Paper Mario Impressions

We get our first look at a 2D hero in a 3D world.

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Nintendo has certainly been generous with the 3DS thus far, putting lots of its classic characters and beloved franchises on its newest portable system. Bucking the third dimensional trend of the other games, Paper Mario stars the ultraslim version of everyone's favorite plumber. The demonstration in Nintendo's booth was video only, but we took a peek to see what Mario's next adventure is going to look like.

The last entry in the Paper Mario franchise, Super Paper Mario, moved away from the turn-based combat that was paramount in its predecessors. However, the newest iteration goes back to the original formula, putting Mario in slow-paced encounters against the goombas and spiny shells he meets along the way. In the demo, he was accompanied by a happy chain chomp, presumably a friend who tags along in this role-playing adventure.

Although the gameplay looks very similar to previous games, the visuals have seen an overhaul. The 3D effect is subtle compared to some of the more eye-popping games out there, but effective nonetheless. By and large, this looks like a typical 2D adventure, with Mario and most of the environment and enemies in the same form you've come to expect. However, every so often, some flashy effect demands your attention. If you jump underneath a hovering brick, you can see the pieces fly off in all directions; when a wiggling cuts across your path, it appears as if he's walking right off the screen; and during one segment, Mario triggered a switch that caused the background to disappear, and it's eerie shimmer looked cool in the 3D display.

There's no word yet on when this will be released or what other features to expect, but it looks to carry on the proud Paper Mario tradition. Check back to GameSpot for more information on this 2D adventure with a twist in the future.

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