This charming adventure is well worth the price of admission for its lengthy and gratifying gameplay, accessible controls, well-written dialogue, and high-quality presentation. Paper Mario: The Origami King offers many secret areas, collectible items, and other hallmarks of a triple-A Mario adventure. Along with the bright and colorful graphics, with Mario and others represented by paper thin characters, the first thing you'll notice is how good the game feels to play, Maneuvering your 1,000-Fold Arms ability relies on your Nintendo Switch's gyroscope, which takes a little getting used to, but its a welcome change to your regular arsenal of moves. Much of the strategy, though, is tied to the battle system, represented by a ring the enemies stand on, with you in the middle. You have a limited amount of time to manipulate the ring so that familiar enemies -- like Goombas, Koopa Troopas, and Shy Guys -- are lined up in a desired fashion, so that you can take them down with as few moves as possible (or else they'll have a turn to damage you, too). You can rotate the rings with your limited moves, or push and pull them across the board, which is where the tactics come in. You can also add extra power to your movies -- such as stomping on baddies for spiked boots -- by properly timing an extra button press when above their heads and getting into the rhythm of the sequence.
Especially earlier on in the game, the battle portions can get repetitive and tedious, but the combat does evolve once you start adding new items and abilities. Mixed feelings about the combat aside, Paper Mario: The Origami King is super fun, and those who love exploring every nook and cranny in a game will be rewarded with paper treasures, hidden characters, weapons, upgrades, and more. The game's also very funny, and you'll want to read every interaction with a character or object (like a sign) because it's so well written. There are platforming challenges and some mini-games, too, for those who enjoy those traditional Mario gameplay elements. Paper Mario: The Original King isn't "paper thin" but it does have some tears thanks to some of the combat issues. That said, it's still a super fun ride for fans of the franchise and newcomers to the series alike.