Super Paper Mario Preview: Chapter 2: Turning the Page

We make some new friends and search the swamp for pure hearts in Nintendo's upcoming Mario adventure.

Our last look at Super Paper Mario found our hero setting off on a quest to save the world (yes, again). The first chapter closed with a rousing boss fight and switched the game's focus from Mario to Peach, who stages a daring (well, for her) escape from Count Bleck's forces. As luck--and a mysterious warp--would have it, the princess winds up passed out in Flipside where she's reunited with Mario. In a gutsy but not entirely unexpected move, the princess decides to join Mario on his quest, and the dynamic duo head off to find the enigmatic Merlee, who lives in a mansion in the Gloam Swamp.

Different characters will have different abilities in Super Paper Mario, such as Princess Peach floating with her parasol.

The start of the chapter sheds some light on the recipe system we noted in our last preview because Mario needs to have some soup made. Upon visiting the local chef and forking over the appropriate ingredient, he's rewarded with the zesty concoction, which is then added to his collection of recipes. The second chapter also shows off the game's funky design and how Mario's ability to flip the surroundings in 3D is integral to the game. By exploring Flipside in 3D, you'll find new places to venture, some of which will require additional help. For example, you'll have to switch to Peach and use her ability to float with her parasol, allowing her to slowly glide to the ground after a jump to get to Gloam Swamp. Some of the other obstacles you'll encounter will require special help from your pixl homies. Chapter two finds Mario joined by two new faces: Boomer, an energetic flying bomb you can use to take out enemies or blow up blocks that keep you from advancing, and Slim, a triangular little guy who lets you get paper thin to slide into new places.

You'll get ample time to test out the two new pixls in the swamp area and in the mansion. Boomer is very handy when dealing with enemies, as well as obstacles. You'll "set" him by pressing the 1 button. You can choose to wait until his fuse burns down or press 1 to detonate him. Slim lets you get all skinny, which lets you avoid harm if you're not moving. With two pixls in the roster, you'll have to start managing which of them you have active. Thankfully, you'll be able to switch between them quickly. Switching between pixls and characters is vital in chapter two because non-player characters have different interactions with both Mario and Peach, and you'll obviously need to use specific pixls to clear obstacles or foes.

As far as enemies go, we've seen a mix of old and new faces from chapter one. Goombas, koopas, and boos are joined by original critters that fit in nicely with Mario's rogues' gallery. Growmebas are floating foes that keep spawning clones of themselves until you take out the original. Shlurps are invincible vacuums of doom that can be taken out only by getting them to chow down on something explosive. Gnips and their larger cousins, gnaws, are essentially bouncers you'll encounter in Merlee's mansion that will brusquely eject you if you get caught.

Pixls like Boomer and Tippi will grant your characters new abilities.

As far as the presentation goes, the game's storybook appearance continues to work nicely. The game's look remains consistent and manages to convey a generous helping of personality. Whether it's the NPCs you meet or the main characters, Super Paper Mario has a winning style. The audio in the game is growing on us now that we're diving in a little more. The music we've heard so far leans heavily on old-school sound effects and gives them a modern, bouncy spin. The ambient sound is good and subtle, and the various crickets and swamp wildlife droning in the background stand out in this chapter. The music is also getting to sound much more full-bodied and engaging.

So far, we don't have much to complain about in this game. Super Paper Mario is nifty and polished. The addition of multitasking to the gameplay adds some more depth to the experience without being annoying. The mechanics keep the puzzles interesting with a nice mix of challenge. Some puzzles will have you smacking your head after you realize the solution was right in front of you the whole time, while others will definitely force you to think. Check back tomorrow with our next step in saving the world: Chapter three! Super Paper Mario is slated to ship next month.

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Discussion

107 comments
heroofwinds1
heroofwinds1

i want this game so much but because i live to eyrope i must wait.

bminns
bminns

looks unbelievable.

ntnimara
ntnimara

I'm gonna get this game...

interpolred
interpolred

Puzzle-solving and leveling up! Those are just two of the things that make me want this game. Looks good so far!

cloudff7tm
cloudff7tm

I didnt want to get this at first because it looked like less of an RPG. I think I would prefer the style of gameplay of its predecessors better, but I think I have to give this one a chance now and I have a feeling im going to like it.

ChAlDo205
ChAlDo205

If i dont preorder this game, do you think i can still get it???

