Paper Mario: The Origami King Is Better When You Turn Off Motion Controls

By Ari Notis on at

You won’t find many customisation options in Paper Mario: The Origami King’s menu. But there is one thing you can and absolutely should change: Turn off the motion controls.

For the most part, motion controls in The Origami King are relegated to a move called 1,000-Fold Arms. It’s the most dexterous of Mario’s magical abilities; he can use it both while exploring the papercrafted Mushroom Kingdom and during some of the mind-bending puzzle battles. In fights, it’s a game-changer, often used to dish out serious damage to bosses. In the field, it’s used to alter the environment.

Origami King’s motion controls are awkward, requiring a breadth of movement rather than the slight, subtle motions you might find in Super Mario Party mini-games. The most common use of 1,000-Fold Arms requires you to find a busted section of papercraft wall and peel it back to reveal a solution to a puzzle or a pathway through some sort of obstruction. You stand on a designated magic circle and move massive, ARMS-style arms until you find the correct corner to grab. Then, you need to jerk your controller – either a handheld Switch or individual Joy-Cons – in the opposite direction.

Another common use of the move happens during certain boss fights. At various points, you’ll find yourself needing to grab something with 1,000-Fold Arms and pull it toward you by moving your controller. You also might need to make a two-handed fist and repeatedly slam an enemy. That rapid-fire pummel attack – which requires an IRL motion not unlike a quick set of hammer curls – is potentially risky if you have any people or open drinks near you.

While playing handheld, the motion controls are even more unwieldy. You need to move the entire Switch in one direction, which more often than not puts the screen in a place where you can’t see what’s going on. Pulling back an enemy’s body part means tilting the Switch to the point where it’s nearly upside down. Peeling back sheets of paper requires you to move the screen into a tricky point of view. There’s only one way you’d be able to reasonably play handheld with motion controls left on: If you have 1,000-Fold Arms in the real world.

When you turn off motion controls, you use standard inputs for these moves and puzzles. You use the left thumbstick to navigate Mario’s 1,000-Folds Arms hands. You use the triggers to grab stuff. You tap the A button to smack things with your fist – a far safer alternative to shaking your entire console during handheld play. All in all, the game doesn’t change much. You still have to figure things out; you’ll just have a smoother time doing so.