Paper Mario Sticker Star Review
The last time we played a Paper Mario game was back in 2007 on the Nintendo Wii. It’s five years later and Paper Mario has returned on the Nintendo 3DS with Paper Mario Sticker Star. Paper Mario Sticker Star, much like Super Paper Mario did on the Wii, changes the gameplay formula you become familiar with in the Paper Mario series. While Super Paper Mario gave you the ability to change between 2D and 3D perspectives and have real time battles, Paper Mario Sticker Star changes all that once again.
The real time battle system has been replaced with the classic RPG turn by turn battle system of the original Paper Mario and the story is once again told in a story book style. Many RPG elements seen in previous Paper Mario games are gone with Sticker Star. XP and leveling up are gone. Party members and badges have been thrown out and are all replaced with stickers, lots and lots of stickers.
Story wise, Paper Mario Sticker Star is similar to most Mario games. The mushroom kingdom is celebrating the Sticker Festival when suddenly Bowser interrupts the festival and tries the steal the precious Sticker Star. Bowser breaks the Sticker Star, scattering it’s pieces across the land and kidnaps Princess Peach. Now it’s once again up to Mario to save the day by collecting the comet pieces, royal stickers, and saving Princess Peach.
However other battle system elements have been greatly changed as well. Usually you can perform one attack at a time but you can use coins you’ve collected to gamble on a spin machine for up to 2 extra sticker uses at a time. Targeting enemies also work in order now. Your first sticker will hit the first enemy in the line and so on. It gives the combat a different feel that additionally makes you use your stickers more wisely. The battle system works fine and aside from some boss battles, most battles will be a walk in the park.
Like I mentioned before, you can collect stickers by peeling them off walls in worlds but you can also place stickers in worlds to your own advantage as well. Pressing the Y button will paperise the world your in, basically creating a flat image of the world. From there you can place stickers to fix broken paths, reveal new rooms, and or block objects. There’s 96 different types of stickers and 64 thing stickers. Now what are thing stickers you ask? Well throughout Paper Mario Sticker Star, you’ll occasionally find 3D objects that you can later turn into stickers. These thing stickers play some major roles in solving puzzles that usually tend to create a lot of frustration. For example, you’ll find an electric fan that you’ll need to later use to blow wind towards a windmill. However, most of the time these puzzles are as clear and sometimes you’ll use your sticker in the wrong place or you won’t have the appropriate sticker to solve the puzzle. In that case you’ll have to travel back to the levels you’ve already completed in search for any secret stickers or things.
These constant solving of puzzles to progress in the story becomes really frustrating over time. Intelligent Systems really should have made some of these puzzles optional for the hardcore puzzle lovers. With that, Paper Mario Sticker Star does do a lot of things well. While the level design of Paper Mario Sticker Star isn’t as innovating as those found in Super Paper Mario, it plays it safe by resembling the classic 8 worlds of the classic Super Mario games but in an excellent way. The combination of 3D gameplay in a paperised world looks awesome on the Nintendo 3DS. The soundtrack in Paper Mario Sticker is amazing. When going to an underground section of a world you’re introduced to a remix of the classic underground Mario level music. Even the sound effects sound great with such instances when you’re peeling stickers off a wall or hitting a try to get a coin