Reviewed on Game Cube

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

Reviewed By: Matthew Shatford

Computer Platform: Game Cube (Nintendo)
Produced by: Intelligent Systems
Price Range: $41-50
Learning curve time: 31-60 min.
Age level: All Ages
ESRB Rating: E (Everyone)
System Requirements: Memory Card (17 Blocks)

Overall Rating:
Genre: RPG
Christian Rating: 4 of 5
   (slightly offensive)
Gameplay: 5 of 5
Violence: 4 of 5
   (barely present)
Adult Content: 4 of 5
   (barely present)

Paper Mario.  Illustration copyrighted.

(from the case)

"Time passes, the pages turn… get ready for a two-dimensional role-playing adventure as Mario returns to paper form to discover a mystery that sleeps behind an ancient, legendary portal called the Thousand-Year Door. The quest is long, the dangers many, and this time, Mario will have to make full use of his papery qualities just to survive."

And thus begins, the sequel to the hit Nintendo 64 role playing game, Paper Mario. The Thousand-Year door begins like any other Mario adventures. You are invited by Peach, this time, to far off ends of the Mushroom Kingdom in search of a mystical treasure, indicated my a magical map the Princess picked up in one of the world's shady towns called “Rogueport”.

Once you arrive to this seedy town, you realize that Princess Toadstool has disappeared (what a surprise) this time buy the X-Naut army, not Bowser(who is quite upset over his low role in the story). And here the mystery of the Thousand-Year door unfolds.

The gameplay in this game couldn't be better. Mario smoothly explores a vast world, and exotic environments meeting up with several companions along the way. This RPG, runs by a turn based battle system, as previous Mario RPG's do. The fighting style in this game is impressive, as battles are fast based and high in action.

As the story progresses, Mario picks up several different techniques along the way. Some of which include the ability to fold into a paper airplane and fly a distance, reaching places you wouldn't be able to on foot. Other abilities include paper and tube mode, making the plat-forming much more interesting and challenging.

On map and in battle, you are able to use partners abilities, which stretch the gameplay that much farther in terms of value. In battles, after gaining experience points(star points) you level up, choosing to raise your HP(heart power), FP(flower power), and BP(badge power), which all have a big effect on game progressing.

In addition to a +30 hour quest, there is tons of mini games, side quests and extras to pick up on the way. Badges(which all have specific powers), and star pieces are galore, giving you a great sense of exploration and ambition to find them all!

As in most Action/Adventure/RPG games, you must expect violence throughout the game. The Thousand-Year Door expresses much violence, but in the most light-hearted way. Sure you jump on, hammer, and blast enemies with several attacks, but there is no blood, or nothing gruesome to it at all. When enemies die, they don't die in agony, they just puff away in a cloud of smoke in addition to whatever violence there is to be very cartooney. Pretty child friendly business here.

Paper Mario Screen Shot

Sexual/Adult Content:
None, except for a party member with a ghost-like figure who has abnormally oversized busts. Although not detailed, just something that needed mentioning.

Christian Rating:


The same as above, I would have so loved to give this game a 5, except for a couple minor details. As you reach the climax of the game, you realize that the treasure hidden behind the Thousand-Year door is not in fact a great treasure at all, but a demon who the antagonists of the game are trying to summon back to the world, which is why they need Princess Toadstool. They're plan is to resurrect the demon only to have it possess Peach, for world control. This being the only point that might disturb younger children. I was surprised this was in a Mario game, but they fortunately did not go deep into the subject.

Also, Mario frequently deals with the Rogueport “Mob”. Although, they are known around the city as dangerous, they do nothing during the duration of the game that would be considered shady. They actually help Mario on his quest to save the Princess, and to stop the impending doom upon the land.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year door, is an excellent addition to the extensive Mario series. Certainly one to pick up if you own a Nintendo Gamecube. There is a positive message of companionship throughout the game, as you solve many peoples problems and meet a hand-full of friends. It is a joy to play the game after ending it, and talking to people whose lives have been brightened by your good deeds.

This is a game, your Gamecube library can't be without!

Year of Release—2004

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this Christian Spotlight review are those of the reviewer (both ratings and recommendations), and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Films for Christ or the Christian Answers Network.

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