Just RPG - Reviews, PC and PS2 Walkthroughs, Previews, and RPG News!





HOME

Reviews
Previews
Walkthroughs
Strategy Guides
Articles
Interviews
Editorials
Links
About Us
Past Issues

June 14, 2011
March 22, 2011
Feb. 28, 2011
Dec. 14, 2010
Nov. 23, 2010
Nov. 9, 2010
Oct. 26, 2010
Oct. 6, 2010
Sept. 21, 2010
Sept. 14, 2010
Sept. 7, 2010
Aug. 31, 2010
Aug. 24, 2010
Aug. 17, 2010
Aug. 8, 2010
June 15, 2010
January, 2010
Dec. 21, 2009
Past Issues

Age of Conan: Unchained
Dark Souls
Dreamlords: Resurrection
Final Fantasy IV In-Pack Items
Mount and Blade: With Fire and Sword
League of Legends: Co-op V.S. AI
Final Fantasy IV
Duke Nukem Forever
Divine Souls Open Beta
inSANE
Mass Effect 3 Unveiled
League of Legends: Cassiopeia
League of Legends: Trundle
King Arthur: The Druids
Majesty 2: Monster Kingdom
RIFT Closed Beta
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Magicka
Pandora Saga
DC Universe Online Screenshots
Fallout: New Vegas Add-On Content
League of Legends: Lux
Bloodline Champions: The Nomad
Majesty 2: Battles of Ardania
League of Legends: Battle Training
League of Legends: LeBlanc
Iron Cross
Prinny 2
Crusade Kings 2
Lionehart Kings' Crusade
Borderlands Game of the Year Edition
Castlevania Harmony of Despair DLC
Ys: The Oath in Felghana
Spiderweb Software's Birthday
League of Legends: Swain
Gormiti: Lords of Nature!
Disgaea 4
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow
League of Legends: Magma Chamber
League of Legends: Sona
War of Angels
King of Kings 3: Mage
Legend of Edda
Lionheart:Kings' Crusade
Cladun
Dreamlords
TERA
League of Legends
Silkroad Online Battle Arena
Grand Chase Thunder Hammer
Aika Global
The Shadow Sun
Saw ll: Flesh and Blood
TERA
Neverwinter
League of Legends
Castlevania Harmony of Despair
Smash Your Food
I SPY Spooky Mansion
Hexyz Force
World of Tanks
League of Legends
Mass Effect 2
DOFUS 2.0
DOFUS Screens
FFXIII Box
Puzzle Chron.
Gyromancer
Warhammer OL
Star Trek OL
Lost Saga Scr
Marvel DLC
League Legends
Poxnora
Demon's Souls
League Legends
League Beta
Fort Zombie
Arc Rise Fantasia
Arc Rise Screens
Mimana Iyar
League Screens
Marvel DLC
Free Realms
Adventures To Go
Fusion PR Group
Demon's Souls
AdventureQuest
Witch's Tale
League Legends
Half-Minute Scr
Half-Minute
Freaky Scr.
Valhalla
Dragon Quest
Vandal Hearts
Mytheon
Risen
Gemini Lost
Freaky
Gyromancer
FF Crystal
Dragon Quest
Star Trek OL
Fort Zombie
Disgaea 2
FF Crystal
Champions OL
Wizard of Oz
Star Ocean
League Legends
Valhalla Scr.
Dragon Age
Marvel Ultimate
Risen Website
League Legends
Adventurequest
Final Fantasy
Agarest War
Agarest War Scr.
Demon's Souls
SMT: Persona
Pangya
Dragon Age
Warhammer
Mana Khemia 2
Runes of Magic
Cursed Mtn.
Cursed Mtn. Scr.
Freaky Creature
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Aion Goes Gold
Free Realms
Wizards Exec
Freaky Creature
Arma II
Champions
Aion CG Movie
Marvel Ultimate
FFIV Dev Diary
Steambot Chron.
League Legends
Phantom Brave
Runes of Magic
Champions
Champions Vid.
League Legends
League Trailer
Risen Screens
Freaky Creature
Star Treak DAC
Phantom Brave
Demon's Souls
Geneforge
The Witcher
Free Realms
Runes of Magic
Demon's Souls
Aion Screens
Fallout 3 DLC
Marvel Ultimate
PuchiPuchi Virus
League Legends
Fallout 3 DLC
Mytheon
Wizard of Oz
Oz Screens
Marvel Ultimate
La Tale
Asda Story
Avernum 6
Battle Fantasia
League Legends
Adventurequest
Warpforce
New Nintendo
Aion
FF Crystal Chron.
Mind Twist
Little King's
Stan Lee, Marvel
Elf Island
Ether Saga
Wizard101
Demon's Souls
League Legends
FFXI Trailer
Champions Online
Free Realms
Aion Preorder
BioShock/Elder
Silkroad Online
Warpforce
Warpforce Scr.
Runes Screens
Runes of Magic
League Legends
Marvel Ultimate
FF XIV
Knights
Asda Story
Champions
League Legends
Runes of Magic
FF XIV Online
Time of Shadows
Kingdom Hearts
FF IV
Demon's Souls
Lunar
League Release
League Trailer
Cross Edge
Runes of Magic
Phantom Brave
Crimson Gem
DC Universe
Freaky
SMT Devil
Steal Princess
Steal Screens
Wizard101
SMT Devil
Runes of Magic
Warrior Epic
Fallout 3 DLC
League Legends
League Screens
Bounty Bay
Bounty Bay Scr.
Ragnarok Scr.
Ragnarok Online
Runes of Magic
Time of Shadows
Time Scr.
Steambot Chron.
Adventures
Adventures Scr.
Warrior Epic
Sacred 2 Ships
Disgaea 2
Last Rebellion
Mana Khemia 2
Sakura Wars
Witch's Tale
Runes of Magic
Runes Screens
Class of Heroes
Sacred Trailer
Valhalla Knights
Wizard101 Gift
Freaky Creatures
Playboy Manager
Blizzcon 2009
Champions
Little King
League Legends
Wizard101
Wizard101 Scr.
Neverwinter
Warrior Epic Beta
Elder Scrolls
Warrio Epic Beta
Sacred 2
Utopia Kingdoms
Wizard101
Tweet in Games
Star Trek D-A-C
Champions
Champions Vid.
DragonSky Scr.
DragonSky
Free Realms
Free Realms Scr.
FFXI Vana'diel
DC Universe
Warrior Epic Scr.

