Paper Mario: Sticker Star

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Paper Mario: Sticker Star
Paper mario sticker star box-art.png
North American box cover
PMSSEUboxcover.png
European box cover
Developer(s) Intelligent Systems
Nintendo SPD Group No.3
Publisher(s) Nintendo
Platform(s) Nintendo 3DS
Release date USA November 11, 2012
Japan December 6, 2012
Europe December 7, 2012
Australia December 8, 2012
HK December 6, 2013
Genre RPG, Action Adventure, Sticker Battle Adventure[1]
Rating(s)
ESRB:ESRB E.svg - Everyone
PEGI:PEGI 3.svg - Three years and older
CERO:CERO A.png - All ages
ACB:ACB G.svg - General
USK:USK 0.svg - All ages
Mode(s) Single-player
Media
Nintendo 3DS:
3DS Card Icon.png Cartridge
Media DL icon.svg Digital download
Input
Nintendo 3DS:

Paper Mario: Sticker Star (known as Paper Mario: Super Seal in Japan) is a RPG for the Nintendo 3DS developed by Intelligent Systems. As the fourth installment in the Paper Mario series, it is the first Paper Mario title to be released for a handheld console.

Storyline

Bowser crashes the Fest.

The story starts during the night of the annual holiday, the Sticker Fest, where the citizens come to witness the Sticker Comet fly by in the sky. It is said that the Sticker Comet will make everyone's wishes come true. Princess Peach, on stage, shows the audience (which consists of Mario and a myriad of Toads) the comet as it floats down to the scene. Suddenly, Bowser and his troops appear and crash the festivities. Out of want for the comet, Bowser decides to take it as his own. Three Toads attempt to pull Bowser away but inadvertently have him crash into the Sticker Comet, breaking it into six pieces and sprawling them across the Mushroom Kingdom. One of them happens to fall on Bowser’s head making him more powerful, and unleashing a tornado which scares away the Toads. A furious Mario tries to attack him, but is overpowered and later wakes up with the Sticker Fest in a disaster: Toads have been stuck everywhere by Bowser, and the Princess missing. After regaining consciousness, Mario meets Kersti, a sticker fairy and the caretaker of the Royal Stickers. After a conversation with her, Mario then suggests that he will help her get the Royal Stickers back, and Kersti finally agrees with him and gives him an album.

Mario starts by freeing the Toads affixed in tape placed by Bowser in the damaged festival, gaining a hammer in the process. Mario heads to the main town, Decalburg. After liberating the Toads, Mario heads towards the plaza east of town and discovers the area rolled up. The Toads, led by one Green Toad, together push to unroll the Plaza and bring it back to normal, accidentally trapping the Green Toad under the fountain in the process. As Mario leaves the town, he gets ambushed by a trio of Goombas. Kersti uses the opportunity to explain how battling foes with stickers work and Mario manages to defeat them, causing the trio of Goombas to flee.

World 1

Mario then starts his travels through the grasslands and across mountains, fighting many foes. In the Warm Fuzzy Plains, Mario and Kersti meet a group of Toads hunting for stickers. They stumbled onto one Toad who dropped a rare Scissors sticker and quickly flees before warning them about Bowser Jr. As true to his word, Bowser Jr. arrives in his Clown Car and demands that they give up the sticker. Mario manages to defeat him using the Scissors sticker but infuriated that he is not get the sticker, Bowser Jr. tears up the bridge and throws the bridge up onto a high ledge Mario cannot jump onto.

Mario and Kersti get help from the group of Toads, who form stairs for them to walk onto the ledge. When Mario obtains the broken bridge, Kersti teaches Mario the ability to paperize. After passing through the plains, they reach the Bouquet Gardens, where they find a flower garden's contents to be ruined by a strong wind. The source of the wind turns out to be a fan and Mario turns it off and obtains it. They are now able to pass through the garden, helping a Toad with his ruined flowers and a Toad traveler attacked by Goombas if they choose to do so, but get attacked by five Goombas, who make a dramatic entrance in the form of a Goomba Tower and a wheel. Seeing the higher amount of enemies than usual, Kersti explains the Battle Spinner for Mario and afterwards, the five Goombas concede.

In Water's Edge Way, Mario and Kersti bump into the same Toad who found the Scissors sticker and drops an Album Page for the Sticker Album. After the Toad flees, Mario and Kersti meet Kamek, who proceeds to be defeated in battle. In anger of his loss, Kamek uses paperization to toss away the Sticker Comet, making it impossible to proceed. Eventually, Mario and Kersti find the Sticker Comet and via a passageway through a windmill or Whammino Mountain. If they go to the windmill, they use the fan sticker to move the windmills blades, but find themselves in need of a code. The player can rescue a stranded Green Toad and escort him to Decalburg (However this is difficult since the Toad can't tough enemies) he will reveal the code. They are then ambushed by a Big Buzzy Beetle which is defeated with use of the battle spinner. If the player goes through Whammino Mountain, they can find an additional sticker shop. Either way, they eventually arrive at Goomba's Fortress, where the first Royal Sticker is being held. Mario travels through the fortress, but his presence is alerted by a Goomba who uses a trumpet to wake up nearby Bob-ombs. Passing through the Para Bob-ombs and Goombas, Mario reaches the top where he and Kersti confront a corrupted Goomba and his Goomba minions. During the battle, the corrupted Goomba and his minions form into Megasparkle Goomba, a giant Goomba. After intense battle, the Megasparkle Goomba splits and the other Goombas abandon their boss, claiming that the Royal Sticker is destroying who they are, and saying that they would prefer to be normal Goombas again. The enraged corrupted Goomba begins to battle alone, but eventually, Mario defeats him and obtains the first Royal Sticker.

