Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - Switch Review

"Truly, this is the definitive edition of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door."

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door - Switch Review
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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door was released 20 years ago in 2004 and amassed a cult following, with myself included in the mix. This is now a complete remake and a return to the style that Mario RPG fans have been clamouring for since Paper Mario: Sticker Star was released. Intelligent Systems has returned to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door in full force for this remake, resulting in what I can confidently say as a fan of this game since the original release in Australia is the definitive edition.

The Good

20 years. It's been 20 years and Intelligent Systems has basically added a nice fancy coat of paint to Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, which is a testament to how well the original stands up to the test of time. Visually, everything looks stunning, despite the concerns people had about the technical limitations of the switch and having the game locked at 30 fps. While a small selection of background environments have had the paper aspect played up a bit more than in the original release, it doesn't distract from the experience and is almost unnoticeable unless you're looking for direct comparisons.

The characters, writing, and battle mechanics are carried over faithfully and every joke hits just as hard. I genuinely found myself pausing and taking a moment to just laugh constantly through my playthrough at just the hilarious moments in the background or in the writing about things I'd forgotten all about. Then there's the partner characters; they're truly the heart and soul of the story, providing unique dialogue depending on who is your active member, with a prime example of baby Yoshi consistently only calling Mario Gonzales as that's the name he heard while in an egg with Mario.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a badge mechanic system that gives players extra attacks to use, power increases, additional health, and so on. It is a robust system that has players recommending focusing on badge points over health or flower points. I will say that is a strategy better suited for a second playthrough because you can easily one shot bosses with the right setup in the end game. Badges also give Mario costume changes and sound effects on his attacks, which actually come into effect against one of the bosses and make them easier to fight.

There are numerous quality of life improvements that have been added that honestly make it harder to go back to the original release now, more than in any other case personally. The most notable improvement is the fast travel hub area, now centralised, with an access point in the centre of town, which has cut travel time down from 3-5 minutes to approximately a single minute at most. There's also the partner wheel, allowing for quick changes with the L button. While it cuts out a small amount of button presses, there's honestly a better feeling of swapping partners this way instead of through the pause menu. In addition, whenever you defeat a boss or mini-boss, there's a 100-coin bounty reward to go along with the increased wallet size.

One of the most notable changes that I can't help but love is how the battle music changes for each chapter to thematically fit the area. When I first went into Hooktail Castle and noticed the music changed to a bit more of a spooky variant, I was audibly excited at the realisation that every chapter has its own variant. If you want to experience the original GameCube music, there's a new badge added that allows you to; however, personally, I think the new arrangements are the superior option.


  • Faithful remake
  • Robust customisation
  • Quality of life improvements
  • Thematic music

The Bad

There can be a bit of backtracking to areas you've already completed, especially for the help wanted quests. This can be a bit of a mind numbing experience going back and forth on fetch quests. Now this is only really applicable if you're looking to complete the help wanted quests and collect all the shrine sprites and star pieces for the 100% completion bonuses of concept art, a discography, and a special surprise.


  • Back tracking

Final Score: 10/10

Intelligent Systems has knocked it out of the ballpark with their quality of life changes, updated music for each chapter, incredible humour, and an all-around perfect experience for Mario RPG fans. Truly, this is the definitive edition of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and an exceptional entry point for younger gamers to explore the world of RPGs while providing enough ways for experienced gamers to give themselves a challenge. I can't recommend Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door any more than this and it’s a must have for any switch owner or RPG fan.

Thank you for checking out our Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door Switch review, thank you to Nintendo AU/NZ for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: