i actually finished paper mario: the 1000-year old door before i finished luigi’s mansion, but i had rushed through the ending and hadn’t really done any of the sidequests (i.e. the trouble center). so i went back and did quite a few of them (inc. getting the extra character that i hadn’t known about — which i highly recommend doing sooner than later b/c it leads you to finding a lot more star pieces). but then it was just too much of the same so i didn’t bother being a completist. another deterrent to playing more was that after you beat the game enemies only ever give you 1 exp. pt if you beat them, so it takes ages to get upgrades. if i had known that i would’ve held off finishing the game; as it was the ending took me a few tries b/c i didn’t take the time to go through as many battles as i should’ve.
all in all the game was just so-so for me. the battle sequences were def. lively, and in general the game made fairly good use of the standard RPG elements, but as others have noted the game gets bogged down in a lot of text. i didn’t think the scenes w/ peach added much (although i def. enjoyed getting to play as bowser, minimal as that was), and in general the characterization was too “flat” (haha). but seriously, yes it’s mario which does not usually require a story, but it’s an RPG and there were only a few characters i felt any interest in at all, and in general the pace of the game was just too slow. there were some clever non-RPG moments near the end that made me look forward to the platformer super paper mario that’s supposedly in the works, much more than i look forward to another mario RPG. even so, i’m sort of interested in what the other mario RPG’s are like. prob. won’t hit the orig. paper mario any time soon, but the mario and luigi game on the GBA (superstar saga) was developed by a diff. company and might be worth looking into. also, the orig. mario RPG (seven stars, on the SNES, developed by square who of course does the final fantasy series) might be worth tracking down as well, although apparently it’s fairly rare — although coming up soon on the virtual console so i hear, so i might just get it there … whenever i get around to getting a wii! not sure yet if i’ll ever pick this game up any time soon. i came across an entertaining blog entry that chronicles one person’s account of the pit of 100 trials that piques my interest in doing it myself, but not having many 3 1/2 chunks of time to spare i’m prob. going to hold off on that … until i retire at least haha.
as usual ign.com is a good place to look for a guide (although this one has one noticeable gap in particular, namely character bios). … hmm … what should i play next … ?