I just beat __

Рождественский Рэй Трейс

The Protector Who Gets The Most Presents
Wiki Patroller
This game IS better than both Spm AND the original... objectively
You know, heads up, if you want to write a review, just avoid using "objectively" entirely, since reviews are going to be inherently subjective and all it does is weaken your writing. You already wrote out a pretty detailed backing up before that that's reasonable and well-written out even if it's an unpopular opinion, so no need to state that as a fact. :)
 

Koops

Epic
Well by objectively it's more that I meant that, personal bias aside, the game DOES perform better in a lot of areas and shouldn't be discredited, but it just isn't my cup of tea and this is pretty much where I say that by no means is the game terrible or even bad. I just wanted to make that clear.

Buuuuut I will take your advice, gladly.
 

Christmas Miracle

Happy festive season!
Well by objectively it's more that I meant that, personal bias aside, the game DOES perform better in a lot of areas and shouldn't be discredited, but it just isn't my cup of tea and this is pretty much where I say that by no means is the game terrible or even bad. I just wanted to make that clear.

Buuuuut I will take your advice, gladly.
yeah i do that too, but i just say "nonpersonal" instead
 

Capnap

Splashmouse
Paper Mario Sticker Star.

Hoo boy! Took me three attempts against Bowser. On the 2nd try I noticed Whomp wobbled from a hammer that I messed up on, I figured it out, Whomp also had me think about Thing stickers on the next phases too. And I tells ya, that was one good boss fight.

I gave myself a decent but not excellent hand of stickers. Organized by tiers.
Pg1: Regulars to throw away on Kamek.
Pg2: Shinies
Pg3: Flashies
Pg4: Bigs
Pg5: Megas
Pg6: Small Things
Pg7: Big Things
Pg8: Mega Things
Also one Flashy Mushroom on each page.

On the final phase, I ran out of stickers! That fire breath, mannn. It was anyones game, with Mario at 14hp and Bowser at 2hp, and Mario with one Flashy Hammer left (because we learned survived and knocked Bowsers HP down by blocking his attacks which in turn gave us flashy stickers).
We luckily did not screw up the attack, and won! 100%'d the game!. Yup all 5 Luigi's, the Museum, and the flags.
Good game, plays like a TCG, I like that direction they're taking.
According to the parade end credits, Mario revived not just Kirsti, but Kamek too. What a guy.
 

NocturnalDragoon

Dry Bowser
A Hat In Time (Nintendo Switch)

Main story clear. but will continue playing to collect the remaining time pieces that I've missed. Currently have twenty-six out of the total forty present in the base game... also I have both DLC packs so I guess I'll be doing them as well.

Update: 40/40 base game Time Pieces acquired, 71% completion according to save file select screen. Will be hunting remaining treasures and of course the DLC next.
 
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ZelenPixel

(she/her) actual spore creature
beat mario + rabbids! took around 25 hrs. the last few fights absoultely KICKED my ass but it was still great! never played any strategy game like this but it turned out WAY more fun than i expected and its so charming like omg??? the music is so GOOD and the animations are also so GOOD and like. Bro
weird how like. you know how super paper mario had the void in the background, in the sky at all times? mario + rabbids tries to do the same thing with the megabug void thing but it only pops up during. one cutscene per world and whenevr you actually get to see the sky otherwise theres nothing wrong with it.. whats up with that??
ill def be playing more in the postgame to see if i can 100% it. its too fun man you cant blame me. will prob get the dk dlc later on as well! funny when i get to it rabbid peach will just remain the only party member thats been in every single one of my battles because yea (i like the her as a character a lot and her healing abilities are a godsend)
holy HELL this was rambly but basically. god i love this game play it
 

