Paper Mario 3DS: The Best 3D Game Yet?

Although 3DS has been available in the U.S. for almost nine months, we've just started to see games that make excellent use of the system's glasses free 3D. Chief among them, Super Mario 3D Land and Mario Kart 7, both of which strike that perfect balance of showcasing the best the handheld has to offer without straining a player's eyes.

Kids shouldn't play with 3D scissors, but Mario? It's OK.

With this in mind, we've seen enough footage of Paper Mario 3DS to think it could be the most impressive 3D game so far.

It begins with separating objects in the foreground from the background. We love how Bob-ombs parachute into the play area at different depths, and the way Goombas fly towards the screen, which automatically brings to mind the arcade classic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time.

Scenes like this make it seem like Mario's about to leave the screen and jump into our world.

Nintendo also pulls off some neat effects with Mario's special attacks. The plumber can summon a pair of giant scissors to cut the screen, resulting in slashed pieces of paper slowly floating by. Then, he creates a mini tornado with an oversized fan that causes bad guys to quickly zip all over the place.

While exploring, structures magically appear as if they were a part of one huge pop-up book. Later, while inside a house, Mario opens a door to a piece of furniture, and out spills some papers and a bunch of flat Toads, who immediately jump to attention.

Fan power!

Even better, we watched as a stack of Goombas formed a huge wheel that rolled in our general direction. That should look especially sweet in 3D.

Granted, numerous games will appear on 3DS in 2012, each one making use of this special feature, but from what we've seen, Paper Mario 3DS puts it on full display, serving as a wonderful showpiece for consumers interested in buying the machine.