E3 2015: Hands-on with Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

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This year’s E3 Nintendo Direct had some nice surprises, but the one that caught my attention the most was Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam for the Nintendo 3DS. Set to release in 2016, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam brings together two different Mario universes/series together for an all-new adventure. I was quite surprised to find that Paper Jam was playable on the show floor since it was only announced at E3. I wanted to get a feel of just how the game would work, and after playing for a short time it meshed quite well.

Both games have plenty of similarities in terms of battle and are filled with puzzles. In the Mario and Luigi games, Mario and Luigi’s battles have real-time action where they attack and dodge based on button presses at the correct moments. They also solve puzzles by beating each other up with hammers and other objects. Paper Mario has a slower gameplay speed, but the 2D Mario uses his ability to flatten or transform into different objects to reach new areas or solve puzzles. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam takes elements from both games and combines them to create the ultimate world, and it’s not only Paper Mario that has crossed over into the 3D world.

The E3 demo had your team of Mario, Paper Mario and Luigi ready to explore and fight. You can switch between characters and use their different abilities to get passed obstacles and traps. Mario and Luigi could use their tag team attacks to get under or passed certain areas, and Paper Mario could squeeze through tight spaces. In battle each character has their own button assigned to attack and dodge, I was used to doing it for both Mario and Luigi in the previous games, but adding a third added a bit more difficulty, especially in dodging attacks. It also felt much faster than previous games as well. Mario and Luigi had their regular and combination attacks while Paper Mario added his own little spin into battle, being able to transform, split himself into multiple Paper Marios to attack, and even transform into a paper airplane in the boss fight to dodge attacks.

I really enjoyed the E3 demo and am looking forward to seeing how the full version will come out.

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