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Paper Mario Sticker Star: Flat out fun

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Paper Mario Sticker Star was released for 3DS just before Christmas.

Paper Mario Sticker Star was released for 3DS just before Christmas.

Mario is often “flat out” saving the Mushroom Kingdom from the devious villain Bowser, but the Paper Mario series takes the phrase literally.

Sticker Star for Nintendo 3DS sees a two-dimensional, paper-thin version of the moustachioed marvel peeling off stickers from his colourful, diorama-like surrounds in a charming and entertaining role playing adventure.

You will explore paper environments including forests, deserts, caves and oceans, with plenty of secrets to discover and foes to battle.

Combat is turn-based, with your available moves determined by what (single-use) stickers you have collected, earned or purchased.

Stickers are in plentiful supply but it is possible to run out, so you do need to use them wisely. Choosing whether to unleash a powerful sticker or save them for a boss encounter and make do with scraps is often a difficult choice.

It’s not just about choosing the right sticker. Carefully timed button presses help bolster the impact of attacks and shield you from the full damage of enemy strikes.

The novel combat system encourages exploration and offers a wide range of ever-changing attacks to encourage experimentation with new strategies.

Some stickers need to be crafted yourself rather than peeled from your surroundings. The tubby plumber can take certain objects like vacuum cleaners, scissors, violins, bowling balls and fans to a helpful Toad who flattens them for use in combat as well as puzzles.

As the game progresses you might be stumped by some tricky brainteasers, with frustratingly little assistance on offer if you become stuck, preventing any progress until you backtrack and discover the (only one) correct solution.

Fortunately, eventual success can feel rewarding and the amusing interludes, witty dialogue and attention to detail keep you playing.

Divided into digestible sequences that are well-suited to portable play, this is a well-crafted and endearing adventure that all ages can enjoy.

What have you been playing lately?

- Jason Hill

twitter Jason Hill is on Twitter: @thatjason

31 comments so far

  • For portable games I've been playing Disgaea 3 Absence of Detention on the Vita and Kid Icarus: Uprising on the 3DS. Right now I'm preparing my Vita for PSP games I had physically and bought again solely so I could play on the Vita. Got annoyed that my Aya Brea costume DLC for Lightning in Dissidia Duodecim expired, as I never put it in 2 years ago. I also bought another memory card so I can play US PSN games on my Vita. Its a bit of a pain to switch PSN profiles on the Vita but better than having zero access. Right now I've got the two Corpse Party games and Chrono Cross prepped for it.

    On the PS3 I've been playing DmC (I really want the Vergil DLC to come out soon as I've finished the game), Black Ops 2 due to the double XP weekend, Ratchet & Clank: Tools of Destruction and Anarchy Reigns. I'm enjoying Anarchy Reigns a lot but multiplayer is so hard, I'm always getting annihlated.

    On another note, Ni no Kuni comes out this week and I can't wait :D

    Commenter
    Raito
    Date and time
    January 28, 2013, 7:20AM
    • Blast.... mine has also probably expired as well. I haven't had the chance to turn my lot in as well.

      That being said you've brought up probably one of the most annoying recent trends I've seen for DLC. The expiry date. I mean I would understand if the DLC itself was already taken down a few years down the line and your no longer able to access it... but to physically give a time limit on redeeming a supposed freebie?

      Sounds a bit like money grabbing to me. Here's what you had but because you didn't hand it in you'll have to pay now! Cannot think of any other feasible reason why this practice has started other than to get you to "pay" for it because you left the game aside for a while.

      Commenter
      RocK_M
      Location
      I want chinese take-away!
      Date and time
      January 30, 2013, 9:52AM
    • Also waiting on Ni No Kuni. I'd forgotten about it till I checked review scores and read it was due out last week. Then I discovered it got pushed when I got in store. Was disappointed, but on the plus side it provided the perfect opportunity to fight the impulse buy and search around for a better deal.
      So far $60 is close to the bottom price. Not sure whether to take a punt on some of the cheaper places I have never ordered from, or look out for a special.

