A Tale of Paper: Refolded – PS5 Review

A Tale of Paper: Reloaded, as the name suggests is a re-release of October 2020’s A Tale of Paper, only rather than PS4 as the original was, it’s on PS5 this time. We didn’t review it the first time round, but it garnered reasonable reviews. To further complicate matters, the three extra levels are available on PS4 as a standalone package: A Tale of Paper: Unfolded Melody. £3.99 seems a bit mean but it gives you the extra trophies that the PS5 version had added, but no platinum.

Coming from Open House Games and publisher Digerati, A Tale of Paper: Reloaded has you take control of a paper alien thing called Line who has the ability to change shape at will via origami. At least that’s the promise. Practically what you actually have is the ability to change shape when you’ve unlocked the specific ability to do so.

Your default form is the spindly Line himself who is generally quite adept at jumping around and has sorta psychic abilities into the bargain. These manifest as being able to unscrew gratings for the most part, though on occasion you have to open doors.

There’s a story of sorts told via the environment you explore, though as you’re playing you’ll likely be more worried about the platforming as opposed to your surroundings particularly.  The origami aspect is nothing more than a gimmick really, more a way to traverse areas by changing shape.

You’ll come up against the odd puzzle as you play, most of which are straightforward. The only one that gave us any gyp was a musical three-part puzzle that was complicated by some tones being barely distinguishable from one another.

Each level in the first half of the game has a specific collectible origami model to pick up, though on our first playthrough we missed a few. The most annoying thing about the collectibles is they require a replay of the (mercifully brief) levels for them to register. This makes them more tedious to bag than you might imagine. The three subsequent levels don’t have any collectibles, being new additions to the initial eight levels that made up the PS4 version.

The extra levels have two bonus forms to change into, being a floaty spinny top thing and a weight that allows you to open trapdoors. The extra levels are as brief as the main game proper, the only real issue being the final boss. He’s perfectly beatable, but there’s a particularly annoying associated trophy. For us, it turned out to be the only thing stopping us unlocking the platinum as quickly as we might’ve done.

There’s a trophy in the main game proper where you have to escape a spider chasing you into the screen, a bit like a Crash Bandicoot level in that regard. Do it without a retry, you get the trophy. Only the start of the  level is mercifully also the start of the chase.

In the case of the final boss, to reach the beginning of the encounter you have to run across three rooms, drop through two sets of trapdoors, run down and back along a corridor to activate a switch, go up an elevator, pass through a warehouse, jump up into another corridor, jump up two flights of stairs and then the boss encounter starts. If you beat him first attempt, you get a trophy. Only if you mess up, you have to play the entire previous section all over again. It’s as hateful a death run as any number of badly designed metroidvanias or soulsbornes. More often than not, you’ll mess it up a couple of times and sack it off to play something else instead. Balatro in our case. Go play it, it’s ace.

Replaying this section over and again also highlights another of A Tale Of Paper’s flaws. For a game on 2.5D plane, it can be very fussy about walking across narrow planks, often giving very little margin of error. You’ll fall to your death far more often than is necessary. Or end up snagged on a doorway due to poorly defined models that insist you go through just a bit into the screen. Never mind the previous two minutes have been just fine. The poor depth perception also makes the final boss encounter just that bit too finicky.

We finally managed it but not until we’d failed multiple times. Another issue we noticed is how dark A Tale Of Paper: Reloaded is on many occasions. This is very much a game to be played in the evening or with the curtains drawn like some sort of basement dwelling troglodyte.

In conclusion, A Tale of Paper: Refolded  is a brief affair with limited replayability outside of the need to pick up any collectibles you likely missed on your first playthrough. The extra levels bump up what is available a little, but unless you’re going for the platinum trophy you’re unlikely get more than a couple of hours from this. We clocked nine, though many came from replaying to mop up matters as well as leaving the game idle on multiple occasions.

A Tale of Paper: Refolded
6 Overall
+ A fair package combining the 2020 original plus bonus levels
+ Wordless story is fairly well told
+ Not overwhelmed by collectible chores
- Pretty short even with bonus content
- Depth perception and models can be ill defined
- Origami aspect isn’t much more than a gimmick
- Having to replay long sections prior to a perfect boss fight sucks
A Tale of Paper: Refolded combines the 2020 PS4 original with the Unfolded Melody bonus content, but still remains a slight package. Plus the final boss perfect trophy can get in the sea.

About Ian

Ian likes his games weird. He loves his Vita even if Sony don't anymore. He joined the PS4 party relatively late, but has been in since day one on PS5.

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