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Preview: Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door

It’s only been a few days since I loaded my copy of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door onto my Nintendo Switch, but I’ve already played through the entirety of what I can cover in this preview, and let me tell you – it’s been a blast. The Thousand Year Door is one of my favourite, if not my absolute favourite, video game of all time. To see it remade on the Nintendo Switch is amazing, and while some like to grumble about paying full price for old games, Nintendo has done enough here I think to justify the price being charged.


The Paper Mario franchise is one of my favourites from Nintendo, although I have felt that more recent releases haven’t lived up to the first two titles in the series. Sure, the Origami King was a great title on its own, but it still lacked some of the great features I love to see in a Paper Mario game. With Paper Mario 64 available on Nintendo Switch Online, and now The Thousand Year Door coming to Nintendo Switch, I hope that the next new entry in the series goes back to these roots.

But enough blabbering about that – let’s talk about what I have seen so far. This is a game that remains true to its origins with a bunch of new, albeit minor, additions. The soundtrack has been completely overhauled, but still sounds amazing. For those looking to play with the original music from the GameCube version of the game, there is a sound badge you can (although I haven’t seen it yet) purchase and equip to give you the nostalgic music you might love. All that being said, the music here is phenomenal, and after playing the GameCube version a few months back, I prefer the new approach here on the Nintendo Switch!


Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door has never been an overly complicated game, and in fact, some may call that one of the games faults. While nothing seems to be much harder here, it is worth noting that Nintendo has once again made age accessibility of their games a top priority. The game is fairly easy, but it can be a bit easier yet. Two brand new characters have been added to the world to help you on your way. There is a Battle Master Toad who will help you learn and perfect the timing of attacks and defences. This is particularly helpful in identifying stylish timing moves that will earn you more stars, refilling your star gauge faster than you normally would. The other new character is hanging out near the requests board in East Rogueport – they will provide you with helpful hints and tips. I don’t remember this character from the original, although I could be wrong. The other accessibility change might have also been availble in the original, but now you can press a button when Goombella is your partner and she will provide helpful tips on what you should do next.

There is one major change that is quality-of-life 101 – the partner wheel! In the original, anytime you wanted to switch between your partners, you would have to open the menu and select your new partner before being drawn back into the game world. With this remake, there is now a partner wheel that can be accessed by pressing L which will bring up all the available partners and all you need to do is select the one you want to use and be on your way. This is a HUGE quality of life improvement that will make playing the game much less tedious. GameCube classic Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is getting a shiny new coat of paint | VG247

Speaking of menus, those have been overhauled as well making them easier to move through. It is also easy to snap to specific menus by using the D-pad, although again I’m not sure this is a brand new feature.

Obviously, the game has gotten a graphical overhaul, and this might be one of the best things done to this game. Paper Mario was Paper Mario way back when because the characters – allies and enemies – all had that papery look to them. The backgrounds dabbled in the paper look, but didn’t always succeed. With this Switch remake, everything looks like it was made of paper, from the puddles on the grounds to the clouds in the sky. Even enemies look much more impressive, and this is epseically true when you fight Hooktail and realize how much the look of the dragon has been overhauled. This remake bring The Thousand Year Door in-line with Nintendo’s latest Paper Mario game, the Origami King, and is a look at what Nintendo could do in the future with this franchise.Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door coming to Switch

While we still have lots to uncover in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door, what Nintendo has done through the first few chapters is truly outstanding. With more secrets around the corner we assume, we cannot wait to dive even further into this adventure.

A copy of the game was provided by Nintendo of Canada for this preview.


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blank Adam Roffel has only been writing about video games for a short time, but has honed his skills completing a Master's Degree. He loves Nintendo, and almost anything they have released...even Tomodachi Life.

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Twitter: @AdamRoffel