Paper Mario 2: The Thousand Year Door - GameCube

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Paper Mario 2: The Thousand Year Door (GameCube)
Viewed: Combination Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Arcade origin:No
Developer: Intelligent Systems Soft. Co.: Nintendo
Publishers: Nintendo (GB)
Released: 12 Nov 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 3+
Accessories: Memory Card


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Despite his eternal youth, Mario has been through a lot when it comes to Princess Peach and King Koopa, with more than 50 games under his belt already. He's rescued the princess in numerous platform outings, and he's even tried his hand at sport in Mario Golf and Mario Tennis. However, he rarely gets the chance to exercise his role-playing abilities, so the arrival of the Paper Mario sequel on GameCube is something for Mario fanatics to get very excited about.

When Mario sets out to join Princess Peach for a treasure hunt in the infamous Rogueport area of town, the unwitting Italian plumber is roped into yet another search-and-rescue scandal when she fails to meet him at the agreed spot. Armed with only a map and hammer, he goes on the hunt for the legendary treasure, hoping to find his princess along the way. And so the journey begins...

Whilst Paper Mario is a conventional role-playing game behind the scenes, its cartoon-like visuals, witty dialogue and fresh ideas are far from ordinary.

From the outset, some of you will have a difficult time telling whether or not the game is in fact 2D. Technically speaking, it's a 3D affair, but with distinct 2-dimensional inhabitants, Paper Mario feels very much like an old-school outing.

But there's an underlying purpose to Nintendo's unique approach, which is evident from the very beginning. Because Mario and friends are supposedly made of paper, players will soon find themselves squeezing through the tightest of alleys or folding themselves into paper planes to reach the next stages of the game. They're small ideas, but commendable ones that facilitate some quite unique gameplay.

The obligatory element of wandering towns, buying items and chatting with the local NPCs plays a big enough part in this Paper Mario sequel too, but the bulk of the journey comprises of those wonderful and plentiful enemy encounters. Compared with the large-scale epics of Final Fantasy, Star Ocean et al, Paper Mario is a relatively simplified game. There are fewer statistics, well-defined options and there's a clarity to the whole thing that's very welcome and rarely seen in such games. By and large, your opponents and indeed any other characters you meet are of Nintendo fame, as you face off against armies of Goombas, Koopa Troopas, Lakitus and any other Mario villain you care to think of.

All in all, Paper Mario 2 is very much classic Nintendo - warp pipes, fire flowers, toadstools - they're all here and you're gonna love it.