Those eager to know more about the events set to unfold when Paper Mario: The Origami King comes to Switch next month are in luck; Nintendo has released a five-minute gameplay deep-dive video thingy, touching on everything from combat mechanics to the long-awaited return of companions. As they say in the Mushroom Kingdom – let’s a-go!
As The Origami King’s announcement trailer revealed, there’s an new nemesis in town this time around, with Princess Peach’s castle under siege from the evil King Olly and his cohorts. From that starting point, a quest to find the end of five ribbons stretching across the world unfolds, one that sees Mario exploring a striking series of locales, including an autumn-hued mountain, a forest spring, a desert oasis, an underground sewer (of course), and even a ninja-filled mansion.
There are secrets to find and mini-games to play along the way – white water rafting, target shooting, underwater treasure hunting, aerial battling, quiz shows, and fishing get an airing in the latest trailer – and there are more suggestions the series has finally return to its RPG roots too; a range of companions will tag along with Mario on his latest grand adventure, for instance, including Bobby the amnesiac Bob-omb, the historian Professor Toad, and Olivia, the sister of King Olly, intent on thwarting her brother’s nefarious plans.
Paper Mario’s other notable addition comes in the form of a new 360-degree battle system. While the rhythmic combat of previous Mario RPG entries looks to remain intact – Mario is shown foot-stomping, fire-balling, tail-spinning, hammer-bopping, and POW-blocking his foes – the whole thing plays out on a new ring-style battle grid.
The idea here is that Mario stands in the middle and players can rotate and slide rings around him, albeit with a limit on the number of moves available, aiming to shift enemies into more advantageous positions. Successfully line them up in a row, for instance, and it’s possible to attack every opponent all in one go.
That’s taken a step further in boss battles – which all have a stationery theme, including a rubber band boss, a coloured pencil boss, and more – with players being required to spin and slide rings around their formidable opponent so that guide arrows form a path nudging Mario into the centre where he can attack.
There are a few more tantalising glimpses of Mario’s adventure (and his concertina-style arms), including a quest to locate Toads that’ve been transformed into random items – including a cicada, flower, fox, and fried egg – who might ultimately prove to be useful in a fight.
And if that’s enough to sell you on The Origami King, it comes to Switch on 17th July.