 





Developer:
Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Gamecube
Release Date: Oct. 11, 2004

by Ryan Summerlin




Does anyone remember Super Mario RPG for the SNES? I probably won’t get a resounding “Yeah!” from the general gaming populace. But Mario’s RPG adventures have always been some of the pudgy plumber’s most memorable moments. His latest quest on the Gamecube features Mario returning to the paper form he took in the original Paper Mario for the N64 to solve the millennium-old secret of what’s come to be known as The Thousand-Year Door.


The game begins with Princess Peach on vacation in the rather unseemly town of Rogueport, which, as the name suggests, is home to all manner of thieves, mugs, and shady-types. While there, she comes into the possession of a magical treasure map. Excited about finding treasure, she mails the map to Mario and asks him to come help her find it. When Mario arrives in Rogueport, Peach is nowhere to be seen. As usual, it’ll be up to Mario to find Peach; with the magic map, the power of the Crystal Stars, and the help of some newfound allies.


When you pick up this game for the first time, the first thing that will strike you is the graphic style; Mario and other characters will be paper-flat in a 3D world, like cardboard stand-ups from a pop-up book. Actually, the fixed camera angles and subtle papery references, like the visible “micro-dots” on decaying walls and the ability to walk across background scenery in some places, make the entire game look and feel like a playable pop-up book. If it sounds “childish” (or dare I say, “kiddie”), fear not, Mario and the scores of characters he meets all feel 3D despite being composed of two-dimensional figures, much like a well-drawn cartoon.


