The Paper Mario series has always stirred up quite a debate amongst Nintendo fans, purely because of how it takes the Mario formula, throws it around and adds some RPG elements. To some, that is utterly wrong, but to us, it's a true dream come true...
We'll start with the most striking graphical feat of this game, that would be the paper-thin style of every graphic, which would be a startling prospect to any follower of the Super Mario games. But it's the paper themed graphics that give Paper Mario: Sticker Star it's main dose of charm.
For us though, one of the highlights would have to be Sticker Star's extremely tight and polished RPG mechanics. A Mario game shouldn't work like an RPG, but this one does and it does it extremely well indeed! Seasoned players of the Paper Mario series, will notice quite a difference in terms of Paper Mario's RPG structure, as Nintendo have reworked the formula significantly.
It would be the battle system that would be the highlight of Paper Mario: Sticker Star's RPG system, it works quite simply, you collect a variety of stickers (used as moves) throughout the levels and then use these stickers as to attack during battles.
Although, the player can give damage to the enemy before entering battle, by hitting the enemy with your hammer as entering battle. Likewise, more damage can be inflicted with each attack by hammering the A button as you carry out the attack. It all adds to the solid feeling of the battle system.
The way you explore the world of Paper Mario: Sticker Star is extremely strange for an RPG game, this isn't about free-roaming the landscape. The game takes place in the form of linear style levels, much like in Super Mario Bros. which are separated throughout a series of worlds. Although, you are given a moderate amount of freedom in each level to explore the landscape.
All levels surround the main central town, which is where you will start your adventure. You can travel back here at any time and save your progress and restore your health. Here you can also use the shop to sell and purchase stickers, which is extremely handy.
Referring back to Sticker Star's graphics, we can easily conclude that they're a true visual treat. Sticker Star features graphics that are of an extremely clear and crisp quality and work very well in 3D. The characters are outlined very well and the graphics make the gameplay feel bold and sharp.
Throughout Sticker Star, you'll notice a whole heap of references to the Super Mario Bros. games. That's because this is a Super Mario game at heart. Alot of Sticker Star's moves are very similar to those carried out in Super Mario games, although they're executed here with a higher level of strategy.
We could highlight the good features of Paper Mario: Sticker Star all day, and that's because there is so many of them. But the truth is, this isn't for everybody and that's because some gamers will find it a little repetitive. The battle system may begin to lack originality at times and many levels may feel very similar.
In conclusion, Paper Mario: Sticker Star is a little repetitive, but who says that repetitive isn't a good thing? Sticker Star is ultimately charming and is actually very fun to play. Sticker Star feels like a Mario game, but adds a tasty dose of RPG. + Josh Moorcroft-Jones
9/10 - An action packed adventure with a tightly packed battle system that we adored.
Review copy provided by Nintendo