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Gaming Evolution
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Gaming Evolution
Gaming Evolution
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Publisher: Nintendo
Genre: Role-Playing
Players: 1
Released: October 11, 2004
Written by: Alex Sohani

Mario is minding his own business at home when a letter comes in the mail. Luigi goes outside to get it and gives the letter to Mario to read. The letter says:

Hello there, Mario!
I am now on holiday, traveling in the Mushroom Kingdom. In my travels, I came into possession of a mystical map...a treasure map, actually. I thought you could help me hunt for it! You will of course, won't you? I'll meet you at Rogueport (That means you MUST come)


Inside of the letter was a map, the very map Peach was talking about. Mario decides to go on this adventure because he "MUST" go, so Mario packs his bags and sets off on yet another adventure. Mario sails to Rogueport in a small boat, and when he arrives, Peach is nowhere to be found. He looks around and meets a Goomba by the name of Goombella who introduces Mario to her mentor, Professor Frankly.

Now when Mario arrives to the Professors house, he learns about a legend of Rogueport. There is said to be a Door beneath the town that contains a mystical treasure behind the door. In order to get the treasure though, whoever is the holder of the map must go to the Thousand Year Door beneath the town and get their map marked with the location of the next crystal star.

With this knowledge, Mario sets off on another adventure, looking for Peach along the way....
The Plot in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door leaves you hanging with a suspenseful element. You want to keep playing so you can know more and more, which is what most Rpgs do. The plot is definitely a plot worth buying the game for, with several plot twists, and hilarious action.

Mario talks to his new friends Professor Frankly in the town of Rogueport.

The plot in this game can compared to many Rpgs. It definitely compares to the original Paper Mario, because both apply tons of humor into their plots. Also, Mario is posed with a problem to find the princess, which is typical in many Rpg games. Although the plot seems very typical, plot twists are everywhere, and new suspense elements are added at every corner.

Overall, the plot for the game is one you won’t be forgetting soon. With awesome plot twists, tons of suspense, and plenty of humor, the plot for Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is outstanding compared to many other Rpgs.

Personal Opinion:
Well I absolutely LOVED this plot. It kept me playing for hours on end, even while my cousin was over (and boy oh boy he was bored of me playing for 13 hours straight in front of him =P) anyway, the plot is sure to get you Rpg lovers out there hooked, and this games plot definitely is up there with other plots from some of the greatest Rpgs!

This game has some excellent gameplay making it very basic while still satisfying everyone’s fun factor! It has very basic controls, just a little bit different for in and out of battle.

Out of Battle Controls:
A Button- Jump
B- Button- Use Hammer
Z- Button- Show Menu with HP/FP/Star Power, etc.
Y-Button- Use it while on special panels to transform into airplane/boat
X-Button- Use your partners special abilities
R-Button- Use to make yourself super thin to fit through small crevices (R-button along with spinning the control stick allows another power)
Control Stick- Use this to move around the screen
Start Button- Use this to get into the Pause Menu

Battle Controls:
Control Stick- Use this to go through the menus/ Use to issue Action Commands (more on that later)
A- Button- Use this to pick your action/Use to issue Action Commands (more on that later)/ Use to defend yourself from attacks/ Use to get Style Points
B- Button- Go back to a previous Menu/ Use to issue Action Commands (more on that later)/ Use to block an attack and use the attack against an enemy
R- Button/L-Button- Use to issue Action Commands (more on that later)

If you have played Paper Mario (the original one), this game will feel very comfortable to you! It is practically the same battle system with a few new elements! The Attacks you get are the original Jump and Hammer attack from the first Paper Mario. These attacks are both very important depending on which enemy you fight! If it is an airborne enemy for instance, you will most likely have to jump (there are some exceptions), but if there is an enemy with spikes on it’s head, you will have to use your hammer on it. Things like the make the game more challenging and fun!

You also get action commands in this game which allow you to add more power into you attacks whether it be a more powerful hammer attack, or a double jump. Also there are badges in this game, which allow you to use better attacks for some FP (Flower Points) in most cases. The only flaws to this are that badges require FP to be used, and BP (Badge Points) are used for almost every badge (there are some cool ones like the sound effects badges that require no BP)

Now with BP, there have to be badges you can get correct? So you need to be able to find them or buy them. They can be located on various parts of the world, either hidden, or in red boxes. Also, if you want to buy these badges, you can buy them in several ways. One way is to use coins in shops in Rogueport. One is an actual shop where badges are displayed on sale, and you can take your pick from any badge, and another shop is a merchant who sells exotic badges you don’t really need, but are still fun to have. Another method of getting badges is by finding star pieces, which are scattered across the land. You can use these star pieces to trade for badges with one specific person underground. This is an awesome way to get badges, and save your money for important items. The last way is to go to a casino like place where you can play games for tokens called Piantas, and trade in your Piantas for badges.

Bowser gets his share of fun in the game, going through Super Mario Bros. based courses!

