Paper Mario: The Origami King is Nintendo's surprising summer 2020 release that was revealed just two months before launch. It brings the Paper Mario series, which has gone through a number of ups and downs in the five games it's had since the N64, in a new direction: onto the Nintendo Switch for the first time.
As we approach the game's launch, some finer details are the game have become clearer. If you need some clarification on Paper Mario: The Origami King's release date, platforms, and gameplay mechanics then look no further.
When is the Paper Mario: The Origami King release date?
Nintendo plans to release Paper Mario: The Origami King on July 17, 2020.
This date comes about two months after its initial announcement. It's releasing on a busy day, too!
While Nintendo Switch players will be having fun with Paper Mario: The Origami King on July 17, PS4 players will be getting Sucker Punch's highly anticipated Ghost of Tsushima. Xbox One is even getting in on the fun with a console exclusive base-building indie game called Drake Hollow also releasing on that day.
No matter what platform you're on, you'll have a cool new game to play on July 17.
What is the story of Paper Mario: The Origami King?
While the last two Paper Mario games have had more traditional "defeat Bowser" plot, Paper Mario: The Origami King is going for some more original like Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door or Super Paper Mario.
"Mario faces one of his most thrilling challenges yet in Paper Mario: The Origami King when the dangerous King Olly unleashes his plan to fold the entire world," the press release revealing the game explains. "Just when matters couldn’t get worse, he’s bound Princess Peach’s Castle in giant, colored streamers and transported it to a distant mountain. He’s even transformed Bowser’s minions into Folded Soldiers and enlisted them in his treacherous cause."
Basically, Mario and various companions will be traveling throughout the Mushroom Kingdom while trying to take it back from the invading origami forces. While you shouldn't expect this plot to get too complex or serious, Paper Mario titles typically have charming writing and characters so this should be an enjoyable romp.
Does Paper Mario: The Origami King play like Sticker Star and Color Splash?
The Paper Mario games have messed around with various different playstyles over the years, and Paper Mario: The Origami King is once again trying something different. It remixes how battles worked in the first two games of the series with how those in Sticker Star and Color Splash function, all with a unique ring based system.
As the overview video below shows, this battle system will have Mario try to line up enemies located on several rings in the most effective way possible. There's a time limit to this set-up, but coins can be spent to add more time. Once the enemies are lined up or time runs out, players must choose an attack and perform it on the enemies that are lined up.
The first two Paper Mario games featured a more formulaic turn-based battle system that rewarded good timing. After Super Paper Mario took a turn into being more a platformer, gameplay in the series was never the same again. Sticker Star and Color Splash had a similar battle system, with players using collected stickers (or cards in Color Splash's case) around the world to be used in battle.
This system was less involved and rewarding than the first two Paper Mario games, so many fans of the series are yearning for a return to form. While Paper Mario: The Origami King isn't exactly that, the ring based battle system should at least make fights more interesting and less repetitive than they were in Paper Mario: Sticker Star and Color Splash.
Do you gain experience from battles in Paper Mario: The Origami King?
Sadly, The Origami King retains one problem many fans had with Sticker Star and Color Splash. Early previews of the game from VentureBeat and Video Games Chronicle both confirm that you do not gain experience points from battles in Paper Mario: The Origami King. Instead, you just get coins.
While the battle system is more intricate and involved than before, Venture Beat's preview confirms that "if you are able to get the enemies into the pattern — which is always possible with the correct moves, as far as I can tell — you will almost always win the battle on your first turn." It may different than the two games before it, but The Origami King may not necessarily solve all of their problems.
What do you do outside of fights in Paper Mario: The Origami King?
Battles are only one part of Paper Mario: The Origami King. Exploration and platforming make up the other part. This is the aspect of gameplay that the reveal trailer mostly focuses on. Mario solves light puzzles around various locations, including an ancient pyramid. He even seems to be able to ride vehicles like a boat and Goomba shoe with wheels.
Many previews also stress that the game has an amazing sense of variety outside of battle. Toads can also be found hidden throughout every environment, and they appear to be the game's main collectible.
The main new feature of this part of the game is the 1,000-fold Arms, which are the long appendages you see Mario obtain in the trailer. The game's press release teases that the 1,000-fold Arms "allows you to interact with the landscape by stretching out and pulling, peeling and revealing new locations, helping you to solve puzzles and uncover unexpected surprises," so it seems like the game will get a lot of mileage out of this new feature.
Does Paper Mario: The Origami King have Companions?
Yes. The reveal trailer showed Mario teaming up with various characters, including Bowser, a Bob-omb, a couple of Toads, and King Olly's sister Olivia. Unfortunately, these characters don't seem to have super unique names outside of Bowser and Olivia, with names like Professor Toad and Bobby the Bob-omb.
Considering partners based on the same enemy in past Paper Mario games had quirky names like Bombette and Admiral Bobbery and unique designs, this is a bit disappointing. While that does take a bit of personality out of Paper Mario: The Origami King, hopefully, the characters will come across as charming even if they have unoriginal names.
These characters also help in battle, though there is a catch. "[Companions] don't really fight," VentureBeat's Jeff Grubb revealed on Twitter. "They sorta supplement your attacks if you don't kill everything in one turn. But they also often literally sit outside of dungeons." That's definitely disappointing, even if it is a step up over previous games.
Paper Mario: The Origami King will be released for Nintendo Switch on July 17, 2020.