Nintendo Mario

Nintendo Announces Paper Mario 2

David Smith

After years of rumors, Nintendo is indeed producing a sequel to the cult-hit Nintendo 64 RPG Paper Mario, Famitsu Weekly reports this week.

Paper Mario 2 for GameCube, or Mario Story 2 as it's called in its home country, will reportedly arrive in Japan some time this year. While Nintendo of America has yet to make an official announcement of its own, North American retail chains are already soliciting pre-orders in anticipation of a fall release.

Intelligent Systems, the studio responsible for Fire Emblem and the original Paper Mario, is apparently charge of the sequel as well, and it's sticking to the unique visual style that made its first Mario RPG so distinctive.

The characters, Mario and his many supporting stars, are once again fluidly-moving 2D sprites set against a 3D background. They have many more animations and abilities in the sequel, however, playing off the potential of the 2D/3D juxtaposition -- Mario, for instance, can fold himself into a paper airplane and fly around the environment. Abilities like that help liven up the turn-based battles, requiring a bit of twitching skil to go along with traditional RPG strategy.

When Paper Mario 2 makes its official North American debut, presumably at E3 in May, we'll be sure to pass on more details. Stay tuned for further updates over the next two months.

Copyright © 2004 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in 1UP.

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