The Paper Mario series has, in the eyes of many, fallen on its face since the release of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. After the first two games in the series came out, future installments abandoned many RPG mechanics that folks just couldn’t get enough of on the Nintendo 64 or GameCube. The series focused more on general adventuring and less on leveling up and managing partners. As a result, the games since feel wildly different. Most recently, controversy arose when Paper Mario: The Origami King was revealed to have no traditional EXP component for gaining levels. On one side, you have detractors finding themselves consistently less engaged without RPG mechanics, while supporters are just happy to play something different that still oozes with quality Paper Mario writing and charm. How do you feel about RPG mechanics and the Paper Mario series? Can you get into the franchise at all without them, or are you more in tune with the idea of unique adventures beyond the genre?
Personally, I really prefer when Paper Mario titles take advantage of some traditional RPG design. Games like Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: Sticker Star were completely impossible for me to get into because the gameplay felt exceptionally bland. Even though Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door never had that much mechanical depth to it, I still had an awesome time playing it. I can’t say the same for its descendants, and I’m going to remain cautious toward Paper Mario: The Origami King until I know how much it borrows from Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and how much it’s convinced itself that it can start over from scratch and put out an enjoyable experience.
How do you feel about RPG mechanics within the Paper Mario series? Can you handle anything from the franchise ever since Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, or are you forever longing for another traditional entry? Let us know below.