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Thread: Paper Mario: Sticker Star - Staff Review

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    Code: Kirin RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Paper Mario: Sticker Star - Staff Review

    Please take care not to fold, spindle, or mutilate this important piece of paper. When mailing it, know that much jumping will take place. Upon delivery, insist on a receipt for the easily-mislaid Princess Peach.
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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    I'm disappointed that they're slowly turning the PM series into a straight platformer. Let's have an RPG, please.

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    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Sounds like it will disappoint me horribly, especially after how good the first two Paper Mario games were.
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    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Agreed, Paws. Had a feeling that it was going to be mediocre when specific information started to come out.

    Paper Mario 1 and 2 had such a great formula to them. Why do they feel the need to dumb down the RPG elements? There's so much in this review that indicates I'd be frustrated with Sticker Star. No experience, and a chance to get nothing from battles? No party members with a turn based battle system? Crappy inventory with backtracking to manage it? Lack of dialogue and interaction with NPCs? Sticker Star just went from buy to rental on my list.
    Last edited by ChickenGod; 11-16-2012 at 12:08 PM.
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    Tactic's Ogre I choose u! scorpio_7's Avatar
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    I definitely don't get this one... not my style of game at all.

    Looks like this series has lost its way.

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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    RPGs don't sell, so they clearly need to stop making them. Oh well, so much for the genre we all love.
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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    I'm disappointed that they're slowly turning the PM series into a straight platformer. Let's have an RPG, please.
    Not sure why you'd say that since this one is more RPGish than the last one.

    I'd much prefer that Intelligent Systems keep the series going and not worry about what genre any of the games fall into.
    Last edited by Wheels; 11-16-2012 at 02:42 PM.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Not sure what the point of saying "It's a teensy bit more RPG than that non RPG" when the point is we've now had two games that aren't the TYD-esque gameplay I'd hoped for, since there's already a platformer series. I'd much prefer that Intelligent Systems keep the series going, and go back to the things I really enjoyed about the series that made it more than just another Mario game with a schtick.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Not sure what the point of saying "It's a teensy bit more RPG than that non RPG" when the point is we've now had two games that aren't the TYD-esque gameplay I'd hoped for, since there's already a platformer series. I'd much prefer that Intelligent Systems keep the series going, and go back to the things I really enjoyed about the series that made it more than just another Mario game with a schtick.
    The early games were only "a teensy bit RPG" to begin with, and had plenty of platforming themselves.

    And anyway my point was that it's strange to make the argument they're moving the series towards straight platforming when this game is less a platformer than the previous entry.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    Being less a platformer doesn't make it more an RPG (or, far more importantly, feel like the old PM games)

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    Member Slayer's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the first three Mario RPG games. The Gamecube title was my last.

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    I really, really hate it when critics and fans play favorites when it comes to certain series and judge everything against their favorite game or movie. "Ooh, game/movie X didn't do things like game/movie Y, so points knocked off for that." It really makes me wonder if opinion would still be the same if the games and movies critics played favorite with didn't exist.

    George Ball said it best: "Nostalgia is a seductive liar."
    Last edited by LOLOttertard; 11-17-2012 at 12:04 PM.

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    BEARSONA Administrator Paws's Avatar
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    I'm not allowed to review for RPGamer due to professional conflict of interest, but I would not knock a game for 'not being like another.' Hoping a game in a series is like the other games in a series and being disappointed they're not as a player, however, is a completely different scenario.

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    Angel-Possessed Priestess Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    Well, this review has dampened my enthusiasm a bit. Maybe I'll think differently once I start playing, but I was hoping it'd be more like the earlier Paper Mario games, or at least have quirky, amusing characters.
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    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    The lack of reward for combat is something I'm not liking about the game either. More often than not, it's a hassle to get anything done because of the combat. Then there's the constant sticker maintenance. This is the epitome of "gimmick-based gameplay," and really, only the excellent writing saves the game for me.

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  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Simba B View Post
    I really, really hate it when critics and fans play favorites when it comes to certain series and judge everything against their favorite game or movie. "Ooh, game/movie X didn't do things like game/movie Y, so points knocked off for that." It really makes me wonder if opinion would still be the same if the games and movies critics played favorite with didn't exist.

    George Ball said it best: "Nostalgia is a seductive liar."

    Being disappointed in a series completely changing its genre in what appears to be an attempt at catering to non RPG fans is not some empty argument based on nostalgia. And now you completely ignore any legitimate criticism levied at the game and harp on RPG fans wanting a title in a RPG series to be a RPG, pretending that's the only reason someone would dislike this game. So please, take the condescension elsewhere.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    Not sure why you'd say that since this one is more RPGish than the last one.

    I'd much prefer that Intelligent Systems keep the series going and not worry about what genre any of the games fall into.
    No, it doesn't. How exactly is this a RPG in any stretch of the imagination? Because it has a turnbased battle engine? If so, I recall several games that were never considered RPGs that have battles that don't run in real time. Beyond that, I can't see how anyone could possible consider this a RPG. The elements that are at the core of any RPG are all surprisingly missing from this title, to the point that games like God of War might as well be leading reviews on this site. At least that series has a semblance of character progression. SPM, for the most part, actually kept the RPG elements relatively strong. They actually exist and are a focus point of the gameplay, at least. It simply took the turnbased battles from its predecessors and made a platforming action RPG hybrid.

