Paper Mario? Its a funny name isnt it? Its at times like these you ask yourself who else would dare try such a concept other than Nintendo? They did try it and produced a cult hit later in the life of the N64. Paper Mario is one of those distinctly Nintendo franchises that seem to always put a smile on your face one way or another. Whether it was during the battles or the in the dialogue the feeling of Nintendo was hard to shake. Both of these aspects gained the game critical acclaim too. Now of course we have the GC sequel on our doorsteps. So has intelligent systems got a winner on their hands?

The story of the game goes like something on the following lines. Princess Peach, after finding an ancient treasure map on vacation, invites Mario to come help her search for the treasure. However upon Marios arrival he learns Peach has been kidnapped by a mysterious organization, and that they plan to open the thousand-year door using mystical relics called the crystal stars which are shown on the mysterious treasure map. Mario sets out to find the crystal stars, save Peach, and to of course save the world. Nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the plot of a Mario game. Paper Mario takes the format of an RPG, contrary to Marios regular platforming role. Like any other RPG, the more Mario battles enemies, the more experience he gets and the more powerful he becomes. However the game is modelled somewhat differently in some cases to regular RPGs.
Every battle Mario fights is done so on a stage in front of a crowd. More on this later. Battles are turn based and Mario can use a number of attacks in battle. His regular moves, being his hammer and jump are relatively weak. However, by equipping badges and upgrading his equipment Mario can learn powerful techniques, which use Flower points. There are three attributes Mario can upgrade when he levels up, which are HP, FP and BP. HP is your max health, FP works a lot like MP allowing you to use special attacks and BP affects the number of badges you can wear. Level ups occur every time Mario collects 100 star points from his enemies. Mario can also increase the damage he does with the action timer. For example when Mario jumps on an enemy pressing (A) on impact increases the damage he does. Each move has a different timer, some harder than others. Mario doesnt face his battles alone though. He fights with a partner who has their own set of moves and abilities to help Mario. A number of characters join Mario on his quest and aid him in battle. They are also controlled in the same way as Mario and can use FP and the Action Timer. There is one final aspect of battle and that is the audience. Depending on how well you battle the audience will either cheer or boo you. They can throw items to help you or rocks to damage you. The audience is also a key to building up SP, or star points. After retrieving a crystal star Mario learns a powerful attack that can only be triggered using star points. After every attack the audience contributes to these star points, with your earnings increasing if you pull off an action timer or one of the secret stylish moves. As you progress through the game the size of your audience also grows. The system is simple to learn, yet hard to completely master. Its simple, addictive Nintendo fun.

This is kind of difficult to rate. As the name implies the games characters are 2D, like paper, which allows for some interesting and funny in-game effects. When entering buildings and such walls fold away to change the view, plus hitting switches can cause pieces of the scenery to peel away. Even during battle backdrops can fall down, water leaks from overhead and characters run around in the background. It adds to the comical Nintendo humour aspect of the game. However there hasnt really been much of a graphical evolution since the original. It just looks a bit better on the gamecube. However even though they are simple, they collaborate with the games theme perfectly.

Here we have the regular mix or Mario sound effects and tunes, plus a few new ones. Whether theyre remixed golden oldies or brand new tunes, the games music has the classic Mario feel that old school veterans know and love. Im sure that many people will know what to expect in the music department of the game. When it comes to the SFX things are the same as always. As usual the familiar ding of the coin block is retained, along with a host of other sounds generic of any Mario game, such as the jumping and stomping sounds. There are also badges, which can be equipped to change the sounds that Mario makes. The sound is well rounded in short. Not spectacular, but nice all the same.

As in any RPG the game shall last you quite a long time right off the bat. Plus, there are all the usual sidetracked side quests to keep you amused for a long time. Its also an enjoyable game thats just fun to play over and over again. A great game to sit down and play for hours on end.

Final Thoughts
From the simplistically enjoyable game play to the witty and classic Nintendo humour, with the graphical style largely contributing to this factor, this is a game you wont soon forget. This game is practically bursting with Nintendo magic and its an awesome RPG to boot. No Nintendo fan should have a collection without this game. It brings all the aspects of the original to another generation, and then tweaks it in just the slightest amount to make things just right. If you enjoyed the original, then I can confidently say Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door certainly wont disappoint.

Graphics 7.0

Gameplay 9.9

Sound 8.0

Tilt 9.0

Value 9.9

Our Verdict
Our Rating
User Rating
Rate Here
Our Rating
User Rating
1 rating
You have rated this
What's your reaction?
Oh wow!
About The Author
Dale Neville

You must log in to post a comment