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- Nintendo Paper Mario: Sticker Star 3DS
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Nintendo’s classic Paper Mario franchise gets a fresh 3D look in its hand-held debut. Stickers are the backbone of Mario’s newest adventure in which players use stickers found in the game to not only win battles, but to solve puzzles as well.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is turn-based Action-Adventure game, for Nintendo 3DS that uses the handheld's 3D capabilities to bring the visual style of the Paper Mario game franchise to life like never before. Players must collect, purchase, and create stickers to use in battles to stop Bowser from ruining things. Additional features include: rpg and puzzle-solving gameplay elements, hit point build up tied to stickers found and used, in-game companion "Kersti," explorable locales, and hidden sticker bonus abilities.
An Imaginative Paper Mario Adventure with a Sticky Twist
A sticky situation has never been so fun. There's trouble afoot in the town of Decalburg, where the devious Bowser has disrupted the beloved Sticker Fest by causing the Sticker Comet to explode. Now Royal Stickers and pieces of the comet have been flung far and wide, and it's up to Mario and his ally Kersti to set things right by recovering them. This captivating handheld adventure will have new and experienced fans of the Paper Mario series captivated as they navigate colorful 3D environments, defeat enemies, collect oodles of stickers and items, and use them in a variety of fun ways.
Key Game Features
- Stickers are the key to this imaginative adventure. Battles are turn-based like in the original Paper Mario game, but instead of an attack menu, Mario whomps on his enemies using a sticker to attack. Stickers not only serve as Mario's attacks, but also help solve puzzles throughout the Paper Mario universe when placed in the correct spots. Stickers can be found and collected from all corners of the world, and the flashier the sticker, the more powerful it is.
- Mario can also spend coins to use the Battle Spinner, which lets him use up to 3 stickers in one turn if the icons are lined up just right. The Battle Spinner can turn the tide in a difficult battle, so collecting coins through the game to use it is crucial.
- Paper Mario: Sticker Star players get stronger by beating bosses, finding items and completing side missions for other characters in the game instead of accumulating experience points.
- As players progress through the game, they'll find and use more powerful stickers to boost Mario's attack power. Players can also find HP-Up hearts to further boost Mario's maximum health.
- The environments in Paper Mario: Sticker Star come to life in this visually-stunning papercraft world on the Nintendo 3DS family of systems. They also contain a wide range of objects such as electric fans, scissors and radiators that can be converted into more stickers, which can then be used to solve puzzles or win battles as Mario maneuvers through each level.
Turn-based Paper Mario action.
Search for usable stickers.
Create stickers from items.
Varied battle arenas.
Top customer reviews
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First off, there's a reason why I was hooked for the first two or three hours. There are a lot of positives in this game's favor. Here are the biggest ones:
- The Presentation. The visuals are spectacular, possibly the best the series has ever had, in fact. The whole "children's pop-up book" aesthetic of the Paper Mario series has always been one of its biggest strengths. Not only is it cute, but it somehow pulls off being simultaneously nostalgic and fresh to the extreme, and it's done really well here. Many familiar locales from Mario's history, most notably from the the New Super Mario Bros series, get their chance to shine, and shine they do. The nostalgia and familiarity is really endearing and some new twists on familiar oldies, like a Mariachi Shy Guy band, or a Yoshi sphinx, are fantastic. There's also something awesome about 2-D, flat paper characters and settings rendered in true 3-D on the 3DS. It's like playing a child's school project diorama come to life. Great job here! And then there's the soundtrack. Oh the soundtrack! The music in this game really blew me away, and on occasion merits putting down the system just to soak it in for a while. Much of it feels like they told a Jazz band to just go nuts with familiar Mario motifs and themes, and it's awesome. Plenty of sax and trumpet to go around. Sweet stuff. Don't even get me started on how sweet the Mariachi Shy Guy band music is.
