Nintendo has released a new overview video for Paper Mario: The Origami King, containing over five minutes of new information about the game and the fresh concepts it brings to the series. Let’s dive in!
The sinister King Olly, the titular Origami King, has come out of nowhere and executed a flawless takeover of the Mushroom Kingdom, as non-Bowser villains in the Mario series tend to do (Bowser must feel so inadequate, watching everyone else do it so easily). Getting rid of the King will require another trek through several major set pieces. Five of them are confirmed in the video: an oasis in the desert, a mountainous region, a sewer, a thick forest, and a mansion filled with ninjas.
One welcome addition is the return of companions to the series. Your main buddy will be Olivia, rebellious sister of the King himself, but you’ll also travel at various points with Bobby, an amnesiac Bob-Omb, Kamek the Magikoopa (who now has a rake instead of a wand), and Professor Toad, whose name speaks for itself. Bowser and Bowser Jr. will also help you out at some points, forming an uneasy truce for the time being to deal with a larger threat.
The reworked combat is perhaps the most interesting part of what has been shown in Paper Mario: The Origami King. When you enter a battle screen, the enemies will be positioned all around you in a circular pattern. You have a limited amount of time to reposition the circles, dragging the enemies together so they can be taken out at once. Boss battles will play with this format further, requiring Mario to reposition himself on the circles to follow a preset path. The gameplay will be shaken up now and then with style shifts like a quiz show and a midair target-shooting battle.
Paper Mario: The Origami King looks very interesting, and it’s the hope that the series is pulling out of the creative slump the last few entries have fallen into. We’ll be able to judge for ourselves when the game is released for Nintendo Switch July 17.