Paper Mario

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Gendo
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Paper Mario

Postby Gendo » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:49 pm

Rather than continue sidetracking other threads; Paper Mario can get its own.

So we started Super Paper Mario for the Wii now. I have mixed feelings. It's hard to see it as a Paper Mario game at all, because it's no longer turn-based RPG combat. But it's not quite action/platforming either. It still has RPG elements like inventory; a party of switchable characters; HP; and experience/leveling.

The game system itself is cool; I like action-RPGs. So I'm fine with real-time combat with RPG elements like attack/defense. But there's 2 major issues:

1) The controls... horrible controls. Of all the different ways that the Wii has to control things, they force you to use Wii-mote only, held sideways like an old NES controller. WHY?? With the Nunchuck attached; I love the Wii control system. But the WIi-mote sideways is just awful. Uncomfortable to hold in your hand; buttons that aren't intended to be used as primary action buttons; etc. And there's plenty of thing like switching characters that could have been so much better with the exact buttons they would have had if they had used the Nunchuck. I have no idea what they were thinking with this.

2) The platforming physics... the movement in this game plays a lot like the last 2 Paper Mario games. Which is fine for an RPG. But for a platformer, it's terrible. Mario doesn't have smooth and easy to control running and jumping like he does in a regular 2D Mario game. If this game just had the physics engine of Mario World or something similar, it that part of it could be great. As it is, I'm often failing what should be really simple jump between platforms.

Those 2 things aside, I'm enjoying it. Being able to dynamically switch characters during a level is cool. The "flipping" system is really cool; though sometimes can get old feeling like you always need to flip in every new area so that you don't miss anything.

Oh, there's also the horrific level 2-3, which if you haven't played before, and don't look up a secret code on the internet; requires you to literally sit there and hold right for about 5-8 minutes while doing nothing else but waiting.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #1

Postby Raxivace » Wed Nov 07, 2018 8:59 pm

Yeah that all sounds familiar. I remember in Super Paper Mario I got stuck in some boss fight with only one HP but couldn't find any way to actually get somewhere to heal. Real frustrating.

FWIW I hear the Paper Mario games only get worse after that. I had a friend who used to rant about how much he hated Sticker Star.

At least the original N64 game and Thousand Year Door are still good? There's that decent Smash Bros. stage too I guess.
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Gendo
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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #2

Postby Gendo » Wed Nov 07, 2018 10:52 pm

I've also heard bad stuff about Sticker Star. I won't be playing it probably ever because it's handheld. But when we bought the Wii U, we did buy Color Splash (which I guess is #5; and the last one). Looking forward to finally playing that after Super.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #3

Postby Gendo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 3:03 am

Raxivace wrote:I remember in Super Paper Mario I got stuck in some boss fight with only one HP but couldn't find any way to actually get somewhere to heal. Real frustrating.


Yeah just had this happen tonight. Had 2 HP and no healing items at my save; and had to get through some annoying water level stuff with enemies that were killing me in one hit. Died about 3 times before I finally beat it. There is always the option to teleport back to town, but if you use that, you have to go through all levels of the current world to get back to where you were. Plus it says that the warp thing doesn't work "everywhere"; though not sure where it is that you can't use it.

I'm not sure how other RPGs handle this issue. I know in some final fantasy games you would be able to save at a save point with a very low amount of HP and no healing items; not sure if it's ever been an issue there.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #4

Postby Raxivace » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:58 am

In Final Fantasy games they expect you to be stocking up on healing items at a regular rate. They also expect you to be buying either buying Tent and Cottage items (Or get them as drops from random battles which isn't too uncommon) which allow you to fully heal your HP and MP from either a save point or the world map (I forget which item specifically does which off of the top of my head).

FFXII cuts out those items entirely and just has save points fully heal you altogether. FFXIII doesn't even have healing items and just fully heals you after every single battle. FFXV doesn't have save points and just allows you to save anywhere IIRC (And has multiple save slots, auto saving etc.) but does have "campsites" where you can rest your party (I don't think you even need items for this either), though sleeping in FFXV does a lot more than just healing you compared to other FF games.

