Paper Mario Meets Mario & Luigi in New 3DS RPG

Illustration for article titled iPaper Mario/i Meets iMario  Luigi/i in New 3DS RPG

Nintendo’s two Super Mario RPG series are mashing up in early 2016 in a game called Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam.

A new trailer from Nintendo showed a game that looks like it takes place in the world of Mario & Luigi games, with little sprite characters, one that has been visited by a flat Mario made out of paper.

The M&L role-playing games have usually let players control both of the famous Nintendo brothers at once both while roaming the game’s overworld and while facing off against enemies in turn-based battles. This new game appears to add Paper Mario in as a third controllable character, using his paper properties for additional navigation and combat options.


The colorful trailer for the game also showed off what looked like a free-roaming battle mode that involves little Toad characters carrying around and battling with massive papercraft Mario-universe figures.

It’s always been a bit odd that Nintendo has two ongoing Super Mario role-playing series. It’s odder still, yet pretty cool, that they are crossing them over. We’re not sure who is making the game, whether it’s the Paper Mario team at Intelligent Systems of the M&L crew at Alphadream. We’re checking with Nintendo.

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In my mind, these were two RPGs that were actually pretty different. Paper Mario was more traditional, and used timing as a small bonus. For example, correctly timing defensive moves reduced damage, usually by one or two points.

In the Mario & Luigi games, however, timing is critical to play. Correctly timing a defensive move will prevent damage completely. In addition, the amount of damage received from an attack that is not evaded is much greater, regularly entering double digits.

Paper Mario focused more on pre-battle setup, allowing you to equip many badges that altered your battle style. Mario & Luigi offered minimal customization, focusing on stat-based equipment.

We haven’t had a proper Paper Mario in a very long time. Not since the GameCube’s Thousand Year Door. We had a proper Mario & Luigi game just a year or two ago.

So, I was hoping for a new Paper Mario game. This one looks like it’s going to be Mario & Luigi style, unfortunately.