E3 2015 Hands-On: ‘Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam’


Over the years Nintendo has given us two great series of Mario RPGs: Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi. But now Nintendo has done something that might be thought of as long over due. Announced during Nintendo’s E3 Direct, Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam combines these two colorful and comedic series into one action-packed 3DS game.

Paper Mario joins Mario & Luigi on a new adventure and because of this you’ll have to maneuver Paper Mario in battle and while exploring the world. Press A to make Mario jump and press B to make Luigi jump. Pressing Y will now control Paper Mario’s actions.

In the world Paper Mario will be able to access areas that Mario & Luigi cannot by sliding his one dimensional self into cracks in the walls to receive the treasures within or pressing switches to let the others through.

In battle, Paper Mario will stay behind Mario & Luigi as they prepare to wallop baddies in turn-based combat. One of the bosses, Petey Pirahna, will jump to create shockwaves which the player will have to time a jump to avoid. First press A and B to have Mario & Luigi jump over the shockwave then press Y to have Paper Mario avoid damage. Having to control Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario at different times raises the difficulty and forces a new sense of awareness upon the battlefield.

Paper Mario has the unique ability to multiply himself which allows him to attack the enemy multiple times. This will also allow him to attack more than one enemy at a time as well. If you want to quickly chip away at multiple targets, this is the way to go.


Mario & Luigi fighting just wouldn’t be the same without insane battle scenarios and Paper Jam is no different. During battle, Peter Pirahna will start chasing the trio while shooting sludge at either brother. Meanwhile Paper Mario turns himself into a paper airplane and hovers over them allowing either brother to hang onto him and avoid the balls of sludge. Expect a ton of these crazy scenarios, especially with Paper Mario added to the mix.

During battle, the player can use cards to change the tides of the battle. These cards can allow the trio to be invincible for the time being or strengthen their attacks.

Another new addition to the series is papercraft battles. Mario & Luigi ride a giant Paper Craft Mario into battle (well it’s actually being carried by a dozen toads for probably little to no pay). Guide Paper Craft Mario and ram competing goomba paper crafts. Ram them enough and they will fall over, at which point you can launch Paper Craft Mario onto the fallen goomba to rip it to shreds.

Of course, attacks can only be used sparingly as the power meter will slowly deplete every time the paper craft rams or is launched. In order to refill the meter, guide the paper craft to one of the dancing stations and dance your heart out. It’s a rhythm based mechanic so time the movements to the shockwaves on the floor and the attack meter will replenish in no time. But be aware, as enemy’s can attack you during this sequence and they will stop at nothing to throw off your groove.


Paper craft battles act as a refreshing mini-game alternative to the main game at hand. It’s a little tough to handle the camera and move Paper Craft Mario at the same time especially during moments of urgency. Other than that, paper craft battles are a fitting addition.

Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam blends two worlds into one RPG mix. Both series are known for their humor and action-oriented RPG elements so Paper Jam has a lot of expectations to live up to. Everything shown so far in Paper Jam has proven that this latest installment will bring just as much charm as its predecessors from both series so let’s hope that, as development continues, the game will stay true to both series.

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