World 2

Mario then arrives at a desert to find it is blocked off by a door. Paperizing the door and placing a Jump, Hammer, Mushroom, Poison Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Spike Helmet into the slots let's the door open, revealing a brief cave and then a vast desert. In the desert the player travels up a hill of quicksand and then down to find the Traveling Toad once again being attacked, now by a swarm of Paragoombas. If battled, they combine into a 5-Fold Paragoomba. Past this area is a large pyramid, on top of which is the Comet Piece. If the player slides down the slide to the left of the comet piece, they can receive a HP-up Heart.

After this Mario arrives at the Yoshi Sphinx. Here, Mario must travel through it only to find that the stairs to the top are missing. If he goes back through the sphinx, he can find a piece of Bowser Tape holding the stairs up. Before he can peel it though, he is dive bombed by the Shellshocks: A trio of Koopa Paratroopas guarding the Yoshi Sphinx. They speak in military slang such as "Roger Roger" and finishing their sentences with "Over."

Continuing into the desert through Sandshifter Ruins, Mario discovers at Drybake Stadium that the three tablet pieces must be obtained in order to advance. At the location of the piece hidden at Yoshi Sphinx, before Mario could get it, he faces Kamek again; this time, however, Kamek converts all of Mario's stickers into Flip-Flop Stickers. The two duel on the tongue of the Yoshi Sphinx, accessed from a secret area. This secret area also has the light bulb thing. The another tablet piece os uncovered at Damp Oasis, where a Vacuum is used to remove the sandstorm and then a faucet to restore the Oasis. A grateful Toad then gives Mario the tablet. A sign nearby tells Mario of the final tablet piece's location, and a nearby Toad challenges Mario to a race to get it. Ironically, the Toad finds the wrong pair of cacti in Drybake Desert, while just briefly ahead Mario finds it in a cave area.. After restoring Drybake Stadium, Mario faces Tower Power Pokey, the guardian of the second Royal Sticker, at the top. By defeating him, Mario and Kersti recover the second of the Royal Stickers.

World 3

The next location is a forest. Here, however, a massive Wiggler is encountered, blocking the entrance. After he is awakened by Mario, Wiggler says that he was looking for food, due to the entire forest being polluted by poison. Outraged, Kersti decides to help Wiggler. Wiggler promptly insists that the heroes come to his house. However, as they advance deeper into the forest, Wiggler is snatched by a flashy-looking tentacle, although both heroes think he just ran ahead. When Mario and Kersti arrive at Wiggler's Tree House, they find that Wiggler has been reduced to a head; Wiggler reveals that he was broken into five segments by Kamek's magic, so it is up to Mario and Kersti to track down the other four segments.

After taking the first Comet Piece, which inexplicably leads them to the Wiggler Segment instead of the Royal Sticker, Mario chases the energetic Wiggler Segment through Strike Lake. However, the segment is now tired, so it flees to Loop Loop River to take a nap. Once woken by Mario, it enrages and attacks them. Once the battle is over, the segment feels ashamed and returns to Wiggler. Completing Loop Loop River unlocks the Outlook Point, a shop with Secret Doors. Also, a Green Toad sensei can be found here, who will give Mario advice and explain where the Poison is coming from. Later, this Toad is revealed to have watched over Wiggler since birth.

The next Wiggler Segment is found in Rustle Burrow playing in a spider web, although when Mario goes to retrieve it, it breaks forcing Mario to fall and lose all his stickers, Hammer, and Kersti. Kersti then begs Mario to save her, as she and the Wiggler Segment are carried away by Scuttle Bugs. Eventually Mario rescues her after battling Big Scuttle Bug, and she realizes that Mario did not touch the Sticker Comet, and actually was a "True-paper" hero. She thanks him for saving her, and the two get back the hammer and save the Wiggler Segment, which promptly flees to Tree Branch Trail. After another fight, he returns to Wiggler.

The next segment is found in Gauntlet Pond, playing in the poison. It gets stuck on a log, and requires Mario's assistance, though it promptly flees afterward. After tracking it down to Stump Glade, the segment is imprisoned as a prize to the gameshow, Snifit or Whiffit. Mario is forced to attend this show which is extremely unfair and rigged so far that there is no guarantee of survival. After completing all three challenges, the Wiggler Segment is released, but the host asks Mario if he would do another challenge for a prize: the radiator thing. Whether or not Mario accepts the challenge, he must go back to The Bafflewood to find the Wiggler Segment, which is battled as well as assisted by Piranha Plants. Afterward it returns to Wiggler.

The last Wiggler segment acts extremely different from the others, showing honor and even loyalty to the forest. After being abducted by Poison Bloopers, he is encountered soggy, poisoned and crumpled and attacks Mario blindly due to his status. Afterward, he realizes what he has done, and tries to make it up. He notices the poison on Whitecap Beach and sees the island and attempts to get a boat from Surfshine Harbour to reach it and challenge the source of poison. However, the Toad that owns the boat refuses, claiming he won't put his vessel in danger, as a fishing boat was recently lost at the island. After attacking the Toad, the Wiggler Segment gives up, and goes home disappointed.

After Mario and Kersti reattach him, Wiggler decides to help them by transporting them to a nearby island where the pollution is being created. After furiously charging out of his house, he gives Mario a ride, and chatting along the way. He apologizes for being trouble, and says that he learned a lot of things by the experience. Kersti remarks that he has grown up in the ordeal, which Wiggler naively believes. At this island, it is shown that Gooper Blooper is the cause of the poison in the forest. After defeating the Blooper with help from the sponge thing, the forest is reverted to its normal state and the poison is removed. Wiggler can be found in his tree house eating clean leaves.

The boat at Surfshine Harbor.

