Back during E3 2010, Paper Mario for the 3DS was announced. I was highly excited for the game since at the time, I beat both PM64 and SPM, and they were some of the greatest games I’ve ever played. A few months ago I beat TTYD, and finally this game came out. This was my most anticipated 3DS game, so does the new sticker idea work out great for this beloved series, or does it fail miserably? Here is my review of Paper Mario Sticker Star.
Well, first off, the only thing that happens in the story is Bowser interrupts Sticker Fest and then Mario has to find the five Royal Stickers, help a Wiggler, and beat Bowser and save Peach… For a Paper Mario game, there is barely any text within the actual story which was highly disappointing. It was a neat idea, and I actually think if they made the story that much longer and added plenty of characters, it would’ve been so much better.
Now this is where it starts. Sticker Star returns to the original ways of the first two Paper Mario games, with RPG turn-based battles, but this time your battle system is based entirely around the stickers and timed button presses. Now, the idea at first may seem cool, but what you then find out, you don’t gain any experience from battles. This is how it goes, you buy stickers, kill enemies to gain coins so you can buy more stickers. If there was an experience system the battles would’ve had more of a point to them! In battles, you get numerous different kinds of jump attacks and hammer attacks, along with them being normal all the way to megaflashy or whatever, which means the shinier they are, the better. You also get a battle spinner which is basically a slot machine, and how many you strike in a row means how many attacks you get. This speeds up the battle system for sure and makes those tedious boss fights a lot less painful to play through. With puzzles, you will come to notice during the FIRST LEVEL of the second world how cryptic and misleading this game is. Almost half the game is a fetch quest, and to solve certain puzzles you need to “paperize” yourself, but you need to find “things” and certain stickers to solve these puzzles, but when you get to a part where you need something special, you have no idea what it is, where to get it, or what to do at all unless you look up a walkthrough. It honestly hurts me to say that the gameplay was very disappointing, especially for a Paper Mario game. But even said, there are some great levels in this game. Being a fan of the paranormal and actually exploring a real haunted house, there’s one level based around getting rid of the ghosts in a mansion, with some very creepy music, which personally, was very awesome.
It looks like your basic Paper Mario game, but yet, it has 3D effects with make it look a lot better. I have no idea how to explain it better than that, but basically, everyone who lives within the game is made out of paper, and the environments are all 3D, and the buildings look solid but are actually paper too, I guess. All in amazing 3D effects so it does look quite nice.
This game does have an acceptable soundtrack. While you have plenty of tunes that you will hum along with, there are some not so memorable. But as mentioned earlier, the creepy theme in the boo mansion was great, and most of the themes in the game fit with what level they are based in.
Um, if you’re looking for a game that will take you hours on end to finish, you won’t get that here. The main quest didn’t even take me fifteen hours! Fully completing it though? Maybe a few more? Just a guess, because there isn’t all that much to do in it. It’s disappointing, the other games were all well over twenty-two hours each, and this game was just way shorter.
If you want this to be a game that you can sit down and replay any day, it’s not gonna happen. It frustrates you with it’s crypticness and it will not keep you wanting more. I am not trying to be too hard on the game, but it’s true.
Overall, Sticker Star had a lot, and I mean A LOT of potential, considering it’s Paper Mario and all. I don’t blame Intelligent Systems for trying something new, but if you’re changing what isn’t broken, make sure to do it right, which they clearly didn’t. As much as I wanted to love this game as much as the other ones, I don’t. Now, disappointing doesn’t mean it’s a bad game, it just means I had higher expectations! Overall, a really good game, but disappointing. I wanted more than what I got, and although it was a good attempt at trying something new, it just wasn’t the game we all wanted.
+Decent soundtrack with some great tunes
+Some great level designs
+Great 3D effects
-Very cryptic and misleading
-Disappointing gameplay design
-Barely any story
-Very short for Paper Mario
Graphics / 3D Effects: 9.7/10
Replay Value: 3.1/10