0
Your rating: None

When the original Paper Mario was released, it revolutionized both Mario games and RPGs forever with its hybrid RPG and real time gameplay, lighthearted and compelling storyline, and its incredible graphic style. I was unlucky enough to miss out on the hype for the first game of this great series, eventually getting around to buying it from a friend not knowing what to expect. What I got was one of the best games I've ever played. Despite the wait of quite a few years, I haven't lost interest in the Paper Mario series, and eagerly bought this, its sequel on the day it hit stores. (Without pre-ordering it, either!) Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door expands on everything that made the original truly great, and adds plenty of new features of its own, as well. Any fans of Paper Mario reading this: buy this game already! Even if you haven't played Paper Mario, this game is definitely worth a look.

Gameplay: 10/10
I'm eager to get onto the countless improvements The Thousand-Year Door makes over Paper Mario, but for those of you new to the series, I should start with the game's basics. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Paper Mario and its sequel are best described as half turn-based, half real-time RPGs. Their battle system is a mix between Golden Sun and Tales of Symphonia; by mixing the systems of two of the best RPGs ever, you can only get something great. It perfectly combines the classic gameplay of Mario games with an RPG. Mario can attack enemies either with his time-honored jump or his hammer. He can also use items and defend or run away. You'll probably find yourself using all these options, since various enemies can only be attacked in certain ways.

TTYD's combat is primarily turn-based, but by correctly timing and correctly pressing buttons, you can increase the effectiveness of your attacks and block or even deflect enemy attacks. TTYD greatly expands on this concept. The wildest action commands got in PM was rapidly pressing buttons in a sequence or mashing the control stick to the left. The sequel will have you timing button presses repeatedly to fill gauges, or rapidly inputting multiple sequences. Some of the commands for your special Star Powers (more on that later) play like minigames, challenging you to shoot falling icons with a moving cursor, draw lines around enemies to damage them, or playing a game of hot potato. This dynamic system keeps you from getting complacent and simply zipping through combat menus, leaving the rest of your turn to fate, while giving you time to plan your strategy, of which there is plenty in TTYD.

Part of this is your partner, one of 7 various friends who will join you on your adventure. They will assist Mario with their unique attacks and out-of-battle abilities and are invaluable for your journey. A new element of TTYD is that your partners now have HP! (Previously, when a partner took damage they were out of commission for that many turns) You now have to wisely choose who attacks first, and thus takes most of the damage for the current turn. You'll probably recognize many of your partner's moves from Paper Mario, but there are plenty of new ones as well.
Another thing the Paper Mario series has is the Badge System. As he progresses through the game, Mario can collect hundreds of Badges, equip able items that can give him new attacks or powers. For some strange reason, however, Mario can't simply equip every Badge he gets. This is limited by his Badge Points; different Badges take different amounts of BP to equip. This leads to the next section of interest.

Leveling up works essentially the same in both Paper Mario games, although it's still vastly different from most other games. Experience points become Star Points, which Mario always requires 100 of to reach his next level. To balance this, enemies give less Star Points as you grow in level, forcing you to keep moving in order to keep leveling up. The biggest change from traditional RPGs, however, is the stat system. Mario doesn't have a variety of stats that all increase every time he levels up. He simply has his HP, FP (points for using special abilities), and BP. Whenever you level up, you have to choose one stat to increase. This allows for plenty of customization; you can turn Mario into a tank by focusing only on HP, or mainly choose FP and BP to turn him into a master of special abilities and have his partners soak up damage. You'll notice you can't level-up his attack or defense; these can only be increased by finding upgraded weapons or new Badges. As long as you move through the game at a remotely health pace, leveling up should never be tedious and you'll rarely have to "power-level."

One completely new addition to TTYD is the audience. That's right; battles all take place on a stage, with backdrop emulating your environment and an audience hungry for some violence. By successfully performing the action command and battling well, Mario makes his audience grow and increases his ability to recharge his Star Power. The fact that the battle is set on a stage affects the battle system in other ways. Occasionally, Shy Guy saboteurs will run behind the stage and throw things at characters, damaging them and providing random status effects. The backdrop can also collapse occasionally. Finally, if tensions in the audience reach a high, they start throwing things. They will either throw painful or helpful objects you must quickly react and hit X to jump into the seating and kick anyone throwing the former out of the theater. Also, as Mario attacks small icons appear in the top right corner. If you're lucky enough to match 2, you can try for a third in a slot machine-like minigame. Matching 3 icons will either net you an extremely good or bad effect, another touch to make combat more exciting.

