Exhaustive review: Paper Mario Sticker Star

This review is ported from a post I made on Smashboards.  In my opinion, I consider it the best review I have written because I really talk about ANYTHING I could have on that game (I even bought the game to review it actually).  I had to post it as one of my first posts because I realised over time that this review explains so much on my takes on the series that I refer to it quite a lot.  This includes the last review I intend to port; my Paper Jam review.

With that in mind, if you have yet to play the game, I don’t recommend to read the review, however…..that particular game doesn’t have much to spoil from.  So I guess if you don’t intend to beat it, then your choice, but just keep in mind that I do spoil everything oin these reviews, it’s intended to be a retrospective view on the games and if you want to know more, you can read my about this blog page.

So enjoy this review, it’s worth the length of it 🙂

Let me define some concepts before diving into booting the game.

  • game flow logistics (or just logistic in this review): The planning of the game flow. Basically, it is the organisation aspect of how the game flows with the player. For example, in a zelda game, it is a good logistic to have jars with hearts inside right before a boss as you would be sure that the probability the player would need them are high. A good logistic makes the experience less frustrating and the game gives you enough chances to do it on your own without external resources like the internet while bad one makes you use the internet and can lead to some frustration to to the design choices.
  • Paper Mario series standards: Everything that has been established in the series in design since either TTYD or pm64. Spm only renewed the same standards and didn’t defined much. For example, the font has been established since TTYD, it is then a standard. Note: these are abstraction, they aren’t concrete sometime like having 8 chapters is not concrete, the chapters can be anything. Some standards can have a strong or weak dependencies on the series as you get close to its core.
  • Paper Mario series core: How we define the series. I will use the following: “Paper Mario is the representation of the universe of Mario in paper and with its RPG structure, it makes you feel into this world of paper and with its simplicity, it tries to make you happy”. What this means is that any games that respects this definition is considered deserving the tittle Paper Mario. Note: the core is opinion based, but I better define mine instead of not knowing what I’m talking about.
  • RPG: stands for role playing game in the way that instead of trying to immerse you into the world of the game, it tries to immerse you into the role of the characters. In Paper Mario case, the role of being mario in paper is what is immersed here. Although, just being immersed into a role is an RPG. The immersion is rather psychological as it makes you FEEL the role of the characters.

There, so, if you disagree in any of these, you will probably disagree to some points of my review, but you still might want to read it if you agreed to some of them.

Before starting the file

So, this is the first time int he series where the intro is AFTER the tittle screen which….doesn’t do much tbh. What is weird however is the tittle screen…..it just feels bland. I mean, it’s the first that has animations, but it’s just Paper Mario doing stuff and with stickers in the background. I guess they went for a bit too much simplicity here. Also, you have 3 files instead of 4, but the probability that you’ll use all of 3 are quite low…..Lastly, the tittle theme is quite bland again, I really don’t feel it’s going anywhere and overall, from the series standards, it gives a not so good impression on the game.

From intro to world map

So, the one thing that struck me is thanks to my magnifying glasses I could manage to read the text….it was quite small for my eyes. Anyway, the intro is quite….too simple. The one thing I will praise is having a book and starting the game with “Ahem! today” because these are long stayed standards. The plot of this game being quite too simplistic, the intro suffers a lot. I don’t necessarily want to play the game more while watching the intro.

As for the sticker fest cutscene (aka, cs int his review), it’s pretty much like everything I saw….it’s just exactly like any Paper Mario game except Boweser touch something before kinapping Peach. I will be honest here, the pm64 was WAYYYYYYYYYYY better just because of the immersion done with the battle…..except that this game couldn’t do this…more on the progression system later.

Now, we finally have input control and it’s pretty much what you would except, but some changes. The jump sound effect (aka sfx in this review) is not really what I would expect. The smw sfx for me removes all the joyful Paper Mario had since pm64…..I understand that Charles Martinet isn’t necessary, but the sfx could have been MUCH better. The text bubble is fine…..but almost every good text effects is cut. <shake>, <dynamic> (huge potential for the 3d effect lost here) and <wave>. The ones that are kept are <scale>, <wait> and <speed>. I really don’t get why they cut something that made the text so much vivid, but I was a bit disappointed by this. As for Kersti, I grew to hate her in the game, but this is the main complain i have, she’s almost to the point of hating you…..I mean it. She’s convinced you touched the comet and she’s even convinced you are falsely accusing Bowser…..I get the humor potential, but the fact that she did this again in the game and other evidences that i came across later makes the jokes not work and you basically grow to really not like her. This is the only original character of the game….that’s a disappointment. Also, she acts as a map only tattlers, but it became obvious how useless she was.

