There’s a new brother in town, and the Mario and Luigi Dream Team as you know it is about to get rocked. Well, maybe he’s not so new, but now, Paper Mario will team up with his 3-D brothers to restore order in the Mushroom Kingdom.
Kids may want to pinch themselves, but assure them that they are far from dreaming. In Nintendo‘s Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, Luigi’s nerves once again get the best of him, causing him to accidentally knock over a book while inspecting a mysterious hole in the wall. And, it’s not just any old book —players will watch as a full-on explosion of paper versions of iconic Nintendo characters leap from its pages. Prepare to see double, triple, quadruple, and more as the 2-D characters let loose in the Mushroom Kingdom.
While an extra Toad or Princess Peach running around isn’t quite an issue, a Bowser duo has “Nintendo nightmare” written all over it. The two nearly identical enemies waste no time joining forces, leaving it up to Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario to once again save the kingdom from impending doom.
Throughout the game, rated E for Everyone, it will be fairly simple for kids to distinguish the 3-D characters from their paper lookalikes. While the Mushroom Kingdom and it’s rolling hills, desserts, and oceans are round, Paper Mario, Paper Bowser, and the handful of Paper Toads and other paper escapees are flat with clear, symmetrical lines. Additionally, their bodies have outlines of white borders, which help to make it appear as if they were peeled right from the Paper Mario pages.
Kids should prepare to put their thumbs to work on their Nintendo 3DS portable consoles. In this side-scrolling, role-playing game (RPG), players choose between the usual attack methods, Jump or Hammer, to prep the Bros. for battle. As kids advance throughout the game, the Jump and Hammer attacks expand, allowing for even stronger results through classic power-ups. For example, by unlocking Fire Flower, one of the first Bros. Attacks of the game, players will be able to transform Mario and Luigi into fire mode so that they can throw fireballs at their opponents. Like almost all power-ups, by repeatedly pressing on the A or B button, the attack becomes even more powerful.
Just as important as it is to master the mechanics behind the attack, so is nailing the defense methods. When it comes to defense, timing is everything. If a player masterfully dodges a bullet, he or she can jump right on cue to send the attack straight back to his or her opponent. Take that, Bowser.
An extra twist is added to traditional battles early on in the game when Paper Mario joins forces with Mario and Luigi. Once Paper Mario is thrown into the mix, the player unlocks Trio Attacks, where all three are involved, including an unlocked block where the trio joins forces.
Paper Mario’s flat frame will give players a big advantage while they journey through the video game. For instance, the 2-D Nintendo character has the ability to create a giant paper hammer during battle, as well as the power to transform into a paper airplane in order to stealthily slip into nooks and crannies that are too narrow for the 3-D Bros. to access.
While there is definitely strength in numbers, as the great Uncle Ben once warned Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility.” Children must now learn to maneuver three individual characters, as well as their appropriate buttons. Simple moves, such as jumping over a ledge, get a bit dicey as the three controls must be hit in an exact order for the moves to be effective.
Several missions throughout the game will require the utmost concentration, while others will be a virtual piece of cake. Players never have to worry about being at a loss for direction, because several happy helpers, like the adorable Starlow, are always just a few short steps away. Though these friendly faces tend to be a little chatty, their witty dialogue makes the conversation much more interesting.
One recurring challenge throughout the game is the Paper Toad rescue mission, which are all initiated at the Lakitu Info Centers found in various Toad Towns scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. These info centers are filled with stacks of books and papers sprawled across desks where characters sit, ready to offer guidance. Here, players are given instruction to partake in missions to find hidden Paper Toads in order to advance to the next level.
In Nintendo’s new Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam, there is strength in numbers, and the classic dynamic duo transforms into an even more powerful trifecta. The game creatively merges the 2-D characters into a 3-D setting, while finding innovative ways to keep players constantly on their toes.