Virtue's Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Review
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
Audio less fitting to the game than the original
Suffers from excessive dialogue at times
Direct sequels are for the most part, a rare sighting when it comes to Mario RPG's. Often seen as games that hold their own, change is a common occurrence in Mario games, until 2004 came along. Paper Mario 64 introduced a new perspective into the plumber's wide array of mishaps and adventures by combining a 2D world with 3D graphics, not to mention the return of turn based combat. This clever blend of game mechanics created one of the most charming games not just for the Mario series, but a must own for any Nintendo fan out there. The Thousand Year Door continues on its predecessor's past success and introduces new mechanics that make it arguably better than the original. New enemies, partners, and citizens are abundant in this game, all while preserving the same clever dialogue found within Paper Mario 64. This time around, “paper” becomes the new focal point, as Mario can transform himself into boats, planes, and bend his way onto platforms and rails. In a surprising twist, The Thousand Year Door introduces elements that make this sequel a true contender to its primary source.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door picks off in a rather unusual setting; Mario on a boat destined for a troubled town that seems to be in need of some renovation (We will get to Rogueport in a later section). Mario boards off the hybrid 2D/3D boat and lands at port, where controversy is already underway. No, this isn’t Bowser’s doing, but a new awkward looking character and his group of X-Nauts, a secret organization that will become an imposing threat as the game progresses. Once these unidentified minions are defeated, we’re introduced to the main plot very quickly, or so we think. Mario must collect seven crystal stars scattered throughout various lands, ranging from a lavish fighting resort to a town that appears to be without hope or sunlight. These crystal stars will unlock The Thousand Year Door, an imposing chamber door that seems to rely on rumor and fear to get the point across. As Mario progresses through these lands, the plot will become clear and far more threatening very quickly. As one expected, Peach is a focal point throughout the game, but for what purpose? Why are the X-Nauts so concerned with keeping her in such a desolate location? All of these answers will have to be discovered on your own. This is just one of the many reasons why Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is such a quality RPG. The suspenseful plot manages to create a sense of surprise and urgency that even that original cannot match. Just when you think you’ve found out what’s behind the ancient door, you actually couldn’t be more incorrect. The plot is multi-layered, which means you’ll be fighting an abundance of enemies, each with their own personal vendetta against Mario. The story line resembles that of a puzzle piece, as every crystal star leads to more information, sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse. Thankfully, you won’t be alone when dealing with the plot’s unexpected twists and turns. The puzzling Professor Frankly and the other citizens of Rogueport will play a key role in uncovering the enigma that is the Thousand Year Door. This time, nearly every character has purpose, which adds even more depth to a game already packed with side quests and anecdotal characters. The plot is easily the highlight of this fantastic sequel, leaving any gamer in suspense on what events will unfold next.