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First Impressions: Paper Mario Sticker Star

Posted by Brad Long

Stuck on you

Tucked away on the roof of the ZombiU building in the Nintendo booth at the EB Expo were a few hidden 3DS gems. Among them was Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and as you can imagine we eagerly wrestled the closest copy from the display unit and dove right in. The version available to us appeared to be very close to the final build, as we were able to select a new file and start from the beginning of the game.

After a rather amusing opening sequence, we find Mario in the middle of Toad Village, where all of his friends have been stickered against numerous walls with yellow and black tape. Upon discovering your partner for the game, Kersti (also a sticker), Mario quickly finds the town square rolled up like a toilet roll, and thus begins the first mission. We had to hammer floor mats, tip over waste paper baskets, and look behind photo frames but to name a few in order to find all the toads in town so they can help unroll the town square.

While playing through opening section of the game, we kept it in 3D for the majority of the time, and it was one of the best showcases of the handheld’s 3D effects yet seen. With the whole world made of paper and cardboard, the 3D made the game look even more like an interactive diorama, and makes us wish they would release the first three games on the handheld just so we can enjoy them even more.

The Paper Mario series is renowned for being quite humorous, and Paper Mario: Sticker Star is no exception. Many paper-related puns were made in the half hour we got to play the game for, and even when wordplay wasn't the order of the day, the game still retained its humorous charm.

The battle system has had a bit of an overhaul too. Your trusty hammer and jump commands have been replaced with sticker commands. Using stickers can have all kinds of effects on battle, from using a hammer that shoots sheep everywhere when you hit your opponent to the traditional hammer and jump stickers, to a worn-out hammer that does next to nothing when you use it. Making a return from previous Paper Mario titles are timed actions, such as pressing A at the right time when you’re swinging a hammer or jumping on a Goomba’s face.

If anyone was worried that their stickers would be bound to run out if they kept using them, they shouldn’t. In the first half hour of the game, we managed to find more than 30 stickers about town, and our sticker friend was also kind enough to let us have another few to ensure that we would never run out.

Though we wish we could have more hands on time with the game, we had to share nicely, as it was a public event. If you're still on the fence about this game then we can tell you that it looks and plays amazing, and could be one of the best Paper Mario adventures yet.

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User Comments (32)

19Robb92

#1

19Robb92 said:

Looking forward to this. Sucks that it's released Dec. 7 in EU. I'll be fully occupied with the WiiU at that time. I'll probably pick it up sometime 2013.

Burning_Spear

#4

Burning_Spear said:

Absolutely a minute-one-of-day-one purchase for me. WiiU will have a difficult time competing for my attention.

Norfair

#5

Norfair said:

I don't like the Paper Mario games that much, but I do have plans of owning this one someday..

StephenYap3

#9

StephenYap3 said:

I'm a Godzilla-sized Paper Mario fan and like all three titles so far, so yeah I'll be getting this too.

Intrepid

#12

Intrepid said:

Day one for me! This was the most highly anticipated game for the 3DS for me (Besides AA5).

RedYoshi999

#13

RedYoshi999 said:

This could be a great Christmas present for me seeing as I'll be broke after buying a Wii U! Looking forward to it so much.

NintyMan

#14

NintyMan said:

Glad to hear that the 3D effect is nice. It looked fantastic even in the E3 trailers, so I'm sure the final product will have among the best 3D available for the 3DS. I'm curious to see how Bowser Jr. acts in this game as well. Knowing him, he'd be a humourous addition to the Paper Mario series, and he might be like Jr. Troopa from the first Paper Mario who harrassed Mario throughout the game.

ljinkakidd

#15

ljinkakidd said:

Cannot wait for this! Paper Mario has always been that game that helped me get away from the sword swinging dragon fighting RPGs such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy. It's a great, different, humorous series that made me a fan.

My sister started playing on my old N64 a while ago and she's beaten it at least 100 times. It's a Rpg anyone can play. TTYD only advanced the series to the best paper mario to date. Paper Mario is a staple RPG for me and i'll gladly spend that $43.60 for it.

FonistofCruxis

#16

FonistofCruxis said:

You only have limited use of stickers? I don't like the sound of that. I also heard that you only earn exp. through quests and not battles, instead earning stickers and other accessories through battles, is this true? If so, I'm not sure that I like that either. The story doesn't sound like it will be as good as the story in PM:TTYD or SPM but it still looks like a very charming game, the paper and cardboard effects of the levels look better than ever and it looks like it retains the great sense of humour that the series is know for.

Chunky_Droid

#18

Chunky_Droid said:

@FonistofCruxis: You do only have a limited amount of stickers, but by the time I reached the first battle I had around 40 of them, and I only needed 2 to beat the Goombas, so it probably won't be a huge issue later on.

EDIT: It's nowhere near as bad as say, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories' card system.

GamecubeMan

#21

GamecubeMan said:

I cant wait to get this game, it was one of the reasons why I got a 3DS in the first place

grumblegrumble

#22

grumblegrumble said:

I played the original Paper Mario on a friends' Wii recently and WAS NOT impressed. Seemed too baby-like and easy, too weird for my liking. It takes Mario out of his element, out of the straightfoward level where you know what to expect. Scoring wasn't the same. All of those things made me hate it. Let's see if I can be proven wrong this time.

Grodus

#24

Grodus said:

@GameCube I get it, a syllable swap!


This is a day one DL. I'm downloading an RPG for DK: original. Anyway, I got a week to play this before the Wii U, but I'll probably beat it in a single playthrough! ;)

Chunky_Droid

#25

Chunky_Droid said:

@FonistofCruxis: I unfortunately didn't get to play enough battles to get to the point where I earned any exp. so I can't answer it unfortunately. I have heard the same as what you've heard though.

RR529

#28

RR529 said:

Going to try to get either this or KH:DDD for Christmas (hopefully both, but not likely). As RPGs, either one will probably last me awhile.

Currently leaning towards Paper Mario: Sticker Star if I only get one, though. I'm a bigger fan of KH overall, but the past portable games I've played (CoM, 365/2 Days, Re:Coded) weren't near the level of the console games.

Dr_Salvador

#31

Dr_Salvador said:

@ljinkakidd - 15: You are so right! :)
Can't wait to play this! Just too bad that it's released the 7th of december where I have little to no time to play it... :(
Hope it's as good as TTYD, that game was Epic! Love it! ;)
(I'm also one of those who bought a 3DS for this game!)

Capt_N

#32

Capt_N said:

This has been on my radar for a while now, & I have it on my Christmas list I sent to my family, for them to put away money for, just in case I do want it, once I get a chance to play it.

The WU(again, my short-hand/acronym for Wii U) is of mild concern to/for me currently. Until I play it, that probably won't change, although it could. So, WU is on the back-burner for me, for now.

I do have a 3DS, so that's a system I already own; no need for purchase, for a game, that cost significantly less than an entire system.

I just hope the game turns out alright. I still have the trailer on my 3DS. I hope Nintendo releases a(/n eShop) demo before the game is on shelves.

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