Events: The Paper Mario Pop Up Diner
Posted by Martin Watts
Anything but flat
Wii U may be releasing in Europe in just over a week, but that didn’t stop Nintendo UK yesterday from reminding everyone that Paper Mario: Sticker Star is on its way to 3DS on 7th December in Europe. Already released in North America — and seemingly going down well with the critics — it was only fair that those of us across the pond finally got some hands-on time with it.
Therefore, in order to celebrate the game’s launch next month, Nintendo UK hired out The Breakfast Club in Spitalfields, London to show-off what is arguably its biggest 3DS title this holiday season. Nintendo Life was kindly invited to attend the event to see first-hand what kind of buzz the game has been generating.
Those that are familiar with East London will likely have heard of The Breakfast Club; it’s renowned for serving big tasty breakfasts and mouth-watering burgers. Nintendo UK spared no expense in its colourful takeover of the premises, splaying the walls and tables with a wealth of Paper Mario posters and tablecloths, while also kitting out the staff with Mario and Luigi costumes. As to be expected, stickers played a central role throughout the evening, acting as currency for food, drinks and even prizes for a few lucky attendees.
We don’t need to give you a full rundown of our gameplay impressions, as our very own Jon Wahlgren has already dished up a hearty, in-depth review. Nevertheless, there were an impressive amount of 3DS systems available to ensure that everyone got a decent hands-on experience. Moreover, Nintendo UK had an army of Nintendo 64, GameCube and Wii systems at the ready, so that players could immediately compare the latest paper-based adventure to previous entries in the series. It’s impressive just how far Paper Mario has come along since its humble 64-bit origins.
But what really topped off the evening was something that no-one was expecting. What looked like nothing more than your ordinary (if somewhat large) SMEG fridge against the wall turned out to be a doorway through to a function room in the basement. After queuing patiently for about 10 minutes, we were let in to discover that we were, in fact, being conscripted into the audience for quite possibly the wackiest game show ever conceived.
Called “Mario and Mario’s Star of the Night”, our hosts were — you guessed it — Mario and Mario. Ironically, Luigi was left to watch the door, thus living up to his mantle of forever being in Mario’s shadow. If this wasn’t already confusing enough, what soon followed was utterly bewildering. The hosts put a bunch of contestants through what was essentially Nintendo’s version of The Generation Game, assisted by the Mario soundtrack, large dungarees and a bizarre selection of items. It was certainly one of the weirdest Nintendo press events in recent times, but it was also indicative of the company’s constant ability to surprise everyone.
The Breakfast Club was packed, and while we imagine that the free food and drink may have had something to do with it, it was nice to see Sticker Star receive such a warm reception. Let’s just hope that UK consumers feel the same way when the game hits stores next month.