Mario and Kersti cannot continue on, however, because to reach the other continents require a boat. At Surfshine Harbor they find a boat, but it is broken. Inside the warehouse, they find the ship's wheel, and must use the Scissors to cut the rope connecting it to the dock. However, even after this, they still cannot set sail, as a massive Cheep-Cheep attacks the ship. After defeating this creature, Mario is able to use the boat to sail to the next area, after the frightened Toad retires from sailing.

World 4

The world they arrive at next is a snow-covered area. The first level starts is Snow Rise, this level introduces "Shiny" versions of enemies, such as Goombas. Midway through the level, the player is ambushed by Cooligans, which mark the first time in the game cannot be battled, instead is merely an obstruction to hinder Mario's progress. These Cooligans can be stopped by using the Radiator next to their slope, rendering them useless and revealing the Comet Piece. This level also introduces Birdo who performs a serenade about love, packed with many possible references to her battle strategy in Super Mario Bros. 2.

This level drastically splits the map of World 4, one route leading to Shaved-Ice Cave and the other to Bowser's Snow Fort. Sadly, the Mario cannot make it to the boss of this world due to a missing scrap required to progress through Whiteout Valley. Mario instead heads to Ice Flow, a slope-like level that takes place on a frozen river with many more Cooligans.

After completing this level, they come across The Enigmansion, where a Purple Toad is seen sitting sadly outside the mansion. Talking to him makes him claim that the mansion has been haunted with "Terrifying Things", while a creepy remix of the Super Mario World Ghost House theme begins to creep in. He wishes to welcome Mario safely to the many wonders of the mansion, although this is merely a bribe to get Mario to exterminate the Mansion of Boos. He gives Mario the Book of Sealing and forces Mario to go inside.

The Mansion itself is complex, consisting of a large, two floor lobby; a fancy dining hall; a guest room; a room with a safe; a book room; three mysterious rooms above the dining hall that look exactly like the three residence houses in Decalburg (The middle one is the Steward's bedroom); a stairwell to a portal to Decalburg; and a greenhouse. After encountering all the Boos in the dining hall, they flee to different parts of the mansion, where Mario must find, fight, and seal them in the book in a manner similar to Luigi's Mansion. The Boos hide in similar ways to the Toads of Decalburg, such as being stacked in a cupboard, hiding in paintings, crumpled in wastebaskets, etc... Also, one is being bullied by two Scaredy Rats in a manner not unlike the Traveling Toad. Speaking to the Steward outside tells Mario how many boos are left, although he doesn't get specific until most of them are caught.

Once all the Boos are captured, the Steward exclaims that although the Mansion is no longer terrifying, the book still is, and that it must be sealed in the basement. Mario heads to the basement, and puts the book on the pedestal, when suddenly Kamek walks out from behind a crate in a fashion similar to Mario's paper ability from Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. He reveals that he released the Boos, claiming that it was by accident when he was looking for a novel about stickers. This novel might be the one in the hallway that talks about the Flashy Infinijump. After remarking about how fun it was to watch the scavenger hunt, he tears out all the pages of the book, and crumples them together to form the giant menacing Big Boo. As the Boo attacks Mario, Kamek pauses the fight while leaving, going as far as stopping the battle music, before everything resumes as if he was never there. Eventually, however, the Big Boo is defeated, and the Steward brings Mario to the guest room before giving him tea, as well as the previous Stewart's portrait. Completing this level unlocks Shaved-Ice Cave, a sticker shop.

Mario goes to back to Whiteout Valley, paperizes the Forebear's portrait, which automatically comes to life. The Forebear thanks Mario, before heading back to the Mansion, by starting up the ski lift. Mario rides the ski lift to the end of the level, dodging Fuzzys, Shiny Paragoombas, and Ice Bro.s. If the player returns to the Mansion, the Forebear is returned his mansion, and the former Stewart is now a servant. They will also give Mario an HP-up heart.

Finally, Bowser's Snow Fort comes into view, and after waiting in a long line of Shy Guys, and another encounter with the Traveling Toad, the player rides a minecart to the boss fight, but must carefully use Paperization to set up the course while riding it. The course is run by Shy Guys. Here, Mario faces the Bowser Snow Statue, allowing him to obtain the fourth Royal Sticker. After defeat, it reveals it's true form, Mizzter Blizzard. The snow man apologies to Mario, saying that it only wanted a body that wouldn't melt, and although the sticker gave him that, it also corrupted his mind into battle. Using his final words, he begs Mario to rebuild him next winter, so they can meet on more peaceful terms.

Yet, by leaving the world by boat, Mario is intercepted by Bowser Jr., who notices that he once again has rare stickers and wishes to face him again. By defeating him again, Bowser Jr. retreats once more, returning to his father's castle.

World 5

At the next world, Mario and Kersti travel through a forested area, challenging forest enemies, going on a raft, seeing the Travelling Toad again, and getting chased by a massive cardboard Cheep Chomp. This is followed by Chomp Ruins, where Mario has to battle a massive Chain Chomp, afterwards is a more volcanic area. At Rumble Volcano, it is discovered that the guardian of the next Royal Sticker is Petey Piranha, who eats Kersti. After reaching and defeating Petey, Mario is able to both free Kersti and retrieve the fifth Royal Sticker.

World 6

Arriving at the Gate Cliff, the five Royal Stickers that Mario and Kersti have collected begin to react. As Mario places them on the wall, the prophecy stated in the book at the Enigmansion comes true, as Mario is able to paperize the wall and flip it, allowing access Bowser's castle. The castle immediately flies into the air, out of Mario's reach. With no way to fly, Mario and Kersti are forced to return to the mainland. But upon hearing mention of a creature flying over the forest and by heading to Wiggler's house, they find out Wiggler has grown up into Flutter. Wanting to repay Mario and Kersti for restoring the forest, Wiggler flies the pair up to Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla. Here, Mario defeats Bowser Jr. for the final time, and is able to reach Bowser's Sky Castle.