The hammer has the cool thing to allow vertical control, but the sfx….urgh. i can’t get how we went from a satisfying bashing sfx to a mere knock on the floor with your fist. I seriously am very disappointed of this sfx, it could have bee so much better. Now, the other cool thing with the hammer is there’s way more hammer interaction, something I actually think was needed, but the problem is the sfx removes this charms and I’ll get to this later, but the worlds lack in diversity. Overall, it really doesn’t try to make me happy….it’s more bland than anything…..

As for saving the toads, well I guess the world interaction are fun, but the text is not. Throughout the whole game, the texts tries to remind you that this is a paper world. The problem being that the series NEVER tried to explicitly state it and that’s for a simple reasons: you already feel it. Just by looking at the screen would anyway make this effects because of how thin the papers are made and how clear the segments are. It is already clear that every maps feels like a DIY, but explicitly stating it cut most of its charms as it s very obvious that the text should have went into something MUCH more pertinent…..it basically tells nothing new. Again, I get the humor potential, but it’s just not the humor the series used to have. I could accept some references here and there, but not the whole text….that is something problematic.

And we finally are at Decalbourg which makes me wonder why decal? I have yet to know, but the point is, I wonder if it’s a reference to Petalbourg. Anyway, I guess it’s fine and colorful, but it suffers from the world map design because it’s just not the same hub feel. In fact, it’s not a hub. If you’re going to try to make a hub, make an actually hub, this doesn’t make sense for this to be like a hub when it’s not….. There’s just some reasons you would be there, things, shops and museum….some exceptions, but mostly these are the reasons you would be there. Which….is fine I guess. Now, for the first goomba battle, I realised that the sfx could have honestly been way better, the action command one made me miss the TTYD sfx…..at least they kept the dying one. I didn’t get the progression feel sicne it was too brief, but the world 1 was enough.

Last point, so far, the music failed to carry me.

And I get to the world map…

Core gameplay (worlds reviews comes after)

So, let me make this point straight: the design of the worlds and the way paper is used is just awesome. It is clearly making me feel in the world of paper and is so much colorful. This is when I praise the improved hammer interaction because it successfully achieves what the series excels at. As for the stickers….well, let me define why the core gameplay, the most important part of any game overshadows any goodness I could get…..

It is dependent on the stickers you have. You do good if your stickers are good and you do bad if your stickers are bad. it even goes like you will enjoy this game a lot if your album is full, but you CANNOT do anything if you have no stickers other than the run button. Which is why there’s so much stickers in the world, if you don’t get them, you’re stuck and I mean literally you are stuck to hit run. Even if they really try to make the logistic to have your album filled most of the time, there’s a huge contradiction: there’s absolutely no progress in every battle EXCEPT the bosses and mini bosses/special enemies as the only reason they make you progress is because they are REQUIRED.

Let me explain, the only thing you gain from winning a battle is stickers, coins and sometimes, hearts to heal you. That’s it, there’s no progression here because the stickers are infinite gathering, they even respawn if you left a world. Now, this would normally be fine except that because one of the condition to game over is to have 0 hp, every battle is a potential risk to game over meaning that because the battles makes you waste stickers making this risk even bigger, THERE’S ABSOLUTELY NO LOGICAL POINTS TO DO ANY BATTLE IN THE GAME UNLESS IT’S REQUIRED!!!!!

In fact, the way the game reflects progression is not by you progressing, but it’s purely by the logistic, it’s like the game gives you more powerful stuff depending on how far you are, but you as the character never progressed. In the end, the run button despite being completely random (it does become harder to use if you use it a lot, but it’s 50/50, you can or you can;t) is going to become your favorite feature of the battle system.

