Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam is a surprise merging of two fan-favorite Nintendo series. While we were excited about the idea, we have had questions since its official announcement. Each of these franchises is a solid RPG, but they don?t follow the same formula. Since we got to try a boss fight at Nintendo?s E3 2015 booth, we?re beginning to understand what Nintendo?s going for with Paper Jam.
The battle we played pit Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario against the botanical bully Petey Piranha. The main phase of the battle is standard RPG fare: Each person on the battlefield gets a turn to attack; the character whose health depletes first loses. Attacking is pretty standard too. I chose an attack, timed an additional button press exactly with the animation to gain more damage, and waited for the boss to react. Timing is tricky, but getting the hang of it didn?t take too long.
The battle took a turn for the weird when Petey Piranha decided to run toward the screen and shoot paintballs at our three heroes. While shaped like a paper plane, Paper Mario must carry the other two plumbers to avoid damage. This spin on the traditional RPG formula worked really well with the cartoonish nature of the series.
The highlight of the battle was the Trio Attack, a massive super move that took many hilarious mini-game forms. We cut Petey Piranah?s body into tiny shreds of paper and attacked each piece individually, causing damage every time we hit one. In another, the enemy turned into a tennis ball, prompting an impromptu match.
Mario and Luigi: Paper Jam?s E3 boss battle demo showed that the game will be perfect for both the RPG crowd and Mario and Luigi?s biggest fans. Paper Mario will add a wrinkle into the RPG game Mario and Luigi players are used to, using his 2D and 3D powers at every turn. Paper Jam will be taking us on a new adventure in 2016 via the 3DS.