The 'Shroom:Issue LXXXVIII/Retro Feature
Hello readers, welcome to a special edition of Retro Feature! This section was created by Henry Tucayo Clay (talk) in Special Issue 64. The purpose of Retro Feature, in Tucayo's own words, is to "allow new readers to better know the writers that have greatly contributed to The ‘Shroom" by discussing some of their contributions and showcasing one of their sections from a past issue. This is a piece for 'Shroom historians– for those who like understanding who made this project possible and how far it has come since its inception.
Since we are at our 88th edition, I felt it would be interesting to go all the way back to our 8th issue (October 2007) and highlight both a writer and a section from that time period. Phoenix Rider (talk) (not to be confused with Phoenix (talk), another prominent member in our community) joined the wiki as Monty Mole on 5 August 2006 to pose a question about Anuboo creatures. He continued to edit after joining; notably correcting grammatical and spelling errors, contributing to Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga-related articles, and reverting vandalism on the wiki. His consistent activity and participation led to his promotion to Administrator on 6 October 2006, a position he would keep until 12 April 2008 due to going inactive. He eventually returned as an Administrator on 17 August 2008 and continued to contribute to the wiki until around early 2011, which resulted in an inactivity demotion on 18 May 2011.
During his time on the wiki, Phoenix Rider was one of the earliest contributors to The 'Shroom. He wrote nine Review sections from Issue I (January 2007) through Issue X (December 2007). He covered a variety of Mario games, from retro games like Super Mario Bros. to the (at the time) brand new Super Mario Galaxy, and RPGs like Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. He would use a scoring system and rate several features such as gameplay, graphics and replay value and provide an explanation for each score. He would finally discuss his overall opinion on the game and conclude the review.
Phoenix Rider provided interesting, detailed reviews every month and was one of the earliest reviewers of our publication. Here is his review of Paper Mario from Issue VIII (October 2007):
Phoenix Rider reporting for the ‘Shroom once again. In light of a recent addition to the Wii Virtual Console, I’m reviewing the original Paper Mario slated for the N64. Let’s have look-see at what we got to work with right here.
Amazing. All right, so it doesn’t have the “intuitiveness” of later titles in the Paper Mario series, but it doesn’t need them. This one’s a classic RPG. Peach has been kidnapped (surprise, surprise) and it falls on Mario’s shoulders to save her. Along the way, Mario will visit exotic locales such as the blistering Dry Dry Desert and the lush Jade Jungle. He’ll enlist the help of eight partners along the way, and they’ll help in battle, as well as on the field.
Speaking of battling, it’s not to different than what you’re used to if you’ve played TTYD (playing the sequel before the prequel? Tsk, shame on you. =P ) Action Commands, battle strategies, all the rest are relatively unchanged. The timing of the Action Commands are different from TTYD, so take that to heart when playing this one. Of course, there’s no Superguarding, but that adds to the challenge, thus, more fun. Controls are self-explanitory, with the only difference from the sequel being the use of C-down (or x on the Classic Controller) using your partner’s ability, but those buttons are the same location on both controllers, so you’re good to go, there.
The story never gets tiresome, though there are a few of your garden-variety fetch-quests. Just a caveat. Still, nothing short of spectacular in this category.
Truth be told, I wanted to give this a higher score. The music in the game is amazing for a MIDI, Toad Town and Forever Forest in particular are well organized. No voice acting, of course; this was/is an N64 game. Even Mario remains silent this time around. Some sound effects sound pretty grating at times, but it’s nothing unforgivable. All the cartoony creaks, boings, and doinks get a little too much to bear after a while though.
Again, I’m being fair and grading this based on the graphics of the N64 era. It doesn’t have the kiddy feel to it like some places in the sequel, but it’s not spectacular either. Graphics are still on the blurry side. The game doesn’t utilize the “paper” aspect like the sequels, but this was before all the innovation!
Replay Value- ***+
RPGs are notorious for failing in the replay value department. Not so much with Paper Mario. Take note that you cannot play your file after you’ve beaten the final boss. Too bad, so sad, start over, deal with it. The game offers enough entertainment to still be fun subsequent times through. I’m not saying it’s a spectacular game to play through again, but it’s still fun nonetheless. As a side note, be sure to watch the end credits, as they are hysterical and entertaining in the short while they last.
What we have here is a great game, It can be seen as plain as day. Why it might even make the cover Of Nintendo Exposé.
No, seriously, this is the game than spawned the Paper Mario sub-series. It can be nothing if not amazing. Minor things keeping the game from getting a five are the noises, the graphic feel, and the aforementioned fetch-quests. So save up those Wii Points and purchase it, OR if you can find a copy of the original to play on your N64, that would be great too. This reviewer prefers the latter method, but I suppose I’ll have to just accept the fact that the next generation prefers the next generation, if you know what I mean.
And that is all for this special Retro Feature! Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the rest of this Special Issue!
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