The story unfolds itself (literally) very naturally. The main quest is divided up into 8 chapters, with each chapter concluding with Mario collecting one of the seven Crystal Stars. It’s linear, but PM:TTYD has ways of encouraging you to revisit locations you’ve previously run through, especially during some of the side quests. Each chapter exudes a certain theme: conspiracy, deception, young romance, Sherlock Holmes-style mystery, just to name a few. These themes definitely give the game a more grown-up feel than most of Mario’s prior adventures, stuff that might go right over the heads of younger gamers despite the bright graphics and the game’s “E” rating. Parents need not fear, it’s all in good taste, and there are comic failsafes in place to keep you from taking the story too seriously.


In the overworld, you’ll jump across gaps, bust bricks, and push ever further towards the far-right of the screen, just as Mario always has. Your partners, whose abilities are activated with the X button, will also play a big part in how you explore the world. Early in the game you’ll pick up the college student Goombella, who will share her wisdom and give you hints on what to do in certain rooms. Later you’ll meet Koops the Koopa, who shoots his shell like a boomerang to reach distant items and flip switches. You’ll meet nearly a dozen partners throughout the game with their own special abilities, and you’ll have to use them all to solve puzzles in some of the game’s later dungeons. Of course, your partners will also be powerful allies in battle, each using various combos and techniques that can be very effective against certain types of enemies.


Battles are initiated when overworld enemies make contact with you (whether that contact is deliberate or otherwise), which is nothing especially new to RPGs. However, the battle system itself is one of the most innovative I’ve seen in any RPG in recent memory. Gone are many of the technicalities that make some other RPGs a left-brained exercise, such as mile-long stat sheets, complex element systems, and the like. The stat numbers are kept low throughout the game; initially you’ll be pecking enemies that have 4 HP with attacks that do about 1 or 2 points of damage. It’s far from over-simplistic, but it’s refreshingly simple. But what PM:TTYD takes away, it more than makes up for with new innovations.


Your turn-based battles take place on a stage with an audience that cheers you on. Mario and his partner’s moves are all chosen from a menu, then executed with certain button combos. If your timing is perfect, the attack will do maximum damage, but if it’s a little off, your attack might flop and do little or no damage at all. Also, the audience plays an active role in your battles. Fans of yours might toss you an occasional Mushroom or another helpful item, while troublemakers will toss rocks and empty cans at you. When you see such a rebel-rouser about to strike, you can press X to jump off the stage and kick the jerk out of the arena. And sometimes completely random things will happen, stage equipment failures will send backdrops and stage lights falling your way, but if you’re quick on the A button, you might manage to guard against it. These factors make the game a much more lively experience than if the game were simply waiting for your next command. It keeps you on your toes and from losing focus while you’re trying to decide what move to use next.


Also at your disposal are Special Moves powered by a combination of the Crystal Stars you’ve gathered and how much praise the audience has given you. Whenever you pull off a move successfully you’ll earn a bit of Star Power from the audience. You can also use your turn to appeal to the audience and earn a lot of applause. Perhaps the best way to earn SP is by pulling off what the game calls Stylish moves, which are simply presses of the A button at the right times during an attack. The crowd will go nuts and fill up your SP meter a lot faster. Once you have enough Star Power you can unleash Special Moves that have all kinds of effects, such as refilling your HP and FP (Flower Points, needed to perform Mario’s more powerful moves), rocking the stage with a massive earthquake, and my favorite, a near-end-of-the-game treat that lets you wipe out entire platoons of weak enemies with one shot.


Addictive battle system aside, PM:TTYD has more than it’s share of memorable and colorful characters, such as the rich French capitan Flavio, the indelible wrestling champ Rawk Hawk (whose nobody’s chicken, by the way), and the Holmes-reading penguin detective Pennington, just to name a few. Even the boss Koopa himself, Bowser, appears between chapters of your main quest in some very amusing mini-levels that lovingly mock the original Super Mario Bros., but have Bowser stomping around with his bad self instead. Pure bliss, baby. What really stands out to me is the dialogue, which is some of the most clever, most flavorful writing I have yet to see in ANY video game, period. Spotty writing can dampen even the finest RPG plotlines, but PM:TTYD definitely has it where it counts.


Emotional, delightful, amazing. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a work of art no Mario fan will want to miss.


Final Grade: 95%



The official PM:TTYD website is www.papermario.com.




All materials © 2000-2010 Just RPG
RPG Network: Free MMORPG | RPG Music