And that is the whole problem, it’s anti RPG. You can’t get immersed into the role of the characters if he makes absolutely no progress. This is why RPG have been notorious for having an experience system, it’s to force you to think, take critical decisions and use the run moderately. Normally, if you keep running, you will have a harder time than usual later but you can’t blame the game as YOU choose to run, not the game. By having this constant logic, you become one with your character because you start to feel the battle.

And there’s even a bigger problem, breaking the RPG genre is implying to break the Paper Mario series core. The core has a direct dependency to the RPG structure as it’s used to make you feel into a papery world in its characters, without it, the core cannot be achieved. You can’t feel in the characters being paper since you basically don’t progress, it’s like you watch the battles instead of feeling them. Spm real time btw works differently because the RPG is merged with platformer, but it still made you feel into the world.

Which leads me to my next point: there’s no reasons the battles are turn by turn. Absolutely none as the strategy is not present, you have stickers, you have options you don’t you don’t. Even the bosses / mini bosses has no strategy, you just need one sticker and they are dead. Turn by turn formula has the famous advantage to offer the most strategies options and the cons to be tedious in time hence why the run exists as last resort. This game having no strategies, it only has the cons making you want to use the run. I think it would make way more sense to have real time formula has the game will benefit from the pros without suffering much from the cons, but the problem is even there, it’s not fixing how broken the RPG structure got. You still will be a bit tempted to run, except it will feel less frustrating since it would be quicker to beat the enemy and good luck trying to fit real time with how the stickers are used….it just doesn’t match.

Overall, this is not an RPG. What I realized eventually is this is closer to an adventure game like zelda because here, the battles are real time as you use your own items you got and the puzzles you do are just interactions with your items in the environment, clearly comparable to the paperisation of Sticker Star. Now, the one thing that doesn’t match with zelda gameplay is it would be like having lots of items that can only be used once instead of having permanent items that can be used many times which seriously, it doesn’t make any sense. Also, the zelda games have a different philosophy because that series try to make a link between the player and the world, not the characters. It’s really obvious why they named the hero “link”, it’s actually to say that the truth is his name is the player and roughly, you’re just him in the game. That’s good in itself, but this is completely miss matching the Paper Mario series core meaning that IT’S JUST MESSED UP!!!!

It’s like half adventure and half something I can’t identify, but they are not consistent each other. One thing is sure, this is not an RPG. There’s no way it can be one because it doesn’t even respect the structure. The fact that it’s advertised as one is why I’m going so harsh there, it’s not even unique to Paper Mario!

So, let me continue with the world review, from now on, this is going to be much faster pace because I told most of the global stuff.

World 1

The design is really good, I got my taste of green :) I actually was happy to realise that 1-4 is when the ssb4 stage was based on, that are is really colorful making this a great choice. As for the music, I would say it’s good enough, but a bit too slow paced, this was fixed in ssb4 which made me think it could have been much better. I honestly saw no complain in the logistic because everything was quite clear. Even the final boss, it’s actually possible to beat it without the scissors making it and I mean it, the ONLY fight that is challenging. So, please, if you want to get the only possible legit difficulty of the game, do not use the scissors, it’s the only boss that is like this….unless you have infinite jump, but I’ll come to it later. The battles were moderated enough (cause remember, there’s no point to do them) so it became something that was enjoyable, but every joy I could get is considering it’s not an rpg and not a Paper Mario game as it just has to not be these to like the game. One thing I will point out, this strangely feels like Paper Mario in the way that you have a castle dungeon type at the end and the first segment acting as hidden tutorial. The thing is, the stickers are so simple there wasn’t much tutorial to do…..Other than that, I have nothing to say specifically about this world, it’s your classic plain areas.

World 2

Now, this world all had one conclusion, the worlds lacks so much variety in design. That world could be really look like the first except replace the plain themed colors with a desert theme colors. Because honestly, the only thing that changed a lot is the colors scheme. There’s not much that changed like it’s the opposite of TTYD ch2 where you could be shocked to see the changes of Boggly Woods. This was very disappointing to lost something that made the series famous: its variety in design. As for the logistic, VERY clear, but just an advice, please, make sure you figured out the right stickers in the last level because you can easily waste you’re whole album if you’re not careful, though, at least Kersti here helped on the last one (more on this later, but she’s not much useful after this world). The music I will agree on one thing, it’s a bit more carying, but this doesn’t say much. It’s still way too slow in pace. I at least have to praise the instruments choices, but it’s just not making it. As for the boss, this is laughable if you didn’t get what you need and I think that it was somehow hard to miss, you could gave missed it however which makes me think that the logistic isn’t perfect. Not much to say again, we start to see a pattern where the world are kinda bland…..

