The first thing I noticed about Super Paper Mario is you’re not just running around a level hitting question mark blocks and finding coins. While it is a platformer it’s text heavy like the other Paper Mario games. Thankfully, Super Paper Mario keeps the same slick use of wordplay that the series is known for. One of the pixls you’ll rescue is called “Thoreau” a clever twist on Henry David Thoreau’s name who gives Mario the ability to pick up and throw blocks with the “1” button. The major gameplay mechanic when you play as Mario is the 2D/3D switch. When you press the A button a cutout door forms around Mario and he enters the strange third dimension. While in 3D mode you can see hidden pipes, previously covered by the flat world, and alternate paths. In one underground area a group of Thwomps are hitting the ground. You could attempt to run through them, but you’re probably going to get hit more than once. Instead you can switch to 3D mode, run behind them and avoid taking damage all together. However, Mario can’t live outside of his flat existence for very long. A meter ticks down each second Mario is outside his native 2D world. While Super Paper Mario started out as a Gamecube game, Nintendo has been adding in more features to make it feel like a Wii title. Something new is how players can hold the Wii remote like a pointer and shine a spotlight on the screen to find hidden doors.
After crossing a bridge the stage was over and unfortunately Mario was the only character that was on the demo. I’m curious to see how Bowser and Peach play, but that is going to have to wait until later.