Рождественский Рэй Трейс

The Protector Who Gets The Most Presents
Wiki Patroller
beat mario + rabbids! took around 25 hrs. the last few fights absoultely KICKED my ass but it was still great! never played any strategy game like this but it turned out WAY more fun than i expected and its so charming like omg??? the music is so GOOD and the animations are also so GOOD and like. Bro
weird how like. you know how super paper mario had the void in the background, in the sky at all times? mario + rabbids tries to do the same thing with the megabug void thing but it only pops up during. one cutscene per world and whenevr you actually get to see the sky otherwise theres nothing wrong with it.. whats up with that??
ill def be playing more in the postgame to see if i can 100% it. its too fun man you cant blame me. will prob get the dk dlc later on as well! funny when i get to it rabbid peach will just remain the only party member thats been in every single one of my battles because yea (i like the her as a character a lot and her healing abilities are a godsend)
holy HELL this was rambly but basically. god i love this game play it
If only Rayman and friends were in the game, it would be a godsend.
 

Koops

Epic
Glad you enjoyed it.

This is the part where I plug Fire Emblem, another great strategy ga-...
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
I've had M+R since I got my Switch but still haven't beaten it...I think I beat the Phantom though. I'm horrible at strategy games period so that's probably why I found this so brutally difficult.
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
Super Paper Mario

Finally beat this game, and...wow. This was...not at all like I remembered it. I think I actually...enjoyed this game? Like, a lot? Let me explain.

So, I'll start with the story, which for some reason is the most worshipped part of the game. And the story isn't bad, and certainly better than the rescue-the-princess cliche from every other Mario game, but...a story is not considered deep simply for not using the rescue-the-princess cliche in a series that usually does. Literally anything can look like a good story next to that. So then, why are you playing Mario when other games do story so much better? There is a bit of otherworldly charm to having Mario characters involved in this otherwise very un-Mario story, but I would have liked if more established Mario characters were present to make this feel more like a Mario game. I feel Thousand-Year Door did this well, with a unique setting but a great mix of established characters with original species.

Also, people say there's a lot of humor in the dialogue...there isn't. There are a few golden lines in this game (can't wait to start telling my siblings to "shuttest thy trap") but most of the humor feels very tryhard. A certain line from Dimentio is a perfect example: "Now you and this robotic guardian can spend some quality time... Yes, quality snack time! When he snacks...on you! For you...ARE the snack!" Come on, isn't that, like, the definition of bad humor? You can do better, localization team...boy I hope that wasn't also in the Japanese version. Thousand-Year Door and Partners in Time both had dark plots, but the dialogue had you laughing so much you often didn't think of the story. Why can't this game follow in those footsteps?

With that out of the way, let's talk about what really matters: the gameplay. It's essentially a 2D platformer with RPG elements. The main selling point of the game is the ability to flip into 3D...and that's probably the most poorly managed part of the gameplay. Of the four playable characters (more on that later), Mario is the only one who can flip. Not only that, but there's a rather harsh flip timer, so you can only stay flipped for 20 seconds. You lose only one heart point after that, after which you get 20 more seconds, but it's still discouraging the main gimmick of the game, and that's just dumb and bad design. There is a way to disable it and gain unlimited flip time, but it requires the completion of what almost certainly deserves to win the Worst Game Objective poll in Mario Awards, and it probably won't be much use by then anyway. And even without the flip timer, it's essentially a "solve puzzle" button and its use usually isn't very deep, and it doesn't help that the 3D scenery is often rather bland. And the 3D controls are pretty bad on top of that.

The rest of the gameplay is actually quite good, however. As mentioned before, you can play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser; each of them has a different power, and can be switched at will seamlessly: Mario can flip (as mentioned before), Luigi can Super Jump, Peach can float over long gaps, and Bowser has double attack power and can breathe fire. They're used in much deeper ways than partners from the previous installments, and I guess it helps that they're all established characters instead of underdeveloped OCs. Besides that, Pixls accompany Mario and co, and...this is where the underdeveloped OCs come in. Tippi is Mario's primary companion; she is always active and can tattle enemies (like Goombario and Goombella before her), give tips on how to proceed, and reveal invisible objects. The other Pixls can be swapped out, and are essentially just tools that Mario uses to proceed. In contrast to Tippi, who happens to be the first character in this series with actual character development, the other Pixls have literally no dialogue after they join you. Some actual semblance of character would have been nice, but I guess the game was text-heavy enough already, and we saw how the previous two games managed that...

