Paper Mario Nintendo 64
Paper Mario Image
Metascore
93

Universal acclaim - based on 15 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.1

Universal acclaim- based on 160 Ratings

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  • Summary: Mario pals around in an all-new action adventure! Mario's back in his first adventure since Super Mario 64, and this time, Bowser's bent on preventing a storybook ending. When Princess Peach is kidnapped, Mario plots to rescue the seven Star Spirits and rid the Mushroom Kingdom of Koopa's cruel cohorts. As he travels from the tropical jungles of Lavalava Island to the frosty heights of Shiver Mountain, he'll meet up with seven all-new companions... and he'll need help from each one or there'll be no happily ever after. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. 100
    Deceptively deep, this is the new blueprint for action RPGs and one of the last must-haves for the N64.
  2. If you're severely allergic to overly cute-and-cuddly games, take some Dramamine before heading off on Mario's adventure.
  3. No matter what your tastes are, after just an hour in Mario's new world, we can guarantee that you?ll not want to move from your chair. Ever.
  4. What it does have is a great story, fun puzzles, and epic battles. Any RPG fan would be absolutely nuts to pass on Paper Mario.
  5. With a standout graphical look to it, and the great traditional RPG style, Paper Mario is certainly one of the best RPG games out there.
  6. Not only is Paper Mario a superb RPG, but it's also another quality N64 game that simply shouldn't be missed.
  7. 80
    Despite having a unique look, the visuals certainly aren't the highlight of Paper Mario. It's the fun adventure, mixing intuitive controls and straightforward gameplay that make this a great addition to the N64 library.

See all 15 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 64 out of 67
  2. Negative: 2 out of 67
  1. 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 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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  2. Aug 14, 2011
    10
    Great graphics and art direction with deep turn-based gameplay and a surprisingly good story. An army of charming supporting characters make this a larger scale adventure than most other Mario titles. Vibrant environments range from deserts to forests to the skies, each with its own personality. The game succeeds in adapting classic Mario gameplay, enemies and regions into an RPG without feeling like a thin lick of paint on an RPG template. Dialogue is well written and occasionally funny, with a kind of self aware glee that would never be attempted in a main series Mario game. Paper Mario is an incredible game that manages to be gloriously simple and complex simultaneously. Expand
  3. Oct 21, 2012
    10
    I wasn't a fan of Super Mario RPG. The story was boring, the characters were bland/cliché, and I couldn't get into the gameplay. Regardless, I dived into the second Mario RPG with an open mind and, I gotta tell you, I can't find a flaw with this game. The gameplay is very immersive and perfectly suited for a console, the characters are lively and entertaining, the level design is very colorful, and the story, while at its core is the same as any Mario platformer, takes its sweet time getting there with all of the aforementioned criteria. I recommend you ignore the idiot haters who can't provide any points and get this game. It's $10 on Virtual Console right now. Expand
  4. Aug 31, 2012
    10
    Paper Mario is what I call, "Perfect Perfection." Everything in the game is truly memorable. From the characters, the environments, the enemies, and everything else! And thus far, I think it is one of the best RPG games ever made. The game is very original, turning Mario into Paper material, as you explore various worlds in search of the missing "Star Spirits." The plot is very well put together. And the battle system is just simply unique, easy to use, and fun. This is definetely a must play for Mario fans or any other serious gamer. In the end, this game receives a well earned score of 10 from me. Expand
  5. Mar 19, 2013
    9
    This is one of those games that you need a Nintendo 64. Man, I used to play the hell out of this game. The soundtrack is so awesome! It's like, cool and unique and memorable! The story is so solid and awesome! No, I am not kidding. No, I am not a small child. Though, this game is fit for small children. This is great for a child's first RPG. There is hours upon hours of gameplay and so much to do after you beat it. You can go back and get badges you missed. You can go and beat optional mini-bosses blocking paths. You can talk to each and every individual NPC and read what they have to say. It's just so great, and it's fun to replay. I think I replayed this game three times and started again recently-ish.
    However, this game is not perfect. There are many moments where you want to throw your controller at the screen. I have ragequit for months on end. If you have an old N64 laying around gathering dust and you DON'T have this game, find it on eBay, hook up your system, drop Skyrim, and play this game. Yeah, I said it. Drop Skyrim to play Paper Mario.
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  6. Aug 20, 2013
    9
    The formula of Mario games is pretty basic. Jump over obstacles to get to the goal and save the princess. The games typically are not very story heavy and the gameplay is basic but fun. However, for those looking for a little bit more substance in your Mario games, Mario has a handful of role playing games (RPGs) that have unique gameplay and an interesting story. The first Mario RPG was Super Mario RPG for the SNES and it was a decent game. However, it was Paper Mario for the N64 that perfected the Mario RPG formula. The gameplay for most of the Mario RPGs involve the action command system. This means the battles are turn based but to deal damage, the player must input a certain button command. This system works tremendously in Paper Mario. The commands work perfectly and you can defend when the enemy attacks by using these button commands. The Mario RPGs also have ability points called Flower Points (FP). By spending FP you can use certain abilities such as a more powerful jump or a partners special ability. In Paper Mario you have one partner by your side at all times and you can always switch them out with another partner. Each partner has there own special trait. For example, the partner Parakarry can fly Mario across gaps outside of battle and attacks using flight related attacks in battle. Outside of battle, you will be solving puzzles and platforming. One of the best parts about the game are the boss battles. The bosses always have something to do with each chapter of the game your in. For example, chapter 7 is a chapter focused on ice. The boss of chapter 7 is Crystal King and uses ice based attacks. Because of there relations to the chapter, it is fun to figure out what there weakness (i.e. Crystal King is weak to heat attacks). The gameplay would be improved upon in each of the sequels to Paper Mario, specifically Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The story is your basic Bowser kidnaps Peach scenario. However, the characters are now fleshed out, especially Bowser. Bowser now feels incredibly threatening compared to his former interpretations. The graphics are good. Everything is designed to look like it came out of a pop up book The only problem is that the concept is not used to its fullest potential. Overall, the main problem with the game is that it is out-shined by its sequels, specifically Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. The game by itself however, stands alone as an excellent title and should not be missed by any RPG or Mario fan. Expand
  7. 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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See all 67 User Reviews

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