Mario's back...but in a flattened form? How will Nintendo Pull This Off
*Mario uses jump attack* 2 Damage Given....You earned 25 star points, Level Up- What would you like to increase HP,FP, or BP? Paper Mario was a really innovative for it's time as Nintendo decided to try out something new by creating a Mario RPG but this time adding paper-like graphics to the game. While it may have seemed like a horrible idea on well paper |no puns intended| it actually was a great success for the N64 not as great of a success as let's say for instance Zelda Majora's Mask or Golden-eye 007 however; it still managed to make an great impact on the players during their 1st time through the game. Which goes to show that when a company decides to be creative and try something original no matter how the graphics look it can make an already great series take a whole new turn and still have it be entertaining. However I digress as we should really move onto the review now since you have a good intro started.
Graphics: 7 out of 10
The graphics in this game as you would expect aren't the best on the system since the graphics are in a paper like form however if you were to just judge it on how it looks with its paper like graphics then I would give it a 9 out of 10 however since we must judge it based on other games that were made on the system I'd have to give it an 8 out of 10. Now you're probably thinking why did you say 8 out of 10 when you clearly put a 7 out of 10 rating as your opinion of the graphics of the game? Well I did take one point off cause in an area of Flower Fields there is a graphics glitch that appears whenever you go near this one spot and It's not cause of vizzed emulators it is even like this one the Wii Virtual Console release which I think could have easily been taken out so that's why I gave it a 7 out of 10 instead of an 8 out of 10.
Now the graphics themselves are really appealing and show the hours of work that was put into the games design from the scene of Bowser's castle lifting up into the sky to the dark atmosphere in the forever woods to even the flowery and water filled surroundings of Flower Fields, so I would say that a 7 out of 10 is a fair rating for the graphics in this game so let's move on to the rest of the review.
Sound: 10 out of 10
The music in this game can be easily described with 2 words amazing and nostalgic as the music sound very great on the N64 and it even lives up to some of the music we find in games today just like how Dire Dire Docks theme from Super Mario 64 is still considered to be one of the greatest songs ever made showing up in most Top 10 lists today. Also the fact that songs from Paper Mario are widely considered some of the best songs of all time also shows how nostalgic the music is to many people and gamers across the world.
If I were to list of some of my favorite songs in the game I would Immediately list these songs "Cloudy Climb", "Huffin and Puffin", "Flower Fields Sunshine", and finally "Over Shiver Mountain". Each of these songs injects you with a different feeling inside it could be filling you up with the sense of "Power", "Relaxation", "Happiness", or even "Exploration". The sound effects in this game are what you would expect in a typical RPG game so the sound effects aren't that breath-taking but they are still good for what they are so a 10 out of 10 is the rating I'm giving for sound.
Addictiveness: 10 out of 10
If there is one game I know I never get tired of playing no matter how many times I've played it, the Paper Mario series is one of the many games that first comes to my mind. As it is a very long and interesting game since you have 8 chapters each with there own different environments and enemies, from the desert area with it's large amount of Pokey's to the Flower Fields area with their flower like enemy's to their Monty Moles enemy's, even to the frosty lands of Shiver City with it's icicles and frozen terrain to it's Frosty Piranha's and Gulpit enemies. Also as you move along you gain star points which are used to level up once you get 100 of them, when you level up you have a choice of either upgrading your HP (Heart Points) which is basically your life meter in this game and if it hits 0 then it's game over and you have to start from your last save point, the 2nd choice is upgrading your FP (Flower Points) which you can basically think of as special moves ammunition in which you can use to attack with special moves such as the Spring Jump and the Power Smash, The 3rd and final choice is upgrading your BP (Badge Points) which are used to equip as you would expect Badges that you find during your adventure which enable you to do new moves (special or non-special), gain a power-up such as the (Zap Tap) badge were it makes you electrified and will last until you decide to take the badge off, or allow you to attack an enemy that you normal wouldn't be able to attack due to certain circumstances like having a spike on their head/body or being engulfed in fire which you can attack normally if you equip the (Spike Shield Badge or the Ice Power/Fire Shield Badge). So if you wanted you could try and upgrade all of the stats completely that is something you could do or if you wanted to defeat the master of the dojo in toad town then you could as well, there is alot to do in this game and the boss battles are also enjoyable which gives this game a high addictiveness level in this game so a perfect 10 out of 10 is deserved here.
