Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Unfinished Reviews: Super Paper Mario (with KoD)

Hey everyone, I've honestly lost my passion for writing reviews and talking about stuff on this blog.  It's no longer something that brings me happiness... it's just a burden to come up with ideas or even finish writing the ideas that I have.  As such I've decided to cut this year short and put all the stuff I have already written (Doctor Who and Recipes) out there every week until they run out which will probably be sometime in October maybe?  However I also have three unfinished reviews sitting out here that I was doing with other people.  However apparently the passion to help me with these things has also died off as for one reason or another my co-writers have just decided not to finish.  Rather than let words go to waste, I'm going to still publish them in their unfinished form so you could see what all I've been wanting to do.

This particular review was started late 2015 as a sort of thank you for KoD getting me a Lucina Amiibo.  Well that didn't exactly happen and since KoD's amiibo hunter failed in that regard I guess the necessity to help me finish this failed with it.  He was just never quite in the mood to talk about one of his absolute favorite games so... here it is with what all we had done up until it just died.  

This is your standard spoiler warning.  If you do not wish to have Super Paper Mario spoiled then I suggest you hop over into another dimension!  Since this is a review with KoD, I better slap a length warning up there as well.

This is Ghost, thanks for joining.

When I started to create weekly content on my blog, it became important that I would need to diversify my video games, movies, television, and food.  Nobody wants to read the same old stuff.  Therefore, I would like to do something that I wouldn't normally do; perhaps something that I wouldn't normally play for today's review.

If you're looking for something different to play I have a suggestion.

Oh, Hey KoD.  You know, I'm actually glad you're here.  You tend to come up with some unique ideas from time to time.  What's your suggestion?

You could always play one of my favorite games, Super Paper Mario.

A Paper Mario game?  That sounds amazing!  I've played Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door and loved it.  I'll gladly play a turn based RPG Mario game any day over the classic platforming nonsense.  My local Gamestop has one used that I saw the other day. Hang on and I'll go get it!  Then we can review it together since it's one of your favorite games!  BRB

Umm... Well Ghost it's not exactly uh... hello? Well that was easy!  I didn't have to bribe him with an amiibo this time.  I just hope he's not too upset that it's not a turn based RPG...


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Being the Nintendo fan that I am, it pains a certain part of me to admit that I often dislike Mario games as I explained in my post Mario Needs to Let Go of the Past. If you want to know my full feelings on the series as a whole, then read that post.  But then, out of a sea of absolute mediocrity, there is the Paper Mario series.  Suddenly Luigi, Peach, and Bowser had a great deal of character development.  The series picked up a lot of tongue-in-cheek writing and was quite enjoyably humorous.  Also, the Paper Mario series ditched the traditional Mario platforming in favor of a turn-based RPG style with multiple characters to utilize.  Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door were two breaths of fresh air in a sea of staleness which I thoroughly enjoyed.  Then Super Paper Mario came around and made some changes to the series; changes that were fairly baffling in all honesty.  What baffling changes were made?  Well let's jump right in to the review and see.

The Plot

As with most Paper Mario games, we start off the plot with a little bit of backstory.  We are told the story of the Dark Prognosticus, a dark prophetic book which holds the secrets of the future within its pages.  The entirety of the game is basically the story of the book's last user in which we are playing out the events; it's a tale of love.  We start the game properly with Mario and Luigi being given news that Peach's castle has been raided and the princess has been captured

AGAIN?! Are you kidding me with this?

The Mario Bros assume that Bowser has once again made off with Peach and head for his castle.  To everyone's surprise, Peach was not captured by Bowser.  Her kidnapper is none other than Count Bleck, the chosen executioner of the Dark Prognosticus.  Refusing to relinquish the Princess, Bleck knocks out Mario and creates a black hole void which sucks in Luigi, Bowser, and his minions to another dimension.  When Peach awakens, she finds herself at a wedding alter with Bowser.  Bleck's plan involves forcibly marrying the pair in order to create the Chaos Heart and destroy all worlds.  Bowser agrees to marry Peach but she refuses forcing Bleck's assistant, Nastasia, to use her mind control powers to force Peach into agreement.  As the ceremony concluded, the Chaos Heart was born and began it's duty of consuming all of the worlds as Bleck had ordered  it to.

