paper mario 2 is a fun RPG with very memorable moments that make this adventure worth checking out. my score
The main story is pretty simple like most Mario games are. One day Mario is in his house with Luigi and they get a letter from princess peach saying that she found a treasure map in a criminal infested town called rougeport. So of course Mario goes there and figured out princess peach was taken by a mysterious group of people who want the seven crystal stars shown in her map. So he gets peachs map to find the crystal stars to hopefully find her. Even though the story does become more than it seems but its not the mass effect or Final Fantasies of stories.
Even though the main story might not be the best it does have moments to it but it really shines in other aspects. One of those aspects is its substories. What makes them special is you always go into a totally different place every chapter(the chapters are what divide the game into different sections). For example one chapter youll actually be a wrestler trying to get the way to the top because the crystal star is in the wrestling belt to being a detective solving crazy crimes while on a train. This is the reason you wont find many dull moments in the game.
Another shining aspect to the game storywise is the characters most of the characters you meet have such a great lighthearted feel to it that you would want most of them to join your party. The party members you do meet are all great even though they are the deepest when you are in there chapter and kind of slow down after that. Still the characters you do meet in there chapter are more fun and deep than some 40 hour RPGs. Speaking of which this game lasts that long which I found surprising especially for a mario RPG(it was the first one I played).
Graphically this game is fantastic for what it is. Its paper/cartoon like world fits the mood for this game. Artistically this is what you would find in a cartoon and all the places you go to never look the same except when you backtrack. Technically its not as good but this game isnt meant to be viewed by a technical standpoint and most people who have played it knew that but its still worth mentioning.
Sound on the other hand is the weakest part of this game to me. The reason is that while the soundtrack is good I never found that many of the games music to be catchy. The sound effects are the worst part of the sound because its just too simple I dont know if Nintendo purposely did that but people might have problems with it.
controls are really simple like most RPGs so theres not much to talk about.
now on to the battle system which is arguably the most important part of an RPG and all I have to say is near perfect. This game changes the traditional turn based system to the point that fans and non fans of Turn based games will enjoy immensely.
The battles are turn based but with a focus on action and timing. An example would be that if you jump on a enemy you have to press the A button just before you hit his head you can jump 2 times instead of 1. Leveling up does have a Western RPG feel to it that you can choose to raise your hp fp(action points) or badges(ability points). Another cool addition to its turn based combat is the audience system(thats what I call it) the more successful your moves are the bigger your audience gets. Sometimes the audience will throw items at you some of them could be either enemies throwing rocks at you so you can take damage or friendlies trowing mushrooms to gain health. You can attack the enemy audience so they can leave but at times you may accidentally hit a friendly and lose the chance for gaining health or attack points. So its a great addition to the game.
While you are not in battle you can do some platforming and this will keep peoples attention even after you are out of battle. you do get paper powers like Mario can turn into a paper airplane to reach far places or be able to turn thin to go through small openings in walls theres also some good puzzles in the game.
Now comes the flaws since no game is ever perfect. One of them is the bad sound effects. Others include side quests while some of them are decent they just don't compare to its fantastic single player. The games dialoge can be too long and while its great most of it is written so expect a lot of reading. One part I hated about the main quest is that you have to backtrack to every place again just to be able to get to some where and they dont even tell you exactly where to go so at times youll be aimlessly backtracking.
When you are not playing mario in the game you play as bowser and princess peach and none of the time spent with them doesnt equal to the amount of enjoyment you get playing as mario. Since when playing as princess peach it was just boring all it is is diolouge. while playing as bowser maybe better there is not much of a point playing as him because the levels you play as him is incredibly short and it just makes me want to play as mario even more but the good news is that both of them are short.
paper mario 2 is a must own for any gamecube no for any gamer buy this game the gamecube only cost 30$ and this game costs less so buy it and enjoy.
while not technically perfect it wont be a huge problem for you.
a few catchy tracks save the sound from getting a lower score.
simple and easy to use you wont be hearing many complaits
constantly fun most of the time.
P.S these scores above are not meant to be averaged.