Having been a huge fan of Super Mario RPG for the SNES and subsequently the Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi franchises, I’ve always marked out when a new game within one of those universes has been released, though I can shamefully say I haven’t gotten around to Mario & Luigi 3 (though I do have it) for the Nintendo DS.
Regardless, when I got a first-look at Paper Mario: Sticker Star for the Nintendo 3DS, I was pretty excited about it. Fortunately for me, I was able to go hands-on with the game last week at a Nintendo event and was pretty impressed with what I experienced in the 40 minutes or so that I had with it.
The game basically kicks off with the annual Sticker Fest in the town of Decalburg, before our good pal Bowser decides to crash the party and cause the Sticker Comet, which had been on display (he tried wearing it…what a jerk), explodes. That causes the Royal Stickers and pieces of that comet to be thrust all over the place and Mario, alongside his new pall Kersti will have to go get them.
What I really enjoyed almost from the get-go is the laugh-out-loud comedy the game provides. As has been the case with this genre of Mario games, there’s a lot of tongue-and-cheek commentary and remarks that had me wanting to talk to every NPC I could find.
Now this time around, rather than having a set of friends to help you out on your battles, you will be collecting stickers (hence the game’s name), to assist you on your journey. These stickers can be found all over the place and you’ll have to peel them off of things to add them to your sticker album. You can also purchase additional stickers by using coins that you collect along the way. Stickers will range from hammers, to Mario’s jump attack, to other non-battle items like giant scissors that help you with obstacles in the world. What I noticed during battles though, was that you’re limited to one attack per turn and you can only attack the enemy in front. You can’t attack another enemy until the first one has been taken out. However, you can get bonuses by taking out all your enemies with one turn. How would you pull that off though if you only get one attack, you ask? Well Mario is able to active a slot machine called the Spinner, which lets you win rewards and also extra moves. You can even spend some coins to hack the Spinner into being a little friendlier to your spins.
I really did enjoy my little time with Paper Mario: Sticker Star; from it’s comical aspects, to the gameplay mechanics and the “paper” design that really pops in 3D. With the game slated for a Nov. 11 release, I simply can’t wait to play again.