While not the first games I played in the series (that honor goes to Super Paper Mario and Sticker Star) the original Paper Mario is the game that really got me into RPGs and holds a special place near and dear to my heart.

I love the presentation of this game, perhaps it's the ultimate "comfort game" for me. The soundtrack might be the most comforting thing about the game, with the pleasant sounds of the N64 really showing themselves throughout many of the game's tunes. The polyganal style of the Mushroom Kingdom coupled with the pixilated character sprites also make for a game that oozes graphical charm. This of course extends to the combat system, with it allowing for animation and timed inputs that make for some of the most expressive battles I've seen in an RPG. Management is also something that surprisingly makes the game more engaging, with HP, FP, AND BP all needing to be carefully managed to make the tide of battle flow smoothly as the game progresses, with leveling up allowing for upgrades to only one of the stats.

However, on this particular playthough I found myself more critical of the game, but this may be because I have already played though it so many times. For one, while the simple storybook nature of the game's story is wonderfully comforting, it is perhaps a bit too simple? With the other Mario RPGs (or hell even some of the other Paper Marios) the locations are a bit more fantastical with much more imposing threats, while in this original game Mario is still exploring the basic lands of the Mushroom Kingdom (with a few exceptions) with Bowser as the main villian. Despite that it wouldn't really be fair to call the game "basic" with how much wit and charm the characters that inhabit this kingdom are able to convey in their dialouge. Though the games more laid back nature does lead into my second point that this game can sometimes be broken in half in a way that I don't really find fun. This playthough, I decided to go full on into BP, allowing me to do some insanely high damage that melted most enemies and bosses towards the end, which I didn't really find that fun or engaging sometimes.

Though the game's more easygoing attitude did prevent me from fully enjoying the game on this revisit as I have in the past, the original Paper Mario still has tons of charm and personality that makes for such a comforting game that I'm sure I will revisit in the future.

I think Sam & Max are the most gay-coded characters ever created and I honestly could not tell you why. Maybe its the suit and the height difference.

Anyway, it boggles my mind just how effortlessly and hilariously witty this game is. I feel like a lot the time attempts at comedy through fourth wall breaks and quippy witicisms come off as really forced and groan-worthy, but Sam & Max are able to pull it off so well. Their dynamic, wordy banter, disregard for the law and morality, and gleefully cynical outlook on the world is just delightful and makes the humor really work. It's paired with absolutely sublime art direction and animation to boot. Sometimes the puzzles are fairly obtuse, but I think that's the price you have to pay with some of these older adventure games.

This 97 year old kindergarten still serves peak The old fashioned banban way

Underground Passageway man: Where have all my anomalies gone??

Me with a suspiciously anomaly shaped lump in my throat: I dunno man it wasn't me

If Peppino was a journey through an anxiety-induced fever dream from a man who's been driven to the very edge of his own helpless sanity, then the Noise is a journey through a man's own vanity, going through the same struggles as Peppino not because he wants to or needs to, but just because he can. Noise is much more akin to Wario than Peppino in this matter then, effortlessly blazing through the tribulations presented to them for the sake of their own greed and ego. With such a shift of character then, playing Pizza Tower as the Noise is not a lame excuse for replayability, however it is a whole new experience within the same game.

Just like Peppino, Noise can go really fast, if not more so. Unlike Peppino though, the Noise cant climb up the walls out of sheer desperation, instead opting for his skateboard to act as more of a wall jump that gets instantaneous speed when landing on the ground. The Noise can also do a tornado spin when using his skateboard that decimates enemies. To counteract this lack of verticality though, the Noise can super jump at any time and has access to an uppercut with much more force and range to it. Bosses are also different, with the Noise deciding to gleefully throw his own bombs around the arena, instead of grabbing the bosses out of abject rage. These new movement options and every transformation having new control methods create not only just a different game feel than Peppino, but one that beautifully balances on the line between a chaotic and smooth experience.

The movement isn't just the only thing that makes playing through Pizza Tower as the Noise feel so fresh, but rather the fact that the Noise is a god damn scumbag cheater. He often just ignores several mechanics in the game, such as changing the stroke limit in golf so that he always gets the primo ‘burg, or not delivering the pizzas in Gnome Forest and instead opts to destroy the customers' homes to get the toppins. Not even the bosses are safe from the Noise's wrath, as he just flat out shoots the Vigilante in the climactic duel and even scares off Fake Peppino in the final chase phase. He doesnt even have his own title cards for each level he just slaps stickers of himself over all the faces that were present in Peppino's adventure. And that's only tipping the iceberg when it comes to all of the delightfully cheesy flourishes that the Noise adds to make for a hilariously cheap playthrough.

The Noise reinforces the chaotic and insane energy of Pizza Tower that, in my opinion, makes it one of the best 2D platformers ever made, and is a more than welcome addition to this amazing game. The Noise even gets some great new music tracks that compliment an already fantastic soundtrack.

Now all we need is a playable Gerome update to make this game a complete masterpiece. Come on Tour de Pizza I know you can do it!!!!!!

Do you think the people at valve who decided to get rid of Steam Greenlight and let anyone publish games with a pricetag on Steam feel the same way that Oppenheimer did about the atomic bomb

Uhhh....She skinamarink at my house until it's full of leaves? [EXREMELY LOUD INCORRECT BUZZER]

Doom is great because it's made by a bunch of guys (who were probably high out of their minds) that wanted to make an ultra-violent fps about killing demons and it ended up being one of the most influential and important pieces of gaming history.

If you gave me a choice between playing through garten of banban 3 again or watching Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom I would choose watching Salò in a heartbeat.

I was playing this with some friends in a voice call and an hour into the game we had to reassure to our friend who was driving that we were playing a real game and not making up words