Aside from that, the gameplay succeeds where NSMB failed, in that it feels like a true modernization of the classic Mario gameplay. Gone are the timer and lives (well okay the Life Shroom still exists), falling into a pit respawns you next to it (albeit with one HP lost), you can save after every level and even during levels, and the score has been repurposed into an EXP system, which can increase your HP or attack power at certain thresholds. Power-ups are present too: mushrooms replenish HP, flowers can manipulate gameplay speed or make coins rain from the sky, the 8-Bit Mario Heads (for lack of a better term) surround you with 8-bit Marios, and Mega Stars turn you into 8-Bit Mega Mario for a limited time.

Unfortunately, the level design is...pretty hit-or-miss. Like, sometimes levels have genuinely fantastic design, like in chapters 3 and 4, while other times the levels are bland or outright abominable, like in chapters 6 and 7. I do wish that the high level quality and variety of the former two shone throughout the game, because this genuinely could have been the definitive 2D Mario. I would actually like to see the gameplay of this game return in a sequel of sorts, hopefully with better level design and an improved flip mechanic, because the gameplay is pretty solid with that aside.

Overall, I'd say that I actually really enjoyed this game significantly more than last time, but that's not because of the "deep" story (it isn't) or the "unique" characters (they're not). It's because of the gameplay, which succeeds where NSMB fails and offers a true modernization of the classic 2D Mario formula, with RPG elements present to add to the unique flavor. Don't come in expecting anything like the previous two games--this is a Paper Mario game in artstyle alone, and any RPG gameplay here is very different from what those games established--and you're left with one of the most brilliant and original 2D platformers in the franchise.

Pros
-Fun platforming gameplay that truly modernizes the classic formula
-4 characters with different abilities
-RPG elements fit nicely into the platforming experience
-A lot of variety in level design
-Tippi has great character development (a first for the series)

Cons
-Flip mechanic is poorly executed with a lot of untapped potential
-Attempts at humor fall flat
-A bit too text-heavy for a platformer
-Pixls have almost no personality
-Chapter 7



This completes the third leg of my Paper Mario marathon, meaning I am now halfway done! However, with the next game on the list being Sticker Star, it'll be a couple weeks until I can continue. That means I won't be getting The Origami King at launch, but it does at least give me more time to focus on sidequests. Like those Pits of 100 Trials.
 
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Christmas Miracle

Happy festive season!
Super Paper Mario

Finally beat this game, and...wow. This was...not at all like I remembered it. I think I actually...enjoyed this game? Like, a lot? Let me explain.

So, I'll start with the story, which for some reason is the most worshipped part of the game. And the story isn't bad, and certainly better than the rescue-the-princess cliche from every other Mario game, but...a story is not considered deep simply for not using the rescue-the-princess cliche in a series that usually does. Literally anything can look like a good story next to that. So then, why are you playing Mario when other games do story so much better? There is a bit of otherworldly charm to having Mario characters involved in this otherwise very un-Mario story, but I would have liked if more established Mario characters were present to make this feel more like a Mario game. I feel Thousand-Year Door did this well, with a unique setting but a great mix of established characters with original species.

Also, people say there's a lot of humor in the dialogue...there isn't. There are a few golden lines in this game (can't wait to start telling my siblings to "shuttest thy trap") but most of the humor feels very tryhard. A certain line from Dimentio is a perfect example: "Now you and this robotic guardian can spend some quality time... Yes, quality snack time! When he snacks...on you! For you...ARE the snack!" Come on, isn't that, like, the definition of bad humor? You can do better, localization team...boy I hope that wasn't also in the Japanese version. Thousand-Year Door and Partners in Time both had dark plots, but the dialogue had you laughing so much you often didn't think of the story. Why can't this game follow in those footsteps?

