Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Review
Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Box Art
System: 3DS
Dev: Nintendo
Pub: Nintendo
Release: January 22, 2016
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: N/A Mild Cartoon Violence

There are two times when Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam falters. The first is in its papercraft battles. After every major boss fight, players will be tossed into a beat 'em up where their cardboard Mario or Luigi fights cardboard versions of classic enemies. It's reminiscent of the Abe Lincoln mech battles in Code Name: Steam. There's no real strategy to it, only tedium. Go through the rhythm mini-game to hype the Toads carrying the papercraft up. Once their energy is maxed out, fight the camera to get an enemy in your sights. Look at it to lock on, then throw the papercraft at it. Repeat until you reach the boss, then repeat until the mess is done. It isn't bad, but it takes away from the rest of the experience.

Especially since the other mini-games are handled rather well. These primarily appear as Paper Toad rescue missions, but the aforementioned Trio Attacks also act as such. Stopping by the Lakitu's offices offers opportunities to rescue the displaced citizens in mini-games that involve skill, timing, strategy, and dexterity. Sometimes, it feels as though you spend a little too much time saving these extra Toads, but the encounters are varied enough to keep them interesting. The Attackathon lets you play through the Trio Attacks outside of battle for points that can be used for items in shops. None of these feel cheap or extraneous, like the papercraft battles, instead offering a breather from Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam's main adventure.

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But I digress. There's one other area where Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam needs improvement, and it's the amiibo implementation. You can get character cards if you happen to have question mark cards and a corresponding amiibo from the Super Mario series. The problem is, the cards are saved to the amiibo itself. Unless you plan to have that figure with you all the time, it's rather useless. The game is easy enough without their bonus effects, so there's really no point to them. It felt as though they existed so Nintendo could point to another game as offering amiibo support, rather than using it to enhance gameplay.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam has personality. There's a little bit of extraneous filler here, in the form of papercraft battles and optional amiibo cards, but people who chose to focus on the delightful story, fantastic battle system, and assortment of mini-games will be more than happy to join Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario on their adventure.

By
Jenni Lada
Site Liaison
Date: January 20, 2016

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.0
Graphics
The world is bright and colorful, though segments with papercraft elements are more visually appealing than those without.
4.0
Control
Controls for most of the game are great, but you’ll fight with the camera to get opponents in your sights for papercraft punchouts.
5.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Nothing is more charming than hearing Mario and Luigi’s gobbledygook as they attempt to converse with residents of the Mushroom Kingdom.
4.5
Play Value
Interactions between characters are hilarious and there’s a pretty good balance between battles, story segments, and Toad-collecting mini-games.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Our trio of heroes must go on quests, solve puzzles, and battle a multitude of meanies to restore order to the Mushroom Kingdom. Will their combined might be enough to overcome a pair of evil Bowser armies?
  • In Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam game, you'll be exploring grassy plains, dry deserts, deep jungles, icy mountains, and more. In order to get through these treacherous terrains, you'll need to rely on teamwork.
  • Use Trio Moves to overcome obstacles and discover hidden treasures!
  • Winning battles in Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam often comes down to one thing: timing. When you attack an enemy, you must time your hits just right to maximize your power, otherwise your attack might land with a thud!
  • Bowser's baddies have come up with a towering weapon to destroy the Mushroom Kingdom. Luckily, Toadette has crafted a king-sized creation of her own to help the heroes fight back! In order to power up your Papercraft, you'll need to unleash some deadly dance moves. Move to the beat in a rhythm microgame to charge up, then charge into battle!

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