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North America Details

Publisher: Nintendo
Release Date: October 11, 2004
Genre: Role-Playing
Players: Single Player
ESRB: Everyone

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Game Review

Aug 27 2008 06:01 AM
The Paper Mario series began on the Nintendo 64 and quickly became one of the coolest games in the Mario franchise. The second game in the trilogy, Paper Mario: Thousand Year Door is an even better example of what our papery buddy can do.

Basically, here’s the story. Our lovely Princess Peach is in a rather distasteful neighborhood full of bandits. However, while shopping, she comes upon a strange merchant who offers her a treasure box that will only open for one with a truly noble heart. Of course, it opens for her, and a treasure map is found inside, sparking the adventure to find seven “Crystal Stars” that will open the Thousand Year Door, where a marvelous treasure is said to be stowed. I don’t want to ruin the marvelous story for you so let’s move on. Being a piece of paper has many advantages in the Mario world. Along your journey you will be comically “cursed” with new abilities such as folding into an airplane, rolling like a tube, folding into a paper boat, or just turning sideways to reach new and hidden areas. You will also be joined by several partners that will also aid you in your quest to find the Crystal Stars. For example, Flurrie will blow away loose flaps of the paper world to discover new areas, Bobbery will blow debris out of the way, and Goombella will inform you of people around you, items, your surroundings, etc. On your way to the Thousand Year Door, you will also find special hammers, boots and badges that could aid (and sometimes weaken) your abilities in Battle. Speaking of Battle, this is one of the most entertaining and original concepts I have ever seen. Basically, during every battle sequence you’re on a stage. People are in the grandstands watching your fights with your enemies. If you impress the crowd, they’ll give you star power to fill up your Star Power meter (not to be mistaken with Guitar Hero Star Power). Every time you earn a Crystal Star, you will learn a new Star Power move. There are different moves. Some up your abilities, some heal you, and some deliver massive damage to your enemy. Depending on the strength of the Star Power move, you will require to use up some of your Star Power meter. This is where the crowds pleasure of your show comes in. Please and amaze them with awesome performances and Stylish commands, and they’ll fill up your meter in no time. Do an average job and they’ll start leaving the arena and throwing things at you. Also, as you gain experience, every 10 Level-Ups you will gain a new arena that will seat a larger audience. Giving you more of an opportunity to fill your Star Power meter.

I love the graphics in Paper Mario Games. The shading and animation is brilliant and the frame rate never goes down. Also, another pleasing feature of this game is how Paper Mario’s paper world is actually put into play. You can blow flaps of world away (as mentioned above), peel away sections of the world, fold staircases the other way to allow access to a new area. It all fits smoothly and well. Also, although character sprites are very simple, they are very vibrant and creative.

I think Paper Mario is one of the only games I have ever considered to have a good soundtrack. Not just good either, excellent, just excellent. Every level and area has its own wonderfully orchestrated music that kind of tingles in your heart. The music in this game can raise your heart rate while in Creepy Castle, or give you a calm feeling with just a hint of danger in Rogueport. I absolutely loved Paper Mario for this trait. I was really impressed. If you have a good sound system, by all means, blast those speakers!

Hmmm…Don’t really know how to evaluate control in a Paper Mario game. I’ll try… I had some problems getting the airplane mode to do exactly what I wanted at first but plenty of practice helped. The controls are really responsive and always get you where you want to be quickly.

I was really pleased with the challenge factor in Paper Mario. The game starts out really easy, you do some pretty easy missions, but the story is interesting enough to keep you hooked. After a couple Crystal Stars, the challenge starts to kick in. The thing that I was really happy with is the fact that each level eases you into the next difficulty. It takes some logic and brainwork to get around in the latter levels. You’ll need to solve a few puzzle-like missions and mysteries that may take a few seconds to actually understand. It’s one of the factors that kept me attached to this game. It doesn’t immediately throw you into a pool full of sharks, it teaches you how to think, and sends you into the woods prepared.

This could easily be among my favorite games that I’ve ever played. It’s attractive and thrilling storyline is a great one that is entertaining and immediately gets you hooked along with interesting and original gaming concepts that probably only Nintendo can offer. Humor is also often implemented into the game, and all of this comes together that has you feeling lighthearted and happy until the very end of the game.

Final Comments: Another must. I would definitely recommend this game above all others I’ve reviewed so far. It’s fun for all ages, it’s just simply a classic game that’s really fun and attractive. Get it, I can guarantee you that you will LOVE it.

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