[Ph!GR] Paper Mario: Sticker Star

It’s-a me, Link- guh. Zelda – Crap! Just, just get this over with.

Well, look what you made me do…

What are we going to do?

You get the car, I’ll get the shovel… there are garbage bags in the trunk right?

Ok, good, we’ll get it buried in, like, 10-15 minutes tops.

So, you want to hear about this game I’ve been playing recently? You know, I figured since we’re going to be burying this thing for a while…

No? Ok, I’ll just let you dig… Can I please tell you? Murder gets me so bored, I need to entertain myself.

Ok, you know what? I’m just going to tell you.

No, no, you’re not stopping me. Nu-uh.

No, you missed your chance.

Seriously, I’m liable to tell you.

Ok, don’t hit me with that shovel.


Stop it!

Great, now I got two bodies to deal with… Might as well talk to myself about this game, maybe it’ll help me plead for insanity. So… Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the 3DS. That’s a game, and I’m here to talk about it… so, I guess I’ll just start. No one’s looking? Alright, I’m just going to go ahead and give myself some back story, in case I forgot about my favorite game series.

Paper Mario was released for the 64 in the year 1964 and centred around Marcus Fenix and his rag tag group of military chums. Wait, that’s the wrong game. Is it the one about the guy who goes into space and shoots aliens? No, I’ll have to be more specific. Is it the one about a bunch of people who have fights then kill each other in the most crazy gory ways? Yeah, that’s the one.

So, I already mentioned this before, but Paper Mario is-a great-a games-es… Geez, how deep does this hole have to be? The 64 and GC releases were your traditional turn-based games but Nintendo decided to change that for the Wii release. Nobody liked that, I did, but no one’s around to hear my opinion so… yeah… Man I wish I had super-powers, that’d be rad.  But Nintendo decided to not make the game too much different from its roots so they re-added the turn-based combat but with a tweest!

The whole premise of this game is to encourage children to hoard their video game resources. I don’t need Nintendo telling me what to do, I ain’t never using no potion, I might need them later. See, you need stickers to attack. Ok, that’s fine, it’s actually really cool except if you ever run out of stickers… you screwed man. Who am I talking to? Oh my gosh I’m actually going insane right now. So, there’s an obvious downside, you’ll need to manage your resources very well, if you jump on everything that moves you’re going to run out of shoes, and Mario doesn’t operate well without his shoes. And you also shouldn’t use ultra-attacks during a fight against some goombas just to get past them because you might need that crap later, also. I can’t tell you if that’s a major flaw or not, I personally like the system.

So, there’s that.

The story opens up with some kind of holiday for some kind of special event… Ok, Princess Peach needs to stop with all the carnivals, seriously. The holiday apparently has something to do with a sticker comet, yeah, a sticker comet. I can’t believe it myself… said me to myself. So, Peach just throws holidays around like they’re baseballs and she’s Babe Ruth. Babe Ruth didn’t pitch? He was a batter? Well, I know nothing about baseball. It’s a stupid sport for stupid people. I hope people didn’t hear that. Anyways, Bowser shows up- Ok, really? Is this for the serious right now? GOSH DANG IT! This is all that freaking woman’s fault. If she stopped holding these wonky festivals she probably wouldn’t get kidnapped so much. Bowser shows up to grab the sticker comet. And here’s what I like about the game, some Toads try to hold him back… yeah… they actually do something, but it was totally useless. Bowser grabs the comet but it busts up into a six pieces. (Gee, wonder what I’m going to be collecting.) And these six pieces fly throughout the world. (Yup, that’s that.) And one surprisingly enough lands on Bowsers head, turning into a crown that in the order of BEDMAS turns Bowser into a sticker… an immortal sticker. So he leaves Princess Peach alone and Mario goes back to his job as… a guy who… does…something? What does Mario even do when he’s not saving Princess Peach? He runs a tackle shop? Thanks voice coming from the bush… wait what?

Get out of here. I’m reviewing a game for myself.

… you done? Ok, let’s continue. So our friendly neighborhood tackle shop owner meets up with a crown sticker that has a face, she (I assume it’s a she.) calls herself “Kerstie”, that name’s not so bad I guess. Kerstie says that the things that flew out of the comet are “Royal Stickers” So there, now you know how the game operates. You have to get the five Royal Stickers to make Kerstie happy or else she’ll cut off Mario’s hands… No, she’s not that crazy. I haven’t spent enough time getting to know Kerstie, so I guess saying she’s a serial killer is a pretty safe assumption. I say that about everyone I don’t really know, I’m not here to judge. I’m just a judge.