- Stickers, stickers, stickers. Everything revolves around stickers. Yes, everything. The battle system is entirely sticker based, and oftentimes you need certain stickers to solve puzzles in the various levels you visit. Maybe you need to put a mere normal sticker in the environment to open a door. Or maybe you need a special "thing" sticker that comes to life and affects the environment in big and surprising ways. There's lots of clever puzzles throughout the whole game. I found the whole "sticker" theme to be a refreshing twist on the classical Paper Mario formula, or at least I found the concept to be great anyway.
- The Battle System (more on this in the bad section later). In an attempt to return to Paper Mario's RPG roots, Intelligent systems made the battle system a turn-based affair once again. To fight a sense of "been here, done that," they decided to make the battle system revolve around stickers. This means two things. 1.) The entire battle system is, for all intents and purposes, entirely item based (or sticker inventory based, if you will), and 2.) There's a system of strategy that involves proper button inputs to increase the effectiveness of whichever sticker command you choose. This gives the battles a great sense of risk vs. reward as you wonder, "Can I use this less powerful 'worn-out hammer' perfectly and finish the battle that way? Or should I pull out my more powerful 'flashy hammer' sticker and guarantee a victory?" This is really cool.
This all sounds awesome, doesn't it? Well, yes, that's because it is. It's a unique twist that at least starts to bring the series back to its RPG roots. There are a few HUGE problems, however, that really pull the rest of the game down. I'll try to explain them now:
- The story. There is no story, really. Yeah, at the beginning, Bowser grabs a giant, mythical royal sticker he's not supposed to, and because of that sticker's power, he himself becomes a super powerful, shiny sticker. He gives each fragment of the original royal sticker to five of his henchmen across the land, and it's up to Mario to go to each area, traverse their levels, and get each crown sticker back. After this introduction to the story, there's nothing more. No more plot, no more interesting characters, no real developments. It's bizarre, because the game actually feels like a traditional Mario platformer in terms of its story, in that, there is virtually none. Even the way you get from level to level is like a Mario platformer: an overworld map in a "level 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, etc." sort of way. Again, it's more akin to New Super Mario Bros. Each level itself is styled in the way the original Paper Mario was, but there's no big world to explore, no big, interesting towns to visit, no companions to meet and take along with you, nothing. There's only one companion, a floating crown sticker named Kersti who is basically Mario's very own Navi, but not nearly as charming or likable. Even Super Paper Mario, which was basically a platformer at heart, had way more plot and characters than this. What happened? There's no incentive to keep going, as far as plot is concerned. Again, in a Mario platformer, that's not a problem, but this isn't a platformer! It's *supposed* to be more of an RPG, and in an RPG, plot is kinda important.
- The Battle System. Now wait a minute, didn't I say this was a positive? Well, yeah, the battle system itself is fantastic, except for one MASSIVE problem: It's all meaningless! After playing for an hour or two, I noticed something; there's no place in the menu to see Mario's stats, or his level, or his equipment... there's only sticker inventory. Wait, does that mean there's NO experience points (or Star Points, to be accurate) or leveling up in this game? Yep, there are *zero* tangible benefits to battles. The ONLY reward for winning battles are coins and stickers. Stickers are *everywhere* in the world as you explore, so this battle reward is meaningless. Coins are also everywhere in the levels, and their only use is for buying more stickers, so again, meaningless. The battles that are otherwise brilliantly conceived are rendered a waste of your time by no meaningful, tangible rewards for your efforts. There's no sense of progression in Mario's character, whatsoever. It makes more sense to just avoid enemies on the map altogether (who always respawn when you go back to already conquered areas, by the way, and since backtracking is a big part of this game at times, this is troublesome and annoying). Coming from Thousand-Year Door, where I actually sought out battles as much as I could due to their one-two punch of awesome design and satisfaction from winning, this is a *massive* gaffe. I mean, it's unforgivable really. Imagine truly great RPGs, ones like Final Fantasy IV (or VI, VII, and IX, take your pick, they're all amazing), Chrono Trigger,Earthbound,Radiant Historia, Super Mario RPG, the Mario and Luigi rpg series, or the first two Paper Mario titles, and imagine them without experience points, new, better equipment to find/aquire, or a leveling system. Blasphemy! If this wasn't trying to be an RPG, it wouldn't be so bad, but everything else in the game hearkens back to the RPG Paper Mario titles. *Sigh*
