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|Paper Mario: Back on Track|
|Developer(s)|| Blender Maximum|
Paper Mario: Back on Track is a game in the Paper Mario series of role-playing games. While the game reverts its standard formula of gameplay to that of the original and The Thousand-Year Door, the game retains some elements from its successors Super Paper Mario, Sticker Star, and Color Splash. The game is set to be released in mid-2018.
The gameplay of Back on Track is akin to the first two games'. The player, as Mario, will traverse the world to continue the story, find things that can help, and fight enemies. Fighting enemies grants experience, coins, and items to Mario. Experience will level up Mario, granting him more powerful attacks, coins can allow Mario to buy badges and items at shops, and items will usually affect Mario in some way. Leveling up will also upgrade one of Mario's "point meters" at the player's choice. In the overworld, Mario is able to interact with the environment by jumping around and hitting things with his hammer.
The battle system of the game is turn-based. Mario can use different attacks depending on his equipped badges as well as his standard Jump and Hammer attacks. In addition, Paper Mario can also get partners throughout the story that will help him both in the overworld and in battle. Partners are able to fight along with Mario, each one having unique attacks, and each partner has abilities that will help Mario get to new places or find things. Unlike previous installments, partners are now able to team up with Mario for a Double Attack which deals more damage, but uses both Mario's and the partner's turns.
Mario can also Spin Dash as he could in the original installment of the franchise and use some of his alternative modes, such as Plane and Boat Modes. Adding to these, Paper Mario has some new abilities that he gets throughout his adventure, too.
The player can save the game at various Save Blocks scattered throughout the game's world. However, at the beginning of each location in a chapter, the first Save Block will always be seen next to a Reset Block. This block retains the player's saved progress, but also allows them to replay a chapter, setting your level lower if the player chooses. Chapters can also be replayed in Hard Mode, which changes the enemies and their strength depending on Mario's current level in the game. This mode will grant rewards to the player upon completion, and may also include some hidden features.
Interludes make a return in this game, focusing on Luigi and Bowser this time around. Both Luigi and Bowser have somewhat different gameplay than Mario's. Luigi's is based upon both the gameplay of Super Paper Mario and the Bowser interludes of The Thousand-Year Door. In these, Luigi goes through a two-dimensional landscape of puzzles and traps. Each chapter, he gains a partner and may even fight bosses. Bowser, on the other hand, is more centered on the combat system of the game. Bowser uses multiple attacks and works with Kammy Koopa as a partner, but other characters may join Bowser in battle as partners as well.
Prologue: A Chance of Train
|Sabrinixe||Sabrinixe is a young Sprixie girl and one of the best engineers in her town. She even helped designed their famous Sky Train, praised as one of the most innovative inventions in the entirety of the Sparkled Republic. However, despite heavily relying on technology, Sabrinixe's family wants her to continue the tradition of becoming a sorceress, which isn't working out incredibly well for her… but she still really likes using– or, rather, trying to use– magic.||Tattle|
Saprinixe looks into the enemy's defenses and tells Mario their statistics. Press A when the cursor is on the enemy to time it.
- The game's name was originally simply Paper Mario V², and later changed to Paper Mario Thunderstorm. Eventually, the game was given a vague theme around "trains" and was thus named Back on Track.
- The name Back on Track was also a reference to the fact that Paper Mario has not had the RPG elements since Super Paper Mario, nor has it had the original style of gameplay since The Thousand-Year Door.