Fans of the Paper Mario series have been split in two lately. The release of the latest entry, The Origami King, appears to be reviewing sort of well, but it hasn’t approached the heights of the series’ past .
Then an interview came out where game producer Kensuke Tanabe made a stunning revelation. Mario’s creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, has put some pretty stringent rules on the Paper Mario series.
Is it all that shocking to hear that Nintendo has a vice-like grip over their IPs? Even to those same IPs detriment.
The particular restrictions laid down by Miyamoto are extreme. According to the producer, he’s not allowed to modify any existing characters at all.
That means no comically-altered goombas or Koopa Troopas. No messing around with the established suite of characters from the Mario universe. It’s annoying because doing stuff that was outside of what you typically associated with Mario was what made the Paper Mario series so great.
It’s not like it ends their either. Back in the Paper Mario: Sticker Star days, Miyamoto also asked if a story was even necessary.
“It’s fine without a story, so do we really need one?”
Just in case you’re not aware, these games are RPGs. Miyamoto was asking if an RPG needs a storyline. More than that, the Paper Mario storylines were some of the most irreverent and exciting in the entire Mario canon, and he wanted to do away with that.
It’s a shame that a series once hailed as a breath of fresh air has been stripped down so severely. Paper Mario isn’t terrible these days. The series just lost the edge that it brought to the Mario IP.
It was sort of inevitable. Nintendo tries to make their games appeal to as many people as possible. The method they use to do that is to include nothing that might scare people off. Nothing too original because it’s might freak out a long-time Mario fan.
If only we could recapture the heyday of games like Paper Mario: The 1000 Year Door. It was a pinnacle for the series, one we’re unlikely to regain. At least as long as Miyamoto remains as the godfather of stereotypical Italian plumbers.