But the next world….oh geez, this one’s evil.

World 3

I’m going to make this clear right away, IT SUCKS!!!! I would honestly just say this and it would be my review of the entire world…..there’s SO MUCH wrong with it…..but since this is exhaustive, let me tell you the basics.

You have this paper wiggler that when leading you to his house gets kidnapped and when you go into the forest, you realise that there’s lots of poisons there. Upon arriving to his house you realise that only the head is there…..the wiggler got all its 4 body segment separated and you need to bring them back. Except they are of course scattered in the world because what would be the point otherwise? Anyway, the first is quite easy to deal with and there’s no problem in the logistic. My main problem with the world itself is its design, it’s not colorful at all, the green is really dark and the poison is a very dark purple. Trust me, having colorful colors even for something as bad as poison is possible and makes the experience MUCH better. Btw, there’s actually an insane amount of fog in the world, like so much that it’s really annoying. This world is the opposite of what the series tries to do.

As for the poison itself, oh gosh, they made it the most annoying thing ever. They made most of the enemies inside the poison and I mean there’s like so much that you are tired to do battles just for falling. The battles even then are annoying because you battle into a poison lake, you get damage if you wait too long…..look, you will LOVE the run button here. Also, there’s so much poison that it’s really frustrating to loose so much hp, thank god they at least had a decent logistic to put more heart block than usual.

But that logistic got a HUGE drop upon the second segment….

Guys, I spent hours, there’s a toad that gives VERY cryptic messages that is so cryptic that you have to wonder what he’s telling and he actually does try to tell you how to proceed, but it’s so not clear that it still made me mess for hours until finding out online and being frustrated that it was because of poor design. The toad tells you that there’s a level that used to have a bridge to access to a platform that you need to access, that would be the only way to access it, but that bridge….is gone? Not very clear, but what he tells you is that although you don;t see the bridge, there’s one and there’s no lack of bridge, but just nothing. The first reflex I got is to paperise, nothing and I really tried several time because paperising is used a lot. I spent HOURS, to try to figure out something, hidden platform? Secret stuff you can’t see? It turned out after my desperate attempt to mess with this bridge that you actually had to go on a leafpad, let it go all the way to underneat the bridge, and jump to reveal hidden blocks, you could not get it if you were from the left side, you had to be on the leaf pad.

Question: HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO GET THAT???????

This is when I say the logistic is bad, kersti btw is so useless, all she tells is “where the second Wiggler segment is?” euh….idk, I’M FREAKING ASKING YOU THE QUESTION SO YOU COULD AT LEAST GIVE AN HINT??????

This is not even the worst thing because here, you could argue that at least the told talked about the area to look for and where in that area.

The third segment was quite not really hard to do. The spider section isn’t much annoying, but that quiz is….very disappointing. Again, I get the humor potential, but it’s not enough and again, it kinda not match with the series humor. Also, the questions are just boring….the music is just far from fitting. I really don’t like how this is actually the most funny part of the game….appreciate it because it’s the only one…..Btw, Kersti hates you for not saving her earlier…..buzz off please, you’re not helping me anyway.

But the fourth….well I will admit i did went online to find it and realised it was a hidden passage that you could have get, but I was quite frustrated at this point. That one was more me than the game. Except when it runs into a woods level, that level is the same as forever forest, you have multiple paths, only one is good and you could have hidden paths. The one cool thing with the logistic is they have sign when you can put stickers for each path, good way to mark the good path. The problem is finding that wiggler segment, it’s not int he main path. It is in a hidden path, but the toad really is even more confusing….he tells there’s another path in the back of the front of the back of the tree…..WHAT????

so, spent hours, internet and found out that coincidentally, I went into EVERY SINGLE PATHS IN EVERY ROOM BUT THE ONE THERE WAS A HIDDEN PATH!!!! You can’t say I didn’t tried, i had to went into that path BEFORE to actually KNOW IT EXISTED!!!! As for the toad, he actually meant that after getting to that hidden path, there’s another path behind the trees, good, BUT I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW TO FIND THE FREAKING HIDDEN PATH ITSELF!!!!!