Mario, however, meets up with Tippi, a butterfly-like pixl who takes him to see a man named Merlon.  There, Mario learns of Count Bleck's plans and is told that only the eight pure hearts can save the worlds from destruction.  Merlon hands over the pure heart in his possession.  Mario places the first pure heart into it's pillar and the doorway to a new heart opens.

Chapter 1: Lineland
Mario appears in Lineland and tracks down a man named Bestovius who teaches Mario how to flip into the 3rd Person in this 2 Dimensional world in order to progress through it.  After obtaining this power, Mario climbs Mount Lineland and ends up in Yold Town where they find another pixl named Thoreau.  Thoreau helps Mario to grab items and toss them with ease.  He helps Mario and Tippi cross the Yold Desert where they fight and defeat O'Chunks before entering the Yold Ruins.  The second pure heart is guarded by a robotic dragon named Fracktail because nothing says "Ye Olde Ruins" quite like cybernetic dragon.  Fracktail recognizes Mario as fitting the description of the hero and intends on handing over the heart to him.  Unfortunately, Dimentio appears and corrupts the dragons memory forcing Mario to defeat him in order to obtain the heart.

Back at Castle Bleck, O'Chunks reports of his defeat and Count Bleck sends Mimi after Mario.  Nastasia begins to sweep the castle for any of Bowser's minions still not under their control.  Elsewhere in the castle, Princess Peach awakens and is accompanied by two koopas in search for escape.  However, Nastasia finds them and hypnotizes the koopas.  As they round on Peach she suddenly vanishes.   Back at Flipside, Mario brings the pure heart to Merlon but word hears them of a girl who has fallen from the sky; it's Peach!  Mario revives her and Peach decides to accompany him on his journey to stop the Void.

Chapter 2: Gloam Valley
Mario and Peach travel across Gloam Valley in order to reach Merlee's Mansion where the third pure heart resides.  Along the way they meet an explosive pixl named Boomer who assists on their journey.  Mimi has disguised herself as one of Merlee's maids and once our heroes enter the building she sets up a trap for them to break a vase and forces them to work off the bogus debt in the mansion's power plant in order to delay their meeting with Merlee.  With help from another pixl, Slim, the pair are able to quickly pay off the bogus debt and reach the basement where a vision of Merlee warns them.  Mimi then transforms into her true spider form and chases them around the basement until they discover Merlee who was hiding... *cough* sorry I have to do this.  They discover Merlee who was hiding

Mimi disguises herself as Merlee and after an amusing game show segment, Mimi attacks once more and is defeated.  Merlee hands over the next pure heart to Mario and Peach.

Back at Castle Bleck, Mimi reports that she has been defeated so Count Bleck sends Dimentio after the group.  Nastasia once again resumes her previous activity of sweeping the castle.  Elsewhere in the castle, Luigi wakes up and is accompanied by two goombas.  As the three are searching for an exit, Nastasia appears and hypnotizes one of the goombas; the other joins her on his own.  The two goombas hold down Luigi as Nastasia comes in to hypnotize him as well.  Mario and Peach return to Flipside where they place the pure heart in its pillar.

Chapter 3: The Bitlands
Mario and Peach land in a bizarre area made of nothing more than pixels called the Bitlands.  Within seconds, Tippi is kidnapped by an overly nerdy chameleon named Francis who takes her back to his nerd lair.  A pixl named Barry saw the whole thing and sets our heroes on the right path to Fort Francis.  As they go through this retro world, they run across Bowser and his minions who have built a new castle in this land.  Mario takes down his arch-enemy which leads to the brute joining the party.  The trio come to the Tile Pool and with the help of a pixl named Thudley, defeat a giant Blooper and make their way towards a massive tree.  At the top of the tree, Dimentio is waiting for them.  In order to make the fight more favorable in his odds, Dimentio transports the heroes to Dimension D.
Dimentio is defeated there and as he disappears we are treated to a scene where Dimentio is plotting for the heroes to defeat Bleck.  Finally our trio arrives Fort Francis.  After searching around the nerd lair filled with robotic cats, and all sorts of nerdy collectibles, they find a pixl named Carrie who assists them with finding the door to Francis where Princess Peach marches right in.  After an admittedly hilarious dating simulator portion, the trio defeat Francis and rescue Tippi.  Tippi is so overcome with happiness that her joy produces that world's pure heart!

