Paper Mario: The Thousand Year DoorYear:
In this sequel to Paper Mario
, Mario travels to a run-down town called Rogueport in the Mushroom Kingdom after Princess Peach tells him of a magic map she found. In possession of the map (for whatever reason, the Princess enclosed it with her letter), you discover that she... has been kidnapped. After meeting several wacky characters, you go on a quest to collect the Crystal Stars in order to open the Thousand Year Door underneath Rogueport; meanwhile, through both Mario and the Princess you learn more about the legend of the Thousand Year Door and the plans of the evil X-Nauts (the villains of the game).
Playing through the game, the story is gripping, mysterious, and exciting; the best moment being Chapter 3, where you must discover the identity of “X” and also solve the mysteries surrounding a fighting arena called the Glitz Pit. The score here would be higher, but unfortunately the storyline of the game can be summarized into “Princess is captured, and Mario goes to save her”. Honestly, if the Princess hadn’t
been captured, it’s questionable whether Mario would’ve bothered to lift a finger to save the world at all.Graphics
Most of you probably won’t agree with this score, and that’s fine- I’ve had minimal experience with other consoles. I’m going on what I know.
For the Gamecube, the graphics aren’t the most spectacular; however, they are innovative, and they do look very nice indeed. The visual style also works into the game play in several ways, which is why this section gets a 8.5 instead of, say, a 7.5. If you use a partner to blow on certain areas, the scenery is blown off screen to reveal a hidden secret; your character can turn into a paper airplane or paper boat; you can slip through thin cracks between walls. Without the paper style visuals, these things just wouldn’t make sense. This would have a 9, but man,
does that second chapter kill my eyes! Geez!Game Play/Controls – 9.5/10
The controls of this game are very smooth; especially the control stick. If you push it right, you go right; you push it left, you go left. No delays, and no super speed. The “A” and “B” buttons also respond smoothly. The “X” and “Y” buttons are put to good use, and the few times you use them, the shoulder buttons work good as well. However, the C Stick is very frustrating; it’s very hard to push in the right direction. Often I’ll wish to change my partner, but instead find myself in the item menu; I believe the D-Pad would’ve been better to use in this instance.
You have many abilities to work with, however; each of your partners has at least one special ability in the field that you can use to your advantage, and some (such as Yoshi) have two. There are also four different paper forms you can take on to navigate the environment, in addition to your standard jumps and hammer. In-game, everything works and feels great; whether it’s in the field exploring or fighting in battles. I just wish your jumps were a little higher and a little longer.Music – 9.5/10
I’ll bet some of you are gonna be all over me for giving the music this score, but, simply put, I love
the music in this game. There are better soundtracks out there, and it might not be orchestrated, but several of the tunes are very catchy; others fit the environment perfectly; and some songs are just awesome (such as the Rawk Hawk battle, which also happens to be in Chapter 3, my favourite chapter). There are a couple songs in the game I dislike and would have preferred maybe some tunes from the first Paper Mario,
but overall everything is good in this category.Overall – 9/10
In short, I love this game. If you are a fan of Mario, RPGs, or are interested in either, you should definitely check out this game; if you’re looking for a different experience from RPGs such as Final Fantasy, I recommend this game as well. This game is on the short (and easy) side of RPGS if you know what you’re doing, but that doesn’t really matter; you’ll have loads of fun while it lasts, and there are side quests that you can do afterward (along with a pit of 100 trials). I’d recommend trying out the first Paper Mario
first, even though it doesn’t affect the plot; this game is better than the first (with better graphics, controls, and new features), so that way you won’t ruin the experience of the first game after playing the refined sequel first.
Buy this game and play it.