The 'Shroom:Issue II/Review: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

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Review: Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

by Phoenix Rider

Hello again, game enthusiasts! This month I will be unveiling my review of Paper Mario: The Tousand-Year Door. Also, this time, I’ll be adding a rating system, out of 5 stars. Also, a plus is half a star, so ***+ means 3½ stars. Got it? OK, here we go!

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is the Gamecube-released sequel to the original Paper Mario on the N64. Released in October 2004, this sequel, like all sequels, had a lot to live up to.

Gameplay-****

One day, Mario gets a letter from Peach, with a treasure map enclosed. Apparently, Peach found the map and wanted Mario to help her look for the treasure. But when Mario sets foot into the town where they were supposed to meet, something does not bode well. The princess is nowhere to be found and there are these weird people asking about some mysterious objects said to hold great power…

The story in this game is divided into Chapters, with each Chapter spanning one part of the game, much like the original. The world itself is massive, and you’ll want to enlist some help via Warp Pipes to travel efficiently. Along the way, you’ll meet an interesting cast of characters, some of which are friendly; others, not so much. Like the original, you’ll battle enemies to gain experience points which you can use to level up and increase Mario’s stats. The controls in this game can take some getting used to, although they’re fairly self-explanatory, and much like the original. Movement is the control stick, A is jump, B is Hammer, X is partner ability, and the Start button brings up a menu with all of Mario’s collectibles. There is more to this game than this one article can cover, so you’ll just have to play it and see.

One real problem with the game, however, is it gets repetitive at times, and will require a fairly lengthy amount (read: a lot) of backtracking. However, these segments usually don’t last very long, and the game usually does a good job of knowing when to quit.

Sound-***+

Renowned for it's happy, quirky sound effects, the Mario series now prevents a game that will not disappoint. Some gamers may get annoyed with Mario’s jumping exclamations (Hoo! Yah! Whoo!) and perhaps some of the battle noises too (this reviewer included) , but in the end, it’s all in good fun. The music in this game also provides some nice adversity, from the happy-go-lucky tune of Petal Meadows to the dark dank beat of Pirate’s Grotto, the music is one of those nice little background elements.

Graphics-**

Considering the game IS called “Paper Mario” you would expect the graphics to be a bit sub-par. And you’d be right, for the most part. Although the paper model makes for some cool scenes (building a bridge with a sequence of pages like a flipbook, for example), sometimes, the environment gets a distinctly kiddy feel to it. Granted, this can’t be compared to the graphics of, say, Luigi’s Mansion or Super Mario Sunshine, but it still leaves much to be desired.

Replay Value-**+

The replay value of the game comes when you find out you can actually play your file after you’ve beaten the game, even unlocking new sidequests and character cameos. But there’s not really much to do except wander around and do whatever you feel like doing. This might appeal to some gamers, but not so much this reviewer. You can always choose to do the quest all over again, which is still fun, as it is in most RPGs, and you’ll still get a sense of accomplishment about you.

Overall-***+

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a fun RPG that will take up a decent chunk of time. Despite the better use of paper effects, it doesn’t quite live up to the ground broken by its predecessor. Nonetheless it’s a great buy, and the storyline is very in-depth, one of the best in a Mario RPG. There are some tense moments, laugh out loud moments, and numerous in-jokes to other Mario games. In all cases, the game doesn’t take itself very seriously until the last Chapter, where it’s the perfect time for a climax. The music in this game is very good, and you’ll find yourself humming along. All in all, it’s a good solid choice as an RPG.



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