News: Paper Mario Is Made of Labo

Buyer Beware – Paper Mario: The Origami King

One does not know what it is with Nintendo and the Paper Mario franchise, which makes them continually look to undermine it and destroy it. The series began life as an extension of Squaresoft’s Super Mario RPG, and the first two games, Paper Mario and Thousand Year Door were fairly orthodox JRPGs, albeit ones with a bit of a gimmicky jumping mechanic. Following these releases though Nintendo seemed to use the series as an environment to test their gimmicks, while at the same time watering down the RPG mechanics to next to nothing. Sometimes this experimentation panned out, but much more often it rendered the games as unplayable, and after the disaster that was Color Splash one thought that The Origami King might have been a return to form. Not so much.

Too bad, because the visuals look amazing.
Nintendo have ruined another Paper Mario game.

Fights in The Origami King will not yield experience points, and instead HP and stats are raised by finding various objects in the environment. In spite of this the game has respawning enemies, which are just going to feel so great to battle when there is no tangible reward for doing so. Chrono Cross has many faults which hold it back from greatness, but the one flaw that almost singlehandedly prevents it from being any fun at all to play is the way that battles do not yield EXP. The lack of battle EXP makes fighting a dull and pointless grind, which is only there to waste the player’s time. Now Nintendo are copying the worst aspect of Chrono Cross for The Origami King, and one just has to wonder in what way they feel as though they are improving their game by removing the thing that underpins virtually every RPG aside from a scant handful of notable failures.

LGR3 2020 – A Huge Number of Limited Run Games Announced

As part of the fallout from this year’s cancellation of E3, this week Limited Run Games streamed their forthcoming line-up, and there is some exciting stuff here. On this week’s podcast we covered the LGR3 round-up, as sourced from Nintendolife, but it turns out that this list was somewhat incomplete. The Nintendolife round-up covered all of Limited Run’s own games, but Limited Run also publish and sell physical games on behalf of other companies, and they appear to have been missing. The most exciting announcements from one’s own perspective are Grandia HD Collection, Ys Origin, Castlevania Anniversary Collection, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, A Boy and His Blob, Star Wars Episode I: Racer, and two different Shantae games.

The sequel allegedly has twice the content.
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 is one of the awesome games that you will be able to own physically.

The full list of Limited Run releases, as sourced from their own site, are as follows:

A Boy and His Blob (PS4) — September 2020
Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon 2 (Switch, PS4) — TBD
Bug Fables: The Everlasting Sapling (Switch, PS4) — TBD
Carrion (Switch) — TBD
Castlevania Anniversary Collection (Switch, PS4) — Q3 2020
Demon Turf (Switch) — TBD
Garou: Mark of the Wolves (PS4) — July 2020
Grandia HD Collection (Switch) — August 7, 2020
GRIS (Switch) — TBD
Katana Zero (Switch) — November 2020
Kunai (Switch) — July 8, 2020
MegaDimension Neptunia VII (Switch) — July 28, 2020
Mighty Gunvolt Burst (Switch, PS4) — August 28, 2020
My Friend Pedro (PS4) — TBD
Observer (Switch) — TBD
Papers, Please (Vita) — July 24, 2020
PixelJunk Eden 2 (Switch) — TBD
Return of the Obra Dinn (Switch, PS4) — July 24, 2020
More River City Girls — Details TBD
Samurai Jack: Battle Through Time (Switch, PS4) — TBD
Shantae (Switch, GameBoy Color) — September 2020
Shantae: Risky’s Revenge (Switch) — September 2020
Space Channel 5 VR: Kinda Funky News Flash! (PSVR) — July 31, 2020
Star Wars Episode I: Racer (Switch, PS4, PC) — July 10, 2020
Super Meat Boy Forever (Switch, PS4) — TBD
The friends of Ringo Ishikawa (Switch) — July 21, 2020
The Mummy Demastered (Switch, PS4) — July 31, 2020
The Secret of Monkey Island 30th Anniversary Anthology (PC) — October 2020
To The Moon (Switch) — Q4 2020
TowerFall Ascension (Switch) — Q3 2020
Trover Saves the Universe (Switch) — Q4 2020
Where the Water Tastes Like Wine (Switch) — TBD
Xtreme Sports (Switch, GameBoy Color) — October 2020
Ys Origin (Switch) — July 8, 2020

This author could practically kick himself! One waited for roughly around nine months in the hopes that Grandia: HD Collection would get a physical release, and then relented and bought it during the lockdown. Now just a scant matter of weeks later it has been announced! This is always the way. Regardless, it is great that we will be able to own some of these titles physically.

Devolver Digital Wins Fake E3

Much like Limited Run Games, Devolver Digital also hosted a stream this week to promote their forthcoming game releases, however, the stream was more like the appetiser in this case.

Explore abandoned E3 in Devolverland Expo.
Devolverland Expo is the single greatest piece of marketing ever released.

