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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  opened by paleface at 17:46:28 07/17/05  
  last modified by paleface at 02:44:40 07/19/05  
  paleface [sys=GC; cat=Role_Playing; loc=NA]
I don't like this game. I haven't finished it; every time I think about finishing it, I cringe, so I'm just going to give up on it.
I never played the first Paper Mario, but I gather this one is a lot like the first. To me, it fails as an RPG.
  paleface 02:36:32 07/19/05
For one thing, usually in an RPG you expect an epic story, with characters who develop--you know, go through struggles and emerge mentally stronger for them--on the way. Here, you've got...Mario. And that ponce Luigi, and the various "wacky" goomba friends they meet along the way. Mario is not going to develop as a character. Let's face it: Mario and pals are about the most two-dimensional (that's a pun, you see, but also not) characters around. They should never have gained the power of speech. They are meant to hop through fun and fast platformers with superlative control and spritey graphics. They should not be trying to engage in conversations.
I don't like the timing-based battle system. It's not that I don't like timing-based battle systems in my RPGs--I liked the timer thingy in Shadow Hearts (entry 753) for instance--but you really have to do them ad-nauseum here, over and over with each character each round, and often multiple times per a single character's attack. This ends up becoming a little too nerve-wracking for my RPG tastes.
The dependence on items also worries me. Doing the larger, more powerful moves takes a lot of juice (so to speak), and you need plenty of items to supply that. You don't really get that many just going through areas once, so you'll probably end up having to farm for items, I guess--either that, or subsist on lame attacks, which is what I tend to do. I do it because I don't want to farm, but it makes me feel like the game is tending to direct me into a sub-par experience. Bleh, I'm weak.
You can take Mario and just one partner into battle. You can switch mid-battle, but this takes a precious turn at least. Again, I always have the feeling that my partner isn't quite the right one, and I'm sort of stuck with them for the battle's duration unless I want to give up a turn.
I don't like the little puzzles--there are a lot of them. And you'll constantly be shown entrances to areas that you can't access yet, and you know that you'll have to get some kind of item or key or power and come back to them later. I really hate this kind of backtracking, and foreshadowing it doesn't make me like it more.
The game is plenty cute. I can appreciate the paper-thin graphic style and all that, especially when they just go nuts with huge multitudes of sprites. But it's all more light and whimsical than I like my RPGs.
Well, that's not quite true; Rhapsody is light and whimsical, for instance (see entry 735), but I really loved it. But then again, that game had character development, and an appealing lead character.
It all comes down to Mario, I suspect. I hate him now. If they had made this game just a 2D-ish platformer, like an evolved version of Super Mario Bros, I would have loved it all to pieces. But I just can't take Mario talking. No, no.
  paleface 02:38:15 07/19/05
Oh, yeah: I find the contemporary slanging here really irksome. The characters constantly spout clever little phrases ripped from, I don't know, today's teen magazines or something, and while amusing at first, it just gets sad, eventually.
  paleface 02:40:49 07/19/05
Download added: bowser2.gif (96889 bytes)
  "Damn you Nintendo! Damn you for teasing me."
I hate Nintendo fan-service, and clever self-references to their golden days. Self-parody is a sure sign of artistic decay, and they've got it in spades here.

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