With that out of the way, let's talk about what really matters: the gameplay. It's essentially a 2D platformer with RPG elements. The main selling point of the game is the ability to flip into 3D...and that's probably the most poorly managed part of the gameplay. Of the four playable characters (more on that later), Mario is the only one who can flip. Not only that, but there's a rather harsh flip timer, so you can only stay flipped for 20 seconds. You lose only one heart point after that, after which you get 20 more seconds, but it's still discouraging the main gimmick of the game, and that's just dumb and bad design. There is a way to disable it and gain unlimited flip time, but it requires the completion of what almost certainly deserves to win the Worst Game Objective poll in Mario Awards, and it probably won't be much use by then anyway. And even without the flip timer, it's essentially a "solve puzzle" button and its use usually isn't very deep, and it doesn't help that the 3D scenery is often rather bland. And the 3D controls are pretty bad on top of that.

The rest of the gameplay is actually quite good, however. As mentioned before, you can play as Mario, Luigi, Peach, and Bowser; each of them has a different power, and can be switched at will seamlessly: Mario can flip (as mentioned before), Luigi can Super Jump, Peach can float over long gaps, and Bowser has double attack power and can breathe fire. They're used in much deeper ways than partners from the previous installments, and I guess it helps that they're all established characters instead of underdeveloped OCs. Besides that, Pixls accompany Mario and co, and...this is where the underdeveloped OCs come in. Tippi is Mario's primary companion; she is always active and can tattle enemies (like Goombario and Goombella before her), give tips on how to proceed, and reveal invisible objects. The other Pixls can be swapped out, and are essentially just tools that Mario uses to proceed. In contrast to Tippi, who happens to be the first character in this series with actual character development, the other Pixls have literally no dialogue after they join you. Some actual semblance of character would have been nice, but I guess the game was text-heavy enough already, and we saw how the previous two games managed that...

Aside from that, the gameplay succeeds where NSMB failed, in that it feels like a true modernization of the classic Mario gameplay. Gone are the timer and lives (well okay the Life Shroom still exists), falling into a pit respawns you next to it (albeit with one HP lost), you can save after every level and even during levels, and the score has been repurposed into an EXP system, which can increase your HP or attack power at certain thresholds. Power-ups are present too: mushrooms replenish HP, flowers can manipulate gameplay speed or make coins rain from the sky, the 8-Bit Mario Heads (for lack of a better term) surround you with 8-bit Marios, and Mega Stars turn you into 8-Bit Mega Mario for a limited time.

Unfortunately, the level design is...pretty hit-or-miss. Like, sometimes levels have genuinely fantastic design, like in chapters 3 and 4, while other times the levels are bland or outright abominable, like in chapters 6 and 7. I do wish that the high level quality and variety of the former two shone throughout the game, because this genuinely could have been the definitive 2D Mario. I would actually like to see the gameplay of this game return in a sequel of sorts, hopefully with better level design and an improved flip mechanic, because the gameplay is pretty solid with that aside.

Overall, I'd say that I actually really enjoyed this game significantly more than last time, but that's not because of the "deep" story (it isn't) or the "unique" characters (they're not). It's because of the gameplay, which succeeds where NSMB fails and offers a true modernization of the classic 2D Mario formula, with RPG elements present to add to the unique flavor. Don't come in expecting anything like the previous two games--this is a Paper Mario game in artstyle alone, and any RPG gameplay here is very different from what those games established--and you're left with one of the most brilliant and original 2D platformers in the franchise.

Pros
-Fun platforming gameplay that truly modernizes the classic formula
-4 characters with different abilities
-RPG elements fit nicely into the platforming experience
-A lot of variety in level design
-Tippi has great character development (a first for the series)

Cons
-Flip mechanic is poorly executed with a lot of untapped potential
-Attempts at humor fall flat
-A bit too text-heavy for a platformer
-Pixls have almost no personality
-Chapter 7



This completes the third leg of my Paper Mario marathon, meaning I am now halfway done! However, with the next game on the list being Sticker Star, it'll be a couple weeks until I can continue. That means I won't be getting The Origami King at launch, but it does at least give me more time to focus on sidequests. Like those Pits of 100 Trials.
I'm glad you liked it
 
Azure Striker Gunvolt

The true final boss was a lot harder than I remember it being, but I think I probably was better at the game when it was on the 3DS. Mostly because I had to learn how to play well since I had to take off the Prevasion Chain to unlock the true ending and so I had a lot of practice against the regular final boss without that crutch, but I took advantage of the Prevasion Chain knowing I would have to take it off this time, which just kind of fucked with how I learnt the game and so I only half-assed learning how to play properly. It was cool seeing how much better I did against the boss gauntlet compared to the original fights. I'm going to ignore the special missions for now and just move onto the next game. I want to at least beat each of the games first before I bother with challenge stuff.
 

