There has been quite a divide in regards to the fanbase for the Paper Mario franchise. Mainly because while the series has been getting new games, including the most recent game on Nintendo Switch via The Origami King, many acknowledge that the “flair” and the love that was put into titles like the original game and Thousand Year Door aren’t exactly there anymore. Especially when it comes to the NPCs and the lack of partners that are now not really in the game.
Paper Mario Producer Kensuke Tanabe had previously noted that NPCs couldn’t be “modified” anymore, but in an interview with GamesRadar, we got more in-depth details about what is going on with that. Mainly, Nintendo has forbidden the use of these “modified” characters as they feel it’s “bad branding”, and that includes using characters that have already been in the series previously like Toadette. No toads can have different looks from one another outside of maybe the colors on their head (which has beend one in other Mario games in the past.
This started in Sticker Star and has been continuing on ever since. Which even Tanabe notes is a challenge because that means that the personality of the characters has to come out through the text and the text alone, rather than little visual details like wearing certain clothes or having facial hair and so on and so forth.
Many fans are very disappointed with Nintendo upon hearing this. If for no other reason than it makes no sense NOT to try and “modify” characters because it helps bring the games world to life in fun ways. The world of Paper Mario is better in some ways because of these small visual touches, so to deprive the world of that feels off.
Sales of The Origami King haven’t been revealed yet, but if it follows the trend of Color Splash, it won’t be good.