What the Next Paper Mario Game Needs to Make Fans Happy

Article Last Modified: 7 months ago

Infamous Nintendo leaker Sabi has pulled out a leak that if true, will send fans of the Paper Mario series in a craze. In cryptic leaker language, Sabi tweeted, "Paper Mario going back to how it was, in 2020" which has fans excited for a new game that returns to Paper Mario's roots as a turn-based RPG with tons of charm and humor. The past couple Paper Mario games weren't received well by fans as the series continued to stray from the formula fans enjoy, but the resurgence of a new Paper Mario game for the Nintendo Switch could turn the series' fate upside down.

Paper Mario for Nintendo Switch Leaked
Paper Mario for Nintendo Switch Leaked

Infamous Leaker Sabi Hints At A New Paper Mario Game

Any self-respected Nintendo fan has played at least one of the games in the Paper Mario series (and dear god if it had to be just one, let that one game have been be The Thousand Year Door.) If you’ve been a long-standing fan of the series like I have, you’ve probably played all of the games up until Super Paper Mario.


If you follow my writing, you’ll see that I generally don’t give too much credit to leaks, as I hear a bunch that never come true. Sabi is an infamous leaker in the Nintendo community who has gotten quite a few releases in 2019 correct, and I’m not saying that I completely believe the new Paper Mario release to be true, but it would be a dream come true if it is.

It’s been nearly four years since the last Paper Mario game, Paper Mario: Color Splash, was released in 2016 on the Nintendo Wii U. While that game received better reception than its predecessor, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, neither compares to the amazing reception received by their predecessors Paper Mario on the N64, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on the Nintendo Gamecube, and Super Paper Mario on the Nintendo Wii. But what made those games so good?

Bring Back Paper Mario's Solid RPG Elements

Paper Mario (N64) and Paper Mario TTYD (Gamecube) were amazing turn-based RPGs that allowed the player to control Mario and a cast of popular characters in the.

Things started to turn sour and once loyal Paper Mario fans started to turn away from the franchise when partner characters were removed from the gameplay system.

Super Paper Mario makes up for this defiency by allowing the player to switch from Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, and Bowser (in addition to a cast of new characters called Pixls.) 

This didn’t make up for the lack of partners and a turn-based battle system, but Super Paper Mario’s story and humor was enough to not only carry me through the end of the game and even give it a second play-through. Sticking to the turn-based battle formula would have made it a god-tier game on the Wii.

Peach Battling Dimentio in Super Paper Mario

For scale, I’ve gone through TTYD about 5 times, the original Paper Mario about 4 times, Super Paper Mario twice, and I didn’t even get through the end of Sticker Star and Color Splash.

That being said, I’m sure that most Paper Mario fans would like to see turn-based battles and partners make a return. Does it have to be in the same style as the original Paper Mario and The Thousand Year Door?

No, not at all, but we shouldn’t throw out what works. Expand upon it, upgrade it, and make it better. It was an awesome addition for extra commands to be added into Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, to give it’s gameplay an upgrade from the N64 Paper Mario. But you’ll find that I repeat this often: Don’t throw out what works!

We Want Partners and More Options for Them

Something that made Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door stand out was the ability to receive a different color Yoshi partner based on the timing that you receive it’s egg. Mechanics like this make people invest more time and energy into your game, but also be rewarded for doing so. 

It was always such an awesome excitement when a new partner joined your party in one of these games, getting to use them in battle and using their abilities outside of battle to discover new terrain all while learning more about the character is most of the fun of playing RPGs!

Credit to @*Nelde on DeviantArt for this Compilation of the Paper Mario Partners

The list would be endless for what kinds of characters Nintendo could bring on as partners for Mario’s next paper adventure. I’m personally hoping that Mario gets to partner up with a chain chomp character in the next game, as I’m curious to what personality Nintendo would give a character like that. I feel like chain chomps are innocent but vicious dogs, but who knows what Nintendo’s take will be. Let us know in the comments what kind of character you want Mario to partner up with in the next Paper Mario!

