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Paper Mario Sticker Star [3DS] Review: Insert Porn Pun Here

By
Posted on November 17, 2012 AT 08:40pm

He’s such a sticker nerd.

Nintendo has always been known to do some oddball RPGs when it comes to the Mario universe. Look at the Mario and Luigi series, or as it’s known in Japan, Mario and Luigi RPG if you need some prime examples. The Paper Mario series is no different. From the first game back on the N64 to the third game on the Wii, it has been a mash-up of interesting graphics, odd characters and strangely devious plots, well except for Super Paper Mario with its “EVERYTHING IS GOING TO DIE” atmosphere. However, Sticker Star returns to the oddball plots, with some interesting characters to boot. The plot is quite simple, just like in any Mario game, Bowser is up to no good. This time he touches a magic Star Sticker, which causes it to separate into 6 “Royal Stickers” that are apparently quite powerful and wreak havoc across the land. Oh, and Princess Peach was kidnapped. Again. Of course, this means our favorite 2D plumber must play the hero and rescue the damsel. Now I believe Mario, being Mario, would have done this anyways, but this is an RPG and RPG heroes require incentive, and the one to provide that instinctive is the PM series’s worst advice character to date, Kersti. Kersti is a little, for lack of a better term, bitch. When you first meet her, instead of thanking you for saving her from certain death, she yells your ears off,  by basically saying this: “THAT TOOK YOU LONG ENOUGH. WERE YOU THE IDIOT THAT TOUCHED THE STICKER STAR? WELL, NOW YOU HAVE TO GO COLLECT THE ROYAL STICKERS AND FIX THIS. NOW. BECAUSE I SAID SO.”

At least she’s not Navi…

Characters who come off as unpleasant in such games normally under go some development over the course of the game, mind you this only happens in the good games where the designers intended you to warm up to said character. This does not happen to Kersti. As the advice character she rarely ever gives advice that’s actually helpful, an example of her useless advice would be in World 6, after Bowser’s Castle flys up into the sky she says “I can’t fly, but perhaps we know someone who can.” There’s just one problem with that: throughout the entire game, there is not a single flying character. In fact the only way the player would know who to talk to is if they understand the life-cycle of a caterpillar, and also understand that video games sometimes speedup life-cycles for convenience.

Then there’s the fact that Kersti is never actually nice to Mario. In fact the only character she’s ever kind too is a minor character named Wiggler, who is, of course, a Wiggler.

Wiggler’s only purpose though, is as a plot device in World 3. He serves a second purpose, but not until the end of the game. Kersti’s design as a magic talking crown sticker also isn’t that great, but enough about her.

Dawww….isn’t he adorable?

The high points in this game came with the graphics and overall gameplay. This Paper Mario game really took the “paper” part to heart. The graphics was like looking at a 1st grader’s diorama for a school project. Everything was textured to look like cardboard, paper, and sometimes plastic. Even the effects were designed to be exactly like paper. When enemies attacked, they would sometimes fold themselves up like origami. Two new status effects were introduced, Crumpled and Soggy, both having the same effect of immobility.The graphics ended up creating the best use of the 3DS’s stereoscopic abilities I’ve seen since the system came out.

As the name implies, stickers play a big part in the game. In battle, they are used for attacks. Once the player runs out of stickers, they run out of attacks and are forced to flee. This makes managing stickers a very big part of battles. A part of managing stickers is also understanding that the come in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large. Large stickers are rarer but do the most damage, but also take up the most space in the album, which has very limited space. Medium stickers tend to be middle, but still also take up space. Then there’s the small stickers, which take up one unit of space, but don’t do as much damage. In addition to sizes, there are three levels for stickers, normal, Shiny, and Flashy. Flashy stickers are the rarest, and do the most damage and it goes down from there. As a bit of an Easter egg, Shiny and Flashy stickers actually shimmer when the 3DS is moved back and forth, as if they were real holographic stickers. Stickers were also involved in puzzles. Kersti’s one useful ability was called “Paperization” which turned the 3D world 2D, allowing for stickers to removed, or stuck onto the world to bring it to life and reveal its secrets.

The bosses and enemies were all very well done. The difficulty of the game increased with each world at an even pace, never wavering. It made the game overall flow evenly kept things interesting. The only problem was the level-up and experience systems were removed, making battles purely a form of cash flow and nothing else. As a result, it is entirely possible to go through the game without ever fighting a single enemy except for the bosses and mini-bosses.

While this game is a lot of fun, provided one ignores Kersti, once Bowser is beaten, there’s not much of a post game. You could go back and get all the collectable and complete the Sticker Museum, but that’s it. There’s no Pit of 100 Trials like in past PM games, thus short of starting a new file, beating Bowser is all that’s left in the game.

Summary: Great game with some minor flaws.

  • THE GOOD:Excellent gameplay mechanics and beautiful graphics.
  • THE BAD: Little character development, overall plot could have used reinforcement.
  • THE UGLY: Kersti is a bitch.

Score: 7.0

James Conrad is a Pokemon fanboy, lover of the arts and is forever broke.
Tweets: @JRCnrd
Artwork: jrcnrd.artworkfolio.com
Email: jrconradATdigitalnoob.com




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