Super Paper Mario

Super Paper Mario from Nintendo and development studio Intelligent Systems is a 2D platformer, a 3D adventure, and depending upon how snooty you are about your qualifiers, a role-playing game, too. The Big N's famous Italian plumber-hero jumps across surreal, not to mention sometimes-nostalgic worlds and battles a cast of foes including angry flowers, gaseous super-villains, and even a toad-nerd undoubtedly inspired by some of the very message board posters who complain about videogames on a weekly basis. This is a silly project, but don't be fooled by the primary colors and goofy characters because underneath the cute exterior lies a very clever and challenging affair that, while not perfect in every way possible, still easily ranks amongst the top-tier of Wii games to date.

There is a history to this franchise that you may already know about, but bear with us. Paper Mario debuted for Nintendo 64 in 2001 and introduced the now-recognizable cut-out, paper style and RPG-light gameplay mechanics which were later carried over to a 2004 GameCube sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. These titles employed a classic 2D perspective reminiscent of early platformers, and yet there was very little true platforming to be found. Occasionally, the flat look of the efforts was contrasted against purely aesthetic 3D perspective changes; for instance, a seemingly 2D house would fold inward into 3D space as Mario entered it. Additionally, both projects utilized turn-based battle systems -- a trademark of the RPG genre for so many years.

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