It's been a while since I've posted anything of substance in this blog (hell, it's been a while since I posted in it, period), so I'm going to go ahead and riff on the partners of the Paper Mario games and rank them.
This should be pretty obvious, but spoilers for the Paper Mario games are imminent.
PAPER MARIO (N64)
I have a strange need to have Goombario Tattle everything when I play Paper Mario. Sometimes he says funny and/or helpful things, and no way I'm missing out on that optional text. In battle, he's essentially Mario's Jump, with the addition of Tattle. Charge is only useful against enemies with defense stats of more than 0 and enemies that are temporarily invulnerable to Goombario (Like a charging Electro Blooper, for example). Tattle allows you to see enemy HP, which is an excellent ability that doesn't waste your BP (like Peekaboo). Overall, he's a solid partner choice, although he loses his usefulness in the lategame because of all the enemies with spikes or high Defense. B.
Kooper's a cool enough character, and he can be useful in a pinch with Power Shell, but he's rather weak on the whole and gains no protection from his shell. Not a very good partner, honestly. C.
One of the best partners. Bombette's Bomb is a great way to take out groups of enemies, and she was born to kill Dry Bones (That sucker takes 17 damage from her explosion). Her downside is that she's a total FP sucker and her non-FP using attack is average at best. Still, she's an excellent partner choice. A.
Shell Shot is a superb attack that can hit pretty much anything. Parakarry is also your first partner with the ability to hit enemies on the ceiling, and his letter-delivering ability makes for some neat sidequests. On the bad side of things, his Air Lift attack is rather useless and his basic kicking attack lacks power. A pretty good partner overall. B.
My favorite partner. Bow has great character design and personality, and she's strong in battle. She can do 4 damage without any upgrades, and 5 when she's been upgraded once. That outmuscles any other partner at those levels. Fan Smack is a superb power move and Outta Sight will save your ass against Super Blooper, Huff N. Puff, and of course Tubba Blubba's Heart. On top of that, use Bow to fight Duplighosts. If Mario's wearing the Defend Plus badge, the copied Duplighosts will be totally harmless. Her downside is that she can't do much to enemies with a Defense of 1 and she's pretty much useless if their Defense is any higher than that. Keep her out when you're traveling in areas with low-defense enemies and she'll serve you well. A.
Our little spark thing here seems weak at first blush but is actually the strongest partner in the game. No matter how much defense your enemies are packing, Watt can pierce it for a constant 5 damage each turn. He's got other attacks, but his main one is all you need: Any enemy with 3 defense or more takes more damage from Watt than any other partner. Watt will be a valuable ally against well-armored foes like Bombshell Bill Blasters, Bowser, and the dreaded Kent C. Koopa. A+.
Okay, so Sushie kicks the crap out of fire enemies. That's great. How many fire enemies are there in this game? 4? Sushie's about as average as a partner gets when there aren't any fireballs for her to squirt water at. C-.
This guy is pretty lame. I don't really like his design or his character, but I have to admit that having a low-FP-cost, hits-all-enemies attack can be useful, especially against Huff N. Puff. He's also a good fighter against the Crystal King. And Mario moves faster when riding on his cloud; that's a neat bonus. On the bad side of things, his standard attack is pretty bleh. At least he can hit enemies on fire and enemies with spikes. C+.
PAPER MARIO: THE THOUSAND-YEAR DOOR
Behold Goombario's spiritual successor. She's smarter and a bit better designed, but she's pretty much the same... except for Rally Wink. This super-useful move lets Mario take Goombella's turn so he can go twice, allowing extra damage, or maybe using an item and then throwing in an attack. Plus, since her Headbonk hits twice, Power Plus P badges raise its power by 2. A strong overall partner. A.
Kooper was a better character than Koops, a pathetic wuss. Koops does have a big advantage battlewise, though: He actually takes less damage from enemies thanks to his shell. However, he can get flipped by enemies with jumping attacks. Overall, he's pretty meh compared to your other partner options. B-.
Ugh. Her personality is creepy and, of course, she's ugly as hell. Flurrie's only real redeeming characteristic is her ability to hit enemies on the ceiling, and after you get the much better Vivian, Flurrie no longer has any advantages. Lip Lock is an OK strategy against Bonetail, sure, but I've beaten that dope twice and I ignored Flurrie both times. As for the main game itself, I've gone through the entire game three times and I've used Flurrie in maybe two fights. D.
He specializes in hitting enemies a whole bunch of times for a high overall total. So, he's like Bow, except not nearly as cool. His other ability is Gulp, a defense-piercing move you're actually forced to use in order to proceed in the game. He's pretty meh, and I never bothered using him, but I know he has his fans. B.
One of the better partners. She (or maybe he - it's an ongoing controversy) inerits Bow's Outta Sight ability, both for field and battle purposes. She's also got a couple of nice attacks that burn enemies for extra damage. And to top it all off, she can attack pretty much anyone onscreen. One of my favorite partners. A.
This guy is awesome. Cool design, great personality, and fantastic battle ability. He has more HP than any other partner and his bomb attack is among the strongest partner moves. He can flip over those annoying Moon Clefts and he's a perfect choice to kill the Shadow Queen. Pair him with Vivian and Quick Change: Vivian burns an enemy, and Bobbery pops out next turn and explodes for the maximum damage possible each turn. Goombella, Vivian, and Bobbery are far and away this game's best partners. A+.
She's a weirdo side partner with abilities and attacks that aren't needed but are useful. She can sniff out treasure and hidden items - a must for completists. In addition, she can swipe those cool badges and items you see enemies holding occasionally. Lastly, if you're feeling lucky she might be able to confuse your foes, and her Love Slap attack pierces Defense, making her a good choice to fight Chain Chomps, Elite Wizzerds, and Moon Clefts. I'd like her even more if, instead of a mouse, the optional item-stealing, item-finding partner was a Bandit, but you can't have it all. B+.
Super Paper Mario looks like it's going to have pretty lame partners. They're called Pixls, and they allow for you to do various things with the Wiimote. They're all just abstract-looking little fairies, though, nothing at all like the partners of the first two games. However, being able to play as Peach and Bowser in the main game is a nice consolation prize.
NOTE: My opinions aren't your opinions. Just figured I'd mention that in case a Flurrie or Sushie fan reads this.