With Paper Mario: Sticker Star lined up to be Nintendo’s biggest 3DS title this Christmas – set for launch on 7th December in Europe, and out this Sunday in North America – you may be curious as to how its big new innovation is implemented into the gameplay.
Thankfully, Nintendo’s cleared up exactly how the series’ handheld debut will make use of its new sticker system both in the game’s world (aptly named Decalburg), and during its returning RPG battle system:
Stickers are all-important in Paper Mario: Sticker Star, both for solving puzzles and emerging victorious from turn-based battles. During battle, every attack Mario performs requires the use of stickers, which become more effective at flattening his foes when the A button is pressed with the right timing. Battle Stickers allow for all sorts of offensive and defensive moves, such as jumps, hammer attacks or POW Block hits. When Mario comes across mysterious 3D objects during his adventure he can turn them into Thing Stickers which can then be summoned into battle for a powerful – and often hilarious – effect. Players can also spend coins to activate the Battle Spinner and attempt to line up three icons correctly for a special bonus as well as the ability to use up to three stickers in a single turn. Using stickers creatively or in different combinations can have a major effect on how the battle plays out.
With Kersti’s help, Mario is also able to ‘Paperise’ the world around him – turning the 3D environment into a flat paper image which, in certain places, stickers may be applied for a variety of helpful effects. Apart from Battle and Thing Stickers, Mario can also find and apply Scrap Stickers that permanently alter the environment by filling up a void, often allowing access to previously unreachable areas.
At the very least, it’s great to see our flat friend return to his N64 and GameCube roots with a turn-based battle system, after Super Paper Mario’s disappointingly simple take on the series. Whether or not the stickers are a worthwhile addition, however, will remain to be seen until it launches a mere week after this year’s other big release – Wii U.