Mario Retrospective Part 3: “Favoritism”

Lots of Mario games aren’t there, you say? Good thing I’m only covering the best ones. Or else we would be here for a long, long time . . .

6.75) Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

So apparently, this game did not get the spectacular reviews that it deserved, so it’s been a bit of a cult game. It’s been put down mostly because it was hyped like another Superstar Saga and its understated art style. But this game is vastly different from the Mario and Luigi RPG archetype. First of all, like the original Paper Mario, you have different partners. You also have special moves and badges (which require Badge Points to equip) that give you extra moves in battle. Finally, there are two different guard functions; the easier one lowers damage and the harder one prevents it. These factors alone give this game many more possibilities than the rival Superstar Saga. With that said, let’s get into this game on a deeper level. The plot begins like always. Peach is missing (not because of Bowser this time!) and Mario has to find her. But it did not start that way. In a nod to the classic Super Mario 64, Peach invites Mario to Rougeport to go on a treasure hunt, with a Magical Map as a guide. Mario has to get the Crystal Stars, beat evil, save the princess, etc., etc., etc. But the deeper into the story we get, the better it looks. Mario has to traverse a dragon-controlled castle, mystic woods, a floating death arena, a haunted town, a treasure cove, a train with a mystery, and the Moon.

Add in the fact that each partner has different dialogue and field abilities and you have near unlimited possibilities to enjoy the game. I personally have replayed it almost eight times and still want to do it again. This is one of the few Mario games that I know of that really give you a real sense of adventure rather than a sense of urgency.

7) Super Mario Galaxy

Usually, when a launch game is released, it is meant to show off a console’s abilities. Honestly, I thought the Super Mario Galaxy was just that. But once I got farther into the game, I realized the amount of work and love that was put into it. This is the only game in American history to have a better rating that the timeless The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and with good reasons. First of all, the most praised factor of the game was the orchestrated music. Every piece of the music in the game was created by the music department themselves, resulting in every level giving you the grand open feeling of being in space. The controls are similar to the classic Super Mario 64, which gives the game a familiar feel, but the bright graphics and newer controls open up to new players as well. It’s hard to describe this game (I haven’t beaten it yet) but it has reduced in price due to its popularity, so there is no reason not to buy it soon.

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