Paper Mario Sticker Star Review: Adhering to the screen

I love reading. In particular, novels provide all the information my imagination needs to paint my perfect picture of the scene. So when Paper Mario Sticker Star was released by Nintendo, it was all too easy to embrace this whimsical, storybook-esque adventure. I must say I’ve not enjoyed a title this much since Tomba! on the PlayStation.

The paper aesthetic of the series makes another welcome return—I so enjoy seeing trees fold, items crumple and  scissors fly across the screen! Much of these activities work well thanks to the design’s responsiveness, giving a sort of instantaneous feel to in-game actions like pulling. That responsiveness is much appreciated in battle too—Paper Mario Sticker Star retains the battle system of previous games, rewarding precise inputs with extra output damage, reduced loss of HP and special drops for successfully timing a guard response.

The main dynamic in Mario’s adventure is a companion named Kersti, sticker-lady of the Sticker Star. She is flat-out everything a tag-along should be. Her personality is nicely crafted to supply the game’s humor, serves as an aide should players get stuck solving a puzzle and adds a layer to combat with her battle roulette. Her puns are never awkwardly placed and her character development is a nice compliment to Peach’s stoic bodyguard.

I don’t recall much I disliked with Paper Mario Sticker Star. What I do find aggravating at times is the ‘Paperisation’ feature, where the stage turn into a sheet of paper that allows you to adhere your stickers to certain places on the screen. Though I often place stickers directly above the placeholder, it takes some time to find the right location to get the adhering animation.

Paper Mario Sticker Star is easily a pleasant play that welcomes familiar players of the series and is a great intro for new players to the Mario universe and RPG gameplay. Its mixture of light humor and action is a nice side-step from heavy and dark tones found throughout gaming.