Content of the article: "Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. Nintendon’t make games like this no more for some reason."
I've jumped into the acclaimed first two titles of the Paper Mario series just to see what all the fuss was about when it comes to the quality of the series nowadays.
Starting with Paper Mario on the N64, it's pretty much a typical "Mario" game in the style of a turn based rpg with a bit more of a story going on. Whilst the visuals are charming and the gameplay is mostly fun, I found the story to be a little bit too "kiddy" to my liking. Yes, I'm aware the Mario series in general is targeted to children, and the game delivers exactly what it sets out to do, but it just wasn't my cup of tea. However, I did put in the 20 hours to complete it, and I do recommend playing if you want to start the series.
Things we're different with it's sequel on the Gamecube, The Thousand Year Door. It seems like the minds and talents behind this game had plenty of freedom to create a fun story in a slightly different setting for Mario and company. Whilst PM64 felt "kiddy" to my liking, TTYD made me feel like a kid again. Mario sets out on an adventure to somewhere that isn't the Mushroom Kingdom, but in Rogueport and it's surrounding. Of the bat, the writing and character dialogue has a strong sense of personality, the combat feels like a dance off, and exploring the world in search for the seven stars is a joy for the most part. Many times I found myself having a hard time putting the game down, as there always seemed to be something or someone new to discover and most of your buddies are genuinely charming to have by your side.
But the game does have some flaws, and they're similar fallings to it's predecessor. For one, the gameplay loop is very repetitive, and maybe due to playing both games back to back, burnout started to kick in 75% through TTYP. Also, they're is a fair amount of backtracking, which may drive a completionist insane, as the game lenght is double if you decide to go for 100%. Another flaw I've noticed was how imprecise the defense in combat sometimes was, although it's all about timing and such, but it never always worked (maybe my controller was getting dodgy, idk). There are a couple of other nippicks I have, but nothing that I consider game breaking.
It's a shame Nintendo don't seem to want to be a bit more daring with some of it's properties. I'm not asking for them to give us a Mario equivalent of Shadow the Hedgehog, but I don't like the fact they've become so protective of the brand in which developers can't create new characters or something, atleast judging by the recent Origami King interview. Also, TTYD isn't the easiest Paper Mario to come by, as it's stuck on the GC and Nintendo don't seem to be interested in atleast remastering it and possibly PM64 and Super Paper Mario.
To conclude, I loved TTYD. I might check out it's "sequel " Super Paper Mario at some point. And before anyone recommends it, yes, I'm aware Bug Fables exists, and it's on my wishlist.
Edit: how are the other PM titles in comparisons? Are they good? Do they hold up? Feel free to let me know.
- Why does New Super Mario Bros have no legacy?
- WSIB: Ghost of Tsushima or Paper Mario the Origami King?
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild (OR) Super Smash Bros Ultimate
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