On to one last touch on; Star Powers. These are mostly unchanged from Paper Mario. They have all sorts of useful effects, like damaging all enemies or healing you and your partner. The only real change is that they now have some of the most imaginative buttons commands in the game, such as those described above. They are some of Mario's strongest abilities, powered by a meter that expands as you gain new abilities. The meter slowly recharges itself as you fight based on the size of your audience, and Mario or his partner can appeal to the audience to further charge the meter.
Outside of battle, Paper Mario is best compared to Tales of Symphonia. In both games, enemies can be clearly seen out of battle and possibly evaded, instead of fully random battles. Evading enemies is somewhat harder than in Tales, but why would you want to flee when you could get a first strike? Both Mario and some enemies can get first strikes by attacking each other out of battle, letting them get an extra hit in as the battle starts. This and all the other features described add a considerable amount of skill to battles and serve to make them much more fun and engaging.
Another new touch out of battle is Mario's paper abilities, which will leave you wondering why he could never perform them before. They let him do things like roll into a tube, turn sideways to slip through cracks, or even fold himself into an airplane or boat! After being "cursed" with these powers in hilarious scenes, they takes the place of several partner abilities and let Mario access new areas in places you thought you had figured out.

Other than the huge assortment of changes listed above, TTYD is much like any other RPG. You will travel the huge and whimsical world, slay monsters, collect items, and, of course, perform side quests. The game is filled with things to collect and people to help, which greatly serves to boost the its replay value and give rewards to make the game better.

Another of the functions of gameplay, TTYD's controls are great out of necessity; the game requires perfect timing for many of the moves in battle, like the Superguard, which can deflect direct attacks. I can't complain about controls out of battle; they are simple and the only really tough thing to do is remember which buttons trigger which menus and paper abilities.

On to difficulty. The first Paper Mario was a fairly easy game except for a few tough bosses, and TTYD follows this pattern. For the most part staying alive is quite easy, expect for several exceptionally tough bosses the likes of which you've never seen in the original. Still, this is no reason to pass this game up.

Graphics: 10/10

Paper Mario's graphics were almost as revolutionary as polygon graphics. (Well, maybe not quite, but they were sure new) The game's name was self-explanatory: the characters are wafer-thin and the environments are made of origami! This allows for many unique and humorous touches; whenever Mario gets into a bed at an inn, he slides under the rigid covers with a distinctly "paper-like" effect. Whenever Mario enters a building, the front wall collapses, followed by the door, to let you see inside. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door takes its prequel's graphics and expands on them, with smoother-looking and more detailed characters and environments as well as better-looking special effects. Some people may see these graphics as "kiddy," but I doubt they could imagine a Mario game with realistic, polygonal graphics a la Final Fantasy. For Mario games, these graphics are the only way to go.

Sound: 9/10

The sound in TTYD is a mixed bag of tricks. Like virtually every Mario game, it has no voice acting to speak of. However, it makes of for this with dynamic text that efficiently conveys emotion and works nearly as well as voice acting. Besides, this way you don't have to worry about underpaid voice actors wrecking the game's cut scenes with their monotone. The game's sound effects are superb, with sounds for Mario's footsteps, attacks, and various other noises heard in the environment to further immerse you in the game. Like in the original, there are also Badges that can cause Mario's attacks to make humorous noises; this even ties into a boss battle at one point in an ingenious idea. From all I've heard of it, TTYD's music is good and helps set the scene, but not quite on par with the incredible music of the original that still makes it one of my favorites.

Story: 9/10

To be fair, I'm subtracting a point from this rating for its lack of originality. The game starts just like PM. Mario receives a letter from Princess Peach (delivered by his old friend Parakarry!) inviting him to visit her in a town called Rogueport to investigate a mysterious treasure map she's found. By the time he reaches Rogueport, Peach is nowhere to be seen and once again, it's up to Mario to find her. It may be old, but as usual TTYD presents this scenario in a fresh way, with hilarious dialogue and a cast of characters to deliver it. Trust me: it isn't what you think. (Cynical Ed is still recovering from the last Mario review, give him time

Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

 

Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

ESRB: Everyone - E
Platform: Gamecube
Category: n/a
 
Share/Bookmark
10
10
9
9
9.5
 
Author:
When the original Paper Mario was released, it revolutionized both Mario games and RPGs forever with its hybrid RPG and real time gameplay, lighthearted and compelling storyline, and its incredible graphic style. I was unlucky enough to miss out on the hype for the first game of this great series, eventually getting around to buying it from a friend not knowing what to expect. What I got was one of the best games I've ever played. Despite the wait of quite a few years, I haven't lost interest in the Paper Mario series, and eagerly bought this, its sequel on the day it hit stores. (Without pre-ordering it, either!) Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door expands on everything that made the original truly great, and adds plenty of new features of its own, as well. Any fans of Paper Mario reading this: buy this game already! Even if you haven't played Paper Mario, this game is definitely worth a look. Gameplay: 10/10 I'm eager to get onto the countless improvements The Thousand-Year Door makes over Paper Mario, but for those of you new to the series, I should start with the game's basics. Anyway, for the uninitiated, Paper Mario and its sequel are best described as half turn-based, half real-time RPGs. Their battle system is a mix between Golden Sun and Tales of Symphonia; by mixing the systems of two of the best RPGs ever, you can only get something great. It perfectly combines the classic gameplay of Mario games with an RPG. Mario can attack enemies either with his time-honored jump or his hammer. He can also use items and defend or run away. You'll probably find yourself using all these options, since various enemies can only be attacked in certain ways. TTYD's combat is primarily turn-based, but by correctly timing and correctly pressing buttons, you can increase the effectiveness of your attacks and block or even deflect enemy attacks. TTYD greatly expands on this concept. The wildest action commands got in PM was rapidly pressing buttons in a sequence or mashing the control stick to the left. The sequel will have you timing button presses repeatedly to fill gauges, or rapidly inputting multiple sequences. Some of the commands for your special Star Powers (more on that later) play like minigames, challenging you to shoot falling icons with a moving cursor, draw lines around enemies to damage them, or playing a game of hot potato. This dynamic system keeps you from getting complacent and simply zipping through combat menus, leaving the rest of your turn to fate, while giving you time to plan your strategy, of which there is plenty in TTYD. Part of this is your partner, one of 7 various friends who will join you on your adventure. They will assist Mario with their unique attacks and out-of-battle abilities and are invaluable for your journey. A new element of TTYD is that your partners now have HP! (Previously, when a partner took damage they were out of commission for that many turns) You now have to wisely choose who attacks first, and thus takes most of the damage for the current turn. You'll probably recognize many of your partner's moves from Paper Mario, but there are plenty of new ones as well. Another thing the Paper Mario series has is the Badge System. As he progresses through the game, Mario can collect hundreds of Badges, equip able items that can give him new attacks or powers. For some strange reason, however, Mario can't simply equip every Badge he gets. This is limited by his Badge Points; different Badges take different amounts of BP to equip. This leads to the next section of interest. Leveling up works essentially the same in both Paper Mario games, although it's still vastly different from most other games. Experience points become Star Points, which Mario always requires 100 of to reach his next level. To balance this, enemies give less Star Points as you grow in level, forcing you to keep moving in order to keep leveling up. The biggest change from traditional RPGs, however, is the stat system. Mario doesn't have a variety of stats that all increase every time he levels up. He simply has his HP, FP (points for using special abilities), and BP. Whenever you level up, you have to choose one stat to increase. This allows for plenty of customization; you can turn Mario into a tank by focusing only on HP, or mainly choose FP and BP to turn him into a master of special abilities and have his partners soak up damage. You'll notice you can't level-up his attack or defense; these can only be increased by finding upgraded weapons or new Badges. As long as you move through the game at a remotely health pace, leveling up should never be tedious and you'll rarely have to "power-level." One completely new addition to TTYD is the audience. That's right; battles all take place on a stage, with backdrop emulating your environment and an audience hungry for some violence. By successfully performing the action command and battling well, Mario makes his audience grow and increases his ability to recharge his Star Power. The fact that the battle is set on a stage affects the battle system in other ways. Occasionally, Shy Guy saboteurs will run behind the stage and throw things at characters, damaging them and providing random status effects. The backdrop can also collapse occasionally. Finally, if tensions in the audience reach a high, they start throwing things. They will either throw painful or helpful objects you must quickly react and hit X to jump into the seating and kick anyone throwing the former out of the theater. Also, as Mario attacks small icons appear in the top right corner. If you're lucky enough to match 2, you can try for a third in a slot machine-like minigame. Matching 3 icons will