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Video: Learn Why Paper Mario Abandoned Its RPG Roots

With the recent release of Paper Mario: Color Splash on Wii U, the folks at Game Informer have come together to discuss why Paper Mario has abandoned most RPG elements, which were apparent in the first two entries in the series – the original Paper Mario on Nintendo 64 and its direct sequel, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on Nintendo GameCube. Check out the video below for a debate on whether the series is better off now than it was in the earlier days:


28 thoughts on “Video: Learn Why Paper Mario Abandoned Its RPG Roots”

  1. Wasn’t this already known? That the devs ditched PM’s RPG style because they “had the Mario and Luigi series to be the dedicated RPGs” and most fans with brains believe that to be bullshit? There was NO problem with both of them coexisting as RPGS because both had different elements.

    Now I’m not totally writing Color Splash off, but I sure as hell won’t play it before I finally get around to TTYD.

    1. Whats the difference if you play CS before or after TTYD? Not that I really care, it’s just strange is all. Thats like me saying I’m not going to play Metroid Prime because i’ve never played Super Metroid. (obviously I have, just making a point.) If the game interests you then play it, if it don’t then don’t. Color Splash and TTYD are different games, like Super Metroid and Prime. TTYD is a good game, great even. But if you compare it to some of the great rpg’s (Chrono Trigger, FF6, DQ3, DQ7, DQ8, Xenoblade Chronicles) it doesn’t hold a candle.

      I agree about the games coexisting. Don’t know why Nintendo thought they had to change one of them up…

      1. I am making a point to play TTYD first because it came before the “great poisoning” that is Sticker Star, which CS seems to still have elements from.

        And because TTYD is more readily available to me than CS is at this time.

  2. Mario and Luigi doesn’t have Goombario, Kooper, Parakarry, Bombette, Bow, Watt, Sushi, Lakilester, Goombella, Koops, Flurrie, Baby Yoshi, Vivian, Bobbery, Ms. Mowz, or anyone of the like.

    Therefore, argument moot.

    1. Expanding on this idea, Partners really are the defining feature of the first two Paper Mario games. While Mario & Luigi is designed around two-button play (more depending on if other characters are involved) or multi-screen perspectives on DS, those first two Paper Mario games (and SM RPG) had a team of characters at your disposal. Granted the battles in Paper were also two-character affairs, but Mario & the partner worked less as a team than Mario & Luigi do. This can also be said of how Mario and partners handled puzzles/obstacles.

      So they can attack on their own and do puzzles in a non-team way. What’s the big deal? In short, it’s the characters themselves. It’s the fact you’re getting helped by a staple Mario enemy species with a name, a personality and a place they came from (usually where you meet them). You get to know these characters, use them for special opportunities around the world map and go on this journey together. While traveling with Luigi is fun as well, it’s not the same experience as having that party at your disposal.

  3. Oh my god!!! Nintendo just ruined one of their best IPs!!! I can’t believe it! After Metroid and Mario Galaxy, now I have to bid farewell to Paper Mario?!

    Damn it!

  4. So aside from their discussion on the disappointing direction Miyamoto-San apparently willed the franchise towards as revealed in the Sticker Star Iwata Asks they read I will say this; Color Splash makes the odd Sticker Star mechanics work, yet still does not scratch the itch or fill the void that Paper Mario 64 & The Thousand Year Door left. I’m really having fun with Color Splash but in all honesty if the Mario & Luigi series is the other part of the reasoning behind Paper Mario not being as RPG as it used to be then that’s a shame and I’d have rather them ended M&L than change Paper Mario forever. In fact, the Color Splash formula would make a great handheld series to substitute the loss of M&L while TTYD’s setup should have remained the console counterpart. Although I really think PM and M&L could’ve coexisted, if one had to go M&L should have been it, as it seems that series hasn’t been overly impressive in the last couple of entries, not to mention the fact that I don’t feel that M&L at it’s peak has been as good as or has even taken advantage of it’s ability to be an RPG as well as Paper Mario did. Between the partners, equipment, badges, upgradable moves, etc. and the incredible world building and scenario writing that the first two Paper Mario games had, in my opinion they were much stronger RPG’s and easily more entertaining than the majority of the Mario & Luigi series ever was.

    The SPM and SS/CS games could’ve been Paper Luigi games on DS/3DS and would’ve been amazing. But to “fix” what wasn’t broken and change what made people fans of a series is bound to cause conflict and make people upset. It’s like if Mario Kart became more like Gran Turismo or Driveclub. No items, better racing physics etc. People would rage. Not that Driveclub doesn’t have it’s place but there’s not much to gain from changing what made a series great to it’s fans. If you want to make something completely different do so, but call it something else. To suddenly change a series, essentially abandoning the staples of it while not expecting the kind of reaction the Paper Mario series gets is foolish.

    With all that said; play Color Splash it’s fun. Don’t expect an epic the likes of the first 2 PM games but there’s lots of fun and laughs to be had and it’s simply better than Sticker Star at using those faux-RPG Adventure game mechanics. I’m maybe 7 or so hours in and if it keeps getting better(or doesn’t get worse) I could see it being in my top 10 Wii U games… (Or at least one that I like a lot 😂 I haven’t made a list but I own a lot of REALLY good Wii U games, and while i’m ready for NX I could still see myself replaying Color Splash at some point.)

  5. I honestly haven’t enjoyed them as much since they lost the RPG element. Mario & Luigi never felt as satisfying to me, the duo aspect felt too gimmicky and I hated dealing with both brothers to do puzzles. I really wish they didn’t completely change the direction of this series.

  6. Pingback: Paper Mario: Color Splash Gets A New “Time To Make A Splash” Trailer – My Nintendo News

  7. Mario & Luigi will NEVER be a good substitute for Paper Mario 1 & 2. To hell with this franchise til they bring what made the first two so great back. I refuse to pay a single penny for Sticker Star, Color Splash, or the like. I’d sooner steal them for the sole purpose of burning them to ash then buy them! Except for the first two games, looks like this franchise will just have to be dead to me. :/

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