Paper Mario

Nintendo 64
User Score
9.2

Universal acclaim- based on 297 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 10 out of 297
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  1. May 22, 2012
    7
    This is one of the few (or maybe the only) RPG for N64. As RPG is very simple in its mechanics which I don't like. Some degree of complexity is always welcome in this kind of games. On the other side, I like the artistic style and the localizations. Maybe the only problem is that it could be completed in 10 or 20 hours (can't remember very well, sorry), which is very short for a RPG game.This is one of the few (or maybe the only) RPG for N64. As RPG is very simple in its mechanics which I don't like. Some degree of complexity is always welcome in this kind of games. On the other side, I like the artistic style and the localizations. Maybe the only problem is that it could be completed in 10 or 20 hours (can't remember very well, sorry), which is very short for a RPG game. This game is in the middle of the genre, not the best but not the worst certainly. Expand
  2. Aug 12, 2012
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I grew up with Super Mario RPG on this SNES, and had wanted to play Paper Mario back when it was still Super Mario RPG 2 in development. So when I bought a Wii, this was the first game I downloaded. Did I enjoy the game? Yes and no.

    Starting with the good points. - There is a LOT to see and do in the game, and since most of the backtracking can be avoided it doesn't get old quickly, which I can really appreciate.
    - The character and enemy design is fairly decent. There's not a great deal of variety in either, but their graphics still look crisp for being 11 years old (though the 3D parts still look dated)
    - There's a lot of customizing to be done with badges, which does present a bit of thought provoking when you have to choose what will be good in the upcoming battles.
    - Humor is everywhere in the game. Most of it was too cheesy for me, but there were some I really enjoyed, like Whacka the mole.
    - The end credits were perfect, doing another march as in Super Mario RPG. Couldn't have done them better.

    Andddd the bad.
    - The story. For an RPG, they really didn't try too hard to make a decent storyline, just the same "Bowser kidnaps Peach" plot that they've reused dozens of times since 1985. - Though there are a lot of badge options, the low maximum for badge number really limits the usefulness. After equipping the 3 "Attack/Defense Plus" badges, you're down to only 12 to play with. I found the most effective build was to boost your normal attacking/defending skills, which really only gave you room for 1 special attack.
    - Whoever did the work on names really needed a second opinion. All of the toad names were mind numbingly terrible puns, like Tayse T. the cook, Russ T. the librarian, and Dain T. Gah.
    - The battle system needed a lot of polish. It still uses the same basic system from Super Mario RPG but was simplified at just about every turn. No armor and 2 weapons to choose from in the entire game made shops mostly invalidated. The enemy queue system meant that you were mostly stuck attacking whoever was closest first, unless you invested heavily in mostly useless badges. The experience system was frustrating at best, seeing as level-ups quickly made most battles pointless, as no experience would be awarded.
    - Mario's secondary characters were mostly useless. Goombario, Watt and Bombette would last you the entire game. The others were generally unimpressive in battle and really only served for non-combat abilities.
    - Peach's scenes were the worst by far. She couldn't take any real actions (no jumping or attacking) and it quickly became repetitive, as she could even take a "secret" passageway into Bowser's room with him IN THERE, and still get to try it again next time. Baffling. The cake making was miserable.
    - The arguing with Square got a lot of the more nostalgic points removed from the game (at least for me), with Star Hill becoming Shooting Star Point, and even "Time Hits" became "Action Commands". I would have loved to see Mallow in the game, but that's life.
    - No real mini-games to speak of. Unless you want to count the letter delivering. Which I don't.

    In the end, Paper Mario was a serviceable RPG. Too simplistic to really be called amazing, but it was decent. And it's hard to fault the game too much, because it's a non Squaresoft, non-Pokemon RPG. At least they tried. But I doubt I'd play it a second time through.
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  3. ZiggyStardust
    Oct 31, 2002
    7
    Admittedly I am not a fan of the RPG genre in general, but if I had to play one, this would be near the top of the list. It blends skill based moves with turn based combat. It's a decent game.
  4. Nov 28, 2012
    10
    Where to begin...This game is my favorite game of all time. To begin, let's start with the presentation, graphics and audio. The graphics are very good for n64. The contrast of the 2D characters with the 3D background still holds up today.
    The music is almost flawless. The title screen music gives the player a sense of fun urgency to begin the adventure, the battle themes are classic, and
    Where to begin...This game is my favorite game of all time. To begin, let's start with the presentation, graphics and audio. The graphics are very good for n64. The contrast of the 2D characters with the 3D background still holds up today.
    The music is almost flawless. The title screen music gives the player a sense of fun urgency to begin the adventure, the battle themes are classic, and the remaining themes are all conducted perfectly, fitting their respective environments.
    The story appears to be typical of a mario game as bowser steals peach and mario must rescue her. However, Paper Mario's story shines in its details. The npcs of the game are given a great amount of characterization, which this creates a sense of connectivity within the game that is not seen in many other mario games. The story is revealed in storybook fashion, with each world being called a chapter instead. Each chapter is completely different from the previous, keeping the game fresh by introducing new environments, objectives, puzzles, characters, and gameplay. After each chapter, you get to see what peach is up to. This is the worst part of the game, as you have to control kidnapped peach in an attempt to find out information to get relayed to mario. However, this is an interesting concept that would get expanded on in the next 2 paper mario games.
    Onto the actual gameplay elements: As you progress in the game, you pick up several party members. These party members are needed for puzzles and assist you in battle. The battles are turn based, yet are interactive, as you can perform action commands to do more damage or block attacks, much like in mario rpg. As you progress, you get more attacks, upgrades, badges, and items that add an amazing amount of depth and strategy to the game. You can level up if you get enough battle experience. As a kid I didn't know any better but to always increase my heart points (health) rather than allocating it between flower points and badge points. The bosses all bring something new to the table, and you must figure out a strategy to beat each one. Other gameplay elements include solving well thought out puzzles that progressively get more rewarding and challenging, collecting star pieces to get new badges, and exploring the vast maze of the toad town tunnels. Yeah, so in summary, the battle system is pretty amazing and deep and tops off an almost flawless game.
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Awards & Rankings

1
2
#2 Most Discussed N64 Game of 2001
2
#2 Most Shared N64 Game of 2001
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. While said story may not live up to the expectations of most RPG fans, or fans of Super Mario RPG, it is far better and more interesting than the typical 'stories' you have to endure in a Mario game.
  2. Da Gameboyz
    95
    With its light-hearted plot, loveable characters, innovative gameplay and perfectly fitting music, this game should appeal to anyone and everyone.
  3. With stunning graphics, excellent sound, and extremely solid gameplay, Paper Mario is a quality game on all fronts.