Paper Mario: Sticker Star Review

Deep stories aren’t necessarily needed to make video games enjoyable, but engaging stories are one of the areas in which titles in the Paper Mario series excel. That is… until Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star has an overtly simple story. In the game, Bowser scatters the six Royal Stickers across the very paper-y Mushroom Kingdom. The main protagonist, Mario, of course, has to retrieve all six stickers and is accompanied by the short-tempered sticker fairy Kersti.

Super Paper Mario, for example, isn’t the best title in the series, but at least it had an entertaining story, unlike Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star’s visuals are fantastic. Mushroom Kingdom looks very much like a huge arts and crafts project. The game boasts the best visual style in the series to date. Almost everything in the game looks and sounds like paper. In-game characters know they are made up of paper, which is adorable.

For example, toward the beginning of the game, you need to rescue a bunch of Toads – some of which who’ve been stacked away, bent, crumpled and hidden under doormats by Bowser and his minions. Hence the title “Paper Mario: Sticker Star,” designs of the characters, worlds and levels feel appropriate.

The use of stereoscopic 3D in the game is one of the best on the Nintendo 3DS. It easily compares to Super Mario 3D Land’s 3D effects and adds a significant amount of depth to environments.

From the beginning to end, the game’s music is catchy albeit a bit repetitive; separate levels within a world have the same background music. Unfortunately, characters in the game don’t have voices. For example, Mario doesn’t say ‘Oh, no!,’ and Toads don’t make their annoying grumble sounds. The entire narrative is based on text, which, expectedly, is well-written and humorous.

The game revolves around stickers, which are scattered throughout the Mushroom Kingdom. Want to stomp an enemy? Select a Jump sticker. Want to strike a foe with a hammer? Select a Hammer sticker. Want to recover your health? Select a Mushroom sticker. Without stickers, Mario is defenseless. Players must make sure they are stocked with stickers. Stickers may be purchased from Toads and peeled directly from surrounding objects.

There are numerous frustrating levels within the game. Many times, you’ll return to a level – you thought you’ve completed – to look for crucial items in order to progress on your journey. For example, in one level, I searched for a vital item in every visible area; I eventually (and accidentally) found it by slipping off a cliff.

Paper Mario: Sticker Star doesn’t exactly feel like a role-playing game, compared to other titles in the series, which is a bummer. To expand your health meter, you must search for HP-Up Hearts, some of which are hidden extremely well. There are tons of enemies in each world, but players don’t level up after defeating them. This is unfortunate, because you aren’t getting much incentive for battling all the enemies in your way. This also urges you to attempt to runaway during battles. But you can’t, however, runaway each time – your attempt to do so will inevitably fail multiple times.

It’s very different from its predecessors, and although it strips away several fundamental RPG elements, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is one of the best Nintendo 3DS titles of the year and a perfect fit for a handheld game.

7/10

89 thoughts on “Paper Mario: Sticker Star Review”

  1. See Mario sucks haha you little kiddies need to play grown man games like cod, uncharted, God of war etc…. not some game with a Italian plumber haha!

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                1. Mario is a good game it has survived through years to come it made it this far right lol but honestly cod is a good game but it sucks ass halo and battlefield that’s what’s up xD lol

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    1. You like seeing sweaty, muscle toned men running around, big boy? What a pathectic fail at trolling! You mad cause mommy won’t buy you Black Ops 1.2?

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    2. grown up game? um you kids play those games and suck at it. bitch please even COD is on a Nintendo system so you argument is retarded.

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        1. kid grow up there is more pedo in ps3 than nintendo because you said “grow up system”(a.k.a faggots), plus you kids suck at those game, that why there is no kid doing a walkthough on youtube because you fools suck at it.

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    3. Stop it, man. A real gamer would play any game, not just select “popular” ones. So stop hating on games you just don’t happen to play.

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    4. You are just straight up retarded aren’t you?
      Why would you even be on this website or interested in this review, you fucktarded excuse for a troll?

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    5. Or I can play all of them? People can play what they want buddy. Just because one person dislikes, doesn’t mean everyone has to be a sheep and dislike it also. We live in a free world to make the choices we want to make. Also 7/10 …. I wouldn’t say that’s a bad score.

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  2. Ugh :| it hate it when a company tries something new but forgets the primary focus of the game. Ratchet and Clank did the same thing, now that game is just gone forever :/

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  3. 7/10? Wow! You must have been feeling generous, Alba. Sticker is a completely awful, a disgrace to the Paper Mario series. Nintendo should have this game on April 1 because it is a JOKE!

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      1. Great review Alba. While it looks like it won’t be as good as the first two games, it definitely looks like a good game.

        Hopefully Paper Mario U will be like the first two games! :D

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    1. Honestly i think its the best one in the series. its a nice change of pace but not a huge one compare to Super Paper Mario. plus its on a handheld where you just wanna pick up and play more then try to get into the game, otherwise itd be on the wii u.

