Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Believe it or not, Mario is a big friend of the RPG style already and has been for a long time now. Even from the Super Nintendo times, there's been game after game moving the friendly plumber in different scenarios in this genre. This time we're going to be checking out Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, the second Paper Mario game ever released, after the original one for the N64.
There's been a lot of talk over the years among the fans to ask Nintendo to bring back this title as a remake for newer generations. But the Japanese company has never replied to it. So, let's see what the fans love so much about this game.
About the game
Mario receives a mysterious letter from Princess Peach, asking for his help in investigating a mysterious Thousand-Year Door in a suspicious town. But as soon as Mario arrives, he finds out that the Princess has disappeared, leaving no trace behind. Not only this, but the town is overflowing with suspicious beings and evil goombas and the central plaza has gallows prepared.
Now Mario has to rescue Princess Peach, but to t¿do this he'll first have to uncover the mystery of where she is. But to do so, he'll also have to explore this town and discover what's the secret of the legendary door, and what secrets lie behind it. Luckily, Mario's in good company even from the beginning, so get ready for this exciting adventure.
Papercraft and action
The game is pretty similar to Mario and Luigi for the GameBoy Advance in terms of gameplay, and even more so with the original Paper Mario for the N64. The strategy turn-based combat is present, with the exploration and interactions we're already used to in this type of game.
The world of Paper Mario stands out from the rest because of its unique and cute art style. Every character is made from paper and even the scenery. It looks almost as if you could have this game world sitting in a desk, and you're playing around with them.
The game is an excellent example of what Mario games can be when taken out of its comfort zone. Not only is it in a different style than most main titles from the Italian plumber, but also it's in a very different world.
One of Mario's best known for is for going on adventures in all kinds of different scenarios, and even planets, but Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door simplifies. Centering in a smaller world, and focusing more on the story, it delivers a very refreshing experience. An entry-level RPG that can end up being really challenging, full of funny-looking characters, excellent design, and even an amazing and entertaining story.
Graphics and Visuals: The element of surprise in the title is not really there since it's the second game to look like this. But it makes up for this by creating tons of characters, beautiful 3D scenery, and an excellent art direction. The game has most of the things that made the first one great, but they look so much better in here. Not to mention all that's new.
Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty different from what you'd expect in a Mario game, but it's exactly what you'd expect from a Paper Mario game. Exploring your surroundings, interacting with characters and getting the rhythm of the fights is key to beating this game.
Sound: The sound design is pretty basic and simple here. But the music is excellent, a pretty cartoony version of the Mario music. And some themes perfectly fit the RPG game style. It certainly is much more complex than the usual Mario music.
Download Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door does a good job of blending action, role-playing and mini-games into a single experience worth checking out. The plot, like in many of Nintendo's best games, isn't exactly original. You've got an imperiled princess, a collection of shiny stars and one do-gooder Mario there to save the day.
Fortunately, the gameplay is considerably more innovative. The first thing you will notice is that everyone is 2D in a 3D sort of way. When Mario walks around he's as flat as his title character, but when he turns, instead of instantly reversing direction, Mario flips over like a piece of paper, temporarily showing his edge. It's a clever bit of detail that adds a nice touch to the look of the game.
The backdrop of the game is literally that, it's a stage, complete with homes that have front walls that fall over to let you see the action inside and battles literally take place on a stage. I'm not sure how the whole paper theme got snapped together with the stage theme, but the bizarre mix seems to work.
The game itself is an interesting blend of elements. For the most part, you should think of Paper Mario as a role-playing game. You adventure through areas finding sub-plots to complete, new abilities and items to help you on your quest and new characters to join your party ' only all of this done in a very Mario Brothers sort of way. You will still find platforms to leap from, hidden areas to breakaway or fly to and creatures to try and avoid or attack.
Combat is also an intriguing blend of gameplay systems. When you enter into combat you will go to a new screen that looks an awful lot like a stage complete with an audience. Fighting the bad guys is done by selecting your attack and target, but there is also a timing element that transforms what is typically the weakest part of any RPG into a sort of mini-game. You'll have to time button pushes or joystick moves to hit the enemy and sometimes improve the damage. You can also deflect or lessen attacks by button timing.
On top of the action up on stage, you'll have to keep your eye on the audience which will either shout encouragement or throw the occasional item at you. If you're not careful, a hostile audience can actually damage you. A happy one can power you up.
The graphics are pure Nintendo, filled with towns bustling with the characters you find in all Zelda and Mario games, only now they have 5-o'clock shadows and are going about their typically mundane lives. The music supplies a nice theme to play to without being too intrusive.
One of the only downsides of the game is the seemingly never-ending stream of text that assails you while working your way through the game. There are times when it's like hanging out with a hyperactive 7-year-old who just won't shut up. Hey, I like plot as much as the next guy, but if you aren't going to bother to do some voice acting try to keep the text to something shorter than War and Peace. My only other complaint about the game is that it doesn't feature any sort of multiplayer mode. While this doesn't make the game bad, it sure makes you wish they had thought of including it so you could play through this otherwise excellent game with a friend.
It's always amazing to sit back and watch Nintendo constantly reinvent already inventive gameplay. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is certainly one of the best new Mario games to come to market in recent years, blending the best of many of Nintendo's game types into something that is a blast to play and varied enough to capture and keep your attention from beginning to end.