Back at Castle Bleck, Dimentio explains his defeat at the hands of the heroes.  Bleck decides to have his new minion face off against Mario next.  After O'Chunks, Mimi, and Dimentio leave, Nastasia speaks with Count Bleck; she tells him that it's still not too late to change his mind and stop the prophesy from happening.  Bleck states that he has come too far to quit now and that Nastasia is free to leave with his blessing, but Nastasia states her loyalty to Bleck.  Meanwhile Dimentio is seen eavesdropping on the conversation.  Mario, Peach, and Bowser return to Flipside where they place the pure heart in the next pillar and open the way to a new heart.

Chapter 4: Outer Space
When our heroes jump into the next door they find themselves in space and cannot breathe due to the lack of oxygen.  They hastily return to Flipside in search for a space helmet and eventually find one in the form of *sigh* a fish bowl.  With their new "space helmet" they return to space and meet with an alien named Squirps who agrees to guide them to the pure heart.  The group makes a pit stop on the planet Blobule so that Squirps can use the bathroom.  Unfortunately the bathroom is occupied by someone in desperate need of toilet paper.  Mario then explores the entire planet to find something suitable for that purpose and gives it to the individual in need, which turns out to be the pixl Fleep.  Using Fleep's ability the group is able to reach the Outer Limits of space, a maze-like area with several warp points.  There in the Outer Limits they meet up with Count Bleck's newest minion, the mysterious Mr. L!

The trio and L duke it out for awhile, but when Mr. L realizes that things aren't going his way, he summons a giant mech suit called the Brobot.  At this point the game turns into a sort of Gradius shoot-em-up in space between the Brobot and the heroes utilizing Squirps.  Ultimately the Brobot is scrapped and L is sent running.  Squirps then takes the heroes to a statue of his late mother where the pure heart is stored.

Back at Castle Bleck, Nastasia introduces Mr. L to the rest of the teams.  Bleck refers to L as the "man in green" who is destined to bring forth the destruction of all.  Bleck then sends O'Chunks off to face against the heroes once more, sending away his other minions.  Nastasia once again pleads with Bleck.  She believes that the minions will not be able to defeat Mario and that he will be coming for Bleck.  She muses that if she were "that" girl then things would be different.  Bleck refuses to stop his plans and remarks "that girl" could not be replaced.  The heroes land in Flipside but cannot find another pillar there for the latest pure heart.  Instead, they discover the hidden secret about Flipside as they stumble upon the 3D passage to Flopside.  Flopside is a mirror counterpart to Flipside with a mirror counter part to Merlon, Nolrem.  Here they find the proper pillar for the pure heart which opens up another pathway.

Chapter 5: Land of the Cragnons
Mario, Peach, and Bowser are dropped into the Downtown of Crag, a caveman village.  Here they are given the task of helping the local Cragnons by rescuing their people who have been kidnapped by the Floro Sapiens.  After traversing the land and dealing with some extreme annoyance which I shall be covering later, our heroes meet up with a hammer pixl named Cudge who helps them gain access to the Floro Sapiens Caves.  Within the caves they run into a Cragnon journalist, Flint Cragley and his production team.  There they discover that the Floro Sapeins have been using flower sprouts to control the minds of the Cragnons in order to make them slaves.  With the help of another pixl, Dottie, they fight and defeat O'Chunks once more and make their way to the leader of the Floro Sapiens.  They battle and defeat the king only to find out that it was the pollution caused by the Cragnons which turned the king crazy in the first place.  Flint Cragley vowed to inform his people of their destructive pollution as Mario grabbed the pure heart in the King's possession.

Back at Castle Bleck, Nastasia punishes O'Chunks for his repeated failures.  Dimentio appears before Mimi and Mr. L to encourage them to take on Mario's party together.  They agree and sneak out of the castle.  Mario, Peach, and Bowser use their new pixl friends to find the 6th pure heart pillar and open the doorway to another area.

