Ah yes, Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. I get a strange feeling every time I play this particular game...one that few others have yet to reproduce. That feeling isn't like re-playing a great game...plenty of games do that.
No, the feeling I get when playing this is like re-reading a fantastic book.
Out of all the Mario games of all genres, this may very well have the best story. You play as Mario (already, you fill in the shoes of a legendary hero) as you travel to the seedy harbor town of Rogueport, whereupon you discover that Princess Peach has once more been kidnapped. But the twist! Bowser isn't the one behind it. In fact, Bowser really isn't a threat in this game at all (he's very much a part of the game, though, don't worry), instead being replaced by the evil Secret Society of the X-Nauts, led by the mysterious Sir Grodus, who is after the Crystal Stars to open the legendary Thousand-Year Door beneath Rogueport.
And the adventure begins. An adventure that will have you explore abondoned castles, compete in a grand fighting tournament, explore a haunted house, raid a ghostly pirate's treasure, trek through a monochromatic wood, solve mysteries aboard a train, fight on TOP of said train, fly to the moon, explore sewers, pit you against, among classic Mario enemies, dragons, ghosts, giant mechas, villianous sisters, old foes, new enemies, a powerful organization led by a rutheless maniac, and Eldritch Abomination of the likes never seen in a Mario game before, all the while meeting strange yet charming characters in many new and fantastic locations.
All while being paper thin.
The story is magnificent, giving you a game that can only be barely described as truly a Mario game, fringing upon the Mushroom Kingdom we know and love, which is VERY much a compliment, all the while being accompanied by by excellent humor and true drama, it mixes into a delicious blend of fun.
The gameplay holds as well. The new "stage" theme of the turn based battle system adds a slightly chaotic but still interesting element that can instantly turn the tide of battle for good or ill, as well as a very dynamic art style.
With only a few characters left, I have to wrap this up. Paper Mario: TTYD is truly an experience that will leave story lovers more than happy, and turn-battle lovers satisfied. Very much an all-around great game.