We've already heard Paper Mario: The Origami King producer, Kensuke Tanabe, discuss the creative restrictions tied to the series and how it is "no longer possible to modify Mario characters", and now in a more recent interview with GamesRadar, he's touched on it again.
He reiterated how it's been this way since Paper Mario: Sticker Star on the 3DS and also expanded on previous comments - explaining how the team is "no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics" in the Toad NPCs:
Tanabe: From the production of Paper Mario: Sticker Star onwards, we were no longer able to graphically represent individual characteristics, such as age, gender etc., in the Toad NPCs (non-playable characters), and so it has become that much more important to convey their personalities simply through text. Our writer, Mr Taro Kudo, has been grappling with this difficult challenge since Paper Mario: Sticker Star, but has managed to achieve giving all the texts a sense of humour. In this instalment, Paper Mario: The Origami King, we were able to include some Toads wearing an outfit to match their role, and also created original origami characters.
As previously mentioned, Tanabe addressed this in an Iwata Asks interview, around the time of Sticker Star's release:
Aside from wanting us to change the atmosphere a lot, there were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project—"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?" and "As much as possible, complete it with only characters from the Super Mario world.
But being unable to use new characters is pretty strict. Of course, we could not make any new enemy characters, and as for allies among the Super Mario characters, there's really only Toad in various colors!
How do you feel about all of this? Do you think this particular Mario series should be given more freedom? Share your thoughts down below.