Super Paper Mario begins a new chapter in Nintendo's whimsical hand-drawn adventure series, one that finds the mustachioed mascot in a familiar quest to rescue Princess Peach from the claws of one big, bad Bowser. Things quickly take a turn for the worse, however, when Mario and pals find themselves trapped in an alternate dimension called Flipside. In order to prevent the unthinkable, a marriage between Bowser and Peach, Mario must prove his valor by finding Pure Hearts hidden across eight colorful worlds.
In a surprising departure from its forbears, Super Paper Mario on Wii features traditional platform-style action instead of turn-based battles. Yet the most unusual twist is the ability for players to instantly rotate the default 2D perspective to a 3D viewpoint. This allows Mario to avoid confronting enemies, view areas that would otherwise be missed, solve environment-based puzzles, and more. The catch is that Mario's time in the 3D realm is limited, gradually taking away his "heart" points until he has none left. Scoring points during the game will help level Mario up and increase his available hearts.
While the emphasis in Super Paper Mario is now on real-time action, the game also includes some features from its RPG past. Mario can still maintain an inventory of helpful items, from consumables such as Shroom Shakes to magical objects such as the Sleepy Sheep, which will cause enemies to nap for a short time. Attributes such as attack power can be enhanced against certain enemy types by finding "Catch Cards," and a Mario game wouldn't be complete without an assortment of offbeat power-ups to acquire.
The controls in Super Paper Mario involve holding the Wii Remote on its side, with players manipulating their character using the directional pad and jumping with the "2" button. Holding down "A" causes the perspective to shift, and the controller can be shaken to perform various score-enhancing style moves after hitting an enemy. Super Paper Mario also features friendly little creatures called Pixls that grant players additional abilities with the Wii Remote, from pointing at the screen to illuminate targets to picking up and throwing objects.