The 'Shroom:Issue VIII/Review: Paper Mario

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Review: Paper Mario

by Phoenix Rider

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.

Gameplay- *****

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.

Sound- **+

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.

Graphics- ***

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.