either net you an extremely good or bad effect, another touch to make combat more exciting. On to one last touch on; Star Powers. These are mostly unchanged from Paper Mario. They have all sorts of useful effects, like damaging all enemies or healing you and your partner. The only real change is that they now have some of the most imaginative buttons commands in the game, such as those described above. They are some of Mario's strongest abilities, powered by a meter that expands as you gain new abilities. The meter slowly recharges itself as you fight based on the size of your audience, and Mario or his partner can appeal to the audience to further charge the meter. Outside of battle, Paper Mario is best compared to Tales of Symphonia. In both games, enemies can be clearly seen out of battle and possibly evaded, instead of fully random battles. Evading enemies is somewhat harder than in Tales, but why would you want to flee when you could get a first strike? Both Mario and some enemies can get first strikes by attacking each other out of battle, letting them get an extra hit in as the battle starts. This and all the other features described add a considerable amount of skill to battles and serve to make them much more fun and engaging. Another new touch out of battle is Mario's paper abilities, which will leave you wondering why he could never perform them before. They let him do things like roll into a tube, turn sideways to slip through cracks, or even fold himself into an airplane or boat! After being "cursed" with these powers in hilarious scenes, they takes the place of several partner abilities and let Mario access new areas in places you thought you had figured out. Other than the huge assortment of changes listed above, TTYD is much like any other RPG. You will travel the huge and whimsical world, slay monsters, collect items, and, of course, perform side quests. The game is filled with things to collect and people to help, which greatly serves to boost the its replay value and give rewards to make the game better. Another of the functions of gameplay, TTYD's controls are great out of necessity; the game requires perfect timing for many of the moves in battle, like the Superguard, which can deflect direct attacks. I can't complain about controls out of battle; they are simple and the only really tough thing to do is remember which buttons trigger which menus and paper abilities. On to difficulty. The first Paper Mario was a fairly easy game except for a few tough bosses, and TTYD follows this pattern. For the most part staying alive is quite easy, expect for several exceptionally tough bosses the likes of which you've never seen in the original. Still, this is no reason to pass this game up. Graphics: 10/10 Paper Mario's graphics were almost as revolutionary as polygon graphics. (Well, maybe not quite, but they were sure new) The game's name was self-explanatory: the characters are wafer-thin and the environments are made of origami! This allows for many unique and humorous touches; whenever Mario gets into a bed at an inn, he slides under the rigid covers with a distinctly "paper-like" effect. Whenever Mario enters a building, the front wall collapses, followed by the door, to let you see inside. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door takes its prequel's graphics and expands on them, with smoother-looking and more detailed characters and environments as well as better-looking special effects. Some people may see these graphics as "kiddy," but I doubt they could imagine a Mario game with realistic, polygonal graphics a la Final Fantasy. For Mario games, these graphics are the only way to go. Sound: 9/10 The sound in TTYD is a mixed bag of tricks. Like virtually every Mario game, it has no voice acting to speak of. However, it makes of for this with dynamic text that efficiently conveys emotion and works nearly as well as voice acting. Besides, this way you don't have to worry about underpaid voice actors wrecking the game's cut scenes with their monotone. The game's sound effects are superb, with sounds for Mario's footsteps, attacks, and various other noises heard in the environment to further immerse you in the game. Like in the original, there are also Badges that can cause Mario's attacks to make humorous noises; this even ties into a boss battle at one point in an ingenious idea. From all I've heard of it, TTYD's music is good and helps set the scene, but not quite on par with the incredible music of the original that still makes it one of my favorites. Story: 9/10 To be fair, I'm subtracting a point from this rating for its lack of originality. The game starts just like PM. Mario receives a letter from Princess Peach (delivered by his old friend Parakarry!) inviting him to visit her in a town called Rogueport to investigate a mysterious treasure map she's found. By the time he reaches Rogueport, Peach is nowhere to be seen and once again, it's up to Mario to find her. It may be old, but as usual TTYD presents this scenario in a fresh way, with hilarious dialogue and a cast of characters to deliver it. Trust me: it isn't what you think. (Cynical Ed is still recovering from the last Mario review, give him time… -Replacement Ed) Replay: 10/10 Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has incredible replay value, with a lengthy main storyline and dozens of sidequests and things to collect in your spare time. It seems like there's always something to get in between quests, which makes the game long-lasting and very hard to put down. Rent/Buy: In most cases, buy! If you liked Paper Mario or just RPGs in general, you'd be insane not to buy this great game. Otherwise, it's definitely worth a rent.





 
 

Post this review on your own site!

Just agree to our Terms of Use and cut-paste your brains out.

Recommended for you...