- Perhaps the WORST thing about the game is its lost potential. When Intelligent Systems started work on this game, they wanted to make it a true sequel to 1,000-Year Door. They had a big, epic plot planned out. There was going to be a charming overworld filled with exciting places to explore and characters to meet. There would be several unique, lovable companions to join you on your quest. The theater turn-based battles with audiences would come back. All throughout the process, however, Shigeru Miyamoto rejected all of these ideas until this game became the finished product. I love you Miyamoto-San, but what the H-E-doublehockeysticks were you thinking!? If Intelligent Systems' original vision for this game had been allowed to come to fruition, I have no doubt whatsoever that this would have been a 5-star masterpiece. Look at their track record for a moment: all Paper Mario games up until this one, the Fire Emblem series, the Advance Wars series, the WarioWare series, Pushmo, Crashmo, and the list goes on. These guys are masters of their craft, and this would have been another masterpiece to add to that list, if only Uncle Shiggy hadn't gotten in the way (I love the guy, he's a true inspiration to gamers everywhere, but this is a blemish on his otherwise astronomically great record). What would have been a masterpiece has been turned into a game that is merely "OK," and that is the most painful thing of all about this game: The lost potential.
I am not an overly critical person. I think this is my second or third 2-star review in total. I'd much rather review games I love or at least really like, not ones I think are just "meh" or "OK." I *really* wanted to love this game, but given the massive loss of potential, and the real botching of some of the most crucial aspects of the game that would have justified the change in direction, I just can't. I really tried with this game, but in the end, I just couldn't shake the growing feeling of disappointment and boredom anymore. Super Paper Mario really changed up the traditional formula, sure, but it was still a wonderfully executed game that was great on its own. Sticker Star could have been a nice spin-off Paper Mario title like that one was if there was even a slightly better plot to break the monotony, a battle system that actually feels rewarding, and a sense of satisfaction and progress for Mario's character throughout the game, but it just isn't there. Maybe others will find more enjoyment in this game. The game has some real strength in its presentation and many of the core concepts are sound, but it just isn't for me. I'm sorry Intelligent Systems, I'm sorry fellow Paper Mario fans, and most painfully, I'm sorry Paper Mario, but I just don't like Paper Mario: Sticker Star. Thanks for reading my review and hearing me out. You can go ahead and get out your pitchforks now.
What drew me away from this title was the lack of everything that I liked about the first three games. I didn't like Paper Mario because it was made out of Paper, being good games with good writing was what I liked about them. This game is a lot less story focused with less original characters compared to the previous games, though I won't let that waver my opinion too much, I knew that I had to enjoy this game it had to be by it's own merits.
The game outside of battles are quite enjoyable and call back to the first two Paper Mario games. There are some occasional puzzles, with levels like a haunted mansion making good use of the different mechanics the game has to offer. I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy exploring this world, as it does reward you with rare items and health upgrades.
The other half of the game, the battling, is where this game falls short. This game's gimmick is that all attacks are preformed by using Stickers, and once you use a Sticker it's gone for good, creating a consumable-based battle system. I could take this change... if it wasn't for the fact that there's little to no strategy. What made the first two games replayable was the multiple ways you could replay them, using different badges and a different partner can lead to two very different playthroughs when it came to battling. This game only has one method: use the strongest Stickers you have on the enemies it can hit. It's very repetitive and get's boring really fast, ultimately not bringing me back to replay this title anytime soon. There's experience points or any kind of leveling up like other RPGS, the only reward for battling are more Stickers and coins to buy more Stickers, so it's practically pointless in the second half of the game.
To conclude this article, Paper Mario Sticker Star is a terrible Paper Mario game that tries to be too innovative in attempt to fix something no one ever thought was broken to begin with. At best, it's a decent game of it's own kind, but I find it hard to tell anyone to go out of their way to play it. If you own a Wii or Wii U, go to the online store and get Paper Mario or Super Mario RPG instead.
Most recent customer reviews
The game it self was awful. I didn't know how to get past one part so I tried to do everything and I couldn't get pass.Read more