Super Paper Mario has the typical hallmarks of a 2D Mario platformer—stomp on enemies, jump over pits, and avoid obstacles—but failing carries minuscule stakes. If you fall into a pit, you only lose a single health point. The enemies are weak, by and large, and powerups and Shroom Shakes are plentiful. That it’s nearly impossible to die in the game garnered a lot of criticism in 2007, with players claiming Super Paper Mario made too many concessions to young children and was ‘dumbed down’ for the masses. But this criticism misses the point: Super Paper Mario is not a platformer so much as a role-playing game, a meta-commentary about acknowledging gaming’s past alongside its present.
From Overwatch to Attack on Titan and more, I’ve been playing games with intense action. These games maintain my interest and keep the excitement coming by doing some smart things with their pace and design. We’ll break it down in this video.