Upon Retrospect: Paper Mario

Welcome to another edition of Upon Retrospect, where I cover your favorite games from the past. This time around, I'd like to cover a game that I was a little skeptical about at first: Paper Mario.


I know what you're asking: why were you skeptical of this game at first glance? For one, I wasn't a fan of the timing mechanics in Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. It felt difficult to use and getting the perfect hit was always a chore. It also wasn't appealing to me story-wise. It felt like the plot was going nowhere, with no clear end in sight.


However, that wasn't the case for Paper Mario. But let's cover the game itself before jumping into the pluses of this classic.


First released on August 11, 2000, in Japan, Paper Mario was developed by Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo. It's a role-playing game that was a hit on the Nintendo 64. Initially, the game was supposed to be developed by Square. However, the company was occupied with developing Final Fantasy VII for the Playstation. Therefore, Intelligent Systems developed the game.


Paper Mario is about Mario, well, saving Princess Peach from Bowser. However, Mario is unsuccessful because Bowser has a hold of the Star Rod, which grants him invincibility. As a result, our plumber hero must traverse through different worlds and gather seven Star Spirits. Otherwise, Bowser will gain full control of the Mushroom Kingdom (he's already gained control of Peach's Castle, after all).


Here's what I loved about Paper Mario. First, the timing is much better control-wise here than in Super Mario RPG. You're not guessing when you have to time an attack, for you have some assistance. No more blind guessing and hoping for the best, for the N64 classic has changed that.


Also, I love the story in this game. It's not always a bad thing to have some twists and turns in your game. However, Super Mario RPG had too many for my liking. Here, that isn't a problem because it's just Bowser being a dick.


Being the skeptic I was about this game, I thought I would've hated it. However, Paper Mario proved me wrong with improved gameplay, a compelling story, and interesting characters. That's why I recommend playing this on the virtual console.