Nintendo's beloved mascot started out as a 2D arcade platformer called "Donkey Kong" wherein the protagonist was known as "Jumpman" at the time. In 1985, the developer released "Super Mario Bros." for the Nintendo Entertainment System (Famicom in Japan). The sequels that came after featured similar gameplay until it shifted to 3D when the Nintendo 64 was released. All succeeding consoles received a "Mario" title with the Switch's "Super Mario Odyssey" as the latest. Now, the company is ready to launch "Paper Mario: Origami King" which is set to release on Friday.

For those who are familiar with the "Paper Mario" series, the gameplay mechanics are entirely different from standard "Mario" games. Instead of being a 2D or 3D action platformer, it follows a traditional role-playing game formula with some battle elements unique to the franchise. The first entry made its debut on the Nintendo 64 followed by others on the GameCube, Wii, 3DS, Wii U, and now on the Switch.

According to CNN, which received a review copy of the game before its launch, fans will have a lot to look forward to. Aside from the updated graphics, the presentation remains the same with character models designed as 2D paper cutouts against a 3D backdrop. However, just like the ones that came before it, players should not let the aesthetics fool them. Although some would call it cute, battles in "Paper Mario: The Origami King" require strategy in order to win against enemies and bosses.

Another review, this time from GameSpot describes it as, "With a newfound combat system that steals the show and offers a novel take on turn-based combat, its winking, nodding, and adventuring shine all the brighter. Its world and characters might not be the series' best, but it's still able to consistently throw left turns, good gags, and smart surprises at you."

Nintendo Switch: 'Paper Mario: The Origami King'
For those who are familiar with the “Paper Mario” series, the gameplay mechanics are entirely different from standard “Mario” games. Photo: Nintendo

Meanwhile, Screen Rant said, "An endlessly enjoyable story, a unique take on combat that fuses puzzle-solving with RPG traditions, and a beautiful world full of adventure makes 'Paper Mario: The Origami King' yet another must-play Nintendo Switch experience." Overall, many are praising the new combat system, which is purportedly an improvement over the last two installments. However, it is not likely to unseat the popularity of "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" anytime soon.