At the castle, Mario again faces and defeats Kamek. With him out of the way, Mario is able to continue on to Bowser. At the final area of the castle, Mario and Kersti find Princess Peach, taped to a chain, though Bowser appears before they are able to free her. During their final showdown, Bowser is defeated, and he falls down into a pit with the Royal Sticker. However, he emerges seconds later as a massive cardboard version of himself. With any attack dealing little damage to him, Kersti powers-up Mario to face him by sacrificing herself, apologizing for all the hassle she has caused him. With this power boost, Mario defeats Bowser, thus releasing him from the Royal Sticker's control and incapacitating him. Mario frees Peach, who says that the stickers are meant to be used for good and not evil. Mario uses the Royal Stickers to return everything to normal. After Peach congratulates Mario and the rest of the kingdom for their success, Bowser attempts to steal the Royal Stickers again, only for a revived Kersti to intervene. She jokes that she wants to change her career, and Mario, Peach, and Bowser laugh.

Gameplay

Mario stomping on a Goomba. Note the HP bars aren't the same compared to those found in the final product.

After forgoing the classic battle system in favor of a sidescrolling platformer-style system in Super Paper Mario, Paper Mario: Sticker Star returns to the turn-based system from the first two installments. However, players have to gather stickers, which are necessary both for solving puzzles and gaining battle commands. Stickers are a major part of the gameplay and storyline. Some real-world objects (called Things) appear in the form of stickers, and they also have the ability to be used to attack and overcome obstacles. Instead of levelling up from experience points as in the previous installments, Mario must find HP-Up Hearts, which each increase his current HP by 5 and increase attack power from First Strikes. Stickers replace Badges from the first two installments of the series. A new feature is the "Battle Spinner" slot machine which allows Mario to attack with multiple stickers in one turn, gain coins, or cause a different event to occur, depending on the combination received.[2].

In addition, the gameplay places a lot more emphasis on the "paper" aspect than the previous games, containing status elements directly related to paper materials such as "soggy," "clipped," or "tacked;" additionally, the enemies sometimes transform themselves to better reflect the papery nature of their designs (eg, a Goomba occasionally becoming a cone Goomba), transform as part of an attack (eg, the Koopa Troopas), or simply resemble paper to begin with (eg, the Big Boo fought in World 4-3). Many characters actively refer to themselves as existing within a paper world, most notably Kersti. The world's environments also resemble craft materials like cardboard. A few enemies that debuted in Super Mario Bros. 2 are back such as Shy Guys Snifits and Ninjis.

When Mario battles an enemy, it has changed a bit, the words will say "Fight" when the battle starts and instead it is a blue screen when Mario touches an enemy outside battle. If Mario hammers or jumps on an enemy, the words will say "Nice" with the blue screen. However if Mario jumps on a spiky enemy such as a Spiny or a Piranha Plant or if Mario gets hit by the First Strike outside battle in this game, the screen will be red and orange as soon as Mario enters it.

Enemies that assist other enemies before entering the battle do somethings:

  • Goombas jump to their position
  • Koopa Troopas unfold themselves from their shell when they are at their position
  • Buzzy Beetles drop from the top screen hiding in their shell
  • Spinies do the same thing as Buzzy Beetles except Spinies curl up into a ball when dropping
  • Bob-ombs drop from the top screen using Parachutes
  • Swoopers fly down from the top screen
  • Sombrero Guys run into the battle at their position and throw their Sombreros up high
  • Dry Bones are crumpled at first
  • Paragoombas just act like Goombas
  • Pokeys rise from the ground
  • Shy Guys run to their position they may sometimes trip before reaching their position
  • Spikes run to their position and ground pound.
  • Ninjis will be visible when the battle starts
  • Scuttlebugs will jump around two times while hanging Scuttlebugs on webs will make way down from the top screen

Stickers

Main article: Sticker (Paper Mario: Sticker Star)

Stickers are the only items to appear in Sticker Star. They serve as the only method of attack, items to solve puzzles, and the like. Stickers can be found anywhere in levels, being stuck across the environment and inside blocks, and can also be purchased in shops. Any stickers collected are stored in the album.

Types of stickers

There are many types of stickers, but the two main types are Jump stickers and Hammer stickers. Jump stickers include Jump, Hopslipper, Line Jump, and Iron Jump. Most Jump stickers can attack all enemies that are not spiked or have some other hazard on top of them. Hammer stickers include Hammer, Eekhammer, Slaphammer, and Hurlhammer. Most of them can hit all enemies except ones that wield wings, Spear Guys when holding their spear horizontally, or some other type of flying device, such as Kamek's broom.

There are also stickers that support Mario in battle, such as Spike Helmets that give Mario a helmet that damages all enemies that attack him from above. Also in this category are Mushrooms that heal Mario and Leaf stickers that execute all action commands perfectly for one turn.

Other types of attack stickers include Fire Flower and Ice Flower stickers that burn and freeze enemies, respectively. Certain enemies also occasionally drop stickers that represent their weapons - for example, Sombrero Guys occasionally drop Sombrero stickers, and Bob-ombs drop Bomb stickers.

There are 2 special stickers that only appear in battle and then disappear when the battle is finished. Kamek turns all of Mario's stickers into Flip-flop stickers during the Kamek battles in World 2-2 and 6-3. Flip-flop stickers are similar to Eekhammers because they strike multiple times in a hammer-like fashion. Flip-flop stickers also retain their power status, i.e. a Shiny Jump sticker is a Shiny Flip-flop, a Megaflash Slaphammer is a Megaflash Flip-flop, etc. Flip-flops of the same size will appear the same, even if it is Shiny or Flashy. Once Flip-flops are used, they are gone from the sticker book, meaning that the player cannot get that sticker back once the battle is completed and their inventory is returned to normal.

