Video Game Review: Paper Mario

Details: Originally released for the Nintendo 64 in 2000. It was subsequently released on the Wii U Virtual Console. Beat the game in about twenty-two hours. Official site in the UK is https://www.nintendo.co.uk/Games/Nintendo-64/Paper-Mario-269624.html#media_player_overlay_1016559

Score: 6.4/10

Many of Nintendo’s games can be considered classics that withstand the test of time. Paper Mario is not one of those games. It isn’t a bad game, it’s just that the visuals and gameplay are dated and kind of boring.

The story is the same as almost every Mario story. Princess Peach is having a party when Bowser kidnaps her using the power of the Star Rod. Mario must now rescue the seven Star elders in order to obtain a power that can defeat the Star Rod and save Princess Peach.

I almost quit the game about three hours into it. Those first few hours are just so boring. The game does pick up as your progress, but not by that much. It’s just not that great of a story, which is terrible because role playing games like this rely mostly on their story.

Since this is the predecessor for Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, obviously the gameplay is going to be similar. Unfortunately for me, I played Thousand Year Door before I played this game, so everything seemed backwards and outdated to me.

Basically, you walk around an over-world where enemies patrol. Running into an enemy causes combat to start. Combat consists of a turn based battle system where you get to control Mario and a party member versus the enemies. Your party member doesn’t have a health bar. Most attack are directed at you and if your party member takes any damage, they are out of commission for a few turns.

It’s a really simple system with no items to equip or basic role playing game stats to worry about. The main distinguishing aspects of combat in Paper Mario are the use of badges which grant abilities and the on screen prompts that occur during combat. As you level, you get the option to increase your health points, your flower points (needed to cast spells during battle) or your badge points (for the badges). Most attacks during battle require timed button presses, mashing a button, or hitting a correct combination of buttons. There’s some small quick time action needed for everything. It’s meant to keep combat interesting, but it was a little annoying to me.

The visuals are obviously old. The game came out at the turn of the century. The 2D “paper” art style can only do so much.

Music is okay.

Overall, this game was tough to get through. I can imagine how amazing it was when it first came out. However, compared to more recent role playing games, this game was a chore.

Score: 6.4/10

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