Sadly, it feels like I’m reaching the end of my time with Paper Mario: The Origami King. I’ve loved everything about it—well, almost everything—but my favorite part has got to be the simple act of tossing confetti around.
The Mushroom Kingdom is in total disarray by the time you get to explore it thanks to an invasion of horrifying, origami golems. These folded jerks wasted no time in desecrating the game’s beautiful landscapes with holes and, naturally, it’s up to Mario to put everything right. Since this is a Paper Mario game, that means filling these gaping voids with confetti.
Near the start of the adventure, Mario receives a bag of confetti to aid in his quest, and from then on a simple button press will fill the air around him with dozens of small paper bits. Using this confetti to safely traverse the broken landscapes is a big part of the game—your progress in this regard is tracked through every area—but Mario’s delighted expression as he heals the world makes the task a joy rather than a chore.
It gets even better once you learn that Paper Mario doesn’t penalize you for throwing confetti around anytime you damn well please. The resource is essentially limitless if it doesn’t go towards fixing the scenery. Every so often, I’ll toss a couple handfuls after a particularly frustrating battle or when I’m trying to figure out where to go next. The entire game is a great pick-me-up, but there’s something special about these small, insignificant celebrations.
I’m a fan of games that just let you do stuff, especially when they dedicate an entire button to something silly. While there are minor gameplay reasons to honk in Untitled Goose Game, for instance, let’s be honest with ourselves and admit we’re mostly doing it because it makes us laugh. Sure, it feels great to rebuild the Mushroom Kingdom in Paper Mario, but its crowning achievement is in giving me a “make the screen pretty” button I can spam every few seconds.