Chapter 6: Sammer's Kingdom

Upon entering the door, Mario and friends find themselves in the Sammer's Kingdom which, by looking at the citizens, is apparently part of Canada.
The Void that Count Bleck created has grown significantly in this area.  As our heroes move into a sort of arena and defeat one Sammer Guy, the King appears and informs them that they must defeat the other 99 Sammer Guys in order to obtain the pure heart.  Unfortunately, around the tenth area, Count Bleck appears before the heroes.  He lets them know that the Void will soon engulf the world they are in and, in the course of his talk reveals that no one besides someone named Timpani ever mattered to him in the slightest.  Our heroes hurry on win the pure heart but in the next section they find King Sammer who just gives them the pure heart.  However this heart is a fake as Mario discovers Mimi has been impersonating King Sammer.  Mimi fights with Mario to delay them further from their goal.  In the end, Sammer Kingdom is consumed by the Void but somehow Mario and the others make it safely to Flipside.  At this time, Tippi starts to regain a part of her lost memory and believes she once knew Count Bleck.  Mario goes back into the door to find a white space of nothingness.  They find the pure heart, but is has become dormant as stone and Mr. L with his mech, the Brobot, are guarding it.  Once more Mario defeats Mr. L and takes the dead pure heart with him.

Meanwhile in Castle Bleck, Mr. L mulls over why he can't beat the heroes when Dimentio shows up.  In an attempt to protect himself from being discovered by Count Bleck, Dimentio puts an end to Mr. L in a powerful explosion.  Mario returns to Merlon to find a way to restore the pure heart when Dimentio shows up and tells them it is impossible then seemingly kills our heroes.  Mario, however, was sent to the Underwhere, the land of "ended games" but Bowser and Peach were not sent there with him.  While in the Underwhere, Mario meets Queen Jaydes who holds on to the pure heart while Mario retrieves Jaydes' daughter, Luvbi.  While searching for Luvbi, Mario reunites with Luigi who was stranded in the Underwhere.  Together, the brothers find Luvbi and return her to Jaydes.  Jaydes uses her power to restore the pure heart to life and sends the brothers back to Flipside.  There, they place the pure heart in it's pillar and another door opens.

Chapter 7: The Underwhere
Much to their surprise, the door leads Mario and Luigi right back to the Underwhere!  While they are there, Queen Jaydes tasks the brothers with taking Luvbi to The Overthere, where her father Grambi lives.  Mario and Luigi travel the Underwhere Road where they find Bowser who joins back up with them.  Trio climb out of the Underwhere and arrive at the stairway to The Overthere.  Along this incredibly lengthy climb they find Princess Peach who is in a deep sleep from having eaten a forbidden apple.  Mario revives her and she joins the team as they continue climbing the clouds and eventually reach The Overthere.  Once they arrive, they find that The Overthere is overrun with skeletons and their leader, Bonechill, has frozen Grambi solid in order to take over the area.  Bonechill reveals that the final pure heart is actually Luvbi; Grambi had given the pure heart a form and life of its own.  The four heroes defeat Bonechill and after a long argument with Grambi and Queen Jaydes, Luvbi returns to her pure heart form and is taken to Flipside by Mario.

Back at Castle Bleck, Dimentio informs the others that all four heroes are alive and coming their way.  Everyone begins to scramble and prepare for the fight they are about to have in the castle when Dimentio asks Count Bleck if the name Blumiere rings any bells.  Nastasia begs Count Bleck to call off the void and calls him Blumiere in the process.  Count Bleck refuses to back down and renounces his old name and identity.  Mario's group place the final pure heart in its place and the final door appears.

Chapter 8: Castle Bleck
At long last, the heroes have made it to Castle Bleck.  With the void growing ever larger, Mario and the rest begin tackling the Castle as quickly as possible.  Along the way, they run into O'Chunks.  Bowser has had enough and takes on O'Chunks solo and defeats him, but the ceiling begins to fall.  O'Chunks holds up the ceiling for the heroes, but Bowser joins him allowing Mario, Luigi, and Peach to progress further.  The trio continue through the castle until they run across Mimi.  Similar to Bowser, Peach has had enough of Mimi and defeats her solo.  Unfortunately, as Peach defeats Mimi, the castle quakes and both of them fall into a chasm; now only Mario and Luigi remain.  The brothers continue until they run across Dimentio.  After an exhausting game of tag, Dimentio reveals that he was responsible for sending Mario to the Underwhere to restore the pure heart.  He was also responsible for saving peach from being brainwashed, and uniting the brothers.  Luigi chooses to fight Dimentio alone allowing Mario to continue.  After Luigi defeats Dimentio, the jester causes both of them to disappear.  As Mario finally reaches Bleck, it is revealed that Tippi and Count Bleck were once lovers.  Tippi is the Timpani that Bleck was mentioning before.  Mario takes on Count Bleck but cannot even touch the villain.  Suddenly, Bowser, Peach, and Luigi reappear and with the power of the pure hearts they obtained, shatter Bleck's shield allowing him to be defeated.

