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Paper Jam is fun for all ages

Jan 20, 2016

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Mario & Luigi Paper JamWhat’s better than a Mario and Luigi team-up? How about a Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario team-up?

Mario & Luigi Paper Jam, the latest in the unique Nintendo RPG series brings the best of both Mario worlds together and you can blame it all on Luigi.

Mario’s bumbling brother has really done it this time. Trying to fix a hole in Princess Peach’s library, Luigi opens a magical book which causes inhabitants of the Paper World to spill into the Mushroom Kingdom.

Along with Mario and Princess Peach’s paper doubles comes Paper Bowser, which spells trouble with a capital “T”. Not surprisingly, the Bowsers kidnap – How many times is this now? – both Princesses and it is up to Mario, Paper Mario and Luigi to rescue them and set things right for both worlds.

Mario & Luigi Paper JamThe allure of the Mario & Luigi series has always been its quirkiness and unusual gameplay using Nintendo’s most famous characters. The puzzle solving tasks are quite shrewd, the kind of riddles that will test players of all ages, although they are not as varied as in previous installments.

The combat though, is where the real fun lies. You need to have fairly decent reflexes. The clever take on the RPG turn-based battles incorporates timed jumps, attacks, dodges, is even more enjoyable with the inclusion of Paper Mario and paper enemies. At the start, the team of heroes can stomp and hammer their foes. With the stomp attack, if a second button press is timed right, enemies can be stamped twice for even more damage. The hammer works in the same way, only the button needs to be pressed at the peak of the swing to do maximum damage.

There are special Bros. super attacks which are far more lethal but are far more complicated to pull off. They can only be utilized occasionally and require timed combination moves between the heroes. Not a good time to be a fumble fingers, for sure. The good news is you can practice the maneuvers in the game to get the hang of things.

Mario & Luigi Paper JamTo strengthen your team even more, you can collect special in-game cards which can boost abilities and assist you in leveling up faster.

Sorry Mario brothers but Paper Mario is the real star of this game. He brings his own unique and fantastic abilities to the party. He can slip through openings that neither Mario nor Luigi can, make duplicates of himself in battle and transform into many helpful paper creations.

The paper element really comes into his own during the gigantic papercraft boss battles which are as crazy and fun as they sound. Riding on top of an enormous paper Mario, the heroes battle colossal paper Goombas and the like. Like giant robot battles, giant papercraft battles just rock.

Mario & Luigi Paper JamThe only tear in Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is the constant barrage of dialogue. I still don’t understand why Nintendo characters aren’t voiced. My best guess, it has to do with mystique of the characters themselves. 

At least developers AlphaDream allow you to fast forward the yacking which helps alleviate some of the monotony. If you can overlook the persistent chatter and some of the repetitious puzzles, you will have a great time. Mario & Luigi Paper Jam is so vibrant, so colourful and has so many light-hearted, genuine chuckles you cannot help but to be charmed by this Paper Jam, one that won't have searching for an empty field, a baseball bat and a copy of Still by The Geto Boys.

Mario & Luigi Paper JamMario & Luigi Paper Jam
Format: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: AlphaDream
ESRB Rating: E for Everyone

Official Site:

Rating: 8 / 10

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