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 Paper mario review

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paTrick
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PostSubject: Paper mario N64 review   Sun Apr 11, 2010 4:58 pm

(This is a very old review from my old gamefaqs account)

I've always been a huge Nintendo fan, ever since the days of playing Mario games on the NES and SNES. My parents never let me own a console myself until the GameCube was halfway through its life. Out of all the consoles I've ever played, my favourite has definitely been the Nintendo 64. It had superior games such as Mario 64, Zelda: Ocarina of Time and many more, and to this day I still discover great games emerging from the system.

I purchased a copy of Paper Mario over the Wii Virtual Console, as a cartridge can cost up to $40 on eBay. I was a bit apprehensive at first, seeing as I had never played it before and could have just wasted $10 worth of Wii Points. After the first few hours of playing the game, I found that I could never have been more wrong in my life. Even if I did pay the $40 for the cartridge, it would have been money well spent!

Story

The Story in Paper Mario is simple, and a “big picture” kind of game. Basically, Bowser has taken the Star Rod from the 7 Stars of Star Haven, which he uses to send the Castle into the sky and takes Princess Peach with him. It's up to you as Mario to awaken the Stars and return the Rod by defeating Bowser and rescuing the Princess. There is a wide cast of Characters from the Mario series, enemies and allies alike that appear in this game. Some enemies such as Goombas and Koopas will fight along side you and be friendly, while some will be enemies.

As I said before, it's not a “big picture” kind of game. There's absolutely no character development, plot twists or anything that makes an RPG deep. You get the story from the start, and you follow it through to the end. There might be a character or two that appears, but don't expect them to change or reveal great secrets to you. The characters all talk (excepting Mario) and some of them can actually be pretty funny. For example, there's this one side quest where you have to return a tape from one old man to another and when you ask what's on the tape he says “I can't tell you that now”. Dirty old men make everything better!

Gameplay

The Gameplay in Paper Mario is so simple that it's genius. It plays similar to a classic Mario sidescroller, except the overworld has depth to it, meaning you can not only walk left to right but up and down as well. There's still all the ‘?' blocks and enemies walking along the path that you can hit, and jumping on an enemy or touching them begins a battle. The battle system is another example of how simplicity is genius.

If you jump on an enemy instead of touching them, you get a “first strike” which consists of an early hit. Enemies can also get first strikes by rolling into you, flying into you, etc. After the first strike, it's Mario's turn to start and he can use a variety of commands. Using items will allow Mario to heal, and also use items that damage enemies. He can also change party members, or attack. His two types of attacks work in different ways, the Hammer will hit enemies on the ground and can penetrate shells while the Jump hits both flying and enemies on the ground but doesn't penetrate shells.

You have “Heart Points” for health and “Flower Points” for attacks. Basically, getting hit will detract HP from your total and using special moves detracts Flower Points. Using a sidekick's special move detracts FP but if a sidekick takes damage it doesn't make you lose HP, rather the Sidekick gets stunned. This can be a problem sometimes as Mario is the only character to use items and is therefore your healer and also the one who has the most attacks.

After Mario, his sidekick will attack (you can change the order of attack too). You get a number of party members that each have a variety of moves that work in different ways. For example, flying enemies can't be hit by the Koopa party member, but the Goomba sidekick can. They also come with special moves that do a variety of damage, status effects or reveal information about the enemies to you. They can be powered up later in the game for more damage and moves and they're fun to experiment with.

On the overworld, the sidekicks also provide special features that you will have to use to get through obstacles, obtain items and finish the chapter. Each portion of the game is sorted into a “Chapter”, which consists of Mario rescuing a Star in each one. At the end of each Chapter, you get to play as Princess Peach and do some Castle infiltration to find out new secrets about where Mario should go next time. She communicates these messages to him by means of a Star named Twink. I have to say, even though you'll never do battle, playing as Peach was simply awesome. The things she does is mainly sneak around and eavesdrop, although sometimes it gets tossed up and you'll bake cakes or play a quiz game with the guards.

