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Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door Review (Switch)

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door (Switch)

Release: May 25, 2024
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Adventure, Role-playing, Switch Reviews


Excellent About Rating
9.5 - Gameplay
9.5 - Video
9.5 - Audio

Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door might have been one of the most requested remakes / remasters, and fans are finally getting what they want. The release cycle for this game has been a bit of a mixed bag to be honest – Paper Mario on the Nintendo 64 was a a fantastic title, and The Thousand Year Door, when released on the Nintendo GameCube, only built on that success.

For many, however, the franchise began it’s decline with the release of Super Paper Mario on the Nintendo Wii, followed by alright released on the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U. With the launch of Paper Mario: The Origami King on Nintendo Switch, fans were pleased, but missed the charm and mechanics that made the first two so enjoyable. The release of Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door might give Nintendo a launching point to return to what made this franchise so good, and we are here for it. But was it that good? Does The Thousand Year Door live up to all that hype? Let’s take a look!

You can read our preview for this game!

Paper Mario is a family friendly RPG with elements that won’t be overwhelming many people. The game works on an experience based system that will allow Mario and his friends to level up. Leveling up rewards one of three bonuses, either more health points, flower points for using special attacks, or badge points for equipping badges. Badges in this game almost act as your equipment, as everything Mario gets during the game – a better hammer, better shoes, etc. – are all scripted into the game: you don’t actually get to choose much of anything outside of your badges. What badges you choose are vitally important to your success, and they can be toggled on and off as the situation requires. It’s a great little system that works really well. It’s not a super deep experience, but it also isn’t meant to be.

With a jump attacks, hammer attacks, and friends that can perform a wide variety of special moves and abilities, you will control Mario and fiends as they trek across the world attempting to collect Stars and hopefully figuring out who captured Princess Peach and why. Story moments involving Peach and Bowser are sprinkled in between each chapter, and highlight the games witty writing and brilliant charm.


Kevin ranked the Paper Mario franchise! Read it here!

When Nintendo resurrects a title for modern consoles, they always go above and beyond what people are expecting. A straight port of The Thousand Year Door probably would have been good enough for many longtime fans, but Nintendo took the experience and elevated it, not only with better graphics, but also great quality of life improvements and additional content. Graphically, The Thousand Year Door has never looked better. In fact, when looking at images Nintendo released during the buildup to launch day, it’s crazy HOW BAD the environments in the original release actually looked! Now, everything has that paper and cardboard feel, which was NOT present in the original. The backgrounds back on the GameCube were muddied and blurry, and lacked that paper charm. Not anymore – Nintendo has done a complete sweep of the entire game improving the look in multiple areas, including the backgrounds but also in characters, animations, and more.

I think the first major “Oh my goodness” moment for me was the appearance of Hooktail. Compare the dragon from the original to the dragon here in the remake, and you’ll understand exactly what I am saying. Everything is more vibrant. Everything seems to pop. Again, despite being a remake, this is Nintendo at its finest, using what many would consider inferior hardware to produce fantastic looking experiences.


Brand new music is also present here, and it sounds so good. I bought hte badge that allows you to play with the GameCube music instead, but after just a few minutes I swapped out the badge and decided I enjoyed the brand new tracks so much better. The original music was great. This music is outstanding! It against highlights the work Nintendo put into relaunching this experience. This wasn’t a money grab as many have called past Nintendo remasters and remakes. This is rebuilt experience, and one Nintendo should be epically proud of!

Paper Mario™: The Thousand-Year Door for Nintendo Switch - Nintendo Official Site for Canada

So you might be wondering about the changes, or perhaps what major new content is around the corner. There is some stuff waiting for you in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door that we won’t spoil (mind you there is not a ton), but the best changes are all quality of life stuff. There can be a lot of backtracking in Paper Mario, especially if you do the various side quests available in East Rogueport.

Various new pipes and jump springs make traversing back to various places much less tedious, which I think is a big win for everyone. Other things, little like the revamped menus, and big like the character selection wheel, just make Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door so much more enjoyable to play.

The Thousand Year Door is considered one of the best Mario RPG games currently available, and this remake just proves that to be true. Although some might be disappointed to know the original 60 FPS has been reduced to 30 FPS, but it’s a trade off that I think is worth it. I’ve have a blast replaying one of my favourite games of all time, and I hope you do as well. This is a fantastic experience, whether you’ve played it all once before, or whether this is your first go!


Article By

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