Nintendo Switch is Becoming the Ultimate Paper Mario Machine

Highlights Nintendo surprised Mario RPG fans by announcing Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door on Switch, marking its return after fears it would never see a new release due to the series’ changes and Nintendo’s infrequent remasters. The Nintendo Switch has become a hub for Paper Mario titles, with the upcoming release of The Thousand-Year Door joining the original N64 Paper Mario and The Origami King. After the release of The Thousand-Year Door, the Nintendo Switch will be a must-have for Paper Mario fans, with the potential for backwards compatibility and future re-releases and new games in the series on the Switch’s successor console.

To close out the September 2023 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo surprised Mario RPG fans with the reveal of a Switch port for Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Despite the game’s status among fans, many feared it would never see a new release thanks to both the vastly different direction modern Paper Mario has gone in and the infrequency with which Nintendo remasters GameCube titles. Fortunately, those fears were unfounded, and The Thousand-Year Door is on its way toward a 2024 release with a shiny new coat of paint.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was released back in 2004 where it quickly drew a following with its impressive presentation, witty dialogue, unique tone for a Mario game, and fan-game-inspiring battle and equipment systems. While TTYD’s sequel Super Paper Mario still has plenty of fans, it marked the series’ shift away from the classic RPG combat that defined Super Mario RPG and the first two Paper Mario titles, and many have been waiting for its return. Seeing Mario’s RPG classics return is great, and the Nintendo Switch has become a hot spot for Paper Mario in particular.

The Switch’s Paper Mario Collection Has Dethroned The Wii Screenshot from Super Paper Mario, seeing him jump in a platform level typical of Maril

When The Thousand-Year Door releases, the Nintendo Switch will host not only itself and Super Mario RPG but also the original N64 Paper Mario in Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack. In addition, it’s also the home of the latest Paper Mario game, The Origami King, which is considered to be the best entry since Super Paper Mario. Even without their common ancestor Super Mario RPG counted among their number, this has been the largest gathering of Paper Mario titles seen since the Wii.

Thanks to backwards compatibility and the acclaimed Virtual Console, the Wii was able to play physical copies of TTYD in addition to emulating the original Paper Mario. It is also the first and, so far, only console to feature Super Paper Mario, an action-RPG that still employs the great presentation and clever writing associated with Paper Mario. The Virtual Console library is no longer available for purchase, but Nintendo Switch Online is slowly building back its impressive collection of retro games. The Wii is still technically tied with the Switch for the highest concentration of Paper Mario games, but the Switch has proven to be its true successor in this respect.

Paper Mario’s Future Is Looking Bright paper-mario-the-thousand-year-door-mini-yoshi-flurrie

After TTYD arrives, the Nintendo Switch will become a must-have for Paper Mario fans. The approach of its rumored successor in 2024 means the Switch’s collection of Mario RPG games likely won’t grow any further, but it still leaves an opportunity for more. Chances are good that the Switch’s successor will have backwards compatibility, evidenced by a rumor where some third parties allegedly called for its exclusion. Nintendo Switch Online will probably also carry forward in that case, meaning Paper Mario fans can carry their collection into the next console generation.

Demand for other Paper Mario re-releases is not as strong as it was for The Thousand-Year Door, but there’s still room for a Super Paper Mario remake in the future. A new Paper Mario game will probably also drop for the Switch’s successor, making it the new must-have machine for Paper Mario. It will be interesting to see if the next entry continues down the puzzle-oriented path Origami King was following, or if it instead opts to use the first two Paper Mario’s traditional RPG approach and cast of nonstandard Mario character designs. Regardless, things are looking up for Paper Mario fans on the Switch and The Thousand-Year Door’s return can only mean good things for the series.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door will release in 2024 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.

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