It is then that Dimentio reveals his big plan.  He decided to use the heroes to defeat Bleck so that he could obtain the Chaos Heart for himself; he intends to destroy all worlds and make "perfect" new ones.  Using one of the floro sapien sprouts on Luigi, Dimentio uses Luigi's power and the Chaos Heart to become the invincible Super Dimentio.  After a touching scene between Tippi, Bleck, and Bleck's other minions, the power of the Pure Hearts are activated and destroy Dimentio's invulnerability.  The heroes proceed to lay waste to Super Dimentio.  However, using the very last of his power, Dimentio caused the Void to grow even more.  Out of options, Bleck's team and Mario's team go through a door where they find an alter.  Bleck and Tippi (now again referring to themselves as Blumiere and Timpani) renew their love and finally get married.  Their love caused the Void to disappear however it also caused both of the lovers to disappear from the world... OR DO THEY?


One of the main reasons I enjoyed Paper Mario and Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door was because of the gameplay changes from your standard Mario titles as I am terrible with platforming games.  The turn-based RPG style of those games was a far better fit for me personally.  I can't begin to tell you how shocking and honestly upsetting it was for me to hear that they had jettisoned the turn based RPG style to return to a more classic Mario platforming style game.  If it wasn't for KoD ensuring me of the games good qualities I would never have played it.  Since turn-based RPG is out...what do we actually have in exchange?
Super Paper Mario is effectively a platforming game with RPG elements to it.  If I'm being perfectly honest here it's the best type of platforming game for me personally.  True to its platforming nature, there is a very large emphasis on traversing the landscape through means of accurate running and jumping while avoiding and attacking enemies, with the help of the pixls to solve some of the puzzles within.  However, what has made this game much more enjoyable is the RPG elements that were kept in.  Rather than have a 2-3 hit death situation like all standard Mario titles, we actually have a health bar where falling prey to an enemy attack or touching them only takes off a small amount of damage.  You also have both attacking and recovery items to help you on your journey.  While there is still some of your standard platforming annoyance, the lack of a timer, use of inventory, health bar, and leveling up of the characters made me mostly ignore the fact that I was playing a platformer.

[In this section, KoD was going to talk about how each of the four main characters play completely differently.  Mario can go into 3D space, Peach can be immune to damage at the cost of mobility, Bowser is slow but does double damage, and Luigi can jump incredibly high.  He was also going to mention that the dialogue in the game will change somewhat depending on which character you are controlling.]

One of the more interesting additions to this game is the use of the 12 pixls.  Pixls are small beings that not only have their own personality but also assist Mario with the one function they were born to do.  The world of Super Paper Mario is filled with puzzles and tricks; these pixls help him to solve them. Rather than just have a list of complicated button combinations that allow Mario to pull off these actions, all you have to do is select which pixel you wish to use from the menu and utilize a single button.  Each pixel has its own unique property.  Tippi gives you information about where you point her.  Thoreau lets you throw heavy objects.  Boomer causes explosions.  Slim turns you so thin that you are practically invisible.  Thudley allows you to slam down hard on objects.  Carrie transports you over chasms.  Fleep causes weak areas in the dimension to flip over so that items can be found.  Cudge can be used as a hammer.  Dottie causes you to shrink.  Barry creates a barrier around you.  Dashell gives you super speed.  Lastly, Piccolo causes various musical effects to show and cures you from curses.  While I wish this game had included the ability to have more than one pixl available at a time, the fact that the game pauses entirely as you swap pixls makes it a non-issue.  The only real downfall that these pixls have is that they replace the partners you had in previous games.  At first this may not seem like a big deal but you sort of lose that extra bit of personality and interaction that you would have gotten with the partner characters.  The only personality these guys get are in the brief couple of moments when you recruit them to the party.  Despite that downfall, these are still a really cool addition to the game and I enjoyed using them. 

