Paperbound Review

Ever since Super Smash Bros enter the scene, there have been several games trying to copy its formula for success. As with every game that becomes popular very quickly, there will always be clones or games that are similar in nature to the original to try to ride on their coattails of success. Sometimes the games are blatant copies of the original, and sometimes these games are original enough that they hold up on their own and are actually really good. One of these “Smash Bros” clones is Paperbound, an arena fighter/brawler developed by Dissident Logic.


Slice n’ Dice


Easy to learn controls- Paperbound has very simple controls, so simple in fact that some might dismiss it as too easy. The controls are as follows: two attack buttons, a jump button, an object throw with two different objects to throw and a gravity manipulator button. Players run around each level slashing each other till there is only one standing. There are no six button press combos, no guard breaks, and no super moves. Just you and your slasher, throwing scissors and an ink bomb. With such simple moves anyone can pick up and quickly get into a game. With such easy controls some may think that there is no complexity to fighting and winning matches. Well that is wrong because…


Simple yet complex gameplay- ….once players learn the controls and learn how each stage is layed out (more on the stages later) simple button press will start to churn out complex gameplay. Players will start to come up with strategies on the fly, learn which character does well in each level, when to launch themselves to the other sides of the level and so forth. A metagame starts to develop and before you know it you have players slicing each other up in mid air not touching the ground doing all sorts of things that not even developer knew you could do. While I personally have not reach that point in Papaerbound, it does have the potential to be.


Unique characters and guest characters- Paperbound has some really unique characters that range from the defaults of Eddy and Jasmine to level inspired characters such as Ninja Eddy, Monk, Horus, Guardian, Scarab, Master Don and more. What’s even cooler is that are special guest characters from other games that make an appearance: Captain Virdian from VVVVV, Goblin King from Tumblestone, Jonview from Cards and Castles, Juan from Guacamelee! and the Locksmith and the Gentleman from Monaco. I think its really cool to see popular characters from other popular indie games make guest appearances. I would like to see more charterers added possibly as DLC.


Levels based on real books- In addition to the unique looking characters, the levels that players can fight on are pretty unique as well. There is a total of five books that house five levels each an are based on their real world literature counterparts. These book are Journey to the Center of the Earth, Skull Kingdom, Book of Five Rings, Book of the Dead and the Inferno. Each of these are either historical/cultural texts, works of fiction or an epic poem.



Ow Paper-cut!!


No online multiplayer- While I understand that Paperbound encourages couch multiplayer, sometimes its hard to get a group of friends together all at once due to everyone having different schedules. Having a multiplayer setting would be nice for times when the guys can’t come over and you want someone to play with right away.


Papaerbound really stands out in the crowd of Smash Bros clones that have making their way out to market. With its easy to learn controls, the game will have no problems luring players to find out that even though the gameplay is simple it can become much deeper and complex as time goes on. As a book nerd I love the fact that both the levels and some of the characters are based on works of literature. The only problem I have is there is a lack online multiplayer. Yes I know that the focus is to bring people back to the couch, but there are times when you can bring three friends over due to time conflicts. Regarless if you you are looking for a fast pace brawler to substitute for Smash Bros., then Paperbound is a great solution.




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