Paper Mario: A 2D Trip to the Past P.2

Paper Mario: A 2D Trip to the Past P.2

Erika Lewis

Disclaimer: This article is a part two of three and contains spoilers for the middle two Paper Mario games.


After the first two Paper Mario games there was a drastic difference in the series. The third and fourth games definitely sent things into a whirl of new experiences. There was a large change in style, how the stories played out, even the villains. Along with that there were changes in gameplay and other aspects that fans had become used to from the original two. 


Super Paper Mario

The third Paper Mario game in the series is Super Paper Mario. The game was released on April 9, 2007 for the Wii. Since it was released for the Wii the controls were changed as well as the general templating of the game. No longer were there, what felt like, hundreds of abilities to match the large amounts of buttons on previous controllers. 

This game probably, in the entire series, felt the most out of place. As mentioned before, the controls were changed and the style had also changed as well. Instead of having the softer edges on everything the game was more geometric. There were more sharp shapes as well as colors. Unlike the first two games it didn’t have the same smooth feel and even the sounds were a little harsher than before. The game consisted of more basic shapes such as circles, squares, and triangles to name a few. The game also didn’t have some beloved and well known characters such as toads and well known enemies. Instead the game introduced a whole new group of enemies. However, this is understandable as it does take place in a different dimension. 

Along with the style, the fighting style of the game was also changed. In all the other games you are thrown into a stage like arena to fight enemies. In this game, however, fighting was more like the normal Mario game. You are able to run back and forth and are able to dodge attacks instead of just blocking. It definitely seemed more related to the average Mario game than the previous two Paper Mario games. It was definitely an enjoyable experience of something new but it didn’t completely feel like Mario, especially Paper Mario.

Although this game is more than a little different from the first two it still holds a similarity. Much like the previous games you are accompanied by different companions. However this game is also the bridge to just having one consistent companion throughout the entire game. In Super Paper Mario a butterfly named Tippi joins you and is your guide through the game. However there are several other companions that join Mario that give him different abilities to help with accomplishing things. One can shrink you down to be really small which can help Mario get to new places and another can help Mario pick up large or heavy objects to either throw at enemies or to get past certain obstacles. 

On the topic of characters that help Mario there are also the other characters you can play as. In the normal Paper Mario game you play as simply just Mario, however, in this game it’s not just him. You also are able to play as Peach, Luigi, and even Bowser. Now, it isn’t like the other games where you play as them between levels but you can actually switch between them whenever. Of course, you can only do that once they officially join your party. In fact, Luigi, surprisingly, is the last one to join your team. Before he joins you you have to fight him multiple times. Although it’s not that he wants to fight you, he’s forced to. 

Speaking of fighting Luigi it isn’t technically Luigi you are fighting. He was brainwashed into being Mr. L, the evil version of Mario’s beloved brother. He was brainwashed by a character named Dimentio. He is the true main villain of the game but you don’t fully realize this until the ending. For the better part of the game the main villain is someone named Count Bleck. A few other people you fight against in the game are Count Bleck’s henchmen Mimi and O’Chunks. They definitely help keep Mario and the other characters on their toes as well as the player. 


Paper Mario: Sticker Star

The fourth Paper Mario game in the series is Paper Mario: Sticker Star. The game was released on November 11, 2012 for the Nintendo 3DS. The release in this console is no surprise as the 3DS had come out only a year prior to Sticker Star. Since the 3DS has more buttons than the Wii remotes the game definitely went back to feeling like the original two games with the large amount of different uses for each button. 

Although that is a similarity a majority of aspects in this game are different from the original two. As mentioned in the part about Super Paper Mario it did something that lit the way for all the future games. It left Mario with only one constant companion. She is a crown named Kersti who is also a sticker. She joins Mario in an attempt to get back the sticker star as she is a servant to it. The sticker star is a comet that people wish on but Bowser took the star for himself. 

Speaking of Bowser, he is once again the main villain of the game. However, he is joined by Kamek Koopa and Bowser Jr.. In this game Bowser, as previously mentioned, stole the Sticker Star’s power for domination. Because of this obviously you have to take it away from him. However, when he stole the star several sticker crowns went and attached to enemies making them join Bowser and become the bosses of each level. Going back to Bowser you would think since he is once again the main villain there would be a lot of comedy between him and Kamek. Unfortunately in this game that is not the case. Instead, the humor mainly comes from Kamek and Bowser Jr. and their banter. Although it’s still funny it will never be able to top the conversations between Bowser and Kamek.

Now, going back to the sticker star, that is not the only thing to do with stickers. Throughout the game Mario is able to collect stickers to use in battle. Different to Super Paper Mario it is back to the battles being in an arena like area. However instead of having a promise for always being able to attack with your hammer or jumping on the enemy you have to use the stickers you have. As mentioned, as you go through the levels you are able to collect stickers that Mario holds on to so that he can use them in battle. Some of them are more powerful than others and some of them have certain special abilities. It definitely makes the battles more interesting as sometimes you find yourself wishing you had a certain sticker. 

The stickers aren’t only used for battle however. You are able to donate stickers to the museum that you can later view and see everything you’ve collected. It is always interesting to go back and see all the stickers you managed to collect and then realizing you have yet to donate the most simple of stickers which prevents the collection from being complete. There is a lot of controversy with the stickers though. Some people love the new form of fighting while others miss the way things originally were. However, they all learned to adjust. 


These middle two games, especially Sticker Star, lit the way for the final two games. From the partners to the fighting style they both continue to the last two games that have been released so far. This information makes some fans exilorated while it makes others hesitant to play them. Personally, I could argue that the final two games are some of the best Paper Mario games and are definitely worth playing. However, I’ll have to leave that up to you to decide.