How Paper Mario changed Super Mario Bros. Forever.
THE MODERN HIDALGO: Entry_012
Written: Tuesday. July 16, 2019.
There’s this game I wanna share with you today.
It’s a game I've been playing since I was a kid. I've always played it. I've finished it a hundred times. Yet I still go back to it every couple of years. Even if I don’t play it, I recall back to it, because of how it was so different than most of the games I played back then. Even with the games I play now.
None have ever replicated such a master piece as this game. At least, that’s how I see it.
The game is called Paper Mario 64. Or simply Paper Mario.
I think the first game that I've ever played was the very first Super Mario game. Or the Mario Bros. game. I’m not sure what the title was. But I’m sure it was the one that was still in pixels. The one where you immediately start by punching a brick to get that one mushroom to boost your Mario.
But I never grew up to like that game, or go back to it. Let alone finish the whole thing. I was never fond of mastering anything in my life. And that also applied to gaming.
I was never a good gamer. I’m honestly not a gamer at all, by professional standards. I was just a regular kid, who’s parents happened to buy us a family computer, for all of us to play on.
Soon, me and my brother went on to play the Gameboy Advance. And it stayed that way for me. But my brother got a PSP, and I was always stuck with my GBA, until I gave up on it. Or it gave up on me, because of its battery life.
Our dad never bought us the Nintendo DS. Because he couldn't understand the concept of playing games on a Double Screen.
Or maybe that was around the time when I started to give up on trying to make my dad buy me things that I liked, because he would always say no. So the prejudice of the word NO had stuck with me, even to this day.
So there I was. This kid who had nothing else to play, except for the GBA, or the various game emulators that were available inside Computers.
My brother was always the one to discover these fascinating emulations. And I would often just follow along with what he was playing.
He installed a Super Nintendo emulator, a GBA emulator, and a Nintendo 64 emulator.
The Nintendo 64 emulator really made an impact on our childhoods. Even if we were only able to play a few game titles on it. But because of the limited game titles that we played, we were able to focus on them more. Unlike the Super Nintendo emulator, which had a hundred games ready to go.
No, the Nintendo 64, or Project 64, as the emulator is called, mostly could play every single Nintendo 64 game out there. But my brother and I would always go back to the most popular game titles.
Those were Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time & Majora’s Mask, Mario Kart 64, and maybe a few Mario Party games, but they would always crash for some reason.
And then there was Paper Mario.
The game that I could never be tired of playing.
It was different, because most of the games we played always relied on the action, and never the story.
Paper Mario was this Role Playing Game that was set in the world of the Super Mario Bros. Franchise. But that everything was made of Paper.
The world, the characters, the enemies, the actions, were all made out of Paper. Or at least, that’s what the developers wanted kids to imagine. And that’s exactly what I imagined, when playing this game.
It became separate from the main Mario Bros. games, because Paper Mario had an actual story-line that we could follow along with. Not just back-to-back stages where you had to deflect goombas or koopas, or the occasional cloud baby that threw spiked turtles on you.
Paper Mario took all of the elements of the main Mario Bros. series, and added a story to it. This game was ahead of its time. Or at least, it was one of the games that were ahead of its time (Ocarina of Time being the GOAT according to statistics).
Paper Mario had World-Building. Meaning, that it’s not just a game where you follow along from left to right. No. It has an actual world where you can go around and talk to people, discover hidden items, interact with trees, meet various characters that would join you along the way.
Everything that you would find in a story, is in Paper Mario.
Mario is the Hero of the story; The Main Character. He has to save Princess Peach from the hands of Bowser, his lifelong foe. While that happens, he has to save seven stars from other foes lurking around other parts of the Mushroom Kingdom.
Along the way, he meets friendly characters of various races. Goombario, Kooper, Bombette, Parakarry, Bow, Watt, Sushie, and Lakilester. They all have amazing story-lines that tie in with Mario’s. And they’re honestly my favorite part of the game.
If that’s not enough for you, look at the battle system they did for this game. It’s as simple as it can get. But its unique action elements give the player an interactive experience towards the game. I love it.
If that’s still not enough for you, you can also like the various enemies Mario gets to face. And the funny dialogue that they have. This game was entertaining to me back when I was a kid. And I could still say the same thing even to this day.
I’m 21 years old.
It’s such an amazing game. I enjoyed a lot of it, learned from it, and struggled to hit the action command at the right timing, and will probably keep on doing all of that even in my senior years.
Paper Mario is the game I would call my best friend.
Word of the day: Linchpin.
- a locking pin inserted crosswise (as through the end of an axle or shaft)
- one that serves to hold together parts or elements that exist or function as a unit.
- person or thing vital to an organization.
Go try Paper Mario for yourself. Get to experience what I’m talking about.