Review of Paper Mario: The Millennium Door on Nintendo Switch

Review of Paper Mario: The Millennium Door on Nintendo Switch

Paper Mario: The Millennium Door gave the franchise a solid boost when it arrived on GameCube 20 years ago. It is above all the comic side of the dialogues which was materialized in the game and which would henceforth be seen as a flagship element of the series. For purists of the JRPG approach, the title also represented the pinnacle from which Nintendo broke away in subsequent games. In short, I think the entire community was anticipating the new release of this iconic game and here is our report.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Technical Sheet

  • Release date : May 23, 2024
  • Style : JRPG
  • ESRB / PEGI rating: E/PEGI 7
  • Developer: Intelligent System
  • Editor: Nintendo
  • Operating language: Available in French
  • Nintendo Switch Exclusive
  • Tested Nintendo Switch OLED
  • Price during the test: CA$79.99 / €59.99
  • Official site
  • Version sent by publisher

Welcome to Port-Lacanaïe

The introduction begins with Peach who is visiting Port-Lacanaïe with Grandpa Champi. She meets an old lady who tells the legend of the place’s treasure. The strange lady then gives her a map leading to the treasure which she hastens to deliver to Mario in excitement. Unfortunately, Port-Lacanaïe is a port city full of miscreants and, once there, Mario discovers that the Princess has disappeared. It seems that everything is the fault of the Megacruxis and their leader Cruxnistre who also wants to get his hands on the coveted treasure.

Eventually, our hero discovers that he will have to get his hands on the seven Star Gems in order to break the seal of the Millennium Gate which contains the legendary treasure. With his new partner Goomelie, Mario will cross the different counties of the place to get his hands on each gem. Between the chapters, Paper Mario: The Millennium Door has the particularity of telling us the parallel stories of Bowser who follows in Mario’s footsteps and Peach who tries to escape her kidnappers. These are interesting interludes that expand the story in just the right way. Plus, they are relatively short so it doesn’t break the rhythm at all.

The question I asked myself was whether I would find the game as funny at 35 as I did at 15 and the answer is yes. Even though I would say that I understand the subtleties of certain jokes better today. Plus, now it’s easy to have the French version and, like the other games in the series, it’s very well translated and adapted. The script and the dialogues are certainly one of the strengths here.

Each chapter has its own little story

Another strength of Paper Mario: The Millennium Door is the different characters and places that we discover. Each chapter leads us to discover a new corner of the country which has its own little story to tell Mario and his companions. Like many, my favorite was the chapter where Mario must climb a ranking of fighters in a ring. He begins as an unknown beginning and slowly he goes until facing the great champion. In my opinion, this is also the decisive moment of the game where the action takes off.

Without falling into spoilers, I found that the companion who joins us in this region is one of the most amusing. He is courageous and shows a lot of anger. All in all, it’s often the extravagant personalities of the characters and the few well-placed jokes that make the game charming. Otherwise, I also like that we explored in more depth certain races of characters like the Pianta or the fact of Having a female Goomba was a very original idea, especially since she doesn’t give up her place.

Finally, if the main quest is not enough, several secondary quests are unlocked little by little. I didn’t find them very striking, but it’s a good way to extend the experience a little. Plus, we have a new friend who gives us clues to find the right path. There is also plenty of content after the end of the adventure, but I won’t dwell on the subject.

The more JRPG style

Then, I know that at the time some testers were full of too much text, but today some JRPGs push the note even further. I tested all the games in the Trails of series and just for the introduction of certain titles we got 20 to 25 hours and a lot more text than here. Which means that I find it rather well balanced, despite a slightly slow start. In addition, it’s rather rare for the characters to speak without saying anything.

When it comes to gameplay, this is where we see that Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door pulls the strings more towards a classic turn-based gameplay approach. First, we accumulate stars after each fight which eventually allows us to gain levels. At each level, we can increase one of our three main attributes to improve our player. So we have a little customization.

For combat, they are very dynamic. Most enemy attacks can be parried by pressing A at the right time. Our attacks also always require being alert and pressing the right button combination at the right time. Besides, if we charm the crowd enough with our good moves, we can perform devastating special attacks. In short, even if I liked even more customization like classes or equipment, the adventure offers everything you need for a great JRPG experience.

Paper Mario: The Millennium Door

Like a Switch game

Frankly, those who don’t know that this is a re-release of a GameCube game probably won’t notice. Paper Mario: The Millennium Door is as beautiful, colorful and fluid as Paper Mario: The Origami King. I launched the original version recently and you immediately notice the difference in textures and fluidity. The colors seem more vibrant and the paper look of the characters looks prettier.

In terms of enhancing playability, I like practical elements like the wheel to change partners. It’s much easier to go to the menu and make the desired change. I also really appreciated the soundtrack which has been completely reworked and which adds a nice production quality. The only downside is that I can’t wait for Nintendo to add voice acting to its games to add another level of depth to the characters.

The last point to highlight in my opinion is for the animations. They are better defined and fluid than at the time. It helps us to synchronize well during fights to do maximum damage or to block as much as possible. In short, the developers did a very good job of bringing the title to Switch and giving it a modern look.

Paper Mario: The Millennium Door

Verdict on Paper Mario: The Millennium Door

In closing, Paper Mario: The Millennium Door is still my favorite of the series. Not only is it the best title, but it is also the most complete, thanks to very endearing characters. I hope Nintendo will continue in this slightly more purist direction for JRPG fans. It’s the kind of experience that offers a lot for the investment and this reissue is very successful.