Super Paper Mario is back in this Wii iteration from the Gamecube platformer adventure to the Wii-screen everywhere. While Super Mario Galaxy is still a long way off, Nintendo and Intelligent Systems have created an exciting adventure that will satiate the long wate for plumber fans: Super Paper Mario. Super Paper Mario creates a stunning hybrid to the platform and action adventure and the game has many of the aesthetics of the previous Paper Mario games while featuring eccentric characters, decent gameplay, and a stunning level design. While some elements keep it away from being a classic, Super Paper Mario is an incredible game that showcases the Wii further.
The story revolves around Mario’s attempt to stop Count Bleck, a new villain to add to the plumber’s troubles, who has set out to destroy all worlds. Strangely, Bleck’s plot of destruction is fueled by the forced marriage of Princess Peach and Bowser, which he has arranged and which creates a “chaos heart” the count then uses to open the inter-dimension. In the rampant chaos, Mario is transported to the interdimensional town of Flipside and asked to help stop Bleck. To halt the destruction of all worlds, Mario must collect eight objects called “pure hearts” to form the purity heart, which is an ancient artifact of great power and the only thing that can stop Bleck’s and his plans. To find these special hearts, Mario must venture to various worlds through dimensional doors conveniently located in Flipside. Each door can be opened only by using a pure heart, which sets up the game’s linear mission structure. Each dimension comprises a chapter in the game and is broken up into four parts. As Mario collects the pure hearts, he wil meet up with the game’s colorful cast of characters, which include a number of familiar faces and some newer and more interesting companions. The story is told through a lot of text based prompts and despite the volume of content to read through, there is a sparkling sense of humor that is incredible.
In this title, Mario remains the star but this time will have four members in your party that can be switched between on the fly, though only one of them at any given time. Each playable character will feature a unique ability you will need to use to progress. Mario gains the power to “flip” the 2D world around him into 3D, which lets him access new areas, avoid enemies, or see hidden items. The only limit to using the ability is an onscreen meter that counts down. If Mario stays flipped for too long, he will lose one point of health, and the meter will begin counting down again. Princess Peach brings her mighty parasol garment into advantage in leveling through this creative platformer. Besides allowing her to float during a jump, it can be used to defend against enemy attacks. The mighty Bowser is also along for the adventure and offers double the attack power of the other characters, as well as a fiery blast you can use to take out enemies or light things on fire. Finally, Luigi rounds out the party with his ability to leap to massive heights. Further depth in the game is given by the unique abilities of your party members but also new companions known as pixls. You’ll collect the creatures as you explore the various dimensions in search of pure hearts. Each pixl will have a unique ability that is often key to progressing in the game. For example, Boomer the bomb pixl will let you take out obstacles that impede your progress, while Dottie shrinks you down to the size of an ant, which allows you to gain access to new areas or slip past foes who are oblivious to you. As with the playable characters in your party, you can have only one active pixl out at a time, but you can change them on the fly.
Though the control scheme is decidedly old school, Super Paper Mario works in some unobtrusive support for the Wii Remote. You will follow onscreen prompts when using some items in combat, such as shaking the remote up and down or holding it in specific positions. When jumping on enemies, if you shake the controller at the right moment you will earn some bonus points.
Super Paper Mario is a brilliant game despite the title hardly bearing any audio. The graphics have a delectable charm and a detail that are brilliant of the eclectic characters of a variety of art styles from the Mushroom Kingdom to the interdimensional. Super Paper Mario is simply an exciting adventure to play despite its very few shortcomings and displays an incredible wealth in not just storyline but also gameplay for the Nintendo Wii.