Paper Mario: The Origami King is frequently criticized for its puzzle combat, but it could have been a lot more engaging with just a few slight changes.
The Paper mario the series doesn’t seem to be doing it right in the eyes of longtime fans, and that’s especially true with the more recent entry, Paper Mario: the king of origami. He’s often praised for his clever, humorous writing and creative incorporation of origami, but his combat system is a point of contention. Lots of diehards Paper mario veterans yearn for the day the series returns to its roots and emulates The thousand-year-old gatemore traditional turn-based combat. The problem with The king of origamithe fight is not that it is inherently bad; its potential has simply not been realized.
Paper Mario: the king of origamiThe combat takes place on a radial stage, acting more like a puzzle than an RPG battle. Mario stands in the center, surrounded by enemies. The rings and columns of the arena can be turned, pushed or pulled to organize enemies so that they can be sent into orderly groups. Players are encouraged to place enemy groups in a line so they can be jumped or in a two-by-two square so they can be smashed with a hammer.
Although certainly different from the past Paper mario combat systems, these puzzles can be quite entertaining. Unfortunately, the majority of them are incredibly easy, even with a time limit. Each puzzle usually has a perfect solution, where enemies can be arranged to be eliminated in a single turn, earning the admiration of the legion of nameless toads watching from the stands. The timer adds some pressure to think quickly, but it easily becomes superfluous as the abundance of in-game pieces can be used to add more time.
Paper Mario Should Ditch the Puzzle-Combat Timer
Continued use of puzzles in place of standard turn-based combat isn’t a bad idea – and it will likely happen, given that The king of origamiSuccess. Nintendo usually changes things up with each new game release, but Paper mario with puzzles is a surprisingly good combo. However, a new iteration of the system should see combat-puzzles become progressively more interesting. Rather than putting the player on a timer for excitement, there should be increasingly difficult perfect solutions involving more than two or three moves; let the player take their time to solve difficult puzzles instead of creating artificial difficulties by pressing them through simple puzzles.
Origami King has already proven that there is a lot of room for variation in just one type of puzzle. His boss fights place Mario outside the Rings, turning the entire encounter into a maze as he tries to reach the center. The series has clearly moved on from the nostalgic format of the original game and The thousand-year-old gate, and although Paper Mario: the king of origami‘s the fight was not entirely satisfactory for some, it shows that the series can still evolve into something interesting.
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