Koops

Epic
Super Metroid

I've generally just become a fan of MetroidVanias in general. And I just finished this game.

I don't have the energy to be writing an all-out review rn so I'll just say that well, I really liked it. And that's about what I really feel about it. Also yes, before anyone asks, I saved the animals, and I have proof.

Screenshot (307).png


See that small comet-like thing that's on the same plane as the explosion? Yeah here's your proof.
 

YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
New Super Mario Bros.

Often shortened to NSMBDS or NSMB1, the original New Super Mario Bros. was a smash hit back in 2006. The tenth game in the main Super Mario series, it was the first Mario side-scroller in 14 years, and went on to become one of the best-selling Mario games of all time. And yet, now, its name lives on in infamy. Besides starting a trend of Nintendo putting "new" in the names of several other series revivals (New Nintendo 3DS, Yoshi's New Island, Animal Crossing: New Leaf and New Horizons, New Pokemon Snap), its name has been used in the three sequels that followed--New Super Mario Bros. Wii, 2, and U--which are often considered redundant and unoriginal, making the "new" prefix be treated like a cruel irony. Fast forward to 2020, and even the newest of these sequels is almost eight years old, and you almost certainly have one of those three sequels you'd rather play. Heck, the most easily accessible version of the game is the Wii U VC one, where two of these bigger, better sequels are easily playable on the same platform. Is it even worth playing the original game in 2020? Having beaten all three sequels 100% before and $10 to spare, I dropped some money on it to answer this question myself.

The gameplay is a fantastic improvement over the classic tetralogy on NES and SNES, with the same run-and-jump level structure as those games while throwing in several moves from Super Mario 64 and Sunshine, such as the triple jump, wall jump, and ground pound. Having extensively played the sequels, it's a little hard for me to imagine that this stuff wasn't always there, even after playing the classic installments, but that really shows just how well it works. While the game lacks the power-up variety of Super Mario Bros. 3, there are some fun power-ups here--besides the classic mushroom, flower, and star, the game introduces the Blue Shell, allowing Mario to zip through levels like a Koopa shell and swim faster underwater, and the Mini Mushroom and Mega Mushroom, which respectively turn Mario extra small and extra large. The blue shell (not to be confused with the infamous Mario Kart item) is very fun to use despite being rather situational (I sometimes died because I automatically turned into a shell while dashing); Mini Mario jumps higher but is very weak and dies in one hit...so of course the game opts to hide a bunch of star coins behind mini pipes. Mega Mario is my favorite of the bunch, as for a limited time Mario grows as tall as the screen and destroys anything and everything in his path, and he's pretty much invincible too. As far as Mario platformers go, Mini Mario would return in each of the three sequels, but Mega Mario only returns in small portions of NSMB2, while the Blue Shell was pretty much never seen again.

The level design is fantastic and has every bit as much variety and personality as in the classic installments. Honestly, between the mysterious secret-filled Ghost Houses, to castles that flip upside down, to the simple Mega Mario romp known as 1-1, it's hard to name an actual bad level here...besides 8-4 which deserves to die. Even tropes from Mario 1 and Lost Levels that I used to utterly despise, such as the labyrinth castles, are actually done surprisingly well here. Seriously, the level design here is absolutely worthy of the Super Mario Bros. name. But it's the game design in general where it takes a hit. There's nothing wrong with it, but it clearly shows just how little the formula has changed since 1990's Super Mario World. The timer...still exists. Lives? They also still exist, and when you die it's back to the last tower or castle or whatever. Points are here too, and they are once again useless. And it's those things that make this feel like less of a true sequel and more of a retro revival. All that stuff was present in the sequels, too. One quality-of-life feature I was missing from the sequels, however, was Quick Save, or the ability to create a temporary save at any time so you could come back later and pick up right where you left off. That's not present here unfortunately, and although Virtual Console features Suspend Points that essentially serve the same purpose, it would be wrong not to mention that here.