And kersti is of course not helping at all.

The frustration here was real. How the heck could anyone get it? It’s even not likely because that path is the rightmost out of 3. Logically, you might want to try the leftmost one first which is the right path or maybe the center which is wrong, but the rightmost? It’s likely to be the last one you want to try and the game tells NOTHING about it…..

URGH!

So, to continue, you finally put the segment back together (finally, you can go thank god now). it turns out that he got separated by kamek because the wiggler could walk over the poison and lead you to the source. So, guess what, you can now go to that island.

now that island felt….really bland. there was a very dramatic music that imo doesn’t belong there. it’s even too short….it’s just overdoing the stuff.

BUT WAIT, IT’S NOT THE END!!!

Ok, here this was like the worst logistic error. Wel, first the boss music is bad because it’s just 15 seconds that is remixed 4 times….bleh. The boss is Goopler Blooper and at one point, he will sprout poison stuff at you which will both make your attack miss at 100% and damage you just in time for him to redo the thing….cool eh?

But the second time you fight him after game over, Kersti finally decides to be usefull and tells you you need something to absorb the poison. Now, I had no such things…..

Now, here’s what it required me to know, I actually ripped a lot of stuff from this game beforehand and because of this, i happened to know a sponge existed. So, I googled that and I found out it was in the very background of one level that you could have easily missed because there was just poison in it and also because it was very far back.

This is the opposite of good logistic. You normally put stuff here that are optional and secret, NOT ESSENTIAL AND REQUIRE TO BEAT THE GAME!!!!! The worst is how inconsistent that world is, because of the quiz level, they ASK you to do a special stage, so you KNOW that you can get something and how to get it, but that thing is the radiator which is required in world 4. This is a good thing because if you skip it, you know you can come back and look for it at the very least. The sponge however, it was so was to miss that if you missed it, get motivated because it could be in 12 different level that you might have missed it…..it was just not worth and I looked online. also, no, the toad and Kersti were useles….

Then you come back, the poison gets reflected at the boss which become poisoned and has the same effect, he misses everytime and he gets tons of damages. Oh and there’s a joyful mario theme that plays….this is so unfitting…..

So in conclusion?

THIS WORLD IS THE DEFINITION OF WHAT THE SERIES IS NOT!!!!

Seriously, it was clear that the logistic is so poor that it had to be rushed. I honestly felt I was playing a game with a logistic from the 90’s which in this case, they HAD to have a bad one because of system limitations, but this is freaking 2012…..this should not be here ESPECIALLY in a Paper Mario game which btw, DOES NOT HAVE ANY GOOD HINT SYSTEM AND IT’S THE ONLY ONE THAT DOESN’T HAVE IT!!!!!

euh…..I think this world is the proof of how needed a back to root game is, seriously, I would love to do general white hunt 50x times in a row instead of the frustration this world did to me…..

so, with this angry note, let’s tackle where the game FINALLY got better and better.

World 4

I will first point out a bad logistic at the beginning. There’s a big bunch of snow in the first map that you can paperise and the game makes it obvious you can (cause you arrive at dead end into it). Now, I used the radiator since it fitted into the thing and we all know any radiator can melt snow right?

NOPE!

You actually had to use a fire flower….ok, it’s just the only that a battle sticker is required and must be specific (the only other time was basically any stickers worked).

But there’s also an ice slope where there’s a little corner in wood on its right. Now, there’s nothing that tells you this is a spot for paperisation (kersti only tells you should paperise with warn stuff….good, you’re not telling where however and I already think this fact was obvious….). THIS is when you had to use the radiator…..OUCH MY HEAD HURTS!!!!!

I will say, that was low, but fortunately, we passed the worst parts of the game.

