Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door Review

I wanted to wait until I had finished the game before writing my Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door review. I originally played this on the Game Cube back in 2004, but I never finished the game and to be honest with you, I did not give it the attention it deserved and I ended up getting rid of the game…. Way before it skyrocketed in price. I already reviewed Super Mario RPG and I talked about how much I loved that game, well I can tell you upfront, that I also love Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door.

While I may not have put a ton of time into the original game, I have played most of the Mario & Luigi RPGs and the other Paper Mario games, most recently, Paper Mario The Origami King and I have liked the majority of them. However, like Super Mario RPG, my expectations for this Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door remake were sky high as for many people this is not only the best Paper Mario game, there are many who say that this is one of the greatest RPGs of all time.

Let me start by saying that after the first couple of hours, I was not sure this game was for me! If you are a die-hard fan of this game, you are probably spitting out whatever it is you are drinking, but hear me out. I think that Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door starts off really slow. The story is very slow-paced at the start and while the idea of Mario looking for the treasure and also trying to save Peach is great. I found the opening couple of hours to be a bit of a chore if I am being brutally honest. There were little bits of charm and whimsy here and there, but for the most part, the opening section in terms of the story and being forced to fight the same enemies over and over again dragged.

However, as I said, there were little bits of charm and whimsy poking through and this was what kept me playing. From getting new abilities in the form of a curse to meeting Goombella and Koops. I could tell that there was certainly something here and I am happy to say that after that first big boss fight with the dragon, Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door kicked into high gear and I was smiling and laughing most of the time I was playing the game. I loved the wrestling part as I am a huge wrestling fan, this was probably my favorite part of the game, but I could see why if you were not a huge wrestling fan, this may be where the game dragged for you.

I liked exploring and once the enemy variety started to get better, I found myself liking the turn based combat. It is not just about picking what you will do or what item you will use. Your attacks also have a bit of skill tied to them from having to press A just at the right time to either get an extra hit or do a parry attack. To having to move the analog stick at just the right time to ensure your attack hits. There is far more strategy and interactivity to the gameplay in the combat here than you may be expecting. I loved this, it really did make the battles feel engaging. Plus, you are on a stage and you at certain times have to deal with people in the audience, both good and bad!

When it comes to the visuals, Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door is just so nice to look at. I get that paper craft is the whole point of this series, but it is insane just how much like actual paper and carboard they managed to make this world look. The characters all have a ton of personality and I found myself wanting to actually seek out the little treasures so that I could see the concept art. I do wish that they gave the game some voice acting though. I get not having Mario talk, but I think some fun voice acting here would have really gone a long way to add even more whimsy to the game.

If you are already a fan of Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door you are probably so happy that so many new players are getting to see why you hold this game in such high esteem. I talked about in my Super Mario RPG review how that game lived up to the hype and I feel that this game also does. There may not be many huge releases on the Switch from Nintendo this year, but Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door is certainly at the top of that list.

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