Have you ever seen Mario as a paper airplane? It’s not one of his usual forms, I’ll admit! In fact, the only time I’ve actually seen it is in (unsurprisingly) the Paper Mario series; specifically, game two (the only one I’ve played all the way through): Thousand Year Door, which is actually one of my favorite Mario games.
In this series, as you might guess, Mario is made out of paper (as are the things he interacts with). Most of the time, this plays out just like any other sidescroller, with cute graphics. Then you get to the areas where the traditional tactics won’t work. What do you do?
In some cases, you can turn sideways, allowing the paper-thin Mario to slide through the gap between two buildings. Or you can roll into a tube, allowing your to roll through a low passageway or under spikes. Or there’s the aforementioned paper airplane form, which lets you swoop over your enemies!
Of course, you can’t just go changing into a plane all the time; that would be too easy, wouldn’t it? The specialized form of a plane requires a bit of extra help; as such, Mario can take it on only in areas where he finds a plane block to stand on; coincidentally, those are exactly the areas where he needs to be able to fly in order to reach an area which would otherwise be out of his reach. Funny, that..
One of the great things about this game (aside from the snappy dialog, which is actually what I loved most about it – I’m a big fan of humor, and this game is simply a joy to read) is that you have to think differently about Mario’s abilities, and seek creative solutions that wouldn’t be possible in another video game.