Cause the rest of the world is really good, I really mean it. I have no complain on the logistic after, but that music….it’s so cheerful. it’s not mind blowing honestly, but it at least do the job as just a game. The design felt SLIGHTLY more varied, but it’s not much. And 4-3…..I will be honest, this mansion was so fun to do. The music really has the right mood for it and the lgistic is made so that you can really explore the whole mansion and eventually find out what to do, but again, this felt more like zelda than an RPG. And I love the infitejump, but little precision: the action command are ridiculously easy which made easier to go for 100 bounces….it’s not like smrpg……

Also, again, logistic details, but there was an oven that is really hard to miss given its sparkle….you don’t have much chances to miss it and the thing is this is required to beat the game.

As for the lift, cool concept, but I wish the music wasn’t just an smw remix…..

As for the cart ride, I really think the logistic is very clear, but again, obvious remix, please, be more varied in the music. I liked that cart part.

And the best part of the game….THIS MUSIC!!!!

I cannot tell how catchy and how fitting this is. Seriously, I didn’t realised it right away because of poor 3ds sound card, but I got this into my head unconsciously and when I listened to it on my pc it was just….I had to balance my head. This music is the only one that is THAT good in the entire game, but seriously, it’s almost a welcome music in the series….if only the other tracks were that good, then maybe it would be worth, but anyway, this boss music is really catchy and I will add it int he OP because this just fits in ssb…..

As for the boss, lol, you put the oven and he’s dead :)

And that’s it, really great world, but I still maintain it’s not the best because the world 5 is better….

World 5

I think this is the best design of the game. The jungle has so much green YAY!!!! The music is quite carrying, but not as much as world 4. but I liked the volcano music too. NO LOGISTIC ERRORS!!!! …finally. I really loved the water design of the world and the flying fish was kinda fun in variety. Oh speaking of variety, it’s the only world that I judge was really varied in design. This was so good :)

One cool thing about the world is one really rare humor [pieces that FINALLY matches the series, the thrash notes. idk if you cam across them, but they are so random. I mean you really see everything you could think of and it’s hilarious with how unrelated to the game it is. We got 2 TTYD references with the partners….I think IS misses them…..:(

The boss?

Just infinite jump :)

Seriously, he’s just too easy, idk if you had to use a thing here :) Maybe something that crushes?

Point being, this is the best world of the game…also, no music matches the boss 4 one….that one was too good for the standards of the game :)

World 6

I know, it’s just 2 levels, but I do have to say stuff about the final battle.

Well, first the bowser jr ship was fine, the music is way too slow paced though (again, thanks ssb4 for fixing it :) ).

The Bowser castle is EXACTLY the one on ssb4 without the 2 platfiorm on either side and the head doesn’t move…I still wonder why they choose that part….maybe for repping purposes.

The point is, there’s not much before the battle, imo, I think that part was rushed because of how brief it is. You just run into a carpet filled with holes and at the end, you just go….but the section of the carpet magically changed…..I don’t get it.

You arrive, Peach is there but Bowser arrives in a very predictable manner (if you didn’t expect him, idk what’s wrong with you). Now, the final boss is….meh. let me detail.

There’s 5 phases. The first one you need things that attack everyone because it’s optimised to be impossible otherwise. The second phase, just use an eekhammer, this one is so lame. The third phase however, let me explain a lucky thing I got. I got that you had to use the refrigerator which made bowser useless, but I didn’t realised that using the paper fan after made him loose a lot of damage with the bubble. I got it by pure luck…..great, bad logistic again, unless you have a lot of stickers because it’s possible to pass it with jsut the refrigerator. As for the fourth phase, lame, just use the tail…..

The last phase though, wow, this is a cheap way to end a game. You can’t do much to it, but Kersti realises that and decide, oh god TO BE USEFUL???? Well, a bit too much because you use her as sticker which made her forgiving you that she in the end forced you into this….again, PLEASE GO AWAY, I HATE YOU!!!! But the problem is you become so OP, you can use 5 stickers per turn and your attack power has gone up like crazy. THERE’S NO STRATEGIES LIKE THE REST OF THE GAME!!!!! The only bad thing is the fire, it can burn your stickers if you don;t block it, but the block is so easy….

And that ends the game (yeah, they didn’t bother to make 8 world). it kinda goes back to where it was at the sticker fest BUT WHY KERSTI IS BACK???? I HATE HER!!!!! Anyway, the only thing to point out about this cs is that bowser tries to touch the comet again, but kersti goes berserk on him which prevents him.