Badges Are Better Than Stickers, Bring Those Back

In the first two Paper Mario games, Mario and co. had access to badges, which allowed them to use special skills such as throwing a hammer, charging a powerful next attack, or a character’s base stats. This adds a strategic element that gamers love because you’re able to play the game in so many different ways, like doing a “Close-Call” run, where players can decrease Mario’s base HP to 5 to always take advantage of the Close-Call badge, which increases the chance’s that an enemy’s attack will miss Mario.

Mario Throwing Hammer in Turn-based Battle (Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door)

Stickers were introduced in Paper Mario: Sticker Star as a replacement to badges that were completely removed from Super Paper Mario. Some of them are pretty cool, I’m not going to lie, but the very fact that in these games Mario fights, for the most part, alone with just the use of stickers makes them very strong and overpowered, which I don’t see working if Paper Mario brings partners back. I’d rather they bring partners and badges back than stickers!

Improving on the turn-based elements and Partners instead of throwing them out completely is the right way to go. I understand and appreciate Nintendo’s need to innovate, but in this case Nintendo should leave that to a new series IP. If Sabi’s rumor is correct, Nintendo is listening to the fans and will return to a Paper Mario with these turn-based RPG and team gameplay elements. 

Stickers and badges might both be implemented, or there might be a new system that is similar to the two, but it’s definitely a mechanic that Paper Mario needs to have in order to play like a familiar game.

Make Us Laugh, Cry, and Love The Next Paper Mario

I think the best element of the original Paper Mario games was the amount of time and love that were put into the stories. Color Splash feels black & white, and the Sticker Star mechanic sucks.

Even Super Paper Mario, the dark horse platformer, had more substance than the last two Paper Mario games. While the gameplay elements were odd for a Paper Mario game, the game made up for it in its storyline and hilarious humor that both children and adults can enjoy.

Paper Mario (N64), Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Gamecube), and Super Paper Mario (Wii) were games that had incredible.

Paper Mario (N64) sent most children and teens back in the day on their first role-playing adventure as Mario, being able to connect with characters from the Mushroom Kingdom like Goombas, Koopas, and Boos in completely different ways (that is, unless you had the change to play Super Mario RPG, one of the best games on the SNES and predecessor to the first Paper Mario.)

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door added a deeper story-line that went beyond Mario’s struggle to save the princess, dynamic characters, and a vast amount of side quests/stories that help expand upon the setting (like listening to Luigi talk about his adventure in tandem with every chapter that you finish in Mario’s story.)

Super Paper Mario was actually a comedic masterpiece in my opinion. From the chapter with the nerd Francis to all of the weird banter that NPCs have, Super Paper Mario may have deviated from the norm but it still had a lot of heart put into it. The dialogue was on point, Tippi’s journey with Count Bleck might have made me cry as a young adult male, and I still replay “Memory” from the OST when I’m writing.

Paper Mario Dating Sim with Princess Peach & Francis

By leaving out partners, the game becomes dull without characte development through the storyline and through character banter throughout the story. RPG players love it when game developers put in work to making NPCs say funny or revelant things, when the story or situations give characters a chance to shine, and they love being in the shoes of these characters! Don’t forget the emotion in RPGs, don’t take out the soul, because that’s what really make them shine.

Nintendo, Please Revive Paper Mario To Its Former Glory

After playing Paper Mario Sticker Star, many fans were hesitant to give Color Splash a try because the game didn’t switch up any of the disliked mechanics from Sticker Star. The original Paper Mario format of having turn-based battles with partners was loved. Switching it up does the longstanding fans dirty, but it can be made up for and fans would be eternally grateful for a Paper Mario game that brings back its original appeal.

Let’s have a new Paper Mario that gives Mario new paper abilities, new but recognizeable partners from the Mushroom Kingdom / Super Mario Universe, and let us have cameos from old characters! See Miss Bow in TTYD was a delightful treat for fans of the N64 games, and with 2020 being the age of rebooting old games and TV shows, I think we might see some former stars of the Paper Mario series make appearances. 

Paper Mario Being Revived by the Seven Stars (N64)

Is your wishlist for the next Paper Mario the same as ours? Let us know in the comments below if you believe in Sabi’s leak that a new Paper Mario is going to be released for the Nintendo Switch in 2020, and what you would want to see included in a new Paper Mario game!



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