Here's five minutes of Paper Mario: The Origami King gameplay in new trailer

Companions! 360-degree combat! More!

Those eager to learn more about Paper Mario: The Origami King ahead of its launch on Switch next month are in luck; Nintendo has released a five-minute gameplay deep-dive video thingy, touching on everything from combat mechanics to the long-awaited return of companions. As they say in the Mushroom Kingdom - let's a-go!

As The Origami King's announcement trailer revealed, there's a new nemesis in town this time around, with Princess Peach's castle under siege from the evil King Olly and his cohorts. From that starting point, a quest to find the end of five ribbons stretching across the world unfolds, one that sees Mario exploring a striking series of locales, including an autumn-hued mountain, a forest spring, a desert oasis, an underground sewer (of course), and even a ninja-filled mansion.

There are secrets to find and mini-games to play along the way - white water rafting, target shooting, underwater treasure hunting, aerial battling, quiz shows, and fishing all get an airing in the latest trailer - and there are more suggestions the series has finally returned to its RPG roots too; a range of companions will tag along with Mario on his latest grand adventure, for instance, including Bobby the amnesiac Bob-omb, the historian Professor Toad, and Olivia, the sister of King Olly, intent on thwarting her brother's nefarious plans.

Paper Mario's other notable addition comes in the form of a new 360-degree battle system. While the rhythmic combat of previous Mario RPG entries looks to remain intact - Mario is shown foot-stomping, fire-balling, tail-spinning, hammer-bopping, and POW-blocking his foes - the whole thing plays out on a new ring-style battle grid.

The idea here is that Mario stands in the middle and players can rotate and slide rings around him, albeit with a limit on the number of moves available, aiming to shift enemies into more advantageous positions. Successfully line them up in a row, for instance, and it's possible to attack every opponent all in one go.

That's taken a step further in boss battles - which all have a stationery theme, including a rubber band boss, a coloured pencil boss, and more - with players being required to spin and slide rings around their formidable opponent so that guide arrows form a path nudging Mario into the centre where he can attack.

Nintendo's deep-dive video contains a few more tantalising teases of Mario's latest adventure (and his concertina-style arms) so it's definitely worth a watch, including a quest to locate Toads that've been transformed into random items - such as a cicada, flower, fox, and fried egg - by King Olly, who together might prove extremely helpful in battle once found.

And if that's enough to sell you on The Origami King, it comes to Switch on 17th July.

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Matt Wales

Matt Wales

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Matt Wales is a freelance writer and gambolling summer child who won't even pretend to live a busily impressive life of dynamic go-getting for the purposes of this bio. He is the sole and founding member of the Birdo for President of Everything Society.

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