I guess not knowing about Kerstie is a little depressing, seeing the previous works of the Paper Mario team, but I don’t think any supporting character is as interesting as Tippi.

Let me talk about the games travelling structure. You start the game off in… I’m not even going to tell you the name of the town. The name is literally so awful I vomited up a large serving of biscuits… It’s been about three years since I last ate a biscuits. So the starting town serves as yo central hub yo. You buy stickers, talk to mushroom people, make stickers by throwing scissors at a paper, and smack bushes with a hammer. Once you done wif yo smackin’ up da crib… Was that a little racist? I feel like that was a little racist. Once you have finished ruining the fine settlement of *cough* you brute, you should probably go to the world map. Here’s where the game gets a little *rubs collar of shirt with index finger making a “Eeeehw” noise and a really weird face*. Once you exit the place, you open the world map, the world map is set up like Super Mario Bros. 3. Which is what I call “Not so good.” You get a little line to travel on and enter into levels which are red circles on your map, once you complete a level the circles turn blue. What’s with Nintendo and doing this? Are we going to have a Legend of Zelda set up this way any time soon? I might be okay with that. The good thing about this system is that you can visit the first three world’s first levels right off the bat. And they labeled them World 1-1? Gosh dang it Nintendo. Knock it off. Seriously. The first world is your standard grassy level, World 2 is a desert and World 3 is a dark forest. At least the levels themselves are expansive, if not too short, it took me about an hour and a half to reach the first boss…

Let me just talk about something here. Fighting enemies in this game only gives you coinlage, sure, that’s fine you get money to buy more stickers and Combat Rolls (I call them that, I’ll talk about them later) But fighting enemies wastes your stickers and your health, which because they took out the RPG elements, you can only increase by finding certain hearts. So, that’s all fine and dandy, the game isn’t extraly tough while it is unintentionally about resource management more than anything. Did I say that it wasn’t too tough? Yeah, up until a boss fight. So the first boss has 90 HP, I have 20. I do 7-10 damage each turn it does 5. Who do you think is going to win if we both keep attacking each other? Here’s a hint, not the guy with 20 HP. So, after fighting the boss 3 times I finally realized that using fire-flowers was a bad idea because they attack groups. So I sold all my group stickers and bought some special stickers, the things you throw at the paper. I opened up with using all my special mega attack stickers and brought him down to about 30 health, and then Kerstie told me that this fight would be over a lot sooner if I used something that could either cut him up or blow him away, well that would have been nice to know before I attacked him with some scissors and a large fan.

But that’s what’s wrong with it. What’s right with it? I’ll tell you, me, whoever’s listening. The art design, yeah it’s something else. Basically, in the other games they made it a pretty constant theme that paper was just a convenient back drop, adding a couple jokes like Mario turning into a paper airplane, but in this game everything revolves around the fact that it’s paper. The backgrounds are cardboard and totally look awesome, sometimes characters will have white backs one toad falls down something and gets a tear in his head and there are a crapload of paper jokes. And regular type jokes, keeping up with Paper Mario tradition.

(Here’s me talking about Combat Rolls.) Because the battles are similar to the original two Paper Marios but they took out your companions, Nintendo decided to even the score by letting you spin some spinning things to get bonuses. Each spin costs 3 coins and will either fail or not fail (teaching people to gamble, Shiggy?) Ok, so if you get two matching pictures you can use two stickers that turn, if you get three matching pictures you get to use three stickers that turn and you get a bonus. The most common bonus is getting three coins which just gives you fifty coins, and the second being the poison mushrooms which poison you but poison any enemy that directly attacks you, so it’s not all bad.

So, you got yourself some paper some Mario and a metric tonne of stickers. You got oodles of noodles, jokes and assorted laughs. You got enjoyable gameplay, graphical design and fun. But you got a removal of useful RPG elements, resource management and steep difficulty spikes during boss fights. If you’re a big fan of Paper Mario, I’m not going to stop you from buying this game. If you’re a little wary of Paper Mario, get the original and see if the charm of the world is enough to carry you through this game.

On a scale from guh to hug; Paper Mario: Sticker Star gets a solid B- out of B- … that’s a good rating, in case you’re one of those slow folks.

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