    And no, IS should keep the series going by keeping what made the series in the first place. Otherwise they've just started a completely different series with an identical name. Series exist for a reason, as do genres and subgenres. If IS has new ideas and wants to make a whole new IP, great! Just don't devolve an already established series further, especially when the fans were disappointed with the change in direction of the last entry. This does nothing but cater towards those who never liked the series to begin with while ignoring the fanbase the series built with the original titles.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    The early games were only "a teensy bit RPG" to begin with, and had plenty of platforming themselves.
    Paper Mario and TYD were full blown turnbased JRPGs. With that logic, Super Mario RPG was only "a teensy bit RPG." I do hope we haven't come to a time in our gaming lives where an obvious JRPG is only "a teensy bit RPG" while a game that is clearly devoid of nearly every element that fundamentally makes a RPG is now considered one.

  17. #17
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paws View Post
    Being less a platformer doesn't make it more an RPG (or, far more importantly, feel like the old PM games)
    So then you'd agree the series ISN'T trending more towards platforming?

    I've played all of the Paper Mario games and it does feel much like the first two. Certainly it emphasises exploration and puzzle solving much more than those games but the feel is there regardless of the fact that traditional leveling , equipment, etc. mechanics are not there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyne View Post
    Being disappointed in a series completely changing its genre in what appears to be an attempt at catering to non RPG fans is not some empty argument based on nostalgia. And now you completely ignore any legitimate criticism levied at the game and harp on RPG fans wanting a title in a RPG series to be a RPG, pretending that's the only reason someone would dislike this game. So please, take the condescension elsewhere.
    Its not some empty argument based on nostalgia but its not an argument as to whether or not a game is good. But that's pointless because saying it "completely changed genres" is ridiculous. It leans more towards elements of adventure games this time around, but these are elements that were in previous Paper Mario games. There will always be elements of platforming here as well because that's been a core element of this sub-franchise from the start. So no, Sticker Star does not "completely" change genres, it emphasizes elements of genres that had already been in the franchise, just more than previously. Certainly does;t emphasize platforming as much as super paper mario.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dyne View Post
    No, it doesn't. How exactly is this a RPG in any stretch of the imagination? Because it has a turnbased battle engine? If so, I recall several games that were never considered RPGs that have battles that don't run in real time. Beyond that, I can't see how anyone could possible consider this a RPG. The elements that are at the core of any RPG are all surprisingly missing from this title, to the point that games like God of War might as well be leading reviews on this site. At least that series has a semblance of character progression. SPM, for the most part, actually kept the RPG elements relatively strong. They actually exist and are a focus point of the gameplay, at least. It simply took the turnbased battles from its predecessors and made a platforming action RPG hybrid.
    I'm sorry, I must have missed the memo where character progression was the only thing that made games RPGs. Sorry Harvest Moon we're going to have to ask you to leave.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyne View Post
    And no, IS should keep the series going by keeping what made the series in the first place. Otherwise they've just started a completely different series with an identical name. Series exist for a reason, as do genres and subgenres. If IS has new ideas and wants to make a whole new IP, great! Just don't devolve an already established series further, especially when the fans were disappointed with the change in direction of the last entry. This does nothing but cater towards those who never liked the series to begin with while ignoring the fanbase the series built with the original titles.
    It's a good thing Sticker Star keeps what makes the series great intact then

    Quote Originally Posted by Dyne View Post
    Paper Mario and TYD were full blown turnbased JRPGs. With that logic, Super Mario RPG was only "a teensy bit RPG." I do hope we haven't come to a time in our gaming lives where an obvious JRPG is only "a teensy bit RPG" while a game that is clearly devoid of nearly every element that fundamentally makes a RPG is now considered one.
    The game resolves heavily around item management, something core to RPGs since Rogue. In fact its not something even alien to Mario RPGs. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time reduced special attacks to items in a similar fashion though obviously that did keep leveling in place. Critical hits, chances of status ailments, other dice roll type elements that are core to RPGs are on display here as well. You wont be applying stat points or learning new skills hear but you will by finding more sticker variety and power as you progress on a very similar path to any old RPG. I understand the concern when a series makes something like Super Paper Mario and takes the series in a completely different direction, but this is no pretender Paper Mario here, it just uses the adventure elements the series has used before to a greater degree. Is it as good as those old games? We'll see, but this is a move back towards those old games, not the opposite like people seem to be suggesting.

    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    The lack of reward for combat is something I'm not liking about the game either. More often than not, it's a hassle to get anything done because of the combat. Then there's the constant sticker maintenance. This is the epitome of "gimmick-based gameplay," and really, only the excellent writing saves the game for me.
    err no not really. The reward for combat is coins, which is vital for buying stuff when needed but helps greatly in tougher battles when you need to make heavy use of the slot real. I absolutely agree combat can sometimes be annoying, but it works the majority of the time because the combat is fun and keeps your supply of coins going. Don't get the complain about item management in the slightest though. Unless you're tearing down like every last sticker.