The second sticker of this kind is none other than Kersti, who will enter Mario's sticker book during the final stage of the Bowser battle. She will activate the Battle Spinner and will automatically give Mario a whopping five slots for stickers per turn. Even though Kersti will disappear from the sticker book once used, Mario wishes her to be alive again, so he can still Paperize and talk to Kersti after the battle.

Although neither sticker can be tossed or sold in shops, selling Kersti is mentioned twice in the game: entering Decalburg's shop for the first time, and right before Kersti enters Mario's sticker book when battling Bowser. Also, if Mario is able to overpower Bowser without using the Kersti sticker, he is able to toss Kersti away. However, this action does not alter the storyline.

Finally, there are Secret Door stickers that Mario is able to paste onto the environment via the Paperize ability. These doors reveal secret underground rooms containing rare stickers and/or Things that are usually not used for storyline purposes, such as a Thumbtack and a Squirt Gun.

Sticker traits

Every single sticker except Thing stickers sometimes have special traits applied to them, such as "Shiny", "Flashy", and "Big". These stickers usually sparkle in Mario's album and do more damage than usual to enemies. Stickers that have traits like "Big" and "Megaflash" take up more space in the album, not unlike Secret Door and certain Thing stickers. Typically, stickers wielding special traits are rarer than normal stickers. Battle Stickers and Thing Stickers come in three sizes: Small (4 Spaces), Medium (9 Spaces), and Large (16 Spaces).

Characters

Protagonists

Mario.

Allies

Followers

These allies temporarily join Mario's party and follow him around until they are taken to a certain location, where they perform an action or advance the storyline. In the Wiggler Segment's case, they must tire out before they join Mario and go back to Wiggler's Tree House.

Enemies

Obstacles

Bosses (in order)

Highlights signify world bosses.

Name HP Attack Location
Bowser Jr. (first time) 20 3 Warm Fuzzy Plains
Kamek (first time) 20 4 Water's Edge Way
Big Buzzy Beetle 40 3 Hither Thither Hill
Megasparkle Goomba 90 5 Goomba's Fortress
Kamek (second time) 20 6 Yoshi Sphinx
Tower Power Pokey 300 7 Drybake Stadium
Wiggler Segment 15 5 The Bafflewood, Loop Loop River, Tree Branch Trail, Whitecap Beach
Big Scuttlebug 16 8 Rustle Burrow
Gooper Blooper 300 Whitecap Beach
Big Cheep Cheep 88 4 Surfshine Harbor
Big Boo 100 10 The Enigmansion
Bowser Jr. (second time) 100 3 Decal Channel
Bowser Snow Statue/Mizzter Blizzard 400/100 Bowser's Snow Fort
Big Chain Chomp 99 Chomp Ruins
Petey Piranha 300 4 Rumble Volcano
Bowser Jr. (final time) 300 2 Bowser Jr.'s Flotilla
Kamek (final time) 20 6 Bowser's Sky Castle
Bowser 400/500 10 Bowser's Sky Castle

Locations

Unlike previous installments, the game has a level progression system. Each level course is unlocked after collecting a Comet Piece in the preceding area. The map is reminiscent of the one used in Super Mario RPG, though it is more open-ended and not linear. Many levels contain alternate exits that lead to other levels, and the goal of entering a level is not always to "finish" it by touching the Comet Stickers.

Nintendo eShop description

When an accident scatters stickers across the land, Mario sets off on an adventure to repair a torn world. Searching Forests, Deserts and Mountains, Mario collects stickers to solve puzzles and battle monsters. In a first for the series, there are no experience points, so finding power-ups to improve Mario's abilities is more important than ever. Mixing sticker-based gameplay elements with the traditional action-battle system of the Paper Mario series delivers a new twist on a classic franchise. Flatten-out characters, roll out towns, and walk through living, breathing dioramas in a brand-new Paper Mario adventure on the Nintendo 3DS system!

Similarities to other Paper Mario games

  • Bowser once again becomes invincible with one of the game's key objects, much like the first game.
  • The first chapter takes place in a grassland, and once again contains a boss that's fought in a castle/fortress-like setting.
  • The second chapter takes place within a desert, as with the first game.
  • The third chapter contains a darkened forest area, much like Forever Forest in Paper Mario.
    • Additionally, The Bafflewood contains similar maze/puzzle elements.
    • A giant Blooper is fought in this game, as with the previous three installments.
  • The fourth chapter contains a multitude of Shy Guys, as with the first installment.
  • The fifth world takes place within a tropical locale, just like Paper Mario and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
    • This world also has a cave or volcanic setting, much like the previous games.
    • A plant-themed boss is fought in this world/chapter, as with the first game and Super Paper Mario.
  • A parade takes place during the ending, just like the first Paper Mario.
  • Similar to the original game, there is no post-game content (though a Green Toad will appear on the festival grounds)
    • Therefore, the final boss can be fought again.
  • A story epilogue occurs after each chapter is completed.
    • Adding onto the above, all four installments contain rhyming dialogue in some way, shape, or form.
  • The way Petey Piranha captures Kersti is similar to how Francis kidnaps Tippi in Super Paper Mario.