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    2. It’s not awful at all. Sure it lacks a beefy story like with Super Paper Mario and Paper Mario TTYD but the dialogue is well written and witty. The gameplay is simplified but is counter-acted with the diverse amount of stickers. The music is possibly the best in all of the series for 1: ushering the mario soundtracks into a new era of jazz and symphony. The environments are made of cardboard and construction paper (cut outs or just a whole object for construction paper). This game made the most use of paper outta the entire series, truly living up to the “paper” in paper mario. The levels are unnecessarily difficult at times but on the bright side, it’s one of the few if not the only mario game that doesn’t hold your hand throughout the game (I wish Kersti was more useful with her comments). If it wasn’t for having such a simple and over-used story and agonizingly difficult levels, the game would’ve gotten a 9 or a 10/10.

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  4. I had an interesting thought about this game. It has the most minimal story you can get, just like New Super Mario Bros. 2. Also, there are lots and lots of different stickers, but only a small fraction of them have any use in puzzle solving.

    …Is anyone else thinking DLC here? There could be whole new ‘worlds’ written for this game! Every stage is its own self-contained story, so why not keep adding more! They could find new uses for old stickers, or heck, create new ones and add a mini-museum for the new additions.

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  5. I hate that Nintendo tries to Make this game so it’s closer to the traditional Mario games. I bought this game because I thought it would be different from the other series. I’m getting bored of the NSMB series. Although I’m glad to say this game is great my favorite part of this game was the music. In fact each Paper Mario game has something to shine about.

    The original one had the best overworld map

    Paper Mario the thousand year had the best gameplay

    Super Paper Mario had the best writting

    And Now Sticker Star had the best music.

    That’s what I’ve been noticing in the playthroughs, anyone else?

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    1. Paper Mario TTYD had story writing that was almost on-par with Super Paper Mario. Most of this I agree with with the difference being with Paper Mario TTYD and Super Paper Mario

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  6. YOu know, for the paper mario series, I’d say SPM has the best art direction and story while TTYD is more or less the best on everything else.

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  7. Shiggy why u no want story in Paper Mario? ur alienating the fans that made this series possible. if it wssnt for super Mario rpg great story paper Mario would have never been. its been less and less Mario rpg and more and more like super Mario bros with a different game mechanism. make the rpg that we the true fans want.

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  8. I don’t think that any Paper Mario game will ever outshine the original that started it all, Super Mario RPG: Legend Of The Seven Stars. That game was so AWESOME! I don’t feel like the Paper Mario series of games are in the same catagory as Super Mario RPG. SMRPG felt so different. I loved the story and characters such as Geno and Mallow. I also loved how they (along with Peach AND Bowser) all joins your party of playable characters. The first time I got to Smithy, he was the hardest boss I ever encountered. It took an unbelievable amount of time and careful strategy to beat him. But years later when I replayed it, I realized that the reason Smithy was so dang HARD was because I must not have been leveled up enough. Because I beat him FAST that time. I was in shock. MAN…….just talking about SMRPG makes me want a sequel to THAT and forget about the Paper Mario games.

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    1. You couldn’t be any further off, lol.

      I don’t even live in the U.S. But it’s not like you’d try to find anyone to begin with. I doubt you could lift yourself out of your own chair or do anything of significance to someone else.

      I’ll place bets that both statements one way or another are correct. :)

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    1. Well when you think about it, yeah it probably isn’t that great compared to the others in the series but 1 primary reason was most likely because it’s made for a portable console rather than a home console; so it was more to the point and accessible as compared to home console versions. Still nonetheless it’s one of the best additions to the 3DS library

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  9. Giving a game that is supposed to be an RPG but lacks any kind of significant story a 7/10 ? What in the hell ? Not biased at all, no.
    I suggest you to give up writing reviews. Reviews are supposed to be objective, honest and straightforwardly tell the readers that it is a bad game, if it really is a bad game, of course with taking its genre in consideration too. This review most definitely is NOT meeting the requirements.

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  10. I really couldn’t stand this game. I can understand why people liked it, but it personally wasn’t for me. Easily my least favorite Paper Mario game

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  11. I find it quite humorous when i read all the butthurt in these comments.

    But seriously, i hope they go more traditional when they make one for the wii u. I suppose sticker star is worth a try though.

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  12. This game was fun.. But I think it should of at least had multi towns (Like towns within worlds) and more people to talk to that are not toads only. That was the number 1 thing I would really love since past Paper Mario games had these. Not having that really disappointed me though and made me worried about the future of Paper Mario though.

    The battle system was good for it’s type I guess since this game was suppose to be about stickers, but it should of had more options and some partners. :P

    Again some parts were fun and the game was pretty good, but it should of not been too simple and should of feel more original in world themes and avoid NSMB a little. :P And some other reasons..

    My rating would probably be about 6-7/10.

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  13. Paper Mario saga is well known for RPG elements and humor, so this is at the end a “New Super Paper Mario”. We can expect the RPG version as a future title. Miyamoto is old and maybe he is taking wrong directions now.

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