Mario has become an integral part of this industry. And while there was a game environment for the plumber Shigeru Miyamoto, who lost our consoles, the franchise has existed for so long that players who grew up with Mario in the 1990s now play with their children. It’s amazing that the Mario series has taken so long when so many other franchises try to reinvent themselves in response to changes in culture and taste, while maintaining their basic concept and tone.
However, there was a Mario subseries that focused on undermining the standard trophies, placing characters in surreal and bizarre situations, turning old enemies into temporary allies and eliminating clichés from the game through witty dialogue and humour – Mario’s role-playing games.
Given the recent announcement of a new game called Paper Mario, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the series to see how it fell out of favour.
Super Mario Role Play
In the early 90s, a company called SquareSoft made a name for itself by releasing the famous role-playing games. Games such as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest were so popular in Japan that there was a high incidence of absenteeism from school and work on the days they were released. No matter how popular the role-playing games were in the East, they fought in the West. In order to make these games more accessible to Western markets, games such as Final Fantasy IV have been considerably weakened in their English localization. The place arrived before the special name of Final Fantasy, which is only valid in the West and is called Final Fantasy Mystic Quest. Ironically, Mystic Quest caused panic among American critics because it was too simple and easy for a regular player.
At the same time, Mario faces new competition in the form of Sonic’s hedgehog. Sega took advantage of Sonic’s attitude to stand out from Mario’s more innocent and cheerful image. In 1991, Sega of America conducted a focus test with Mario fans. After showing Mario and Sonic, 80% of the band members preferred Sonic.
Given the Plaza’s lack of popularity overseas and the changing game climate, Shigeru Miyamoto turned to the Plaza to talk about a possible role-playing game with Mario. After both parties have agreed to make a Super Mario role-playing game: The legend of the seven stars began in 1995. The game includes standard turn-based battles, research and storytelling in role-playing games, and is compatible with Mario gameplay.
Easy enough to understand without sacrificing depth or quality, Super Mario’s RPG proved to be a success in the West. He received rave reviews and became the most acclaimed game in the US for 14 consecutive weeks.
With the release of Sony’s PlayStation, Square realised that Nintendo’s N64 simply didn’t have the specifications they needed for their more cinematic activities, which led to the end of their long collaboration. Released on PlayStation in 1997, the Fantasy VII final received rave reviews and huge sales, proving that role-playing games were no longer unpopular in the West. Around the same time, a company called Intelligent Systems was working on a sequel to the Super Mario role-playing game that used a special artistic style of paper cutting.
The game was later renamed Paper Mario and released for the Nintendo 64 with positive reviews. Critics loved the art direction and gameplay, but critics cried over a simpler plot than Super Mario RPG.
Throughout the game, Mario Paper and The Door of a Thousand Years have tried to counter this criticism with a good story and a great sense of humour. While Paper Mario used a standard bow to kidnap a princess, and Mario had to stop his story, The Thousand Years’ by a stranger story that included the Mafia, Lucha Libre wrestlers and an Agita Christie puzzle on the train. Moreover, characters such as Bowser, Luigi and Princess Peach were closer together and even played in sections that saturated the conventions laid down in the series.
The Millennium Gate has been praised by critics for its spiritual dialogue and eccentric history.
How the series was triggered
In 2007, Intelligent Systems completed the Millennium Gate with Super Paper Mario for Wii. By eliminating the role-playing game from previous Paper Mario games, this recording was a standard Mario platform that allowed players to move from 2D to 3D. Nevertheless, the game did not sacrifice the dialogue and characters that made the first two records so popular. Critics loved Super Paper Mario, but they found the lack of a platform compared to the standard Mario gateways, and the desire for a story compared to recording it in an RPG.
Paper Mario Sticker Star is the point where the series really hits the bottom.
Miyamoto-san told Intelligent Systems that the story wasn’t necessary for the Mario title, and advised that only characters that appear in Super Mario World should be used. The surreal characters and dialogue have disappeared and been replaced by a terrible combat system in which players could only fight enemies with the cards they collected, making fighting a useless routine. Color Splash then tried to reproduce the humorous dialogue, but was designed to enable the same battle system as Sticker Star.
The work of Mario King Origami has just been announced, and fortunately he seems to be returning to the roots of the series. The contest is scheduled for the 17th. July this year for Nintendo Switch.
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