Differences from other Paper Mario games

  • This is the first Paper Mario title released for a handheld console.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the first Paper Mario game to not start at Mario's House, nor feature this place at all.
  • Unlike the first two Paper Mario games which have a turn-based battle system, Sticker Star does not have Flower Points, Star Points, Experience Points, Badges, or Items. Mario also has no partners to battle by his side (with the exception of Kersti at some points).
    • This is the only game in the Paper Mario series where Lady Bow does not make an appearance in any form.
    • Mario does not level up from battling as in previous Paper Mario games.
  • All the bosses in Sticker Star are not unique to the Paper Mario series, as they are all more powerful versions of preexisting enemies or bosses featured in other Mario games. Similarly, the game does not feature any new enemies, only enemies from other Mario games and new variants thereof.
  • Kamek takes on the role filled by Kammy Koopa in the first two Paper Mario games.
  • This is the first Paper Mario game where Bowser and Luigi have no lines of dialogue.
  • The world map is now used to get to other locations, unlike the other installments. Also, the map does not have a description of each location.
  • Unlike Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario, the game does not feature an Audience.
  • While Mario does possess a hammer given to him by a Toad, he cannot use it in-battle without consuming a hammer sticker, but only as a way to get a First Strike, unlike the first two installments.
  • This is the first Paper Mario game that is not split into separate chapters, instead opting to use worlds, like Super Mario RPG. If it were, there would only be 6 chapters, whereas the first three installments all possessed 8 chapters.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star only has 55 enemies and 18 bosses, for a total of 73 different enemies; each of the first three installments had over 100 enemies.
  • Unlike the first three installments, Paper Mario: Sticker Star has two counterparts to Jr. Troopa, Lord Crump, and O'Chunks, instead of one, since Bowser Jr. and Kamek are fought three times each (not including four Wiggler Segments who are each fought once).
  • Unlike Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door and Super Paper Mario, Mario does not have any voice clips recorded by Charles Martinet in Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star doesn't have a superboss (a boss that can be fought after the final main boss, and generally has higher stats).
  • This is the first Paper Mario game not to include enemy Tattles, recipes, Clubbas, Koopatrols, Crazy Dayzees, Amazy Dayzees, Gloombas, Frost Piranhas, Putrid Piranhas, Clefts, the Merlon clan, or Whacka. This is because Shigeru Miyamoto did not want characters exclusive to the Paper Mario series in the game, besides Kersti.
    • On a related note, it is also the first game where enemy Koopas do not possess eyewear of any sort.
    • Due to the lack of a Tattle ability, several aspects of it have been incorporated into regular battle. For example, an HP bar showing the collective health of all enemies on screen displays during battle. The enemies' names are also all displayed while Mario is choosing stickers, similar to the Mario & Luigi series.
  • This is the first in the series to have only one playable character. Moreover, it's the only one to not feature Peach as a playable character. Peach's role in this game is also significantly less vital than the first three.
  • It is the first Paper Mario where Mario can't turn into an 8-bit version of himself.
  • Ninjis in Paper Mario: Sticker Star are now actual enemies. In their previous appearance in Paper Mario, they were friendly NPCs who acted as caretakers for the Star Kids.
  • Other than Wiggler, Toads are the only friendly NPCs in Sticker Star; there are no friendly Goombas, Koopas, Bob-ombs, or other enemies. However, a Koopa does volunteer for Mario to use for the shell attack stickers, as does a Bob-omb for the bomb attack sticker.
  • Mario can't choose which enemy to attack if there are multiple ones; he defaults to the one in front.
  • Unlike the first 3 installments, Mario starts his journey with 20 HP.
  • When Mario's current HP is at most 30% of its total, the in-battle music (except for the final battle with Bowser) changes to a "tired" remix of itself, replacing the alarm sound heard in the other Paper Mario games while being in critical health conditions.
  • Unlike the first 3 installments, Paper Mario: Sticker Star only has 3 save files instead of 4.
  • The game does not feature an opening story before the title screen as the other Paper Mario games; the opening story is instead shown when starting a new game.
  • This is the first Paper Mario installment since the original N64 installment to lack an endless play feature.
  • This is the only installment to not feature the main antagonist on the box art.
  • Due to this being a handheld game, this is the only installment in the Paper Mario series not to be playable on the Wii, as Paper Mario can be played on the Virtual Console, its sequel is playable due to GameCube backwards compatibility, and Super Paper Mario is a Wii game.
  • This is the only game in the Paper Mario series to have the maximum number of coins be 9,999 instead of 999.

Development

Paper Mario: Sticker Star started development at the end of 2009[3]. The development team thought Paper Mario was a good fit for the 3DS and initially developed it as a RPG making use of the 3DS's stereoscopic display. After E3 2010, a demo of this build was previewed to Shigeru Miyamoto, who was reportedly unimpressed, dismissing it as "just a port of the GC version"[3].

Miyamoto requested the development team to "make a big change". Said development team was mostly composed of developers new to Paper Mario (planning and design staff being "about 90%" new, according to Kenji Nakajima"), with a few veterans brought in to help with the usage of old assets[3]. Naohiko Aoyama, who conceived the original Paper Mario's visual direction but had little involvement with its sequels, was brought in as the director.

Following Miyamoto's impression, the development team brainstormed ideas to make the game stand out. It was eventually decided to expand the Sticker mechanic, which had initially being designed for use in puzzles, and expand it to the rest of the game[3]. As the sticker system expanded, the development team decided to abandon the partner system and traditional RPG elements such as an experience point system, with progression instead being outlined by the player getting progressively stronger stickers.

Early in development, Miyamoto also encouraged the developers to keep the story to a minimum[4] and only use pre-established Mario characters. The decision to not focus on the storyline was also influenced by Super Paper Mario's Club Nintendo survey, which had less than 1% of the respondents citing its plotline as a strong point[3]. Producer Kensuke Tanabe also asked the team to focus on the "paper" aspect of the visuals.

Reception

Paper Mario: Sticker Star has received generally positive reviews, gaining an average of 75.97% based on forty-nine reviews on GameRankings and 75 based on sixty-nine reviews on Metacritic.[5][6].