Then you have a parade like pm64, James Anderson appears int he credits and you ahve a book closing,

THE END.

So, before giving a conclusion, I need to point out other stuff.

Misc and extra

The game is not based on TTYD, but more on pm64. The worlds are plain, desert, forest, ice and jungle/volcano. The only game in the series that has all of these in pm64. Also, the ending is obviously from pm64.

The museum concept is fun because you get good enough descriptions, but it points out how lacking in variety the battles stickers are….there’s so much lacking of variety.

But the things I took a really long time to get it and it became obvious with their descriptions, but the whole concept of things is a huge 4th wall joke. It is like the clash of IRL world and these objects from it and the Paper world where anyone has no idea what these objects are. Like the billiard ball, they wrote that they are VERY curious on what the number on it meant. I got that this is why the unoriginal name “things” is used, it’s to show how that world has no idea what their use. This became quite surprising, but I wish it was made more obvious of the joke because It took me very long. So, I actually like the things concept because it is a bit of humor that matches with the series and it also explains the weird animations and music of them.

But the rewards you get for the museum is meh. You get a sound test….euh, a PARTIAL sound test. It’s only background music and it’s only a few of them……WHY NO BOSS 4???? :( And the other rewards is an animation viewer of every enemies which I guess it’s nice, but the catch is you’re on a timer and you have to pay 1 coin for each sessions…..this is just lol, why they messed that so badly?

I used the internet for finding luigi and the +5 hearts because there was no way it was worth to check all the worlds again…..some were btw well too hidden. Same goes for some stickers that are rare or one way to get them. I also had to use it for secret doors, but not much remained as I put a lot of them.

As for the super flags…..oh gosh, I think I was insane to do it, but I spent hours of farming them. There’s 4 flags that requires almost farming. spending 10k coins at shop, 1k excellent attacks (action commands), getting 500 perfect bonus (no damage for whole fight) and 50 battle spinner jackpot. I had to farm because I of course ran a lot in the game as I explained why above. I eventually got them so, I fully have the game done at 100%

Little point on the whole story, there’s none, the toad and the wiggler are the only notable npc…..and even then the wiggler is generic.

Which brings me to the summation of this review.

Conclusion

It’s worse than I expected. Let’s be frank, it’s not an RPG and it’s even less deserving the tittle Paper Mario. There’s clear evidences of the core gameplay being messed up in logics, the logistics of the game is poor, the music fails mostly to carry you and as well as the world, there’s a severe lack of variety even though the idea itself is to be praised. Some elements like the plot shows a very lack of effort into the making of the game unlike any other Paper Mario games. There’s really all other evidences and these that points only to one conclusion that just seems to be so obvious at this point it’s almost a fact:

The game was rushed all over.

There’s no other way it could end like this. It is very clear to me that not much consideration was made to have the player like the game because it’s so hardly likable. You have to not only discard the Paper Mario series, discard the RPG genre, but to also be very open minded about how poorly the game is designed. It is possible to like it for some good parts, but it’s so ridiculously hard and even then, it’s average which I consider bad and for the series, an atrocity.

As for why it was rushed, we know already (facts), the game began as a pm64 like game (not TTYD, I believe it would have been closer to pm64) as we saw in the first screens of the game and the infamous chain chomp one. The Iwata ask confirmed it and revealed that there was a project shift in the way. This is why it took so long for the game to release and this is why it would have to end up being rushed because if you have so many assets that gets useless in a day, it becomes really hard to have a not rushed game. Overall, I don’t believe it was actually a good decision int he first place to shift the project that much, I’m sure it could have been a respectable game in the series if it wasn’t for that project shift. I might not be mind blowing, but being consistent with the series is just the minimum.

Overall, this game is really bad in the series indeed, but I’m really happy to grasp how legitimate the hate towards it is. I now hate it even more, but to finally get how needed a back to root game is refreshing int he end, I now want it even more or let’s be honest….

The series is dead if it doesn’t happen.

I am not joking…..

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3 thoughts on “Exhaustive review: Paper Mario Sticker Star

      1. You wanna know the worse part about that game? Goombella makes a small cameo appearance in a form of a letter.

        Why? 😦

        Like

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