 20k and have bought everything I need. It's a problem that IS have had ever since removing the experience system from the games. How do you keep the player engaged with battles and make them meaningful but without such a system? It's a problem they have yet to solve.

Yeah, so two streamers/ribbons down and three to go. I'll probably get another one or two collected today and see if my impressions remain as positive as they are now.

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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7 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I fired this up for a quick go on Friday and then started the game properly yesterday. I've finished the first two areas/castles and I'm on my way to the yellow ribbon/streamer. It's been a fantastic experience so far.

The writing in the game has been top notch, with many lines actually make me laugh out loud. This started with Bowser at the very beginning of the game and has carried on throughout. 

  Funny Scene (Reveal hidden contents)

The scene where Bobby asked to join the team had me howling. Olivia saying that it probably wasn't a good idea and then trying to ignore him, while he slowly shuffled towards her and Mario, was brilliant. :D 

Battle wise, I really love the boss battles. Having to actually think about your movements and plan ahead is something I'm really enjoying. Working out how to attack and damage each of the bosses is a puzzle in itself and the timer just adds that little bit of pressure to keep things interesting. 

Wandering around the world really appeals to my completionist nature. Having the Toads to find, chests to uncover, ? Blocks to hit and holes to fill up, all scratches that itch nicely. Knowing how many are left in the area is a nice incentive to keep looking around for things. I also like how there are various little activities and quests to do whilst wandering around. It helps to keep things fresh and interesting between areas.

My main complaint is that the standard battles don't serve much purpose at all. The only rewards you get are coins and confetti, of which there is already an abundance of. I've already got over 20k and have bought everything I need. It's a problem that IS have had ever since removing the experience system from the games. How do you keep the player engaged with battles and make them meaningful but without such a system? It's a problem they have yet to solve.

Yeah, so two streamers/ribbons down and three to go. I'll probably get another one or two collected today and see if my impressions remain as positive as they are now.

Yeah, the standard battles are shite, there's no real way to sugar coat it.  Boss battles and everything surrounding them are absolutely A-grade though.

Personally, I didn't think the first two chapters were particularily amazing; but the latter chapters are a lot better.  If you're enjoying the first two chapters though? You're gonna love the latter three! :peace:

Edited by Dcubed
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15 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

Boss battles and everything surrounding them are absolutely A-grade though.

Indeed. I was worried when I seen images of the boss battles that featured normal, everyday items but Intelligent Systems have managed to inject each of the ones I've encountered so far with a healthy dose of personality. 

Spoiler

I've just defeated this boss and it was a great fight. I thought everything was going fine and I was headed for an easy win but then the boss went and healed it's health back to the max! Turns out you have to time the killer blow at just the right moment. I thought this whole mechanic would have annoyed me but I found it quite fun and it added a another bit of strategy to the whole fight.

 

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I finished the yellow streamer and all the way through the dungeon all I could think of was this.

giphy.gif

Spoiler

I found this fight easier than the last one but it still took a while. Trying to manouvre around the back of the hole punch and landing an attacking proved trickier than I expected, what with all the holes on the floor.

This Toad had something interesting to say.

Eps66AkU0AAp9YR?format=jpg&name=large

Indeed it was. :p 

Onward I go to the purple streamer! 

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I managed to get a little bit of the purple streamer level done last night and got a quick half hour in before work this morning. It's a fantastic area.

Spoiler

It's full on Wind Waker! I'm not gonna lie, I fired up the Wind Waker Overworld theme and had that playing in the background as I went about my sailing business. Magical. :D 

The map, crosses that appear, statues you find and overall feeling of it do give off the WW vibe very well.

I had a good laugh at the giant fan making a quick cameo. I had the same reaction when I seen the giant steak. :laughing:

Really looking forward to getting back on it this evening. 

 

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10 hours ago, Hero-of-Time said:

I managed to get a little bit of the purple streamer level done last night and got a quick half hour in before work this morning. It's a fantastic area.

  Purple Streamer (Hide contents)

It's full on Wind Waker! I'm not gonna lie, I fired up the Wind Waker Overworld theme and had that playing in the background as I went about my sailing business. Magical. :D 

The map, crosses that appear, statues you find and overall feeling of it do give off the WW vibe very well.