[In this section, KoD was going to talk about the very large amount of side quests and post-game material that you can honestly spend hours enjoying]

What's Good About It?

[KoD was going to have this whole section as this is one of his favorite games.  I will try to explain the points he was going to make.

The Original Characters in this game are very memorable and unique from the dim-witted O'Chunks, to the insanity of Dimentio, to the various "sage-like" characters you meet.  You will come away from this having enjoyed these characters.

The game has some brief sections of different gameplay.  During one section you basically play a dating simulator, during another the whole level turns into a Gradius style shooter, and whine in the Underwhere you engage in a classic turn-based RPG battle.  These little changes to gameplay keep things fresh even though they are brief.

This game has a much darker tone than most Mario titles are allowed to have.

The Underwhere and Overthere are obviously the Paper Mario equivalent of Hell and Heaven and honestly everything involving these levels (except for the vertical portion of the Overthere) is excellent]

What's Bad About It?

One of the key additions to Super Paper Mario was Mario's ability to flip over into the 3rd person aspect in order to navigate the world, solve puzzles, or avoid obstacles.  This is an excellent idea and is full of potentially fun and interesting ideas.  The problem?  You can only be in the 3D space for ten seconds at a time before you start to take damage.  Why?  Hell if I know.  It seems as though they've just arbitrarily slapped that in there.  It makes little to no sense in the context of the game; the game retained many of its RPG elements and one key part of playing an RPG is taking your time and exploring the area.  It's a bit difficult to explore the entire area in 3D when you can only do it for ten seconds at a time then sit around with your paper thumb up your butt waiting for the meter to fill back up so you can hastily bustle around for another ten seconds... well if you don't want to take arbitrary damage in the process.  This same time limit doesn't apply with pixls that change your dimensions or body like Dottie or Slim so why is it done here?  There's no point to this time limit and it should never have been implemented.

{KoD interrupts with information that you can infinitely 3D if you defeat the Flopside Pit of 100 Trials twice}

....I actually didn't know that.  But honestly who has time for that crap??  If I'm able to defeat a Pit of 100 Trials twice, I'm not about to go around in Chapter 1-1 and see if I missed anything.  Anything missed at that point would be something inferior to the available items at my disposal now.  It just...*sigh*  Why Nintendo??

This point has more to do with platforming in general than it does with Super Paper Mario specifically, but it has annoyed me enough to include it here.  I will never hide the fact that I am not a fan of platforming games.  Despite KoD's insistence upon me playing them and my begrudging enjoyment of a couple here and there, I still dislike them.  One of the main reasons I dislike platforming games is the requirement on absolute precision and perfection when going around the terrain.  There is no type of level more aptly fit to showcase the shortcomings of platforming than vertical levels. Even people who greatly enjoy platforming games hate vertical levels because one simple mistake will have you starting the entire level all over again.  Sadly, we have a few vertical levels in this game and they are just as bad as you can expect them to be.  The worst example is the stairway to the Overthere (chapter 7-3) which has multiple areas that cause you to plummet all the way to the bottom of the level.  Not to mention that you need Luigi's super jump to reach places and have no idea where you're going to land.  You just have to take jumps of faith and hope you land on something and not an enemies spiked head... on top of having to track down various apples.  I spent more time trying to climb those stupid clouds than I did two of the previous whole chapters!  Vertical levels are always a bad thing.

Within this game Flipside (and Flopside) serve as your world hub where you can gather items and prepare yourself for the challenges within the actual chapters ahead.  Under the normal course of play, you are expected to complete all four segments of each chapter at once without returning to the hub world.  However, if you are finding a chapter particularly difficult, you are given a return pipe to return to Flipside at any point.  That's pretty neat huh?  Well... not exactly.  If you haven't defeated the final boss of the chapter and gotten the pure heart, when you use the return pipe you will always have to re-start at the first area of the entire chapter and make your way all the way back.  So, if you were deep in to chapter 4-4 and decided to re-stock on items before the final boss, you would have to start back at chapter 4-1 with all the enemies having re-spawned and make your way back to that same spot in 4-4.  There is some light at the end of this dark tunnel as thankfully any puzzles you have solved will remain solved so at least you don't have to re-do THAT.  It's still a major annoyance when it could have just easily saved where you used the pipe and slap you back down where you originally left.  Sure the argument could be made that doing such would make the game optionally too easy but it's still better than walking through three whole chapters of landscape!