Honestly its only the NES era games that can be kind of bullshit about maintaining your HP. I remember in the NES version of FFIII you could go literal hours before even finding a Phoenix Down. The final dungeon of that game doesn't even have save points so lol.
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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #5

Postby Derived Absurdity » Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:49 pm

Sticker Star is supposed to be extremely terrible.

I haven't played Super Paper Mario, but I've been told its storyline is by far its best aspect.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #6

Postby Gendo » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:34 pm

Well we beat Super Paper Mario. Yeah, it's not great. Indeed the story was the deepest of the 3 so far. Actually a super depressing part near the end. But it just has so many little flaws and annoying things that ruin what could have been really great given the style and concept of the game.

Like, one of the final bosses... when you jump on her or throw something that hits her, it shows the normal damage being done. So I kept throwing stuff at her and jumping on her. For a ridiculously long time. Taking occasional damage and using up all my healing items. Like I wasn't keeping exact track, but was pretty sure I did around 500 HP of damage (and no boss had had more than 150 HP up to that point). After the battle I looked it up, and apparently she only takes damage if you jump on her after stunning her. But every time I hit her it literally showed the damage points that she was taking! If an enemy is going to not take damage, they shouldn't show damage being done!

There were a few levels that were just long and repetitive. Like, super long and super repetitive.

We'll still play a bit more to do some more stuff, because apparently there's a lot of things left in the game that we didn't know about. Not just little secrets here and there, but entire mechanics that we didn't even know existed! For example, after beating the game we stumbled upon a map salesman from who we bought some maps. Now the pause screen shows that we have 12/48 maps... we have no idea where to buy the other 36. But each map leads to some secret treasure. That kind of thing is generally neat, but the game really should have made it easier to know that this thing existed from the start... it would have been much better to be hunting down these treasures as we played; rather than having to go back to get them.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #7

Postby Raxivace » Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:57 pm

I never got that far in Super Paper Mario but its weird for that kind of game if like 75% of the bonus content you can just miss so easily like that, especially if the rewards give you more strength and HP and what not.
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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #8

Postby Gendo » Tue Dec 04, 2018 3:09 am

Yeah unlike the first 2 games, getting from one level to the next is generally quite straightforward; and exploration of the outside of levels area is mostly optional.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #9

Postby Gendo » Wed May 29, 2019 10:18 pm

So finally started Color Splash for the Wii U.

I like it more than Super Paper Mario, but definitely not as good as the first 2 Paper Marios. It has a few really big flaws with the battle system... just being in fights is generally not fun, and worse, there's no reason at all to get in fights... no leveling up, no experience, etc. So it mostly becomes more of a platforming game where you are trying to dodge enemies to avoid fights, and then when you do get in one, pressing "Flee" and hoping that the about 50/50 chance of succeeding is successful. Very annoying.

The dialog is great; there's a lot of good references to older Mario stuff. And while there's normally only one place you can go at any time to make any progress; it doesn't feel linear, because you often have to leave a level unfinished, only to come back to it later when something new is unlocked. Reminds me of Metroid in that way. And unlike Thousand Year Door, the backtracking isn't annoying, because there's fast overworld map travel.

We're enjoying finding all the paint spots; it's a game really made for people like us who like to 100% stuff. We're almost done with it now; as a whole it's not great, but not bad.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #10

Postby Raxivace » Thu May 30, 2019 10:27 am

Gendo wrote:So it mostly becomes more of a platforming game where you are trying to dodge enemies to avoid fights, and then when you do get in one, pressing "Flee" and hoping that the about 50/50 chance of succeeding is successful. Very annoying.
I've heard this complaint about battles being pointless in regards to several modern Paper Mario games and it just sounds like such a baffling design decision to me, especially if they've done it for multiple games.
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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #11

Postby Gendo » Thu May 30, 2019 4:19 pm

Not sure what other game it might refer to, though maybe Sticker Star, which I don't know anything about because it's hand-held.

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Re: Paper Mario   Reply #12

Postby Raxivace » Thu May 30, 2019 4:49 pm

I think it was Sticker Star IIRC. I remember a friend telling me something about stickers being a consumable resource in that game but that you didn’t get many stickers back from actually doing battles.

This is all only second-hand information that I only half-remember though, so grain of salt.
"[Cinema] is a labyrinth with a treacherous resemblance to reality." - Andrew Sarris


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