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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Review

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

Developer: Nintendo
Publisher: Nintendo
Platforms: Switch
Release Date: Available Now
Price: $59.99 – Available Here


After seeing the love and success with Super Mario RPG‘s revival, its only natural that Nintendo would want to quickly follow-up, and follow-up is exactly what they have done. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has now been remastered for the Nintendo Switch, bringing the classic to a new generation of fans. Sure, it never has had the long-time adoration compared to its predecessors, but there has always been a wide following for the “last real RPG” from Nintendo’s mascot. Does this still hold up today, and is this remaster worth your time? Let’s find out.


I have always felt that Paper Mario’s RPG efforts have fell into two parts with the narrative. Sure, there is the story, and that is the finest part. In this tale, Mario deals with a new threat of the alien force of Sir Grodus, Lord Crump, and the X-Nauts, who somehow capture Peach, leaving Mario to make chase as he looks to save the Princess while finding the seven Crystal Stars. On “paper”, it sounds like a simple plot, but this title really knows how to present itself with the deepest story in a Mario game ever made. The dialogue is clever and the world feels complex, where the player constantly is encouraged to find out more about this plot and save the day. I won’t go too much farther into the plot to avoid spoilers, but yes, its a legendary story for sure.

The second part comes down to the characters. From the sentimental Vivian to the quick witted Goombella, there is a lot here to love. Each party member comes with their own backstory – to which all come together like one intricate puzzle that makes up the full experience. These little party members keep things moving throughout and can be rather enchanting, providing humor and emotional moments to really give the Mushroom Kingdom depth like never before. Sure, most have played this title by now, but its great to see this re-release as it reminds fans of the potential this franchise still has to go the extra mile in order to flesh out its own universe within.


I won’t go into this too much as the normal combat is rather the same, but still enjoyable and noteworthy for its own merits. The Thousand-Year Door picks up where Paper Mario and Super Mario RPG did before it, with the same turn-based battle system that has Mario and one party member (fully swappable) head into battles in order to get experience to level up their health, battle points, and special attacks. Timed techniques continue to be driven into play, creating a more involved RPG experience. There is also the audience system, who can recharge star points and even harm your party to add a new layer of mayhem to the mechanics. There were some slight tweaks with this feature in this remaster, but nothing too substantial as everything still works effectively.

The worlds are huge and varied, with eight chapters making up the story of the main game. Every NPC has a personality, and exploration is a must if you want to find Easter eggs and hidden items that provide a ton of satisfaction to poking around. Sure, its the same old for most of the trip, but there is just so much to do and see that its hard not to get lost in nothing, just pecking around while you fully dive into each themed chapter. New additions come in the form of refinement, as well as a lot of nifty additions to modernize the game a bit.

For instance, new tutorials give newer players a bit of a clue on where to go and hints on combat mechanics, explaining things just a little bit better. The game also features a new combat wheel, making swapping party members easier. There are also new badges, mini-games, and so on, so even if you are fully vetted, know there is still plenty of new things to find and discover for this update that do nothing but enhance this world within. I do think if I had any critiques it would be that this remaster could have added some extra modes or even other features for speed-run activities, but what is here works and most will be elated to see everything on full display.


This is where The Thousand-Year Door – as a remaster, truly shines. The soundtrack was already phenomenal, but added remixed tracks bring new life to the experience and make things feel exciting and new. Nintendo are known for their soundtracks, but this is one that stands out as maybe one of their best ever made, with stunning tunes that bring so much life to the already bustling title. There are also new sounds for NPCs and party members alike, as well as a lot of quality improvements to the sound overall to give it a modern flare.


Its all paper, right? With the upgrades come a slight improvement on visuals, now HD and full of that original color and quality we should expect. The frame rate doesn’t reach over 30 FPS, but that really isn’t noticeable and most will find the presentation to be outstanding and true to the original. There is something special about how these RPG versions of Paper Mario played, and this one manages to ooze that charm with its quirky animations and cheeky designs throughout an already outstanding rendition of the kingdom.


Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door almost felt forgotten. There have been a lot of Paper Mario titles since its release, but this sequel was so special and niche, it almost felt like it was kind of lost in time. That is really what makes the remaster so special. Sure, it may not be the most talked about title in Nintendo’s library (partially due to the platform), but it may be one of the most beloved. That love is shown by Nintendo with their handling of this remake here, making this purchase essential for any Switch library. There is a chunk of Mario’s grand existence on display here that really may be his best outing (in terms of narrative at least), and as this platform starts to sunset, its wonderful to see surprising ports like this give the Switch another life heart to its own legacy.

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Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on the Switch validates remasters, as it brings this fan favorite back to consoles with superb results.
Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door on the Switch validates remasters, as it brings this fan favorite back to consoles with superb results.Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Review