The new Mario & Luigi Paper Jam video game for Nintendo 3DS was released on January 22, 2016. I received a copy two days before its release and my plan was to finish the game in two days and get the review post up. That didn’t happen. In fact, up to this point, I’ve logged over 24 hours (sad, I know) and still haven’t completed the game! My daughter and I can attest to the fact that this is one Mario-themed RPG / platformer that will provides hours and hours of entertainment!
Mario & Luigi Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS
Mario & Luigi Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS is the result of combining two popular games into one, creating a whole new story. Mario & Luigi is an RPG (role-playing game) in which you “speak” to different characters and must choose various options to move the game ahead. Paper Mario is from a world of flat characters and you use stickers as attacks against Bowser and his baddies. In Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, Luigi accidentally knocks over a special book, which ends up transporting all of those from the paper sticker world into that of the 3D world. Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario must work together to save Princess Peach and her sticker version from Bowser and his paper self.
You simultaneously play as the three heroes at the same time. “A” controls Mario, “B” controls Luigi, “Y” controls Paper Mario, and “X” has them jump in unison. It takes a good 30-45 minutes to get into the meat of Mario & Luigi Paper Jam. The tutorial is pretty long and there are some mundane tasks you have to complete so you understand the gameplay. You’ll also meet an in-game guide, Starlow. The story and conversations are simple yet silly. My daughter particularly like the interaction between Princess Peach and Paper Peach. The suggested age to play this is 7 years old as good reading skills are required.
To get through the game, you have to “battle” the enemies and find items to help you in your quest. When facing enemies, you are taken to a separate screen in a face off. Choose from various actions to knock off their health points and have them disappear. Actions include jump, hammer, flee, use an item (recharge), or special move. The amount of damage depends on the character level and timing of pressing specific buttons. You’ll have to use attacks unique to each character to get past gumbas, shy guys, fire bros, hammer bros, and more. Combination moves can also be used. New attacks are unlocked as you play and each move is worth a certain amount of points.
Playing Mario & Luigi Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS
Here are the main points you need to know:
- HP: How much health you have. When one character runs out, you can use a 1-UP item to recharge them. When all three characters run out, you have to start that portion again from the last save point.
- BP: How much battle points you have. Each time you use a special move or are hit by an attack by an enemy, you lose battle points. If you run low, you can no longer use your special moves. Refill these using a NUT item.
- XP: Points to increase the attack damage inflicted by Mario, Luigi, and Paper Mario. As you defeat enemies, you accrue XP. It is practically impossible to beat enemies that have a higher battle level than your characters. NOTE: You can avoid battling every enemy but, if you do, you will not level up fast enough to beat stronger enemies.
- Battle Cards: These are unlocked in later levels. Use these cards to give you an advantage when facing powerful enemies. This is all pretty confusing but battle cards come in handy when facing Boss battles. Some Amiibos give you additional cards but we have an old 3DS XL (an no adaptor) to try this.
Another major feature include Papercrafts. What are Papercrafts? They are huge paper models (kind of like the ones in this photo) that you and your team have to destroy. Fortunately, your loyal mushroom friends create giant Papercrafts for you to have an even battle. Of course, lifting those huge Papercrafts get tiring so you’ll need to tap to the beat on recharge pads and fill that energy back up. Papercraft battles are pretty hilarious.
Mario & Luigi Paper Jam Review Pros & Cons
Navigating through the worlds can be confusing. There is a map in the corner but only a portion is shown at any one time. The combo moves (super hammer, drill, airplane, etc.) are all useful. Sometimes it’s cumbersome to switch and select the right one though.
My daughter and I are having a blast with the game. I play and she watches (she just likes the story). Sometimes she’ll step in to give me a break from the battles, which can get monotonous. Even though new attacks are unlocked periodically, I wish this was more frequent. The timing of some is difficult at times but at least players can practice the moves before selecting them in battle.
We finally reached Bowser’s castle but I’m not sure if this is the last level or not. Throughout the game, whenever you’re close, a baddie forces you to take a detour through extra worlds. Either way, we can’t wait to see how the story plays out. Though the game does get repetitious with the battles, Mario & Luigi Paper Jam for Nintendo 3DS is still loads of fun and is a solid addition to the ever-endearing Mario franchise. You can get the physical or digital copy here on Amazon.
I received this item as part of my participation as a Nintendo Ambassador. All opinions are my own.