The state of video games as it were is one that is constantly changing. People come in, people go out, new management and leaders happen all the time, and of course, game IPs sometimes change hands and go to various developers and sometimes even new publishers. But when a game franchise takes a REALLy big turn, people notice, such as with the Paper Mario franchise, which has become very divisive as of late.
The first two games were true RPG legends that fans still love to this day. The third title was a more platforming adventure, but still fun, but then Sticker Star, Color Splash and the latest title, The Origami King, changed the franchise in such ways that fans barely recognize it anymore. Leaving many to wonder if the team behind Paper Mario are hamstrung into making it this way.
According to a translated interview by Nintendo Everything…that’s apparently not the case. Producer Kensuke Tanabe noted that the team honestly has “almost complete control” over the franchise, with the only apparent restrictions being the looks of characters like the Koopas, Goombas, and of course, the Toads. Whom he noted in a previous interview that they weren’t allowed to change too much anymore.
Furthermore, while it’s well known that Shigeru Miyamoto was big into how Sticker Star came about, Tanabe stated that Miyamoto only occasionally comes into their work space just to “check on things” but never makes major changes or advises things anymore.
Which brings us back to the outcomes of the games themselves. The Origami King had middling reviews and was stated to have a battle system that you either liked or didn’t, which is a stark contrast from the original two games where the battle system was universally beloved.
Fans want to go back to that, yet the team seems determined to make “every game unique” despite fan request to go back to what worked before.