Super Paper Mario? I know, I wouldn't of believed it either. How on earth did this get past the board of directors? I'll tell you how gosh darn it! This was my first taste of the paper series, and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.
Developed by Intelligent Systems, those great Japanese guys behind Super Metroid (SNES), Alleyway (GB) and WarioWare: Smooth Moves (Wii). I found this to be a current trend among Nintendo games, incorporating Japanese developers and I wonder if this cornering of the Japanese market has cost them in third party developers.
You, Mario, is bored with Luigi and decide to see what the princess is upto. When you get there, Bowser is plotting an abduction and an arranged marriage of Lady Peach until Count Bleck crashes the party, stuns Mario, and Kidnaps everyone. Your mission... save everyone.
Along the way you unlock playable characters with unique skills including Mario's 3D trick (changes the game to 3D for a brief period of time) which gives the ability to add `light` puzzles to the game. However, almost ALL the puzzles use this method and become repetitive. The background textures are incredibly Mario stylized, and monotonous, the RPG aspect is basically an unnecessary levelling system and a linear world that suggests otherwise. And you have to find 7 hearts that only seem to pan out the game for the excuse of 7 bosses.
What makes SPM unique is it's tongue-in-cheek humour used in most boss dialogues and learning tutorials. A notable part is when the elder asks if you want to save the world, and you can reply no. If you say no three times, the game ends. I thought this was brilliant, funny, and rare amongst games. Your actually given a choice.
Now I understand that Mario is a cash cow, but surely there can't be anymore milk left? This game could have been great if the developers had changed one thing; make someone else the main character, hell even throw in a random character generator and let the gamer choose, then have Mario and all his buddies as the victims, and you send your character in to be the hero. Instead finding 7 hearts, rescue 7 original Mario characters (Luigi, Peach, Bowser etc) and set them in new worlds, and maybe an old world that pays "homage" to various Mario games....In fact, screw it, that's my idea and i'll sue if you steal it.