Chapter 5 is annoying garbage in my personal opinion.  You only have to look at the setting, cave people, to realize that this isn't going to be the fun joyride you were hoping for after the insane outer space shenanigans of the previous chapter.  Adding cavemen to your story is generally something that you do only when you aren't sure what you want out of your product or you've completely run out of genuinely good ideas and directions, unless your name is Chrono Trigger.  Cave people are about two steps away from the "screw it, do it yourself" type of game...which considering what the Mario franchise would do in 2015 it seems my original impression wasn't far off.  Chapter 5-1 is probably the most annoying of all because there is a particular block puzzle where you have to hit the blocks in a certain order to progress.  In order to get the pass-code you have to physically type out the word please some 20 times to a caveman using the wiimote for it to be some ridiculous 30 movement code that you'll either have to write down or forget entirely.  And the rock puns... don't even get me started on the rock puns!  Lastly, the reason for the flower king's insanity makes no sense.  Pollution is what caused the problem?  I mean I could understand if it were plants VS factory workers, but cave people don't even have any pollution to start with.  It makes no sense.  The whole chapter is just full of annoyance and nonsense.  It's what I look forward to the absolute least when contemplating a re-play of this game.

Lastly, Level 8-3 can die in a fire.  I generally enjoyed all of Castle Bleck with its complications, weirdness, and mood.  However, at the ends of 8-1 and 8-2 you lose Bowser and Princess Peach.  Now I don't know about your play style but if Bowser or Peach were available to me, I would always choose them.  Mario and Luigi never saw the light of day unless I didn't have the other two or needed them for specific powers only available to them.  Bowser with his double damage and fire breath combined with Peach's floatiness and invincibility made them a perfect tag team for this whole game.  I never had to complain about much difficulty because these two had my back!  Then 8-3 comes along and I'm stripped of both of them.  Not only do I no longer have access to the best characters, I'm hit in the face with a difficulty spike from the depths of hell.  Between the projectile koopas which can flip into both dimensions and Dimentio blasting things out of mirrors and knocking off extremely tiny platforms, I raged so hard at this level.  I've run across difficulty spikes in the past but this one was one of the worst and almost ruined my entire experience because of the extreme difficulty.

Abounding in Strangeness

[In this section we were going to take turns just pointing out some funny moments in the game such as...
A character mentioning his anime girlfriend
Bowser's flailing arms
a "little guy in my pocket"
Peach eating cursed apples and the various effects it has on her when you are trying to heal her
The fact that they use a fish bowl as a space helmet

there are many other individually hilarious moments in the game that can be brought up.  Seriously this game as A-class humor]

The Ignored One

[During this section, KoD was going to explain how, for some reason, this game gets overlooked in the grand scheme of Mario (and Paper Mario) games.  He was going to mention how this was supposed to be a Gamecube Game but delays pushed it onto the Wii.  He was going to mention how Paper Mario and Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door get praised, and how Sticker Star gets trashed but this game gets absolutley nothing.  It shouldn't be just a forgotten game because it may be different than it's previous two games, it's still a pretty fine game in it's own right.]


Super Paper Mario is an interesting and surprising title.  I came into this game with a lot of trepidation.  I heard what they had done to my wonderful RPG elements and was honestly not excited about playing this title whatsoever.  If it wasn't for KoD's persistence on it's quality, this would have been a game that completely passed me by.  Levels 5-1, 7-3, and 8-3 aside, I was actually surprised at the quality and ease this game had to offer.  It was a platforming game that made me often forget that I was playing a platforming game which is honestly kind of a miracle for me.  If you are a platforming veteran, then you should thoroughly enjoy this.  However, if you, like me, are a fan of the Paper Mario series but aren't that good at platforming you might actually be surprised at the quality this game has to offer.  It's definitely of that Paper Mario story and characterization quality while making the platforming bits easier to stomach with the health bar and other borrowed RPG elements.  Give it a try; I doubt you'll regret it.

[KoD would have concluded here stating how much he adores this game and would want everyone to try it out.]

This is Ghost Fading into the Darkness.
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