Super Paper Mario

5 out of 5 stars
HOP TO IT Mario executes a signature move in his latest 2-D adventure.
HOP TO IT Mario executes a signature move in his latest 2-D adventure.

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

Nintendo fans have been known to get all farklempt when talking about the Paper Mario games, which present the mustachioed mascot and his pals as colorful cardboard cutouts in a 2-D world. Between the broad-canvas plots and the sly humor of the narrative text that bridges levels, the N64 Paper Mario and GameCube Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door brought a genuine sense of wonder back to Nintendo’s signature franchise. SPM severely alters the series’s formula by supplementing the stats-based Final Fantasy--style role-playing of the previous entries with the run-jump-and-stop action that made the plumber a gaming icon. There’s always been a little of that in the PM games, but it takes on new importance here as Mario gains the ability to enter the third dimension for brief periods. Suddenly, enemies turn into bouncing vertical lines and new pathways emerge, as Mario is able to travel around and behind walls and other obstacles instead of just going over them. Throw in a trippy sprinkling of metafiction (Mario and the chief baddies are the only ones who don’t realize they’re video-game characters controlled by a mysterious godlike being—i.e., you), and you’re looking at yet another reason the demographics of the Nintendo fan base seem to expand on a monthly basis. — Andrew Johnston



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