What do Red Koopa Troopas think about as they’re shuffling back and forth all day on top of platforms? Where do Shy Guys go on their days off? Paper Mario is the only series brave enough to answer these burning questions about the inner lives of Mario characters, and it answers them with humor, style, and more truly human moments than you can find in most of Nintendo’s fantasy worlds.
As a person who grew up drawing comics starring Mario characters, I have a soft spot in my heart for the Paper Mario series’ always hilarious, often heartwarming take on the world of Mario. Setting off on a grand adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom and getting to have amusing conversations with Pokeys and Thwomps is exactly my shit.
So why was I not even able to finish either of the previous two games in the series, Sticker Star or Color Splash? I don’t particularly mind that Nintendo decided not to make these latest outings full-on role-playing games, despite that being the genre of the first two (universally praised) games in the series. I mean, I’d prefer they be RPGs, but I’m happy to take a flyer on an experiment.