Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

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I was told by my friends and associates that I should never play this game. I was told it was an abomination to the series and just all around terrible. This game actually taught me one very important lesson, “Don’t judge a book by its cover but always judge a sticker by its shine.”

You’re probably thinking, “What the hell are you talking about, Mr. Gamer? Stickers don’t shine.”

WRONG! They shine in Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

This little gem comes to us via the 3DS. And It was about time that I had a good Mario game to play on the system that I spent three and half hours outside in the Chicago winter to get. You know I had to get the special edition gold The Legend of Zelda: Link to The Past 3DSXL. Nothing but the best for Mr. Gamer.

Not to mention that I can’t exactly say that Mario Golf: World Tour was up to my Mario standards. When your famous star has been whored out to different things like basketball and ice skating, you’re going to have a bad game.

Anyhoof…

You, as the powerful, Princess Peach-saving, plumber protagonist, Mario, embark on an epic quest to save the princess and the Mushroom Kingdom…again. Bowser has somehow snuck onto the Sticker Festival in Decalburg (please tell me you get these puns) to steal the sticker comet and get his wish fulfilled.

I am hoping that this wish has something to do with getting a life, a better job, or maybe a woman so we can finally stop asking ourselves those age-old questions, “Who is Bowser Jr.’s mother?” and “How was he born?” Unless Bowser asexually reproduces or has been getting it on with Birdo (…gross), he has some ‘splainin’ to do. But again, I digress.

In the Paper Mario games previous, you always had a tag-along character and this game is no different. Stuck to you in this game is a being called Kersti, the sticker fairy. She came across to me as somewhere between whiny pre-teen girl who’s daddy won’t buy her the new car she wanted and….princess justice bitch that has to ‘save the day’ and by that I actually mean yell at Mario to save the day. I realize that those two descriptions are somewhat similar but that doesn’t mean she isn’t useful. Her special ability allows you to spin a roulette wheel in battle to use more than one sticker while fighting and to “paperize” the free-walking world to either apply a sticker from your album or remove a scrap to be placed later.

You can even take “things”, yes that is what they are called, that you find in each level and turn them into stickers. These “things” range from a fan, to a goat, to a lucky cat statue similar to what you see in chinese buffets. All of these “things” have different effects in battle so I recommend trying them all out. (Not really spoiler…) Some are necessary to complete certain levels and beat certain bosses.

Puns aside, this game did stick with me. It was definitely different from the other Paper Mario games and I would call that a plus in my book. It’s not Thousand Year Door material but that doesn’t make it bad. The reality of having to fight with nothing but stickers made this the second Mario game where I actually had to come up with a strategy to fight. The last time I actually had to come with a strategy for a Mario game was my Paper Mario low-level run and that took quite a few weeks to complete. This game actually had me searching for that flashy mega sticker and timing my sticker use for optimum efficiency.

I can’t believe I typed that last sentence….

All in all, it was worth the money I spent on it and it does have some replay value to complete the sticker museum. Like my editor Mistress Sarah-Kun says, “There is no completion but 100% completion.”

Paper Mario: Sticker Star – A good short flashy game that you can pull on and off without any sticky residue.