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Topic: (Too early) musings: The future of Paper Mario... something closer to trad Zelda?

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Ludovsky

Some musing I had playing the latest Paper Mario could be basically summed up this way:

A: Actually, I don't find it too bad of a game and even enjoy some of the puzzles the new battle system throw my way?

B: Thousand Years Door definitely sadly isn't coming back, bar a remastered port or something

C: This said, the more I play this game... the more it reminds me of traditional -Zelda- games???

'C' is one of the more notable point I keep coming to, to the point I'm starting to wonder if some of this was intentional beyond just the Great Sea area's pastiche involving that very Wind Waker-esque Diamond island and divine-themed sky tower itself feeling like quite the parody shoutout to Wind Waker again(especially once knowing of what exactly awaits at the final destination after that tower, for re: parody).

This said, beyond parody there's a couple of other things that gives me lot of "Zelda in papery Mario clothes" feelings.
For one: the dungeons, particularly Velumental dungeons. It's not only just the "elemental temple" vibe which feels very traditional Zelda but also the traps, the puzzles in particular. Paper Mario always had it's share of themed-dungeons, but I didn't recall them filled with that many puzzles/etc to solve along the way. That puzzle aspect felt VERY traditional Zelda-like at times.

Hidden hearts upgrade but also the accessories system to a lesser degree also reminded me of Zelda games a fair bit. In a way the game might have ditched XP and levels but it nonetheless kept the idea of character upgrades... just in the "find the hidden upgrade/etc-buy or find the accessories gear" kind of way that's... honestly not that far from older Zelda games?

Another aspect: much was made about the puzzle rings battle system, but I feel like that let something else slip under the radar: those battles actually fought in real time, paper machos but particularly Paper Macho -bosses-.

Fighting the Paper Macho Blooper, Pokey and "Paper Mistake Buzzy Beetle" one of the thought that kept occurring to me is just how much these bosses remind me... of classic Zelda battles. From the slightly more top-down arena perspective adopted during these fights, to the beat and pace of boss attacks fitting the pattern-like nature of Zelda bosses fights among other things.

It's way too early to speculate but it makes me wonder if, in lieu of a return to RPG-proper mechanics of early Paper Mario, the future of the franchise might not be indeed fitting more something taking places the hole of the "action adventure with puzzles/etc" of traditional pre-BOTW Zelda(and thus letting post-BotW Zelda build up on what they've started with BotW and see where that lead them).

Admitedly it's over simplified but it does make me wonder if the next(or one of the next) Paper Mario games might not become outright a real-time action game... but one based on the more topdown-ish perspective of older style Zelda games than the platforming of Super Paper Mario.

Of course with how the devs seem to want to shake things up every new titles these days, even something that seem like a potentially easy prediction could be proven wrong by something else coming out entirely out of left field so... who knows.

Edited on by Ludovsky

Ludovsky

rallydefault

Yea, you know, you're not too off base with how you explain it. The lack of traditional exp per battles but instead growth through the hearts (some through storyline, but a lot through optional exploration) does feel a lot like Zelda.

I think you have a bunch of good points. The real-time hammer battles do feel a lot like some of the older 2D Zelda bosses; get a hit in on the weak point, retreat, wait for the pattern, go back for another hit, etc. (I know that seems super vague, but those who played will know what I'm talking about.)

I wonder if the reason I really enjoyed Origami King was that I didn't play much of Thousand Year Door. My friend had TYD back in the day, and I watched him play it for a couple sessions, but I never actually played it myself. They are definitely taking it in more of an adventure direction with super light rpg elements, but like you said, who knows what will come next.

Everyone complains about game franchises becoming stale, but then they also complain when the devs try something new. You can't win and rarely can you please all genre audiences with one game. I would LOVE a more Zelda/adventure direction, and maybe a revival of Super Mario RPG for those looking for the traditional numbers-and-party rpg experience.

rallydefault

damien33ad

As someone who has never played a single Paper Mario game I've kind of sat back and watched this whole thing unfold. I was all set to buy the Origami King until a few weeks before release and I saw the battle system. That said, I heard all these people referencing TTYD. So I'll be ordering that from GameStop online soon-only $60..
I will say that Nintendo won't be in any hurry to make another Paper Mario, since this wasn't that well received. However, they say they don't listen to fans but they really do and they tend to get things right even if takes a few tries. I predict that Paper Mario will come out whenever it does could he 10 years who knows, but when it does, it will go back true to form. I doubt they will completely ditch the old style. My reason for this is that I believe with Zelda, even with BOTW 2 Nintendo will not be giving us a 1:1 game as original. They always seem to fix things even if noone says to fix them. And they are going to build on what people loved (the open world) and insert the trad part of the franchise and include dungeons and story this time. This tends to he a pattern with Nintendo. They will do a really experimental game where the throw away so much of the conventions and see if people like it. Sometimes they do, like BOTW, sometimes they don't, PMOK. So I think if you watch BOTW 2 you're right, you will see where paper Mario is headed. Something new always, but something old as well

damien33ad

Blooper987

@damien33ad I haven’t played Origami King yet ( I’m hoping to get it in my Bday ) but I’m actually thinking I’ll like the combat. I enjoyed Color Splash and I found the combat to be decent. I think this one will be no different. TTYD tho is amazing. You’ll love it(probably) make sure you don’t skip around too many fights cause I was under leveled near the end and the bosses were terribly hard.

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damien33ad

@Blooper987 ya i hope you enjoy Origami King. I honestly was hyped for it but I've got so many games in my library that I regret getting and have never finished I didn't want PM to be yet another one. Some places gave it a 7/10. That scared me too. Overall, i watched prolly a different zen reviews and they all said the combat sucked but the game was hilarious and story was great fun to play thru, though lacking experience points really kills the need to enter battle and TTYD was far superior. That's my summary. They did all say to still buy it and not pass it up because of the battle system though. And yes I am excited to try TTYD
Especially when I've never played a minute of those games before is exciting. So I'm pumped for that
Will check in again when I get started in it. Let me know how Origami King goes. I might get talked into trying it if it goes on sale

damien33ad

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