Super Paper Mario showcases brilliant mechanic

I know, I know, Nintendo has some clever mechanic at work in one of their games? Next thing you know, the sun will rise tomorrow! But seriously, in the words of Navi, “Hey, listen!”

So with all the razmatazz surrounding the Wii and the continued dominance of the DS at E3, Nintendo’s last batch of Gamecube games went unnoticed to the point where Gamespot said they weren’t even there and Nintendo reps didn’t even know about it.

Either way, a small Nintendo fan site apparently did get some hands-on time on Super Paper Mario, the announced spin-off of the Paper Mario series. They claim much of what you can tell from the trailer – that the game is an RPG-inspired platformer (what a lovely idea!) and is terribly clever.

In fact, it is doing something that I have wanted a game try out for a long, long time. To wit:

You’ll be able to switch between Mario, Princess Peach, and Bowser. Each character has their own special power that’s triggered with the R-button. The ever effervescent Princess Peach floats along on her parasol. She is also lighter and can jump the highest. Bowser can breathe fire, but is also large and sluggish. The most significant one is Mario’s power to turn the entire area into 3-D by turning the sidescrolling 2-D level ninety degrees so you can see in front of Mario. This reveals almost a whole new world as you move forward. Impassable pipes and other obstacles can be sidestepped around, sort of like in SMB3 where you went behind the white block to find the Warp Whistle. Ladders unseen from its paper thinness are now revealed. Uncrossable gaps are no challenge once it’s revealed that the background hill was really a bridge all along the edge of the pitfall. All these new perspectives are just ripe for challenging puzzles and fun twists as long as you remember to think three-dimensionally.

Okay, yeah, hi. That’s awesome. And it shows Nintendo’s not just thinking of the types of innovations they can do with the Wii controller. It also continues to demonstrate why there’s a need to actually make a distinction between 2D and 3D games and continue to produce them.

If rumors are true, then the Paper Mario developers themselves, Intelligent Systems is behind this one, which would make this the first time they’ve been involved in a platformer.

I don’t know about you, but I consider Intelligent Systems Nintendo’s brightest and most consistent studio.

More information here. You’ll also find a screenshot of the 3Dfication there.


I’m pretty sure I saw some footage of that on G4. So it wasn’t completely missed.

Nintendo had no GameCube or Game Boy Advance games on the show floor. I specifically asked them about it and the reasoning was they wanted the focus on Wii and DS. They said there are some 60 GC titles coming in 2006, obviously not all from Nintendo, but there are certainly some big ones among those. This game in particular is one that’s way at the top of my list for 2006.

Yeah this looks to be one of the greatest nintendo games ever for me, I’m a huge 2d platformer / 2d sidescroller of any kind really, fan.

I’m feeling some love finally, between this, the ds stuff, and some psp titles. I’d really like some shmups to hit xbox live arcade as well though… I havent heard a thing about 'em, and horiz. scrollers would be nice in widescreen HD.