Paper Mario Sticker Star
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Adventure, RPG
Platforms: Exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS
Paper Mario Sticker Star was released back in Holiday 2012. It is not the typical Mario game and the Paper Mario series may be the most creative and innovative Mario games out there. In at least Sticker Star, Mario’s world is made of paper or cardboard. The first Paper Mario was a great game and its reception was outstanding. Does Sticker Star live up to the Paper Mario name? Read further to find out!
The weakest link in this game’s chain would be the story told. The game begins as a sticker festival that features stickers raining down on a comet. This is completely interrupted and the world is turned into turmoil by Bowser when he touches the star. Mario meets a sticker named Kersti and they team up. Together, it’s up to them to get the powerful stickers back!
Unlike other RPGs, there is not a lot of depth to the story. Heck, I bet you can even guess the main parts of the story without even playing the game! However, this is a Mario game. Most Mario games feature princess Peach getting kidnapped and Mario going on an adventure to save her. Regardless of the weak plot, the characters are funny and colorful. Kersti is a female sticker and her script is typical of a girl and sometimes even funny. Even villains are funny in this game and it has quite a bit of humor in it.
The story of this game is indeed the weakest link in the chain. Because it is a RPG, I would have liked to seen more plot in this game. I think it would have been better had more new characters and plot elements had been in this game. However, the story isn’t so simple that you cannot enjoy the game.
Music and Sound
The sounds of this game are awesome! Everything goes along with the bright animation and color. When you pick up a coin, you can hear the sound of the coin. Other items in the game such as scissors and even a vacuum cleaner make appropriate sounds. Voice acting matches the characters, though no one really talks. Everyone except Mario actually make sounds. Toads make the appropriate sounds when jumped on or hammered and Bowser’s roars are worse than a lion’s.
The music is also grand. The music matches with each world and each level in each world. For example, the levels in the 2nd World have music that reminds you of Pyramids and that’s perfect because it is a Desert World. Battle music remains constant throughout most of the game with boss battles having its own music. The only change in music is when Mario’s health gets low.
The Music and Sound in this game was solid and even above average. Every level has its own sound and music. Every enemy has its own sound as well. The music and sound is not award winning, but it does the job well.
Paper Mario Sticker Star is cartoonish and is a Mario game. You cannot expect realistic graphics from a Mario game. Regardless, the colors and animation look nice. Sticker Star is very colorful and even somewhat detailed. Even the shiny stickers throughout the tale are pretty and bright. The animation is flawless with no skips or errors in the game.
There is not much to say about Sticker Star’s graphics. It looks unrealistic, but regardless is a beautiful game. If you can get past the cartoon look, you will love it.
Sticker Star has 2 modes once you enter a level. There is an exploration mode and a battle mode.
Exploration mode is one in which Mario walks around the level, jumping and hitting things with his hammer. This is also the mode in which you solve puzzles, though you also solve puzzles in battle mode, but we’ll get to that in a second. It is in exploration mode that Sticker Star uses something called “Paperize”. With the help of Kersti, Mario can peel off parts of the environment and “stick” in other parts, though sometimes Paperize is used to turn or flip the part peeled off and you restick the corrected portion. Paperize is essential to solving puzzles and advancing in the game.
You can also use Paperize to attach stickers not part of the environment, such as a fan to blow a windmill or a vacuum to suck up wadded paper. Items like the fan and vacuum are found throughout the game, but must be made into stickers by special Toad shops. It is free to turn items into stickers, though buying the items can be very expensive. To buy stickers and items, you use the coins collected from exploration and battles in levels. The more coins you have, the better shape you’ll be in order to buy needed stickers. You also use coins to pay off powerful enemies that are torturing allies instead of fighting the enemies.
It is during exploration you can jump on enemies or hammer them. If you do this, when you battle them in battle mode, you get a head start in the battle by dealing damage before the fight starts. Battle mode is fun as heck and strongly resembles RPG gameplay. Mario uses a variety of stickers to dish out damage or cause status ailments. Turns are determined by a slot machine initiated by Kersti and spending coins. There are 3 slots and the numbers of slots you match determine the amount of stickers you can use during one turn. After every turn, you lose one sticker spot. To get it back, you have to spin again. So if you match three coin slots, after one turn you have to spin again to regain a 3 sticker turn.
Every sticker in battle has its own abilities; though stickers made from everyday items including a trumpet or even a goat do the most damage. Shiny stickers are more powerful than normal stickers and shiny rainbow stickers are the most powerful.
Shiny stickers are a MUST against bosses and tough opponents. Some battles are actually puzzles in which you figure out how a certain sticker or stickers are used to defeat or weaken the opponent. Speaking of weakening enemies, Sticker Star does feature strategies. Some stickers are more effective against certain enemies; enemies in the ice world can be dealt more damage by fire element stickers like the fire hammer or fire flower. However, some stickers can cause YOU damage. Jumping on a spikey opponent with a jumping shoe sticker is a bad idea but jumping on a spikey enemy with an iron jump sticker is a good idea.
The only flaw in this title’s gameplay is the fact that this game is HARD! What makes this game so hard is not the battles, but the puzzles. There are dozens of puzzles in Sticker Star and most of them are necessary to advance. Items picked up from other levels and worlds must be used to solve puzzles in another world or level. There were plenty of mysteries in which I became stuck and had to enlist the help of a walkthrough. Sticker Star definitely reminded me of old school RPGs like Chrono Trigger because the game does not hold your hand. They tell you how and you have to find out what goes where.
Overall, gameplay is very fun and addictive. You could play for hours and lose complete track of the time. Speaking of time, Sticker Star is a RPG, but not a 70 hour RPG. It took me around 25 hours to complete Sticker Star.
Sticker Star, regardless of the flaws, is the second best 3DS game I have ever played. It is actually on the same level as the best 3DS game I played, Resident Evil Revelations. I absolutely loved this game and really hope Nintendo will make a sequel or another RPG Paper Mario for the 3DS.
Sticker Star, without a doubt, is what I’d call a system seller and a great reason to own a 3DS. I highly recommend this game for Mario fans or RPG fans.
10 out 0f 10 Stars!