Kensuke Tanabe reflects on the design methodology of games like Paper Mario: The Origami King and even talks about the expected Metroid Prime saga.
On the occasion of the arrival in stores of Paper Mario: The Origami King for Nintendo Switch, rated on FreeGameTips with an almost outstanding note, a whole Nintendo veteran like Kensuke Tanabe has reflected in a meeting with VGC about the design philosophy of the video games he supervises, this one included; but also others like the Metroid Prime series.
Because Mr. Tanabe, from the same school as Shigeru Miyamoto, admits having learned from the above for more than twenty years, both at the level of universe design and when proposing options (mechanics, phases, characters, details …) that can convince both veteran or core players and the least familiar or casual.
“It is difficult to satisfy certain fans with the direction of the game as adventure if they think that Paper Mario games are simply RPGs”
Paper Mario: The Origami King
For this opportunity, they have relied on characters such as Olivia to accompany Mario and be not only his friend but a profile that we remember, who is linked to this iteration as others such as Goombella in La Puerta Milenaria were. “Whether a character becomes a global symbol or not is something that closely depends on the design section,” and expands: “I think it is more likely that the characters that fans really accept are those who end up that way. I hope the origami brothers in Paper Mario: The Origami King [Olivia y el rey Olly] remain in the memory of the players, even if they only appear in this title, “he says. Time will pass sentence.
Regarding the “Nintendo philosophy”, Tanabe is clear about which patterns cannot be passed by both in series such as Super Mario, Paper Mario or Metroid Prime, which has been subjected in 2019 to a zero reset in Metroid Prime 4 for the Nintendo Switch, precipitating a much later release date than originally anticipated.
“Nintendo’s philosophy on video game creation is that we don’t ignore casual gamers when creating our games. This also applies to games like those in the Metroid Prime series; games that at first glance seem to only be aimed at core players. With this in mind, what we have done in the Paper Mario series is putting a lot of effort particularly in the puzzle solving elements of the games, so that they can also be enjoyed by more traditional players ”, something that we can confirm after having finished the title.
“It is an adventure game, above all,” says Tanabe, since it is not an RPG. “However, I think it is difficult to satisfy certain fans with the direction of the game as adventure if they think that Paper Mario games are simply RPGs. I hope everyone plays this title with an open mind ”, he ends.
Paper Mario: The Origami King goes on sale this July 17 exclusively for Nintendo Switch.