The early Paper Mario games are beloved for many reasons, with their incredible charm sitting front and center among those reasons. That charm stems partially from brilliant writing and vibrant characters, but it also comes from the series’ glorious paper aesthetic. Until earlier this week, when I saw how effectively Bug Fables used the same art style, I had never considered how the “paper treatment” may bolster some fun spin-offs in other Nintendo series.
So, if you had to choose, which Nintendo series would you give the paper treatment to? It doesn’t have to come intertwined with RPG mechanics; that papery look could pair well with a platformer, a puzzle title, and so much more.
I’ll say Pikmin, and I will take a retrospective stance to specifically say that Hey Pikmin! would have been a thousand times cooler with a paper art style. Hey Pikmin! suffered from the moment it was announced: many series fans saw a bland-looking branch that the series did not need to venture out on, especially when we only had three main titles to boot. A side project like a random sidescroller nobody really needed could have been bolstered significantly with a new art style like that in Paper Mario. Armies of tiny Pikmin, the series’ well-known natural environments, and the droves of colorful treasures and enemies would fit perfectly with the paper style.
But what about you? Maybe you want a paper take on Donkey Kong Country, or for the next 2D Zelda title to go all-in with an unconventional style. Or, maybe you’ve gone absolutely off the rails and have something in mind for Metroid or Star Fox. Expanding the Paper franchise is not a likely route for Nintendo to take any time soon, even if they did strike gold with the first two Paper Mario games, but this sort of speculation is still fun. Whatever idea you have, share your vision with us in the comments.