You can also get “Star Moves” which are obtained by rescuing a star, each one gives you one bar of power and a new move. These moves are usually very flashy, effective and lifesavers. The star power slowly regains over time but you also have a move that focuses on it to give you more boost. It takes up a turn however and is annoying to focus it, so only do it if you must.

Another feature is the “Badge” feature. You can equip badges that you find, buy or trade for to learn special attacks, get status boosts or do special things in battle. The amount of badges you can equip depends on another status, “Badge Points”, the more you have the more you can put on as each badge takes up a specific number of points, generally from 1-6 points.

After a battle ends, you get “Star Points”, and when you get 100 you will gain a level, which allows you to boost HP, FP or BP by 5, 5, and 3 respectively. It can take a while to boost these stats up and I wish it would come more often (especially near the start of the game where status is low).

Anyways, each chapter of the game features a new area you must explore. These are pretty much all generic areas but as far as I know haven't be featured in Mario games before (except maybe Dry Dry Desert). You get one of those sidekicks in virtually all of the areas, while this isn't a bad thing but I feel you get sidekicks too often, as in some chapters you can get two or more and don't have time to fully explore them before the time comes to get a new one.

Overall the Gameplay in Paper Mario is addicting, creative, fun and so simple that it is genius. I am currently writing a FAQ/Walkthrough for it and although I have maxed out the footage I am able to record at one time to write for (several hours of it) I brought out a Pen and Paper to take notes as I played just because I seriously wanted to play it because of how good it was.

Graphics

The graphics of Paper Mario are not conventional; they're an artistic achievement! Everyone looks as though they're made of paper and the environments look wonderful. This style of graphics will never get old, in fact if someone came inside and saw me playing it on my Wii with a GameCube controller they'd probably ask if this was a Wii or GameCube game because it's that good. All that could be updated in the game is maybe a few textures and make things a tiny bit less blurry.

Sound

The Sounds aren't bad, you won't get a ton of the classic Mario tunes although you might be treated to one or two here or there. Koji Kondo wasn't around for this one but the composer did a great job in coming up with fitting tunes that won't get annoying to listen to after playing it for many hours.

The effects are great, these are some classic sound effects and as a bonus you can get some badges that if equipped allow you to change your sound effects to different things. It's useless, but fun to hear different sounds (especially if for some reason you're bored). The only improvement I can think of is maybe some more character sound effects (such as if you talk to a Toad they do a small yelp like characters did in Mario Sunshine or Ocarina of Time).

Controls

No complaints here, the controls are flawless. I play with the GameCube controller and they work great, and comparing them to an N64 controller (which the game was designed for) I can see they'd be absolutely fine. I don't own a classic controller so I can't tell what it would be like on that but I've heard a lot of good things about the classic controller so I'll assume it works.

Overall

Overall, if you have a Wii and are able to get to the shop, buy this game. I'm serious, this game will last you longer than Wii Sports and Wii Play put together. For the low price of $10 (as compared to the cartridge price now) is extremely cheap for a lot of fun. Though you may want to hurry up and get a GameCube/Classic Controller NOW because they're being banned from sales due to a lawsuit loss.

You might be surprised that the score of this game is so high, as my review of Super Smash Bros. Brawl was lower than the score of this. But it's true, Paper Mario 64 is an amazing game and Super Smash Bros. Brawl is just average (and extremely overrated).

Story: 17/20
Gameplay: 19/20
Graphics: 20/20
Sound: 19/20
Control: 20/20

(This game is complete different then super paper mario which is my next "SHORT" review and new then this old type)
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PostSubject: Re: Paper mario review   Sun Apr 11, 2010 9:44 pm

I remember Paper Mario... one of my favourites. I never actually owned it (and still don't) though. I would rent it from Movie Gallery SO much. A fun thing about renting N64 games is that there were no memory cards, so I'd always start sonewhere different each time I played. Darnit... I'll have to see if I can find this game somewhere now.

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