I didn't see a thread on this so I figured I would post my impressions of the latest entry in the Paper Mario Series.
In honesty I haven't played a Paper Mario game since the first one on the 64, and a little bit of Thousand Year Door. I Did watch the one on the Wii get played but I never played it myself.
To sum it up, PM3DS is NOT an RPG in the sense that All the other paper mario games are. If your looking for Exp and levels and stats this is not the game for you. It's more like... like Zelda than an RPG. You have a certain amount of HP that can be increased by finding heart containers (+% HP Per one found in game) that's it. your attacks are based on the Stickers you find and they are all one use attacks. Once you use them you can't use it again ever unless you find the sticker again. Now this may seem horrible but actually it creates a really fun strategy game in a way.
You get X amount of pages of stickers, on average you can fit about 12 per page, some stickers are bigger and take up 4-8 slots on a page so you have to be careful. But these big ones are the strongest attacks in the game and are fun to watch. They are like summons from the Final Fantasy series. I say X amount of pages because you gain more of those as the game goes on.
Now as for the stickers themselves, there are 96 combat stickers and 64 "Thing" stickers (These are the Big stickers, i like to call them Summons). Once you find a "Thing" sticker you can buy it again and use it, however you can only have one of the same summon at a time. But they have more than just uses inside of battle, these stickers can (and some times HAVE to) be used outside of battle to open up pathways or to clear a sandstorm etc... and this is where I think the game gets fun. It doesn't hold your hand at all you have to figure out which stickers to use, where they are hidden and if you chose the wrong sticker you do lose it. It's where the Metroid/Zelda feeling hits me that I like it. Problem solving has always been a plus for me in these kinds of games, and having to backtrack a bit to find a lost item i missed is entertaining... mostly. I think Metroid takes it a level TOO far but that's ok.
As for the combat since this is a Paper Mario game. I find combat to be a lot of fun. As I said you use your stickers to fight adn there are plenty to choose from. It's a matter of choosing which stickers can kill your opponents in one shot or not. But it's not a simple one click and watch fight (well the summons are) you have to hit the action button at the right time to perform a timed attack just like in the old Mario RPG game, and all the RPG mario games since. The boss battles are a bit more ridiculous and even involve a bit of problem solving. Each boss tends ot have a weakness, ussually one of the summon stickers. For instance one will become much weaker if you use the bat on it. Sadly I never had those stickers for those fights and i end up using a lot of my battle stickers to win, but I found it to be a lot of fun. Lastly, the main point of the game is not only to collect stickers, but coins as well. With coins you can buy more stickers and summon stickers, and it gives you access to the battle spinner in combat. THe battle spinner gives you a chance to use more than one sticker in a turn letting you combo certain ones together. It's expensive but a lot of fun. I ended up spending all my money to kill a boss cause I messed up big time. But i killed him!
All in all I think it's a fun game, the humor is silly and all paper themed. But in a good way. I like that they are aware that they are paper and don't really question it. If you are however looking for a good RPG... this isn't it. In fact I wouldn't even call it an RPG same as I wouldn't call Zelda an RPG. It's more of an... Action Plat former. A great addition to the 3DS library all in all and it's even available on the e-shop.
Things i Like:
+Figuring out which stickers to bring and managing them is fun to me
+The levels are silly but fun, as is the humor
+Plenty of stickers to collect and use
+Summon stickers are fun to watch
+Rewarding when solving a puzzle as the game has 0 handholding
Things I thought were meh
:Not an actual RPG. I would have liked at least an Attack or Defense stat, atm I have to remember the damage of every item
:I'm slightly worried about game length, it doesn't appear to be that long a game though I may be wrong
:Sometimes the Dialogue can go on for a bit longer than needed, though not often
Things I don't like
-The loss of a battle companion is sad, i liked having a sidekick
-The bosses can be unfair at times and if you didn't bring the right summon sticker than it's going to be a LOT harder, though still possible
-You find out what sticker to use on the boss... after you kill it or during the fight where it's already too late
-Selling Stickers takes a long time sometimes.
as it stands I give the game an 8/10. it's not GOTY, but it's fun.
If any one has any questions I'll be glad to answer them... if I can that is.