Now speaking of the elements in the game, FP, BP and HP, there is a very well known method to leveling up from the Original game Paper Mario. Star Points are given to you after every battle, and once you reach a total of 100 Star Points, you will level up! This leveling up allows you to raise one of 3 different elements. You can either raise up your HP by 5 points, you FP by 5 points, or your BP by 3 points. All 3 are useful, which is why much leveling up is needed in this game. Also the more levels you rise, the bigger another element becomes…Mario’s audience!

Now as for this audience of yours, It starts out pretty small with a maximum of 50 people, but the more you level up, the bigger it gets, and it can expand to over 100 people (much more then that by the way)! Now the audience is a major factor in this game, because you can get good input from your audience, and bad input. Good input for instance is when you appeal your audience to give you more Star Power (You get these powers when you find Crystal Stars), or when a member of the audience throws you a good item (this occurs when you perform well). Now bad input can happen if you get hit multiple times, and an audience member throws things at you to harm you, like rocks for instance which damage you. You have to go out in the audience and stop people from throwing bad things at you, but don't hurt the people who are trying to help you! Also to appeal your audience, you have to do special attacks. You can either do an action command correctly, or even take a challenging approach doing a stylish command so your audience likes you even more!

Also with an audience, you have to have a stage! With the new stage battle approach, many environments are shown behind you as you battle, which can be a bad thing sometimes, especially when the set falls on you! Also sometimes the stage starts falling apart on you hitting you or your enemies with random stuff, it is all luck! The background can range anywhere from a peaceful plain to the inside of a sunken ship! It all depends on where your location is! Also, while things are falling on you from above, good things may happen to you! Things like Mario getting electrified so enemies aren’t able to directly touch him, or A mist filling up the stage so it is harder to be hit is always a big plus.

Now as for partners, Mario can have a buddy fight his battles with him, as well as help him do certain tasks in dungeons, etc. They help you out in battle by doing attacks to help Mario, or even do things like defend him! When you are walking about and not battling though, there are special things they can do, for instance, Goombella who gives you details about your surroundings, or Koops who goes into his shell and can hit far away switches that Mario can’t reach.

When you collect Shine Sprites, which are scattered across the world, you can potentially give your partners an extra attack in battle, as well as raising up his/her HP. All you have to do is trade in 3 Shine Sprites to pump up your partner’s skills, and BOOM! Your partner has more HP, and an entirely new attack! Also, if you want to keep up with the enemies which constantly get harder and harder, you have to pump up your partners!

Now back to the normal gameplay in the game, Mario isn't the only one in the spotlight, Peach and Bowser get their share of playing time as well. Peach has to walk around in an area where she was kidnapped to do various little minigames/quests, but no battling. She does various things like dance, and even bathe! (Yes that’s right, there is a shower in there for some apparent reason O_o) She has her share of fun while she is kidnapped.

As for Bowser, he decides to take on the "Old School" approach to Mario games going through courses that look like areas from the original Super Mario Bros. This fire breathing koopa blasts fire at his enemies showing no mercy! Although it takes on the new approach, Bowser turns huge by eating meat, and breaths fire to destroy his enemies.

Anyway, as for side quests in the game, there are many you can do. There is a place in Rogueport called the Trouble Center where you can accepts people’s troubles, and you can get certain things from helping a person out, such as coins or rare items. There are tons of these quests you can take on ranging from hitting someone with your hammer, to finding an exotic badge or item somewhere in the world! This provides many more hours to the game for you to have some major fun with!

Also this game can be very difficult at times. It has quests where you must to things like find a contact lens for instance for someone. You have to use a lot of brain power in this game, making you think of previous places you have gone, and where you need to go, and why. Also, a lot of this thinking is used on specific enemies, like knowing when to block, what the enemy’s attacks are, and the enemy’s stats.

As for the difficulty of enemies, they can be anywhere from super simple, to mind blowingly hard! When you start out the game, simple enemies will attack you, and you can easily kill them in a few shot. But once you reach a boss, or even enemies later on in the game, there may be hoards of enemies that take several shots to kill. This definitely makes you rack up on experience and level up otherwise you are doomed!

Overall, the gameplay in this game is very unique, and it is unable to be compared to many other Rpg games, except for the Mario Rpgs of course. If you want a game packed with tons of features, plenty of side quests, and tons of awesome action, then you are sure to love Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door’s gameplay!

Personal Opinion:
I find the gameplay in this game to be unique, especially with a whole new twist to Rpgs, adding outside elements like the audience and the set into the battle. Also, I like the partner system, where the partner is actually walking with you instead of only appearing when there is a battle. Then you can have your partner do things outside of battle too! The gameplay is unique and rich, giving a whole new twist to Rpgs, unlike we have seen on the GCN!

Although the graphics may not seem like much at first sight, these graphics match the wacky game perfectly. Although the concept of a world made from Paper may seem a bit childish, this games graphics are nice and consistent mixing together the wonderful 2-D worlds that everyone used to know with the awesome 3-D gameplay that is widely accepted and loved today, and although it may seem that graphics would be a bit loony it works perfectly.

Mario goes and talks with a new species in the game called the Punies.

