On a previous RetroNight, we took a look back at the ever popular Paper Mario, which set a very well liked series in motion. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is widely considered to be the best title in the series, because it truly expanded on the mechanics of the first game.
For starters, combat had a few more interesting commands added, such as the ability to do stylish commands which would result in a gain of star power.
Outside of mechanics, the separate areas in this game were far more interesting than that of the first title. From the haunted Twilight Town and its pig plague and weird spells, to the action packed Glitz Pit and its disappearing fighter conspiracy, to the Excess Express and its murder mysteries, this game has it all.
Unfortunately, of the Paper Mario titles, it’s the most difficult to get your hands on today. GameCube games aren’t on any virtual console, but still if there’s a way to play this game it’s a must. The humor tops everything that a Mario game has ever tried to do, with some of the most unique and well defined NPC in an RPG. Top that off with characteristic and expressive villains, and there’s something for everyone.
The villains are perhaps the most interesting part of this game, as they’re all working towards this large over-arching goal, but a lot of secrets are scattered throughout. The role of each character, including Mario and Peach, is very different from previous titles.
The way this game is structured goes on an overworld, dungeon, boss battle, and repeat. Yet thanks to the design of each area, it doesn’t often feel that way. Sometimes it shakes up the formula to combine dungeon and overworld, or even on rare occasions, swaps the order of each.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a classic masterpiece, and yet another example of how GameCube was a prime era for game design.