For my final 3DS Game of the Month of the year of 2015, the Mushroom Kingdom’s premier plumber and his brother set out on another RPG adventure. This time, however, they gain a new companion, who is… rather flat, to say the least.
So, as you can see, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. is my Game of the Month for December. It’s the fifth game in the Mario & Luigi series, and has the Mario Brothers team up with Paper Mario in order to take on Bowser and Paper Bowser.
It all begins with Luigi knocking a book off of a bookshelf, causing the denizens of the Paper Mario universe to spill forth into their own world. What follows is many of the Mushroom Kingdom citizens meeting their papery doppelgangers – Peach meets Paper Peach, there’s plenty of Paper Goomba and Toads and Bowser gets into a fight with Paper Bowser.
Of course, Mario and Luigi set off in order to return the paper people back to their world, teaming up with Paper Mario on the way.
Though the Mario & Luigi series of games are RPGs, their battle system is not the traditional turn-based thing you might expect (unless you’ve played one of them before). You control Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario with the A, B and Y buttons respectively.
The three characters can either jump on foes, or use hammers in battle. If you time your button presses correctly, you can do extra damage – it pays to know about timed hits after all.
Paper Mario gains the ability to create copies of himself, which allows him to perform multiple attacks in a single turn. If an enemy manages to hit Paper Mario, then he will lose the copies instead of HP.
Of course, you don’t just have to sit around during an enemy’s turn. When an enemy launches an attack, Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario can defend themselves – they could jump over an attack, or use their hammer.
Since Luigi is actually awake for this game, there are no more giant battles – however, they have been replaced by papercraft battles. You take control of a papercraft version of Mario to fight papercraft version of other enemies.
In previous games, the Mario Bros. had Bros. moves and attacks – naturally, they return but the addition of Paper Mario results in Trio Moves and Attacks. The Moves allow you to progress to new areas, whilst the Attacks offer a variety of unique ways to deal damage to your foes in battle.
One of the strongest points of the Mario & Luigi series is its humour. The games never take themselves seriously, and this makes them a lot of fun to play.
Whether you’re a fan of RPGs or the Mario games, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam Bros. is definitely something I recommend playing – heck, I recommend all of the Mario & Luigi games.