Cam Shea of IGN gave the game an 8.3, praising the fresh take on the Paper Mario series, the charming design, and the sense of humor, but criticized the sticker system for not working and some frustrating design elements. He wrote, "In spite of all my criticisms, Sticker Star is still compelling to play and a great deal of fun. The game’s infectious spirit and sense of humour is irresistible, and it’s big, too – you’re not beating this one in a weekend. It’s just a shame that putting stickers at the heart of the game didn't turn out to be the master-stroke it so readily could have been. Paper Mario fans will enjoy Sticker Star, but ultimately it’s just as notable for its failures as its successes."[7] Edge Magazine UK gave the game an 8, praising Intelligent Systems's effort to shape its RPG for portable play.[8] Destructoid gave the game an 8/10 praised the game for the impressive effort but warned that the game will disappoint previous Paper Mario fans. Mike Wehner of The Escapist gave the game 4.5 stars out of 5, praising the game for its artistic style and its perfect gameplay while criticizing the frustrating puzzles. He wrote as the bottom line, "There's just no getting around it: Paper Mario: Sticker Star is yet another high-quality entry into Nintendo's cherished library of first party titles. The experience is high on satisfaction and low on frustration, making it an undeniably perfect fit for the company's mobile console. It's not entirely flawless, but as Mario games go, it's one of the best."[9]

JC Fletcher of Joystick gave the game 3.5 out of 5 stars. He praised the easygoing funny nature of the game but criticized the frustrating game design, saying that the existence of FAQs will improve the game and sacrificing turn-based battles with awkward platforming.[10] Carolyn Petit of Gamespot gave the game a 7.5 out of 10. She praised the smart and witty writing, the good puzzles, and the overall charm of the game, but criticized the frustration of getting stuck and the seemingly pointless combat system. She ended with, "Sticker Star falls into a rut at times and may even drive you crazy, but in the end, Paper Mario's unwaveringly cheerful attitude, and fond memories of the game's many great moments, will be what stays with you."[11]

However, GameXplain were more critical on the game, giving it a score of two stars out of five.[12] They criticised the story as "one of the biggest and most unfortunate changes" and the puzzles, by saying that "the things you need [to solve them] could be found anywhere" and "the game provides no clues on where to find them". They also said that the battle system is "fresh and fun at first" but then started criticising it, saying that there is "no sense of accomplishment after winning a battle", and ultimately referring to the combat as a "chore". However, they did praise the game for "trying some new things" and for its "flashes of typical Paper Mario brilliance".

As of March 31, 2014, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the 12th best selling game for the Nintendo 3DS, having sold about 2.21 million copies worldwide.

References to other games

  • Super Mario Bros.: Part of the overworld theme can be heard in the Warm Fuzzy Plains theme (along with a remix of said theme that plays when Gooper Blooper is poisoned during his fight), as well as in the game's credits. Also, a baseball-styled rendition of the "Course Clear" theme from this game can be heard when Mario uses a battering Thing sticker.
  • Super Mario Bros. 2: Shy Guys, Snifits, Pokeys, and Ninjis, which were introduced in this game, appear in this game. Some Pokeys are designed like their first appearance from this game as well. The main theme is a jazzy version of the credits theme.
  • Super Mario Bros. 3: The Goomba's Shoe, Super Leaf, and Frog Suit return directly from this game, now as stickers. An Airship also appears. The athletic overworld theme is remixed for the ski lift ride in 4-5. Also, the King's theme is remixed for the afterward to a Royal Sticker boss battle in Paper Mario: Sticker Star.
  • Super Mario World: Portions of the music inside the Enigmansion, along with the music played when talking to the owner while he waits outside, are remixed from the Ghost House theme.
  • Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island: During the very final battle phase with Bowser, a portion of the music that plays is based on the Superstar Mario theme from this game.
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars: The beginning of Paper Mario: Sticker Star has a cosmic object being shattered into pieces, and the main character has to retrieve the pieces of the object, similar to this game. In addition, the main bad guys are implied to have left at least one of the pieces to be guarded by a monster, similar to Smithy's Gang. When walking down the hallway in Bowser's Sky Castle, the camera is in an angled position that is similar to the camera position in this game. Lastly, during the final battle, Bowser uses a Chain Chomp as a weapon, much like he did in Super Mario RPG. Also, the parade in the end credits is similar to the one from this game.
  • Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins: The music played when using the Boom-Box is a snippet of the Space Zone theme from this game.
  • Super Mario 64: During the mine cart ride in World 4-6, a remix of The Princess's Secret Slide plays.
  • Paper Mario: Similar to the first Paper Mario, Bowser ends up becoming nigh-invincible from a magical wish-granting object. In this case, however, it was purely by accident. Also, in both games' climax, Mario confronts Bowser at a flying castle, and Bowser also ends up growing larger in a last ditch effort to beat Mario after his initial invincibility was temporarily disabled, also significantly bolstering his invincibility to be absolute. The game ends with a parade, much like this game. Enemies like Spear Guys and Ninjis make their re-appearance in the series since this game. Also, a letter written by Parakarry may be found in Shy Guy Jungle in the garbage before Mario uses the vacuum item. Mario's design and expressions are more based off him in this game, as well as the scenery. If the worlds in Paper Mario: Sticker Star are completed in numerical order, the boss of the fifth "chapter", as in Paper Mario, is a Piranha Plant fought inside a volcano. Additionally, a slight remix of the Dry Dry Ruins theme (combined with the Super Mario Bros. underworld song) can be heard in the cavern of World 2-1.
  • Mario Kart: Super Circuit: The Yoshi Sphinx in this game is similar to the one found in the background of Yoshi Desert.
  • Super Mario Sunshine: Gooper Blooper and Petey Piranha, which made their first and main appearances in this game, return. Also, one of the questions Snifit or Whiffit afirm that Princess Peach is Bowser Jr.'s mother, possibly referencing the story of Super Mario Sunshine.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door: Searching the dump in Shy Guy Jungle before using the Goat or the Vacuum reveals a memo from Goombella, who is apparently still attending University of Goom and doing research on the Chomp Ruins during the events of the game, but is never seen. The miniboss theme is a remix of this game's. Mario's expression when first seeing a Boo is the same as Doopliss' when his name is guessed. Also, the outline of this game's logo is used in the "Paper Mario" part of the Sticker Star logo.
  • Super Paper Mario: At the beginning of the game, after Mario saves one of the Toads in Decalburg, the latter will say that Bowser crumpled him up 256 times, which is a nod to the running joke in Super Paper Mario, starting with Dimentio claiming that Dimension D makes his attacks "256 times more powerful", followed by Flint Cragley's camera crew stating that the "Rainbowzilla" story was apparently told that amount of times. This number is also the number of cards in the game.
  • Super Mario Galaxy: Portions of the music inside the Enigmansion are remixed from the Ghostly Galaxy theme.
  • New Super Mario Bros. Wii: Some of the enemies, such as Ice Bros. and Scaredy Rats that appeared in this game return in this game. Most of the enemies and the areas are also designed from their appearances from this game. The Big Buzzy Beetle was a beta element from New Super Mario Bros. Wii.
  • Super Mario 3D Land: The Poison Mushroom has the same design as in this game. Also, one part of the title screen music sounds like the beginning of Special 2-1's music from this game. Some of the designs, such as the trees in World 7, are reused in this game.

