Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam never rises to meet the comedic potential of its mirror-universe premise. Despite the excellent RPG battle system, the brothers’ journey to Bowser’s Castle is stymied by dull characters, mundane conversations, and frustrating roadblocks.
The pacing is constantly disrupted by Toad Hunts, a series of tedious trial-and-error minigames that feel like the worst kind of padding. I found myself cringing whenever Lakitu appeared, terrified that he would assign me yet another round of dull hide-and-seek exercises or timed chase sequences. The best of these Toad Hunts are simply puzzle or reflex challenges, while the worst had me wandering dull areas hoping I’d bump into the right little cluster of pixels and discover the last hiding toad.