It’s about to get personal, gamers. Because today, I’m going to talk about a game that is very near and dear to my heart. That game is Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. Now, there are a lot better RPG’s, objectively speaking. However, for me personally, this game is my favorite RPG of all time. I know, that’s a heavy statement to make. But I’m prepared to back up my talk with some good memories on this great game.
The Amazing Art Style
So, why not get the obvious one out of the way first? The Paper Mario series are most well-known for their unique art style. Yes indeed, ever since the first game on the series, the characters are all made of paper, giving the story a book-like feel. Ironically, while the characters themselves are physically paper-thin, the same cannot be said of the NPCs themselves; they have all unique personalities.
With each new entry in the series, the paper aspect of the series becomes more than simply an art style, but part of the gameplay itself. This game I feel had the perfect balance in terms of the paper. Mario could turn into a paper airplane or paper boat to travel, or roll into a tube to get past obstacles. No matter where you go, you’ll have plenty of pretty art to see!
The stories of Paper Mario games are surprisingly deep; well, at least the first three games were. Of the first three, the second game by far had the best plot of the bunch. While the first game provided a clever spin on the classic “Mario saves Peach” plot, the sequel provides a fresh plot featuring new antagonists while keeping Bowser and company as a side role.
Each of the game’s 8 chapters are just brimming with personality and individuality. A chapter that seems short, but has a surprising second half, a chapter that sees Mario become a wrestler and solve a mystery, a chapter that takes place almost entirely on a train (my personal favorite), and so much more! No two chapters are the same, and that is more amazing than words can describe. Best of all, certain NPCs can give even more backstory to the plot, making the player that much more engaged with that world.
Naturally, the game also features many side-quests. You see all kinds of unique side-quests such as twists on battles, hide-and-seek games, and even side stories involving romance!
The soundtrack of this game is amazing. The songs of the overworld all match the tone perfectly. What I really enjoy about the soundtrack is the boss themes, however. Each boss of the game has a theme all to themselves, further adding to the uniqueness of each the games’ memorable bosses. This is not unique to this game, but it’s nice when a game goes the extra mile to make itself unique.
Finally, I must talk about the gameplay! Mario and his party members are on a stage against the enemies. Like in most RPG’s, the players take turns in battle, but there’s a twist! The stage battles play out like stage plays, with an audience. Audience members can throw helpful items to help Mario, or projectiles to hurt him. Appealing to the audience can restore energy, and sometimes even the stage can collapse around the players!
In conclusion, there’s so much of this game to love! It is easily my favorite Nintendo Gamecube game, and this game would be a part of my top 5 games of all time, easily. It truly bugs me that the charm of this game was lost in the two most recent entries in the series, but this game holds up just fine. With luck, maybe players can finally play this game on the upcoming Nintendo Switch. It’s worth every bit of your time.