References in later games

Gallery

For this subject's image gallery, see Gallery:Paper Mario: Sticker Star.

Glitches

Main article: List of glitches in Paper Mario: Sticker Star

In Yoshi Sphinx, if the player hits a Koopa Paratroopa and a wall at the same time after the fight with the Koopa Paratroopa with wall will push Mario through the floor and give the player a game over.

Beta elements

Main article: List of Paper Mario: Sticker Star beta elements

Originally, Bowser's Sky Castle was meant to have minigames, but due to development time restraints it was cut. Pre-release screenshots also showed a Chain Chomp partner as well as a Monty Mole boss, though both were removed from the final game.

Staff

Main article: List of Paper Mario: Sticker Star staff

The game was directed by Naohiko Aoyama and produced by Kensuke Tanabe and Toshiyuki Nakamura, with Satoru Iwata serving as the executive producer.

Media

Video.svg Paper Mario: Sticker Star - The game's trailer
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Video.svg Paper Mario: Sticker Star - The game's second trailer as seen on Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011.
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Audio.png Paper Mario: Sticker Star - Theme Music[13]
Paper Mario 3DS - Theme.ogg
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Audio.png Paper Mario: Sticker Star - The game's theme, as heard in the E3 2011 trailer and the title screen theme.
PM3DS Theme.ogg
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Audio.png Paper Mario: Sticker Star - Staff credits theme
PMSS-Staff Credits Theme.ogg
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Names in other languages

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ペーパーマリオ スーパーシール
Pēpā Mario: Sūpā Shīru
Paper Mario: Super Seal
French Paper Mario: Sticker Star -
Italian Paper Mario: Sticker Star -
Chinese 纸片马力欧 超级贴纸
Zhǐpiàn Mǎlìōu: Chāojí Tiēzhǐ
Paper Mario: Super Sticker

Trivia

  • Whenever a new character is introduced, the game pauses to show the player their name, similar to Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • From its release for download onto the Nintendo eShop until January 6, 2013, Club Nintendo members in North America who downloaded Paper Mario: Sticker Star and registered it on Club Nintendo also received Donkey Kong: Original Edition for free.[14]
  • The in-game manual for the game states that Mario can also get a Game Over if he falls off a course. However, there is no way to fall off a course without the use of glitches.
  • Similarly, Kersti says that if players touch the spikes in the rolling carpet section of Bowser's Sky Castle then it's game over, although they only send Mario back to the beginning of the area if he falls off the rolling carpet and take away 1 HP. Whether or not it was a beta element or an oversight is unknown.
  • All the bosses except for Bowser says "Shiny" at least once.
  • No matter how many enemies are beaten, the maximum coin bonus Mario can get at the end of a level is 300.
  • The boat Mario uses to access the later worlds bears a shocking resembalence to the one used in Rogueport in Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door. They could be manufactured in the same company, although the drivers feature extremely different personalities(Rougeport's driver is never seen though).

References

  1. ^ Interview: The Team Behind Paper Mario: Sticker Star - 3DS News @ Nintendo Life
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e Iwata Asks: Paper Mario Sticker Star
  4. ^ In the Iwata Asks, Miyamoto is quoted as saying "Aside from wanting us to change the atmosphere a lot, there were two main things that Miyamoto-san said from the start of the project—"It's fine without a story, so do we really need one?"
  5. ^ http://www.gamerankings.com/3ds/997828-paper-mario-sticker-star/index.html
  6. ^ http://www.metacritic.com/game/3ds/paper-mario-sticker-star
  7. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/11/06/paper-mario-sticker-star-review
  8. ^ http://www.edge-online.com/review/paper-mario-sticker-star-review/
  9. ^ http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/editorials/reviews/10058-Paper-Mario-Sticker-Star-Review
  10. ^ http://www.joystiq.com/2012/11/11/paper-mario-sticker-star-review-looks-good-on-paper/
  11. ^ http://www.gamespot.com/reviews/paper-mario-sticker-star-review/1900-6399831/
  12. ^ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DiQ7h8EStU
  13. ^ http://www.nintendoworldreport.com/news/23500
  14. ^ http://www.nintendojo.com/news/roundups/nightly-news-roundup-10-01-2012

External Links