      Commenter
      Lucid Fugue
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      January 30, 2013, 11:48AM
  • I finally finished the main story missions for Driver San Francisco this weekend. One more title to take off my pile of shame. It's a good, fun game and I like the Shift mechanic, but I've just realised it's the third Ubisoft game I've finished in a row (after AC3 and FC3) so I think it's time for a change.

    Commenter
    Kidfla5h68
    Date and time
    January 28, 2013, 7:43AM
    • Haven't touched a Mario game for a long time, but I don't mind the sound of this.

      Been playing Mass Effect 3 a lot. I enjoyed an obscure music reference in one of the achievements, relating to Mars and Holst. Also been finding it somewhat tougher with Brutes and improved Geth Troopers, particularly when I first encountered a Brute and nearly died.

      I do think the story is pretty enjoyable too and a different approach to things like not having planet scans and weapon access and mods on the ship. But part of my problem is that I know there is a twist or something that has the community in arms and like watching a movie and knowing there's a twist: you keep looking for it.

      More NBA 2k13 and hopefully I will finish off Dragons Dogma, Sleeping Dogs and start Deus Ex before GTA V and Watch Dogs.

      Commenter
      Joka
      Date and time
      January 28, 2013, 11:20AM
      • Also attempting to finish off Dragon's Dogma. My wife absolutely hates me playing it though, because in her eyes "It's exactly like all those other medieval games, but without the cutscenes or anything interesting. And the people traveling with you won't shut up".
        Therefore my progress has been significantly slowed as I can't get away with playing for extended periods of time.

        Commenter
        Lucid Fugue
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        January 30, 2013, 11:56AM
    • Wet weekend has led to a little more gaming time than normal. Spent some evenings working on the Vita version of PlayStation All Stars: Battle Royale (platinum trophy achieved), whilst simultaneously watching the tennis.

      I'd exchanged some older games and picked up a few to dabble with including James Bond: Blood Stone. A Bond game with an original story and original voice cast? How did I miss it first time around? It's not a classic but it's tremendous fun.

      Finally, I picked up the PC version of The Cave and have completed two play-throughs with my son; all characters bar the hillbilly. The Cave is an excellent return to the adventure games I grew up playing... the humour is spot on and that narration from "The Cave" itself cracks me up. A modern set of cautionary tales to discuss with the lad.

      Commenter
      Scubafinch
      Date and time
      January 28, 2013, 6:06PM
      • I loved Paper Mario on the N64 and Wii, I really enjoy the quirky humor in these games and will get on board the new one for sure.

        Did quite a bit of gaming on the weekend, mainly starting Mass Effect 1... I know I'm a bit late to this party but I love this game already, so glad there are two more ahead of me!

        Commenter
        TBomb
        Date and time
        January 29, 2013, 8:56AM
        • Well, I continued on my Walking Dead adventures this week. And as requested by Smoolander last week, I did indeed finish episode 3 (and am now halfway through episode 4). Wow. Geez. Seriously. This game does NOT pull any punches when it comes to the story or the character plot arcs. I really can't say much, otherwise I'm liable to spoil events for any other fellow players.
          I'm still a bit sceptical though just how much of the story is genuinely impacted by my decisions, or whether or not it is only how grumpy or not some of the characters get with me.

          Meanwhile, XCOM and Dishonored have arrived in the mail and are staring intently at me from the pile next to the tv. "Play us, play us..."

          Commenter
          Swordfactor
          Date and time
          January 29, 2013, 9:15AM
          • Excellent. Episode 3 is such a gut punch. Episode 4 ends at a really great story plot and Episode 5 finishes... well you'll see. It's great.

            The entire story definitely has a pre-determined path, but I think the brilliant thing about it is it manages to make you believe that you are affecting it. It certainly made me believe that I was acting as Lee and I consciously noted that my decisions were changing from the first two episodes to the last three. Damn that game is well written.

            Commenter
            Smoolander
            Date and time
            January 29, 2013, 10:53AM

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