Story: 10 out of 10
Now you're probably thinking "well it's a Mario game so it's most likely about Bowser kidnapping Princess Peach and bringing her to his fortress and Mario has go through the mushroom kingdom until he reaches the end right?" Well in this game that isn't exactly correct as yes princess peach does get kidnapped however there is a much bigger and different story than alot of the other Mario games before it as in this game Mario tries to save Princess Peach from Bowser's clutches however when Mario is about to take down Bowser, Bowser reveals that he stole the Star Rod (no not the star rod from Kirby) from the Star Haven and has imprisoned the seven Star Spirits of Star Haven so by stealing the Star Rod Bowser uses it's energy to make him extremely powerful to where Mario can't even damage him and Mario ends up being defeated YEAH that's right MARIO LOST TO BOWSER! The only way Mario can stop Bowser is to collect all the star spirits that Bowser has imprisoned to gain enough power and prepare for a re-match with Bowser and defeat him this time so he can bring peace back to the Mushroom Kingdom and the Star Haven. It is an amazing story and really takes a dramatic turn at the beginning and makes the player really interested in the game to where they will want to continue playing the game until the end which is what every game should try and do. A really good and innovative story so 10 out of 10 once again I what I give this game story wise.
Depth: 10 out of 10
Like I stated in the addictiveness part of the review this is alot that you must go through in this game and lots of other things you can do before you finish the game as well. Since there are 8 chapters in the game it will take some time before you make it all the way to the end as every chapter that you finish the next one is usually longer than the previous one not only that but if you were trying to get lets say 100% completion then you will definitely have many hours that you will be spending on the game. If you are willing to put in the time and effort into this game then it will surely pay you back with many hours of enjoyment that is able to come so a 10 out of 10 is what Paper Mario is receiving for depth.
Difficulty: 5 out of 10
Paper Mario on Nintendo 64 isn't exactly a extremely difficult game but it isn't a fairly easy game either as there are some parts in the game that can be confusing at first but you should be able to understand it soon enough once you start experimenting with it however it also isn't a massively hard game as there are some tricks that you can use to help you defeat a boss or solve a puzzle faster or easier. One example of having a puzzle being easier or done faster is a section of Flower Fields were you have to lower or raise platforms in able to make it to the other side is to take your party member Lakilester and looks at all the platforms and how they would raise higher or fall lower whenever you spin jumped onto them by doing this it can save you time and you can easily make it to the other side without any major problems.
A trick that can be used to make some bosses easier are for example: on Lava Piranha if you uses alot of water or ice attacks he should go down quickly and won't really be able to attack that much and by using the Ice Power badge along with those attack it will really help out because as I described in my addictiveness part of the review the Ice Power/Fire Shield badge lets you attack enemies that are on fire. Another example is the boss Huff N' Puff as to make this boss easier you are going to want to use the Star Power attack "Chill Out" to lower his attack power so that way whenever you attack him and those mini Huff N' Puff clouds come out they won't be able to do any damage to you, also having the Zap Tap badge on can also be helpful for when he charges up his attack and is electrified as having the badge on will enable you to still attack him without receiving any damage which is very helpful and effective against him. There are many more tricks in the game but I think this is enough for the review as I don't want to give away everything about the game so difficulty wise a 5 out of 10 is what I think this game deserves.
So that is Paper Mario for the N64 a great game by Nintendo which really took an interesting turn by using paper quality graphics instead of just regular Mario series like graphics all the while having this game be an RPG which really shows that Nintendo can come up with a simple kind of game design but still make a really great and innovative game which I why I love Nintendo as a gaming company. However I must state this while this is one of my favorite games on the N64 this isn't my most favorite Paper Mario game as it is only my 2nd favorite since my favorite is on a system that isn't available on vizzed so unfortunately I cannot do a review on that Paper Mario game. But our time is running out here as we have to stop Bowser before he succeeds with his wicked plan so let's get this mustached plumber into action and prepare for an epic adventure!