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Bug Fables Discussion (Nintendo Switch) [game]
8.85/10 from 2 user ratings

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Posted: 08/27/20, 16:13:28  - Edited by 
 on: 08/27/20, 16:19:18
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I am that grump.

Yes, you know the one: that cranky guy peering out on message boards who's always moaning and whining about how Paper Mario lost its way and hasn't been the same since the good ol' days, dag-nabbit! It's not that the new PM games are bad--I even finished and kind of liked Sticker Star--but they don't really play like the original two at all. They're kind of a different sub-genre, like comparing Mega Man to Mario, which means that very specific PM64 style of RPG has not had any representation at all since 2004.

Until now.

Indie darling Bug Fables is very much a love letter (occasionally derivatively so) to the classic style of Paper Mario, and let me be the first NWer to say that it actually does a great job scratching that specific itch! The strategic, low-HP, badge-centric gameplay is present and accounted for, with some nifty new wrinkles all wrapped up in an enjoyable story. I'm a couple chapters in and am very much enjoying what this game brings to the table, so let's discuss it here for anyone who's interested!
Posted: 08/27/20, 16:13:29
Yeah, I've heard great things about Bug Fables from Thousand Year Door fans. It's on the list!

Tbun, I hope you're planning on checking out Origami King eventually. It's really good! And this is coming from someone who was never the biggest Paper Mario fan in the first place (including TYD… M&L Superstar Saga was better).

On my twitter feed, Origami King has also won over big time Thousand Year Door/Bug Fables fans. It's that good.
Posted: 08/27/20, 16:31:17  - Edited by 
 on: 08/27/20, 16:37:56

I consider myself kind of hard to please when it comes to games that obviously wear their inspiration on their sleeves (this is something that sort of bugged me about Stardew Valley, in fact). But Bug Fables does a great job adding to the PM formula so that it mostly doesn't feel like it cribs too heavily from it, and it helps that we hadn't gotten a game in that specific style for 15 years. The combat feels very strategic and refined and there're lots of extra challenges and incentives (in an already fairly challenging game).

As for TOK, I'd still like to try it one day. The music in particular is better in these newer PM games than the old ones. I really miss rental stores because this would definitely be one I'd enjoy renting for a week rather than diving in at full price.
Posted: 08/27/20, 16:43:14

The Mario & Luigi series is the pinnacle of the Mario RPG sub-genre. Hands down, no contest.


I've heard of this Bug Fables game. I've got over $20 burning a hole in my eShop pocket. Maybe I'll give it a whirl.
Posted: 08/27/20, 17:25:19
So what do you think, this game or the new Paper Mario?!
Posted: 08/27/20, 20:45:47

I thought M&L1 and 3 were both great. It's a shame about Alpha Dream. I think the M&L games could've still coexisted with PM, but maybe sales said otherwise...?


I haven't played Origami King (yet), but if it's like the last couple of PMs, it's more of a sort of adventure game, I think? But not a Zelda-style one? The battling and general RPG elements (like growing stronger and customizing your character) are very very light, with the focus mostly on environmental puzzle-solving and quirky scenarios. Also, the soundtrack is pretty great.

But for me personally, I greatly miss the style of RPG that the original Paper Mario and The Thousand-Year Door on GameCube provided. So if you're like me, Bug Fables really works as a spiritual successor to that type of gameplay, with a few caveats--as an indie game, it's not quite as polished, and there are times when it flits too closely to the source material. However, it's challenging, strategic and charming with plenty to do and lots of optional hard stuff, so I definitely recommend it for people who want another game like the first two PMs.
Posted: 08/27/20, 20:59:16  - Edited by 
 on: 08/27/20, 21:00:02
Well, I got sick of waiting for a deal on the new Paper Mario (I guess there WAS one awhile back but I missed it), so I grabbed this instead. Not super far into it, though it feels pretty solid so far!

Though it does still kind of annoy me how VERY close to the source material some of these games are. So far it's like, not even trying to hide that it is directly ripping off Paper Mario! I'm sure it will have some of its own stuff too but, yeah. So far it is very much a clone.
Posted: 01/19/21, 02:59:09

I think the paper visual style is probably not really necessary, but most of it I didn't have a problem with. It really starts to distinguish itself more as it goes along; the battle system feels more evolved and dynamic due to having three "full" characters available simultaneously (rather than PM's one and a half).
Posted: 01/19/21, 03:55:43  - Edited by 
 on: 01/19/21, 03:55:54
Finished this game!

On the one hand, it's a very well made "old school" Paper Mario clone. And it definitely does some of its own stuff as well. Lots of charm too, actually liked a lot of the characters and such. So for people who miss that style of Paper Mario, this is probably your only choice.

On the other hand, hit or miss, I like that Nintendo tries a lot of new stuff with Paper Mario. I don't think I have the same "why can't we go back to the originals" feeling about the series as some people do. Don't get me wrong, TTYD is the best of the series in my eyes, but that doesn't mean that I wanted the series to just stall there. So "classic Paper Mario feel" doesn't mean as much to me as it probably means to some people.

Still, it's a good game! And it doesn't overstay its welcome (25ish hours to finish.)
Posted: 09/28/21, 17:43:04

Yeah, I think I'd agree more with the Arlo "why can't you just make it like the old ones, but also add new stuff to make it fresh?" mindset if the JRPG genre had evolved at all in the past 30 years outside of Paper Mario and Undertale. If it's so easy to innovate here, someone other than Toby Fox would have gotten around to it!
Posted: 09/28/21, 18:27:50
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