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Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door escapes Nintendo purgatory, arrives on Switch next year

A lovely new remake of the last great Mario RPG

No one can make a game nigh-impossible to play for years and years and then get you excited to buy a remake quite like Nintendo, and let me tell you, they’ve done it again. Beloved Gamecube game Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door has a reputation for being one of finest Mario RPGs out there, second only to Super Mario RPG, and considered by most to be the best in the Paper Mario series. And now, as announced at Thursday’s Nintendo Direct, it’s the latest game in Nintendo’s extensive back catalog of bangers to get an HD touch-up and upcoming Switch release.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door takes the formula established by the N64’s Paper Mario — genuinely funny writing focused on the monsters and henchmen of the Mario games, a sprinkle of RPG number crunching, and inventive minigames — and perfects it. Later Paper Mario games, like Color Splash and The Origami King, would build their adventures around gameplay twists, but Thousand-Year Door is the last great pure Mario comedy-RPG, as the next title, the Wii’s Super Paper Mario, would blend the RPG with more traditional Mario platforming.

The Paper Mario art style ages incredibly well even in three dimensions, but the Switch remake looks genuinely remarkable, taking the arts and crafts vision of Mario’s world and making it look genuinely handmade at times.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door will arrive on Nintendo Switch in 2024.

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