As far as presentation is concerned...it looks about as good as models can look on DS. It takes a hit on VC due to the natural pixely effect of blowing up a handheld game to the TV, but despite this, I still recommend using the "upper screen on TV" screen layout if you're playing this game on Wii U ("upper screen focus" also works most of the time, but since gameplay will switch to the touch screen at times, you'll have to occasionally change to "lower screen focus"). It's pretty spectacular in the sound department though--most of the music here I actually like better than their NSMBWii counterparts. The castle theme especially is probably the best theme ever to appear in a 2D Mario, and I wish they remastered this theme for use in the sequels (although thankfully, Fortune Street Wii gave me a solid remaster of this to use for modding purposes). In general though, anyone who has played an NSMB game knows about the iconic "bah bah" sound present in many of the songs that makes the Koopas stop and dance, and it really is a nice touch even if it gets a little obnoxious to listen to after a while. Not even the soundtrack is perfect though...most of the effects reused from Super Mario 64 DS feel oddly out of place, especially the Invincible Mario one since it ends very abruptly and doesn't give you a very good idea of when the effect ends.

Overall, whether I can confidently recommend the original New Super Mario Bros. in 2020 depends on whether or not you've played at least one of the sequels. If you have, and you're looking for more of the same, NSMB1 isn't a bad choice. But if you somehow have never played an NSMB game before and are looking for a good first taste of the series, I'd sooner recommend the Wii or U renditions, or perhaps even NSMB2. But still, for only $10, you could certainly do a lot worse.

Pros
-Great level design
-Memorable soundtrack
-New moveset additions work very well
-A good level of challenge
-Mega Mario is a blast

Cons
-Not very unique in 2020
-Mini Mario is the source of much frustration
-Dated design choices make the "new" moniker a little ironic
-You're just better off playing one of the sequels before this one
 

NocturnalDragoon

Dry Bowser
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon (Nintendo Switch)

Since the sequel came out a couple of days ago, I figure now might be a good time to finish Curse of the Moon. Miriam and Gebel are probably my favorite playable characters out of the four, Miriam's whip has pretty good range and her higher jump comes in handy and Gebel's bat transformation is nifty for skipping trickier segments of the level.
 

Christmas Miracle

Happy festive season!
Super Mario Galaxy 2 [Subsequent playthrough]

yeah i've enjoyed my playthrough of this game even though it's VERY far from my first. honestly i think i'm going to take this game over galaxy 1, i don't think i posted in this thread when i beat galaxy 1 a month or two back but that was good too, i love both galaxies very much
 
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YoshiFlutterJump

Power Star
Awards Committee
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story (3DS)

Also known as Mario & Luigi RPG 3, Bowser's Inside Story was originally released on DS in 2009, to exceptional reviews and great sales performance. Improving on the successful formula of the previous two games, Superstar Saga and Partners in Time, Bowser's Inside Story took a lot of risks and had many innovations and new features that made it feel so creative and unique. Fast forward to December 2018, and the game receives a remake for 3DS. The list can go on about why this remake was so unnecessary, ultimately being the final nail in AlphaDream's coffin, but it's important to remember one thing: Bowser's Inside Story is every bit as great now as it was back in 2009, and none of that is lost in the remake.

First off, the story. While this...isn't why I play games like this and there's much better games if you want a good story, Mario RPGs have a history of great humor and charm in the plot and dialogue, and all of that is intact here. Furthermore, while the plot of Partners in Time was more self-contained, Bowser's Inside Story's plot directly builds off of that of Superstar Saga, complete with the return of the one and only Most Furious Fawful. That's one of several reasons I'd recommend playing Superstar Saga before this one, although it's certainly no crime if you choose to play this one first--you'll understand the story fine even if you have no idea who Fawful is. Anyway, won't give too many spoilers, but basically Fawful infects the kingdom with a disease known as the Blorbs, which blow up Toads to balloon size, and feeds Bowser a Vacuum Shroom, causing him to inhale his surroundings, including the Mario Bros. As such, Mario, Luigi, and new helper Starlow must work together to escape Bowser's body and find a cure for the Blorbs. Like I said, it's nothing too deep or anything, but it's enjoyable and certainly enough to pull you through.

The gameplay, as mentioned before, builds upon the two previous installments, but adds a wealth of new ideas and mechanics to the mix. Bowser is now playable for one, and I don't just mean some selectable character on a menu--half the game you'll be playing as Bowser almost exclusively. You can punch and breathe fire, among other things, and it really feels awesome. Additionally, for some bosses, Bowser will grow giant for an epic touch-based battle, requiring you to hold your DS or 3DS on its sideways, like a book. The other half of the game, though, you'll be playing as Mario and Luigi--it wouldn't be an M&L game without them, of course. They play rather similarly to previous games, but they spend most of the game inside Bowser himself. These areas are based on a sidescrolling 2D plane, but fret not--turn-based battles are still present and they play very similarly to the 3D areas you're used to. Battles remain mostly the same as the previous games, but there are some changes. Namely, the Bros. Attack system has been overhauled once again, this time being based around Bros. Items rather than overworld techniques (like in Partners in Time) but not being consumable items and instead utilizing Bros. Points (as in Superstar Saga). It's a nice balance between the previous two and works really well. Additionally, Badges have been overhauled as well: rather than being something you equip through the Gear menu, Mario and Luigi can charge their badge meter by executing attacks well, producing a special effect depending on the combination of badges used. Additionally, on many occasions, you'll have to play a touch-based minigame as the bros to help Bowser in his quest--I've seen a fair bit of criticism on this, but I personally found them enjoyable and a nice change of pace. You switch between the bros and Bowser constantly throughout the game, and what each one does affects the other. It's great and adds a lot of variety.

If there's one thing that every installment in the series has excelled at, it's presentation. Between Shimomura's beautiful and grand soundtrack and the absolutely gorgeous spritework, Bowser's Inside Story is no exception. As mentioned before, I played the 3DS version, which utilizes Dream Team's artstyle, which I'm a huge fan of. But even if you're playing this on DS, the artstyle's still great in that version and has its own charm, and I've seen a fair few people who prefer that. If you're new to the series, you may want to view each version on YouTube and see which artstyle appeals to you more, as it's pretty much the most significant change in the remake (aside from Bowser Jr.'s Journey, which I'll go over soon). The remastered soundtrack is great as well, keeping the spirit of the originals without the technical limitations of the DS; however, the original tunes still hold up, and like in 2017's Superstar Saga remake, you can still listen to the original tunes through the jukebox. Unfortunately there's no in-game option to use the classic soundtrack for gameplay, but their presence on the game cart makes it easy to do so via modding. It's worth noting, though, that the most controversial change in the soundtrack by far is the title theme--while it's an entirely new theme rather than a remaster of the old one, I feel it's still great in its own right and actually fits the general feel of the game better. But everyone has their preferences.

