The 'Shroom:Issue XXV/Review Corner
I’m bach! This week I will be reviewing one of my favorite games, Paper Mario, the Thousand Year Door for the GameCube! I will be using a slightly different template for reviewing than my previous two reviews, as RPG’s often have different features. PLEASE post suggestions on what to do next month, what game to do, how to organize, ect. As of now, next month I will review either Super Mario World or Super Paper Mario. I am also open to suggestions. Let me save you the trouble of reading this review: BUY THIS GAME NOW!!!!!! Oh, apparently I will get fired if I don’t write a decent review. Okay…..
Let’s break this game down by each aspect: gameplay, diversity of enemies, diversity of characters, story, replay value, collectables, sound and graphics and secrets. Each of these categories is amazing for Paper Mario. Okay: gameplay. If you have downloaded or played the first Paper Mario, the gameplay is pretty much the same. But, many people haven’t so here we go! Okay, there are two areas: the field and the battlefield. The next paragraph will talk about the battlefield, so here is the field. On the field you will solve puzzles by using your abilities. Early in the game, you will be able to turn into a paper airplane. Later, you can turn as thin as paper. An example of a puzzle may be turning into a plane, flying across a gap, turning into paper, jumping on a spring, and seeing a pattern that you will have to memorize for later you will encounter enemies on the field, and touching them will start a battle.
In a battle, you will have a few options: jump, hammer, star power, items, run away. I’ll focus on the jump and hammer. With the jump, you always have the basic jump command. This can do a total of 2, 4, or 6 damage IF you pull it off. The same goes for the hammer. To pull it off correctly, though, you will have to master the action commands. For the jump, you will jump on the foe, and if you press the A button on the GameCube controller right BEFORE you jump on the enemy, you will pull of a second jump. You start with the basic boots which do 1 damage for each jump, and eventually get the super and ultra boots, that do 2 and 3 damage per jump, respectively.
Of course we won’t forget the hammer! The action command is quite different. When you select the hammer attack, you run up to the enemy and a gauge appears that has five stars, the last one has a cool little red circle around it. You hold the control stick to the left and release it when the circle is highlighted. This one only hits once, so if you don’t do the action command correctly, it does about half damage. Again, there is a regular, super, and ultra hammer, doing 2, 4, and 6 damage if you do it correctly.
I’m gonna skip to collectables, because they’re part of gameplay. Let’s start with….. *drum roll* BADGES! There are at least a hundred badges. Many badges give you a new type of attack: For example, using the power smash badge will let you use the power smash attack that uses 2 fp each time you attack (I’ll get to that) and costs 1 bp to equip (again, I’ll get to that!) but is a powerful attack that adds 2 power to your hammer. You can also get useless ones like the luigi badge? That makes Mario look like luigi and costs 0 bp. There are even ones that soup up your hp, fp, power, or defense, but cost about 5-7 bp per badge! To find badges, you may find one in a chest, box, or hidden area. There are also 3 shops that sell badges: The lovely howz of badges, which sells badges for around 100-200 coins apiece, the salesman charlatan, that sells useless badges for around 200 coins, and this weird jester guy who will buy badges for star pieces, which can be found in hidden panels that must be spin jumped on, or hidden in a little nook. The only thing more plentiful than badges are… items.
Items are numerous and have a lot of uses. For example, a mushroom will heal you by 5 hp, and honey syrup will replenish 5 fp. Of course there are better versions of these items. Also, there are attack items, like the fire flower that causes 3 points of damage to everyone on the field, or the ice storm that freezes everyone, making them immobile. You can get many items by cooking things to get enhanced items. For example, if you cook a mushroom, you get a shroom plate that heals 10 hp. This way you can get many items. Okay, onto bp, hp, and fp…
Let’s start with fp. You start off with 5 fp, and you need fp to use more powerful attacks. For example, a regular hammer attack uses 0 fp, a power smash attack uses 1 fp, but the quake hammer attack, that hits all enemies on the ground or ceiling, costs about 3 fp. I don’t think any attack uses more than 10 fp, and that attack heals you by about 20 hp. Let’s go on to hp while we’re talking about it. You start off with 10 hp and hp (heart points) is your health. You will lose a various amount of hp for each attack, ranging from 1 for a simple head bonk, to like 12-15 from a souped up earthquake thingy from one of the last bosses. Many items will heal you, as I mentioned above. If you lose all your hp, you faint and start from the last area you saved at. Bp is used to equip badges, and you start with 3 bp. Simple badges like the power smash use 1 bp, and elaborate badges like the hp up that increases your hp by 5, can cost 7 bp. If you unequip your badge, you get all your bp used for that badge back, so it is fun to customize yourself by equipping and unequiping your badges. You may have noticed that I said you start with so much hp, fp, or bp, so… how do you get more?
Each time you beat an enemy you get some star points. Once you get 100 star points, you level up! Each time you level up, you get to upgrade your hp, fp, or bp. Each time you upgrade fp or hp you get 5 more points. If you upgrade bp, you get 3 more bp. This way, you get to further customize Mario, so you can make him durable, use powerful attacks, or use a lot of good moves. I’m pretty sure I did a good job covering collectables and gameplay, so onto diversity of enemies.
This is a rpg, so there are many enemies. Each world has a dozen or so new enemies, and unlike the previous two games I covered, each world introduces new, interesting, and harder enemies. The first level has enemies such as goombas, that have 2 hp, and 1 attack, and later levels have enemies like dark boos that have about 8 hp and 4 attack. The bosses pose a challenge too, as none of them has less than about 30- 40 hp. Each boss has a different strategy, and you will need to consider when to heal, what moves to use to conserve fp, and what partner to use when. Yep, you have partners, so here are the basics of them.
This wouldn’t be Paper Mario without partners. Each partner has a ability that you can use on the field and moves in battle. For example, one of your partners, koops, a koopa, can duck into his shell and hit a faraway switch on the field, and can ram into enemies on the field. Your partners play heavily into puzzles, and also in boss battles, as mentioned above.
The story. Amazing. I won’t spoil it for you, but each level you learn a bit of the story, and at the last two levels it all comes together. Basically, without revealing much, Mario is at his house, and he receives a letter from peach. She says she is in a place called Rougeport, and attaches a map. Mario travels to Rougeport, and cannot find Peach. This doesn’t tell much, but trust me, the story is complicated, mysterious, and plays a big part in the game.
The sound is great for the game. There are many tracks; each level has a different sound, unlike many rpgs. I don’t know if Lerin has any of the songs on his issue, but every sound is good. The graphics are good, they don’t look blocky or choppy, but they aren’t amazing. Overall, it is kinda between 2 and 3-d, so it is smooth to look at, but nothing special.
There are many secrets in the game. There are hidden blocks with items that are very hard to find, and there are many items in rooms you overlooked. There is a secret partner, hidden badges, and just a lot of concealed things. The replay value is amazing; after you beat the game, you can find secrets, customize Mario, and many other things.
Overall:10, A+ Overall without story: 10, A+
This game is amazing. Period. The things that really make this game great are the replay value, unlockables, and secrets. I really can’t say anything but, GET IT NOW!