JAREDJR
JAREDJR

i didnt read the article becuase of potential spoilers, but hooray! paper mario is a good franchise, on the up and up i say. seeing black on the ledger. n'a'mean?

goskateboard
goskateboard

i preordered it, i cant waitfor it to come

toru12
toru12

nice mario game I will buy it went I buy wii console :)

9344891
9344891

This may be better than Galaxy but both look great

EmperorSamoth
EmperorSamoth

eh... Mario... Right.... Sue me for not being excited about this game.

Hungry_Homer111
Hungry_Homer111

I wish I could resist these spoilers. :( It's good that they didn't spoil as much as they did the last time though. :) Anyway, this is still looking like it will be great. I can't wait for this game. This and Super Mario Galaxy look like great innovations in the Mario series. I love that it's a 2D/3D platformer/RPG. :D

The_Dude1212
The_Dude1212

I've said it before, this game looks awesome, BUT WHERE IS PAPER MARIO 64 FOR VIRTUAL CONSOLE?!?!?!

Rev06
Rev06

Stop posting these. They make me want to read them which is spoiling the game for me.

Brainy142
Brainy142

cool sounds fun... man i wish their prices went lower quicker sigh (adds game to "to buy" list

BGCD
BGCD

This game is at the top of my most-wanted list. :D I loved the first ones, and this one seems interesting.

KingandCitizens
KingandCitizens

The graphics alone make this game look fun. I think they are the nicest yet for the wii.

mOnKiLaiON
mOnKiLaiON

i want to eat this game >=D! is soo goood! xD!

NandoSupes
NandoSupes

I"m buying this. looks like something truly fun,cant wait.

Sonarioink14
Sonarioink14

Can not wait for this! I wish the combat was the same though. But this might give us a different way to play Paper Mario for once.

JeroenVS
JeroenVS

Finally a game that goes for style instead of realism for a change. Guys, lighten up, we need more games like this one!!!

Grodus5
Grodus5

Can't Wait! Looks like so much fun

Teh_Hace
Teh_Hace

Ah, going back to the roots of a good series, then mutating those roots with 2-D, remember kids, thats how the cool kids play, also they play with fire. This does look pretty sweet, and even though I don't have a Wii, I'm gonna look into this. Probably just buy it for my neighbor who has a Wii and mooch offa him. :)

SephirothSyZtem
SephirothSyZtem

the gamecubes true final cry ported to the wii......port.....porty port sport...... im sadly still going to shell out for it though.

lucas029
lucas029

I want it, but I still prefer MySims =D I'm in love with MySims

Staccat0
Staccat0

These guys do the best interpretations of Mario's mythology. I think this one looks like a winner.

chocolate1325
chocolate1325

I wasn't to sure about getting this but I think I might just get it. It looks good

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

this game looks quite strange with the 2d/3d combo....... fun too!!

everettlamb
everettlamb

This game like its previous successor will be a best seller. Your collection of Wii games can't be complete without this title.

XianLee
XianLee

I preordered this game in the last week. This is the first game I've ever preorded (that's right, I didn't even preorder Zelda). Needless to say, a semi-2D Mario game, regardless of whether or not it makes great use of the Wiimote, is going to be a great thing. It's good to see games returning to their roots.

killeryoda85
killeryoda85

I cant wait for this game. Probably more so than Mario Galaxy!

e1337prodigy
e1337prodigy

I think I will be getting a wii to play this game. Or just play it at a mates. Love the old-school graphics and great idea's that keep mario a classic for Nintendo.

manolobrown2
manolobrown2

this game is definitely a must have for wii owners!

frankeyser
frankeyser

i am buying two copies april 9th! one for my sisters bday and one for myself.

okassar
okassar

I like Mario,but I don't like him on paper.2 words:originally corny.

War-Bear
War-Bear

Well can't wait, my birthday is at the 6th of may, so i got a lot of game to wish:D

chisoxrule
chisoxrule

Looking forward to this one. Now if Nintendo was wise they would release SMRPG the week of this game after a very disappointing month for the VC.

Raaaani
Raaaani

A must have for every Wii owner (which includes me) :)

zsc4
zsc4

I can't wait for this, too bad I don't own Wii. I guess I should have got it along time ago anyways :?

reader
reader

No, not really. April 9th.

renagadez187
renagadez187

Can't wait! But it might be a while before it gets released in Australia.