Back in the final days of the SNES era, Nintendo released Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars, an ambitious joint project between the big N and Squaresoft. The game, which was ultimately Square's last title for a Nintendo system, was a huge success. Mario fans and RPGamers alike swarmed to the action-based 3D gameplay, unique battle system, and mini-games galore.
Now, after a long promise of a sequel, Nintendo is soon to deliver. Originally Super Mario RPG 2, the game's title was first changed to Super Mario Adventure before its transformation to the current, and hopefully final name: Paper Mario. The new title fits the game's graphics well -- similarly to Sony's Parappa the Rapper, Paper Mario uses flat, 2-D characters and objects in 3-D space for a unique look. Although the game isn't being developed by Squaresoft, never fear -- developer Intelligent Systems, the team responsible for Nintendo's popular Japanese Fire Emblem RPG series, is in charge of Paper Mario.
Importers take note, as the game will arrive in Japan under a different name, Mario Story, on August 11, 2000. Here in North America, Paper Mario has a release date of December 26, 2000, although this writer wouldn't be surprised if the game hit a few days earlier in time for Christmas. Stay tuned to RPGamer for the scoop as Paper Mario furthers in development.