Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam

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Don’t Fold the Corners!| Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam Review

You know, I was never very good at origami. I could make those little cootie catcher things and paper balloons, but I always had hands that were too big for precise folding. That’s part of the reason I enjoyed the Paper Mario series; all the paper folding with none of the hassle (plus, they are video games)! The good guys over at Nintendo have given Dashing Nerds the opportunity to review their latest foray into the paper world with Mario and Luigi Paper Jam for the 3DS.

Table of Contents

Paper Jam is the first game to involve the Paper Mario world of characters since 2012’s Sticker Star, which brought along mediocre review scores. This fresh title looks to blend the world of the Mache Mario with that of the Mario and Luigi team-up games, such as Dream Team. The story is a double shot of the often used Mario tale, but this time Luigi has released the paper world upon the real world…and instead of rescuing one princess, you must now rescue two!

Travel through a handful of settings rescuing toads, collecting coins,  and buying new gear. Jump, hammer, and Bro Attack your way to your next mission. There are also some unique attack types and battle situations, which we will get to in a bit.

Turning the Page

Paper Jam uses the same combat system as the previous Mario and Luigi handheld titles, mostly because it is too damn good to change. Turned-based combat is the name of the game. However, three playable characters also requires faster reflexes; if you don’t make full use of A, B, and Y and get them into your muscle memory quickly, you’re in for a painful surprise; enemies don’t wait to hit you.

You have Bro Attacks, which involve just Mario and Luigi, the OBs (or original bros). They are powerful techniques and most are based heavily on timing. Trio Attacks, which use both brothers plus Paper Mario, are even more powerful attacks that take a higher amount of BP (Bro Power) to use. Aside from the fancy attacks, you have your normal jump and hammer selection with healing items mixed in.

Paper Dolls

To help you get stronger both offensively and defensively, you must find or buy new equipment in the form of clothes and hammers. Use these new found items to increase your health, attack, defense, and Moustache Power, yes… moustache power. Kill bad guys, collect, level up, get stronger, and repeat.

Toad shops will also sell you items, but what you normally find from beating enemies is often better than what can be purchased. The only problem I have hit with this is Paper Mario uses a different set of clothes than Mario and Luigi, and paper clothes seem rarer. I find myself selling a lot of worldly clothes, but barely have anything for poor Paper Mario to wear so that he doesn’t look homeless. However, clothes have no effect on my new favorite battle type…

A Fresh Page and Recycling

What I love about this game is the new battle mode: Papercraft Battle. This pits a team of Toads carrying a giant papercraft version of Mario or Luigi around and attacking other large papercraft enemies. This does well to break up mundane combat and is genuinely fun. It really adds to the charm of the game. However, it is hampered by padding in Toad searches. You are interrupted quite a bit by a bunch of nagging Toads that make you stop what you are doing to send you on rescue or find missions. This gets really repetitive and seems like it was added just to tack hours onto the game. This is the only real instance that I felt really took away from the game.

Full of Hot Air

Paper Jam is really good at one thing, and that’s nagging. The story has funny moments, but the fast forward feature is lovely for when you are just tired of the dialogue. Now RPGs are normally pretty text heavy, but Paper Jam will hold your hand through a lot of the game with what seems like a firm death grip.

Every time you learn a new move, you are asked if you want to practice it, told that there is a practice mode, and reminded of your Battle Guide. This is fine the first few times, but on the fifth or sixth time it gets a little mind numbing. Needless to say, I am a fan of the fast forward feature. I know that the game is geared toward children, I really do, but I dream of a world where you can set your age and the game conforms accordingly.

The Seal of Approval

Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam is a solid entry in the long line of grade A Nintendo handheld games. With its funny quips, new battle styles, and countless encounters, it will easily keep you busy for upwards of 25 hours. After that, you can go back and complete challenge on hard for even more play time. Though sometimes long-winded, I would still recommend it to fans of The Mario and Luigi series and are looking to give them another go.

The Good

  • Familiar combat
  • Paper Craft Battles
  • Pretty Funny

The Bad

  • Toad Search Padding
  • Nagging Tutorials

Written by: Greg

1 Comment Added

Join Discussion
  1. Big Brother January 28, 2016 | Reply

    I always noticed that with the exception of the very first Mario RPG (which had Squaresoft’s fingerprints all over it), the Mario RPGs (Paper Mario, Mario & Luigi) always assumed the player was kind of an idiot. It didn’t make a lot of sense to me, especially since you’d think that the player base would age with the series, but I guess it’s part and parcel with Nintendo’s appeal to young gamers, along with the extreme censorship and childlike aesthetic. I do wish they’d make a true successor to Super Mario RPG, though, because that was the best game in the series IMO.

    On a side note, apparently Square + Nintendo = Awesome, Square + Disney = Awesome, and Square + Enix = NOOOOO. They merged with the wrong company. Squintendo would have been the way to go.

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