Now, that's all I'll touch on for the main game, but the 3DS has one other rather big addition: a side mode known as Bowser Jr.'s Journey. A sequel to Minion Quest from the Superstar Saga remake in both story and gameplay, Bowser Jr.'s Journey serves as a side story that occurs during the events of the main game, with the character of focus being Bowser's own son this time around. Let me get this out of the way: if you didn't like Minion Quest, you won't like Bowser Jr.'s Journey. While there are improvements, they're pretty minor for the most part, and certainly not enough to change your mind about the gameplay. But if, like me, you at least somewhat enjoyed Minion Quest, then there's definitely something for you here. Among the most notable changes is that Bowser Jr. is the only selectable captain this time around; however, as the game progresses, you'll be able to make him any of the three trooper types, essentially serving as three different captains. Additionally, the number of troopers in battle has increased to 9, with an additional slot for a First Officer; this position can be held by the Koopalings or Kamek, and allows that trooper to gain their own CP and use two additional Captain Commands. Lastly, the biggest change by far is the ability to customize trooper formations. In Minion Quest, trooper formation was automatically determined by each trooper's type, but here they're fully customizable and absolutely vital to winning each battle. There are some other, more minor improvements as well: one that particularly stuck out to me is that the grinding has been significantly reduced. The excessive grinding was one of my biggest issues with Minion Quest, but here I haven't had to replay quests much at all, and while I haven't beaten it yet, I feel I'm close enough to the end that I probably won't have to do it much more. But even if you already own Bowser's Inside Story on DS and Bowser Jr.'s Journey isn't enough to warrant a repurchase, I'd at least recommend viewing the cutscenes on YouTube if you haven't already, because between the interactions between the Koopalings and Bowser Jr. and some deep morals and character development, this is easily the best story in a Mario game. Easily.

Overall, Bowser's Inside Story, whichever version you decide to get, receives the highest recommendation from me. It's definitely the high point of a series that never ceases to be great; heck, I think I enjoyed this more than Dream Team, and I wasn't even sure that was possible. It isn't flawless--no game is--but Bowser's Inside Story is about the closest it gets. It oozes with creativity and variety at every corner, and you will never be bored of playing. While I can't share the same sentiment for Bowser Jr.'s Journey, it's a worthy successor to Minion Quest and a good option if you need a change of pace. While the 3DS version is an improvement all-around and my recommended version of the game, if it's more affordable to buy the DS version secondhand and you don't care for Bowser Jr.'s Journey, the DS version is every bit as great and you're not missing out on much. Just make sure you find a way to play this, because you won't regret it.

Pros
-All the best parts of other installments are fully intact here, including the action-packed gameplay, humorous writing, and fantastic soundtrack
-Playing as Bowser is a blast
-A lot of creativity and variety in level design and game mechanics
-A good long 30-hour experience
-Bowser Jr.'s Journey has a genuinely great plot

Cons
-Bowser Jr.'s Journey, like Minion Quest before it, is still a little hands-off on gameplay
-...There are no other cons



Next on my list is Paper Mario: Sticker Star so I can continue my Paper Mario series marathon, though I still want to beat the last few stages in Bowser Jr.'s Journey and beat the remaining X bosses in the Gauntlet before I put this game down for now. I'll post in the "what game did you last play" thread when I'm done with that stuff.
 

Shroobuigi

the poisonous chestnut
Poll Committee
Paper Mario: The Origami King

I didn't expect to enjoy the game as much as I did. Out of the Paper Mario games that I've played (Super Paper Mario, Color Splash, and The Origami King), this one's probably my favorite.
 

NocturnalDragoon

Dry Bowser
Paper Mario: The Origami King (Nintendo Switch)

The final boss fight against Olly was a little "eh". I liked the first phase where he's using the Vellumental's powers against you but the Origami Bowser tabletop sumo duel and the final magic circle were a little annoying. kinda would've preferred if it was just a full on regular boss fight against him. That said the build-up leading up to fight was pretty good and the ending admittedly made me a little teary-eyed.
 

Smiley The Hun

I accidentally whored shoulders
Retired Wiki Staff
Paper Mario: The Origami King. I enjoyed this game more than Super Paper Mario.
King Olly: I'M GOING TO BE RACIST TO TOADS BECAUSE ONE SCRIBBLED ON ME AND I CAN'T READ
Olivia: You know that's a blessing they wrote on you right
King Olly:.......w-what
Olivia: Yeah it says: "Dearest Olly, may you grow into a fair and kind king."
King Olly: *literally dies from embarrassment while telling Olivia to use his corpse to make the 1,000 crane and use it's wish to fix all of Olly's mistakes*
Olivia: Guess i'll die since I'm one of those mistakes
 
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