I had a good laugh at the giant fan making a quick cameo. I had the same reaction when I seen the giant steak. :laughing:

Really looking forward to getting back on it this evening. 

 

Yup! Absolutely loved it! I did exactly the same thing with the music when I got there too :hehe:

Also... OMG! Thrills at Night is fucking FIRE!

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1 hour ago, Dcubed said:

Also... OMG! Thrills at Night is fucking FIRE!

Yup.

Spoiler

 

The soundtrack of the whole game has been great. I just beat the boss at the purple streamer and this was playing throughout the fight.

Amazing tune and one that reminds me of the boss theme from Final Fantasy VII.

Another favourite is one of the standard battle themes.

Wonderful stuff.

Edited by Hero-of-Time
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I finished the green streamer area this evening.

Spoiler

I loved storming Bowser's castle with all of his minions. I made sure to help each of them with fighting their origami counterparts.

The boss fight was one of the easier ones in the game. Once you figure out what attacks to use when it was a complete pushover. I also managed to dodge his special cutting attack and he was never able to pull it off again, so I'm not sure what kind of damage it actually done.

The scenes that followed the boss fight were tremendous. The arrival of the airship, shooting the cannon to clear the skies, pegging it up the mountain while your allies get picked off one by one...epic stuff.

I think I'm near the end of the game now. I've officially finished work until the new year so I'll be able to crack on with this first thing in the morning. Before moving on, I'm tempted to go back to all the areas and try and clear them 100%. Any new power ups that I may find will come in handy for the inevitable final boss fight.

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@Hero-of-Time 

Spoiler

It's 999 damage. Not so fun when the scissors thing is used against you. BTW, jumping on it with the safety off also kills you. It's surprisingly morbid.

Thankfully that boss is a bit of a glass cannon, so if you dodge the first cut, you're pretty much golden.

 

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My adventure is over.

Spoiler

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Fantastic game that was an absolutely joy to play from start to finish. I'm still back and forth as to whether I liked this better than Colour Splash. The boss battles were a big step up in this but I enjoyed the story more in Colour Splash.

My main thought about this is the same one I had after playing Colour Splash, which is that there's a fantastic game to be played here but many will disregard it. Look, I miss the RPG elements as much as the next Paper Mario fan, even more so now that the Mario & Luigi series is dead, but I think people need to just accept the series for what it is now and not judge the series for what it isn't.

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Origami King has the same kind of problem that I had with The Wonderful 101. Everything about it is great, except the actual standard combat, and because that constitutes such a large portion of the game, I got bored with it.

That's why I prefer Colour Splash.

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I enjoyed the combat but I feel like it could have done with another step in complexity, because once you line everyone up it's pretty mindless to just kill them all. Maybe bringing timing of button presses more into it or something.

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I think that Intelligent Systems would be better off ditching the turn based battles entirely with the next game and instead moving fully into real-time combat; expanding on what they started with the Paper Macho battles.

That’s what I reckon they’re gonna do going forward.  They’re going to turn Paper Mario into classic Zelda (pre-BOTW).  They’re already shockingly close now at this point, might as well go the whole way!

Edited by Dcubed
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5 minutes ago, Dcubed said:

I think that Intelligent Systems would be better off ditching the turn based battles entirely with the next game and instead moving fully into real-time combat; expanding on what they started with the Paper Macho battles.

That’s what I reckon they’re gonna do going forward.  They’re going to turn Paper Mario into classic Zelda (pre-BOTW).  They’re already shockingly close now at this point, might as well go the whole way!

Agreed.

Some of the levels/dungeons in these games have great puzzles to solve and gimmicks to figure out.

They should really just give Mario a rest and create a Paper Zelda title. I think they'd be able to pull it off really well with the current formula they have going. The likes of Spirit Tracks and Minish Cap have shown that you can have some great character banter going on a Zelda game. Plus, I really see Tingle as a summon or a partner character. :D 

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I heard Nintendo didn't want 2 Mario RPGs so Paper Mario got shifted into more of an action game. Now Mario & Luigi is (possibly) no more, I did kind of hope Paper Mario would go back to its RPG roots.

Saying that, I don't mind the direction they are going, but I agree they need to find a reason for battles to exist. I'd also be fine with them going with a real-time battle format.

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