The optimal way to actually experience Devolver Digital’s forthcoming game releases was revealed during the stream. The full list of announcements made during the stream were as follows:

Shadow Warrior 3 – out 2021 for the PC
Olija – out fall 2020 for the Nintendo Switch and the PC; demo available now on Steam
Fall Guys – out on August 4, 2020 for the PS4 and the PC
Carrion – Out July 23 for the Xbox One, the Nintendo Switch, and the PC. Will also launch on Xbox Game Pass, and a demo is available now on Steam
Serious Sam 4 – out in August 2020 on the PC and Stadia
Blightbound – Steam Early Access launches on July 29, 2020
Weird West – Coming to the PC in 2021
Devolverland Expo – Out now on the PC via Steam for free

The most important item on this list is Devolverland Expo, a free PC game which tasks the player with sneaking into an abandoned Devolver Digital trade show, based on E3. If the player is able to evade the various security measures then they are able to view trailers for the upcoming games. Obviously Devolverland Expo takes the place of the Devolver Digital stream, but the stream still had to be the primary presentation because not everybody owns a PC that is capable of playing it. If one does own a gaming PC though, then this game makes for an amazing way to experience Devolver Digital’s 2020 presentation.


  1. A game that IS the expo is one of the coolest ideas I have yet seen. AND it has the benefit of ensuring that GameJournoPros, who cannot play games, won’t be able to view the content!

    The Limited Run lineup has got quite a few excellent titles, but hearken to my word of caution about those ones that are marked TBD–it could be a year or more until they even become available for pre-order, let alone start shipping.

  2. I said that as a joke – but since Mister Nintendo reads TDT religously, the next Paper Mario game probably really will be Labo Mario!

  3. After completing Origami King over the course of four days (the fastest I’ve completed a 20+ hour game from purchase in I don’t know how long), I don’t think that your summation of the futility of battling really sticks. Battle loops are similar enough to other simple RPGs in that if you do not battle frequently, you are not prepared for future, more difficult battles. This is done through the game’s expanded use of coins that play a satisfying function in many aspects of both combat and exploration.

    Of course, it is overall quite light in its RPG elements, but barely moreso than any other entry in the series. I am also disappointed that the series has left the “original trilogy” so definitively behind it, but this game is not to be written off as another Sticker Star or Color Splash. I couldn’t finish either of those games, but I couldn’t stop playing this one. It was a true delight from start to finish and I expect to return to attempt to 100% it. Funniest Paper Mario since Super Paper Mario with a contender for best soundtrack out of all of them.

  4. @Ethos: It’s not just SN’s summation. The NintendoLife review was equally dire (perhaps even moreso than SN) on battling. They address the ‘you get coins!’ argument in their review:

    One paragraph, for example:

    What makes the battles even less appealing is there’s no real incentive to engage in any of them. There’s no experience system in this game, so there’s nothing to grind for. Winning a fight gives you some coins and confetti, and since coins are mostly spent on battle items anyway and confetti literally grows on trees there’s really no need to fight most of the time. The puzzles make the process so lengthy and convoluted that you’ll find yourself trying to actively avoid any enemy you see. Besides – and this is us letting you in on a little secret – there’s one island you encounter in the game’s second half where you take part in a seven-wave arena fight and are rewarded with an absolute ton of coins, more than enough to ensure you never worry about having enough coins again.

    They also sledge the ordinary battles are repetitive and tiresome. There is praise for the boss battles. I should also add that NintendoLife is by no means an outlier here–the same things are being said by players and reviews across the board. So I think one cannot reasonably wave this away as SN being an overly cynical voice in the wilderness.

    For my part, it looks crap, and I’m glad I have not made any sort of investment–monetary or emotional–in it.

  5. @Akademician – Yeah, as I played it I thought about how it wouldn’t be a game that I would recommend to you personally. It’s certainly not crap, but I do feel like you personally wouldn’t enjoy it, so I’m also genuinely glad you have not invested in it! But my opinion differs from what you quote and apparently the media at large! It doesn’t deter my enthusiasm for it, however. I personally had a wonderful time with it and have plenty of praise and criticism for it also. From what I can see, people seem far too focused on what it isn’t rather than what it is – a common infliction in comparison obsessed criticism. Oh well! I’ve had a much better time and more clear opinion of games I play – positive and negative – since tuning out the media noise around releases.

  6. @SN – To that end, before Akademician’ comment, I wasn’t aware of the media consensus on the game at all, so the summation was simply at odds with my experience and opinion. I was just trying to provide my played experience as a counter to what I read. I did mean to defend the game, but I didn’t mean it as combative and I hope it didn’t read as such!

  7. @Akademician – and to follow up: pm:tok is the only game i’ve completed – old or new – this year excepting ffvii:r. i did so no more than 48 hours after this exchange and although i have not once picked it back up to 100% it like i predicted, it is the game that has emotionally affected me the most this year. that statement, it should be said, gives full credit to ffvii:r which has made a far more lasting impact on me after completion than i expected while playing it. those are the only two games – old or new – that i have seen the credits for since i first played hollow knight in early 2019.

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