Europe gets Super Paper Mario in September … are we meant to be grateful?

I apologize for the negativity of my demeanour today, but the corporations are doing plenty to get on my nerves lately, like this ‘gift’ from Nintendo. After months and months and months of waiting, the system that still doesn’t have the full launch lineup of games in the PAL territories is finally providing us with Super Paper Mario. On September 14th. Yeah, thanks for that. It’s not like certain other consoles are providing near-simultaneous worldwide releases consistently while you drag your heels giving us one game worth playing on your accursed machine, is it? 

Arguing that the Wii doesn’t have many decent titles is an old and trite activity, but it’s one I’d be less inclined to make if Nintendo actually gave Europe all the games it had available in a timely manner. Maybe I’m spoiled by the fact that games elsewhere are released usually within a week of the Stateside launch, but I just don’t have the patience for this kind of crap anymore and as a result, no longer care about Wii games. Why should I get excited for a game when I know it’ll be almost a year after everyone’s finished it that I’ll be able to start it? And no, Mario Strikers is not a valid trade-off.

As it is, I’m not too interested Super Paper Mario anymore. I cared back in March, but that was back in March. I have more important games to get in September now. For a company that claims to be “serious about online gaming,” Nintendo is doing an awful job of making sure the whole world can play its games at the same time — something I consider a must for online play in the current generation. We only just had Pokémon Diamond and Pearl released last week, now that the rest of the world has had time to train their pocket monster teams to unbeatable levels. So thanks for that, Nintendo. Seriously, I’m sure those not yet driven to importing (something Nintendo insultingly fights) gives thanks.  Hit the jump for the press release, as borrowed from Evil Avatar.

31st July, 2007- It’s time to brush up on your origami skills as everyone’s favourite plumber embarks upon an all-new quest that is truly out of this dimension in Super Paper Mario on Wii! With the power to flip between 2D and 3D, Mario must embark on a thrilling adventure to reunite his lost friends and save the world. Super Paper Mario launches across Europe for Wii on 14th September 2007.

As with the previous two games in the Paper Mario series, all characters are as flat as a sheet of paper. However, our hero Mario can manipulate the environment around him to his benefit, opening up new paths and possibilities with the ability to ‘flip’ from 2D to 3D at will. This ability comes in handy throughout the game and is crucial to the progress of the player in his rescue mission. Seemingly impassable barriers are only as thin as a piece of paper when viewed in 3D allowing our hero to walk past with ease and fearsome 2D enemies expose their weak spots in 3D.

The adventure begins when the mysterious Count Bleck, a mad genius who is determined to fulfil an ancient prophecy, kidnaps Princess Peach, Bowser and Luigi. Bleck forces Peach to marry Bowser so that he can unite good and evil and create a Chaos Heart that will destroy the universe. Only Mario escapes his clutches and now it is up to him to rescue his friends from the evil Count and save the world!

Players start out controlling Mario, but later on can unlock and control Princess Peach, Bowser and Luigi as well. Each character has their own unique ability allowing them to overcome different puzzles and obstacles. Also lending a helping hand are small sidekicks called Pixls, which Mario will encounter during his journey. Each of these Pixls has a different ability, which can be used to aid the player on their journey. These range from Tippi, who will give information on enemies and items pointed at with the Wii Remote, Carrie who will lift Mario over impassable gaps, and Dottie who can shrink a character to miniscule proportions.

The majority of on-screen action is controlled simply by holding the Wii Remote sideways using only the Control Pad and two buttons. However, the motion sensing abilities of the Wii Remote also add a dynamic edge to the gameplay. Unique special moves and abilities can be activated by shaking and moving the controller; so that players can not only set up chains and earn bonus points when defeating enemies, but also use abilities like fire, thunder and ice attacks.

Super Paper Mario mixes the role-playing game-style adventure of its predecessors with the platform action of classic Mario games from yesteryear, bringing players a deep, entertaining quest that is truly the best of both worlds.

So make sure your platform gaming skills are honed as Super Paper Mario bends, twists and flips its way into stores. Super Paper Mario launches across Europe for Wii on 14th September 2007 at an estimated retail price of around £35.

Jim Sterling