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Paper Mario review

It took a few years, but it eventually came: the second Mario RPG. This time, it's not all about the rendered graphics, or about being a straight up RPG. Old school meets new school with a twist in Paper Mario.

Paper Mario is a bit of a gimmick with it's paper theme. Mario starts out as his house with Luigi, and they receive a letter from Princess Peach. There's a big party with residents from all over the world, and Mario & Luigi are invited. While talking to Peach, an earthquake hits, and daytime suddenly changes to a scene with stars.

And that can only mean one thing: Bowser's caused some trouble. Time to suit up again and save the princess. Only one problem: the legendary Star Rod of Star Haven has been stolen, and the 7 Star Spirits guarding the Star Rod are left imprisoned. With it, Bowser can grant himself or anyone any thing they wish.

Once the goal of the game is established, a player will notice the gameplay right away. It doesn't real feel like a 3-D game, but more like a platformer, because it combines both. The battle system is that of RPG's, although it is kind of weak and leaves something to be desired. To make puzzles harder and obstacles more challenging, Mario's partners all have their own special ability they can use while walking around. Each partner has his or her own way of attacking and such in battle, and Timed Hits also make their return from Super Mario RPG in the form of action commands.

With the 64-Bit power on the Nintendo 64, Paper Mario looks pretty good. After all, he's supposed to be paper. The contrast between the flat characters and the 3-D world around them is very nicely done. There's a few glitches here and there, but nothing major. I do think that the characters and such could've been outlined a little better, and that the game could have a little bit more vividness to it.

Like the visuals, Paper Mario also has nice sound and music. It's not the greatest thing ever heard, but it certainly is a formidable soundtrack. There's a lot of new tunes that are nice, and some of the old tunes are redone very well. The actual soundtrack has 78 songs on it, and they even missed a lot to put on there. With so many songs, there's bound to be a few that stick out in a player's mind. And of course, that many songs also leads to a great variety so that there isn't many repeats found

Replaying the game is also fun. The game is pretty long, allowing for about 15-40 hours of play time. It could be in that range, although it's quite wide. Some players will like to collect everything, some won't. In fact, 2 of my own files have a play time maxed out at 99:59 (99 hours, 59 minutes). Unfortunately, for most, it'll be towards the 15-20 hour range, because of the difficulty - it's really not that hard.

Paper Mario can be described as one thing: A nice game with room for improvements. It really is a great game, but it's just too easy with such basic gameplay. It's nice and all, but there are some moments in the game where it's just dull.

Overall Score: 9.2/10