Super Mario RPG remake vs Paper Mario: Which one would be the better RPG?

As the highly anticipated remake of Nintendo’s beloved RPG spin-off, Super Mario RPG, approaches its release date (November 17, 2023), players are raising an intriguing question: Which RPG spin-off of Mario is superior, Super Mario RPG, or Paper Mario?

The original Super Mario RPG, released in 1996, marked a pioneering moment for the franchise by demonstrating to Nintendo the flexibility of this IP’s formula. Drawing inspiration from this success, in 2001, Nintendo launched another RPG spin-off titled Paper Mario on Nintendo 64.

Decades after their initial release, fans continue to debate which RPG reigns supreme. With the upcoming remake of the cherished title, this topic has once again become a hot discussion in the community. Let’s delve deep and determine which title holds the most merit.

What are the main similarities and differences between the Super Mario RPG remake vs Paper Mario?

Before we make a judgment on which game is superior, let’s first examine how similar and distinct these games are.

Super Mario RPG remake

Other than the upgraded graphics of the remake, here are some distinctions between Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG:

  • Gameplay: Both games feature turn-based combat, but Paper Mario employs a more strategic battle system. Where party members possess special abilities for exploration and battles. While Super Mario RPG opts for a more traditional RPG battle system.
  • Customization: Paper Mario incorporates a badge system, allowing players to equip multiple badges. It can be used to gain new attacks, boost their stats, enhance an ally, and more. Super Mario RPG offers basic weapons, armor, and accessory equipment with various stat boosts or the ability to nullify status ailments.
  • Story: While both games share a similar narrative, Super Mario RPG is more story-driven, following a more linear adventure path. On the other hand, Paper Mario embraces an open-world adventure with a central hub and interconnected paths.
  • Characters: Super Mario RPG features fewer characters, but they are more memorable, whereas Paper Mario boasts a greater number of characters, but some are forgettable.

Super Mario RPG remake

On the other hand, there are some similarities between the games:

  • Story: Both games share a similar storyline, with Mario and his friends embarking on an adventure to save the Mushroom Kingdom from a villainous threat.
  • Turn-based combat: Both games employ turn-based combat, where players select their actions and observe the battle unfold.
  • Humor: Both games maintain a humorous tone with witty dialogue and quirky characters.

In summary, Paper Mario presents a more strategic and interactive battle system, while Super Mario RPG leans towards a traditional turn-based battle system. Paper Mario also offers a badge system for customization, whereas Super Mario RPG relies on basic equipment for customization.

Which is better, Super Mario RPG or Paper Mario?

When determining which game qualifies as the superior RPG, it can be said that Super Mario RPG is the winner. Nevertheless, the question of which game is superior between Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG lacks a definitive answer as it remains a matter of personal preference.

Super Mario RPG features a more traditional turn-based battle system, while Paper Mario opts for a more strategic and interactive one. Paper Mario additionally incorporates a badge system for customization, while Super Mario RPG offers basic equipment for customization.

Both games share a similar storyline, yet Super Mario RPG is more story-driven with a linear adventure, whereas Paper Mario adopts an open-world adventure approach. Both games bring their own unique features and gameplay mechanics to the beloved Mario franchise.

Does the RPG formula fit the Mario franchise?

The Mario franchise has previously experimented with the RPG formula, commencing with Super Mario RPG and continuing through Paper Mario and the Mario & Luigi series. Some fans have expressed disappointment with recent Paper Mario titles moving away from the RPG formula.

Super Mario RPG remake

There is also speculation that Nintendo might be testing the waters for an entirely new Mario RPG. The RPG formula has proven successful for other franchises, and the Mario franchise has perfected its own formula for platforming games. Ultimately, whether the RPG formula aligns with the Mario franchise remains a matter of personal opinion.

Note: We have more such stories in our dedicated gaming section, so be sure to follow them as well.

Feature image source: Nintendo

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