  18. #18
    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    I'm really loving Sticker Star myself, but not as an RPG. I just happen to enjoy the exploration, puzzle-solving, and sticker stuff (now that I've got access to enough advanced stickers to make battles fun). There are some pretty fun characters in it, but the ideal level of dialogue would be somewhere between this one and Thousand Year Door... which is actually a pretty wide spread.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    Can't play this one for another two weeks or so (if I even decide to get it at launch), but I might as well add my two cents in. In the Japanese release info for next month, Sticker Star is labeled as an adventure game, not as an RPG. Of course, I have played several RPGs that weren't initially labeled as such by their own publishers, so I have to take that with a grain of salt...

  20. #20
    I forgot I posted in this topic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheels View Post
    So then you'd agree the series ISN'T trending more towards platforming?

    I've played all of the Paper Mario games and it does feel much like the first two. Certainly it emphasises exploration and puzzle solving much more than those games but the feel is there regardless of the fact that traditional leveling , equipment, etc. mechanics are not there.
    It certainly retains elements found in the previous entries, but you're cutting an entire game into specific gameplay segments and choosing which segments you believe are enough to qualify the core mechanics of the series. ALL the segments must exist, otherwise it's just a game that somewhat resembles the prior titles. So yes, the fact Sticker Star lacks any sense of "RPG" definitely makes it different from its predecessors.

    Its not some empty argument based on nostalgia but its not an argument as to whether or not a game is good. But that's pointless because saying it "completely changed genres" is ridiculous. It leans more towards elements of adventure games this time around, but these are elements that were in previous Paper Mario games. There will always be elements of platforming here as well because that's been a core element of this sub-franchise from the start. So no, Sticker Star does not "completely" change genres, it emphasizes elements of genres that had already been in the franchise, just more than previously. Certainly does;t emphasize platforming as much as super paper mario.
    Re-read the part of my post where I'm specifically responding to Simba B's ignoring of any legitimate criticism levied at the game. I agree, a game making a dramatic change has no bearing on the game's quality. The game is the game, and it should be praised or criticized based on its own value, not what came before. However, that doesn't negate the legitimate disappointment made by fans of the series that are being ignored by the developer.

    Let me ask these two questions again: is this game a RPG? And if so, HOW is it a RPG? You didn't seem to answer the latter when replying to my post. Sadly the answer is a resounding "no." Even the director of the game Kensuke Tanabe to Nintendo Life admitted the move away from RPGs and refereed to the genre as "Sticker Battle Adventure." Since you continue your post in a snide and dismissive tone, let me do the same here: Let me break down the simplicity of "what something is" logic. "RPG" is a video game genre. If a game is a RPG, then its genre is "RPG." If that game is no longer a RPG, then clearly its genre is no longer "RPG." So tell me, if a game goes from being a RPG to not being a RPG, can we say that it "completely" changed the genre? Why yes, yes we can.


    I'm sorry, I must have missed the memo where character progression was the only thing that made games RPGs. Sorry Harvest Moon we're going to have to ask you to leave.
    Now you're playing the silly game of "Either/Or." Never once did I say "character progression was the only thing that made games RPGs," I said that was an integral part of the RPG genre. And it is. Otherwise any game can be considered a RPG, because you're "playing a role." Explain to me what a Role Playing game is if character progression serves no purpose in the genre? What games are and aren't RPGs? Since apparently traditional mechanics that have defined Role Playing Games since their inception are now being thrown out the window, I'd really like to know what today's definition of "RPG" is.



    It's a good thing Sticker Star keeps what makes the series great intact thenp
    Except, you know, for the umpteenth time.. the RPG elements.


    The game resolves heavily around item management, something core to RPGs since Rogue. In fact its not something even alien to Mario RPGs. Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time reduced special attacks to items in a similar fashion though obviously that did keep leveling in place. Critical hits, chances of status ailments, other dice roll type elements that are core to RPGs are on display here as well. You wont be applying stat points or learning new skills hear but you will by finding more sticker variety and power as you progress on a very similar path to any old RPG. I understand the concern when a series makes something like Super Paper Mario and takes the series in a completely different direction, but this is no pretender Paper Mario here, it just uses the adventure elements the series has used before to a greater degree. Is it as good as those old games? We'll see, but this is a move back towards those old games, not the opposite like people seem to be suggesting.
    A usable deck of cards is not heavy item management. And that's all this battle system is, consumable cards. While having an inventory (and in SS's case, it's beyond bare) is certainly a core mechanic of RPGs, it alone is hardly enough to call this game a RPG. This relates back to my previous point about turnbased battles; sure, many RPGs have used turnbased battles.. that doesn't mean any game with non real time action is a RPG. And nearly every game in existence have variable instances that determine the player's luck while playing the game. You're desperately reaching for anything to call this a RPG. Heck, it has HP too! I guess health is a requisite for a game to be considered "RPG" as well. It might as well be.

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