December 3, 2012

Cardboard Cutout

Lasting First Impressions of Paper Mario Sticker Star

Developed by Intelligent Systems  |  Published by Nintendo

Paper Mario boxart» Here we go! The fourth installment to the Paper Mario series has just been released for the Nintendo 3DS. This magnificent series of games was brought forth back in 2000 on the Nintendo 64 with the original Paper Mario. I remember renting that game three times and I couldn’t stop playing it. It was an epic RPG adventure that allowed you to explore various types of environments in a 3D space full of paper cutouts. After following three spectacular games, the Paper Mario series doesn’t have the same power as it once did, but it still has some neat little features to impress with on the 3DS.

Our cookie cutter Mario story begins with the Sticker Festival that is held every year where people wish upon a sticker comet that flies by. As usual, Bowser shows up and crashes the party and Mario is left to put the pieces back together and save the princess. The layout of the game is very similar to the other games in that it is a 3D world with foreground and background layers.

Paper Mario screen 1Already I can see that this isn’t going to be a quick little game. The maps allow for a bit of exploration and I also noticed that there are different paths to take that may not be available the first time you enter the map. What the title makes clear is the biggest addition to the game: the sticker system. On your bottom 3DS screen you have an album, which you use to collect various types of stickers that you find throughout the world or by defeating foes. These stickers allow you to do damage in a battle, or use items. I was a little concerned with this mechanic because of what might happen if you don’t have enough stickers to attack enemies, but it turns out they can be found in abundance all over the world. Additionally, when rejoining a map, all the stickers re-spawn. Due to the fact that this game does not have a level up system, the stickers make it easier to do stronger attacks that, in previous Paper Mario games, would ask you to use “Flower Points” which were sort of like mana.

Paper Mario scren 2Another neat mechanic they added also revolves around the stickers. Depending on the map, there are secret areas, which can only be accessed by finding a matching sticker to fit the glowing purple areas that are missing in the world. You then use the paper mode to glue the sticker on and imbed that item into the world.

Paper Mario Sticker Star feels a lot like any other Mario game that has been released on the 3DS. It is much more linear and, by removing the level up system, it does not truly feel like a Paper Mario game. The world map is also not a town hub, it’s a standard Mario world map.

Ultimately, I feel that Nintendo needs to explore new ideas and characters and I would hope that we will see new stories in the coming years for the Wii U and 3DS. Although this is the case, it does not take away from the enjoyment of the game and I can see myself wanting to go back and play it once in a while.

Intelligent Systems, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Diana is an Apple Administrator and a Post Sound Assistant at a major Canadian television company whose love of gaming first began with such classics as Doom, Duke Nukem and the King's Quest Series. A previous job at EB Games has caused her collection of both console and PC games to grow to epic proportions. Her preferred genre is Sci-fi and her favourite titles are Mass Effect, Deus Ex and Dead Space. In any video game, however, what really matters to Diana, is a good story. Diana can be found on Xbox Live and on PSN as Limesplash.



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