The graphics from this game really can’t compare with any game besides its predecessor Paper Mario. Its graphics are completely unique, blending in colorful environments into the 2-D/3-D world. Also, animations in the game are great, whether it be Mario falling asleep in a conversation with Luigi, or Mario whacking an enemy with his hammer, it all flows nicely for a much more enjoyable experience.

Also, these animations especially look awesome with Mario's special "curses" he gets in the game which allow him to do things like fold into a paper airplane, or turn to his side so he can fit through small gaps like between fences. They actually combine Mario’s paper like self, and show a 3-D motion of him folding or turning, which definitely looks cool!

Overall, Paper Mario had extraordinary graphics! It combined colorful, unique 2-D backgrounds with a 3-D environment. Also with awesome animations and cool cartoony style, these graphics are some you will be craving for after a while!

Personal Opinion:
When it comes to graphics, I really don’t have a super preference for the style of the game, but Paper Mario definitely appealed to my eye when I saw it on the shelf of the store. Also, my cousin who likes totally realistic games fell in love with the graphics! When I was playing he would say things like, “Whoa Mario folding looks so cool!” This goes to show everyone that you should never look at a game just for its graphics.

Ah yes, sound. It is a big factor in this game, making the game more enjoyable. Whether the sound is the shuffling of Goombella's feet, or Mario smacking his hammer, they all have different sounds. This shows this game has excellent sound quality.

Mario has some awesome effects while battling the Paragoombas.

Also the Music in the game is lots of fun! It has a different style of music in every course, which matches the environment you are in. For instance if you are in a beautiful plain, in a peaceful town, the music would be a very happy style of music, but If you are on an abandoned isle in a mysterious cave, the music is very different. It would be a sulkier theme. And as for battling, the music is a high paced song, which makes you feel like you are in action. It all depends on what you are doing in the game.

This music is the kind of loony music you would expect to hear in a cartoon. It really compares to the first Paper Mario, especially with the theme that you always hear after the battle, and it is quite catchy. Just because the music is cartoon like doesn’t necessarily make it bad. There are many styles that are constantly changing, so you have fun listening wherever you go!

To sum this all up, music in this game helps emphasize the feeling of the game. If you are into many different styles of music, then this music will please you. If you really don't like music that isn't hard rock then it really won't appeal to you. Although this music isn't the greatest around, it fits the game very well.

Personal Opinion:
Well, because I am a musician of all kinds, I really don’t have a super preference towards music. All different kinds of music can be difficult ranging from various styles. So I was open minded to the Paper Mario music. I must admit though, I would give it a bit of a higher rating, but so I am not totally biased, I will keep it at this rating. So basically, I am saying the music was AWESOME! It was great music, and I enjoyed hearing the theme after every battle*starts humming*

Paper Mario’s replay value is EXCELLENT! You will go through trying to play the game several times, if you really enjoy the game, but on the other hand if it was ok, you may play it once or twice more. It has many features that make you want to go back and give Paper Mario another try. For instance, you can try to get every recipe in the game, or you can go through the Pit of 100 trials! These all add much more to the game, and keep you playing for much longer!

Also, things like finding every star piece, and shine sprite may keep you coming back, although it would take a VERY long time to do, which is even better! The replay value includes many side quests, which can span to be almost as long as the actual game!

As you can see, the humor in this game will keep you coming back to play more and more!

Overall, the replay value is great in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. It is a game that is hard to put down, and that you can always just pick up and play for hours on end! You won’t be putting the game down once you pick it up, so be warned!

Personal Opinion:
Well I have played this game for about a total of 45 hours, and I am still not bored, and I am definitely not done with EVERYTHING! This game has so much content that it is unbelievable! Everywhere you turn there is a new secret to find and you never no what to expect! It is a whole other reason to play this game several times!

Well to sum all of this review up, this game is definitely a top quality game on the GCN. If you are looking for a great RPG on the Game cube, look no longer! This game is definitely the game you are looking for! Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door is on the Top of many gamer’s lists, as well as one of the highest ranked games for the Game cube! This humorous game is one you won't be forgetting, and be assured; you won't get tired of it! Now for the Pros and Cons of the game:

- 25+ hours of solid gameplay on this game
-Plenty of Puzzles for you to try to figure out
-Bundles of side quests for you to do
-Humor for any age group
-Easy to learn battle system
-Learning curve for the game usually takes less than an hours (from what I have seen and read)
-Long storyline to keep you playing more and more
-A lot of detail put into all of the aspects of the game.

-The long dialogue may bore some people who don't like to read a lot of dialogue
-Gamers who like to figure things out on their own may not like all of the explanation they give you in the game
-Cartoony graphics may not appeal to some
-Lots of battling may get annoying to some people
-Puzzles are so hard they might get you frustrated! (Nah, I'm kidding =P unless there are some people who don't like a little challenge)

Personally in my opinion, none of these cons really focus on all gamers though which is a good thing!

Overall, this game has many good qualities, but like other games there are its flaws, so never expect perfection. There are many factors I may not have covered here that can be mentioned, so there is always room for improvement. Although I may not have noticed these factors, that’s why I will keep playing the game and try to figure them out!


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