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Mario the former King of RPG?

Mario the former King of RPG?
Mario, Nintendo's icon and presumably video game's icon all over the world. Mario is most famous for his jumping skills, hat, and red-and-blue-overalls combo...well besides looking endlessly for Peach in wrong castles. Mario has jumped in all gaming aspects, from platformers, to 3D adventures/platformers, to even party and sports games. But there is another title to add to the Mario legacy: his involvement in RPG. Mario first starred in a RPG during his Super Nintendo days, where Nintendo teamed up with Squaresoft (the Final Fantasy creators of the time) and created a game we had never seen before: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars. The game was was a traditional turn-based RPG with a twist of action-RPG, as pressing the trigger at the right moment would do extra damage. This game left a craving for the Nintendo audience, which in turn led to the rise of the Mario RPG spiritual successors: Paper Mario and the Mario and Luigi series.



Playing all these Mario RPGs and being an avid Square[-Enix], Squaresoft, square, cubed (wait this isn't math) fan I have come to say most of Mario's games USED to be very consistent in the RPG world, which was something of a rarity. Most RPGs are something of a hit-and-miss kind of thing. You look at Final Fantasy IV and say the game was a very good game, then you look at Final Fantasy V or XIII and you are left wondering what happened!?

Looking at reviews and scores from Mario RPG games you can see they all have very favorable reviews until you reach Super Paper Mario for the Wii. Past this point, you see the consitency and "great" game scores start to wane and fluctuate between average and good. I would say Mario and Luigi: Dream Team is the last "good" Mario RPG game left. Personally, I enjoyed Paper Mario: Color Splash, however after what Nintendo and Miyamoto did to the Paper Mario series, I can see why it didn't bode well with others. The factor of Paper Mario Sticker Star, effectively killing the franchise and trust along with the Wii U not having great sales numbers doomed it from the start.

Looking at Mario RPG games in a whole is a treat; the dialogue in each story are funny and memorable. The battle systems are always unique and work to perfection, the side-quests are simple enough and yet deep, every character has his own story (think of Luigi in each Paper Mario Game), the graphics are always well-done and clean, and the games itself are pretty innovative. While most Mario RPG games are welcome with open arms, a few have criticized the easiness of an "RPG" the Mario series has.

But as I said since 2013-2014, Mario hasn't really done anything in this category. In fact, the closest thing we got to a Mario RPG that wasn't re-released or remade is the Mario vs Rabbids game developed by Ubisoft. With AlphaDream shutting down in Fall 2019, the future of the Mario & Luigi series looks grim, and that's without even thinking of the Paper Mario series. Where does the series go from here? Is it possible to reboot the "Mario RPG" series with Square having a better relationship with Nintendo now?

Image result for paper mario fan art

The only problems I see now is that you cannot remake Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars because it was just released on the SNES Classic edition. Miyamoto has tried to change the Paper Mario series to not be an RPG game anymore based on the last three entries in the series. Do we remake the first Paper Mario? How would fans react to that? (I personally would love it and if they added a bit more to it!) With the Mario & Luigi company shut down, are the games gone for good, even though the Switch is a handheld hybrid?

If we were to look at Mario RPGs between the year of 2000-2010 we have fantastic amazing hits like: Paper Mario 64, Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, and Paper Mario and the Thousand Year Door! That's not even counting Bowser's Inside Story which was unique and fun enough in itself (though personally not as good as the three I listed). These games have enough acclaim and legacy behind it to show Nintendo that Mario has what it takes to star in another RPG adventure!

Overall, it's just sad to see what was once two great franchises crumble over the past few years due to neglect and a change of direction. Mario RPG's used to be something to look forward to, something that you knew was going to be great but now? Well, it'd be lucky if we get one that would even stay to be an RPG.

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Michael Troina is a Nintendo enthusiast and lover, who also has a soft spot for Sonic the Hedgehog and anime. When he's not out saving people from bad games as Spiderman in Queens, NY he can be found at his Youtube Channel: GAMEMEN / SNBGaming64 or his Twitch Channel: troyfullbuster. You can also follow his twitter at Troyfullbuster.


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