Some parents view video games as a portal into violence and unnecessary entertainment, the problem with that view is that it disregards the video games that teach lessons as well as entertain. Paper Mario : The Thousand-Year Door is a game that all can enjoy, but kids can learn the most from. One must look past what is seen to clearly identify what can be learned. In this aspects, games teach things like organization, decision making, quick thinking, planning ahead, budgeting, and strategy. Paper Mario teaches many of these lessons, let us take a look at a some of the reasons kids might enjoy and learn from it.
1.) Art Style
The moment you see this game it becomes apparent that the art style is very specific, it creates the aura that illustrates every aspect of the game. The paper aspect of Paper Mario is also apart of the legitimate laws that rule the world they live in. Also, it means the game looks adorable; even the most fiercesome of enemies look somewhat enviting. This of course translates to all of the partners that join Mario on his quest to save Princess Peach. This unique aesthetic appearance alone makes Paper Mario distinct and memorable.
2.) Introduction to Turn-Based RPGs
With so many games in the mainstream’s gaze, turn-based RPG’s are usually left to hide out in the shadows, think about how many you see on the Xbox 360 and how many you see on the Super Nintendo. With some turn-based RPGs being so large it may be daunting to find one inviting to new players. Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door beckons to new gamers for many different reasons. For those unfamiliar with a type of game that doesn’t allow for nonstop attacking, Paper Mario will certainly be something different because it teaches patience and planning. Even if this game isn’t the first turn-based game they play, it is probably the easiest to understand. Damage output in Paper Mario is incredibly small compared to most games, yet Intelligent Systems still utilizes it to its fullest extent. Keep in mind, Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a long game, especially for someone used to shooter campaigns. Experiencing something that takes 40+ hours really takes dedication and commitment, it becomes something that must be returned to again and again.
To be expected, a lot of gameplay in Parper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is combat. These battles include interaction in a way most games do not. When Mario goes to attack an enemy, he can do extra damage if the player presses the attack button the moment Mario makes contact with the enemy. This is represented throughout the game with different attacks as well as with every partner that joins Mario. Guarding also requires the player to time correctly to avoid or lessen damage. One can not successfully make it through this game without learning correct timing. Luckily, the game has a slow difficulty incline, giving new players more than an opportunity to figure out how to win.
4.) Decision Making
Video games can teach a lot of different lessons. One that is subtley a core aspect of Paper Mario is decision making. As you play through the game experience points are awarded for defeating enemies. When you reach a total of 100 experience points Mario gains a level. This level yields a boost to HP, (Hit Points) FP, (Flower Points) or BP (Badge Points). This simple decision is made by the player and not only signifies the growth of Mario, but ultimately influences the way you make decisions in battle. Do you have enough HP to take another hit or do you need to heal? Do you have enough FP to finish these opponents or should you attack normally? These decisions are made depending on how the player levels up Mario. This example of decision making leads to clear results as you examine the stats of Mario at the end of the game.
5.) Great Memories
This game is a volcano ready to burst with memorable moments and characters. Mario travels with an exciting and odd asortment of partners, ranging from a baby Yoshi you name and raise, to a Pirate Bom-omb that struggles to get over the death of his wife. The locations and scenarios decorating Rogueport and the surrounding islands are too unique to forget. From a murder mystery train ride, to the moon itself, this game has a pleasing aesthetic no matter where you visit.
With so many different characters to meet along the way, it is very likely the player will find someone they relate to. Koops is a timid koopa that wants to overcome his cowardliness, Vivian leaves her sisters due to how mean they are upon seeing the kindness presented from Mario, and Luigi goes off on his own adventure (but leaves a diary behind) because he is tired of being left behind while Mario saves the day. Even some of the Non Playable Characters (NPC) have a lot of character.
Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a game that is really meant for everyone, all ages of folks can pick up a Gamecube controller and journey to a land of adventure. However, with the content being so friendly, this game becomes an excellent option for kids because it also teaches a number of lessons. Timing, decision making, planning ahead, commitment and the desire to help others are only a few of the gems to be learned here. For those less familiar with RPG’s Paper Mario gently invites players into a type of game that stays unique even today. It may be hard for some people to get their hands on this game or a Nintendo Gamecube, but the payout is worth it.