10 Minutes Of The New Paper Mario Is Not Enough

10 Minutes Of The New Paper Mario Is Not Enough

Few video game series are as consistently delightful as Paper Mario, Nintendo’s charming set of plumber-themed RPGs. Paper Mario: Sticker Star, out this fall for 3DS, looks to be no exception. It’s funny, weird, and quite charming.

Now take my thoughts with a grain of salt, because the demo I played last weekend at PAX was short. Very short. Like, 10 minutes short. It all took place in two small areas.

(There were some others I could see, but Nintendo rep Kit Ellis told me I wasn’t allowed to go to them. Thinking back, if I’d snatched the demo unit and ran away, I probably would’ve been able to find a place to hide before he caught up. Next time, Kit. Next time.)

Here are some of the notes I jotted down as I played (expanded and turned into full sentences for your reading convenience):

  • So the first thing I see is combat. Mario’s facing off against a couple of goombas. It’s turn-based (unlike the last Paper Mario, which was far more platformy). To attack, I select one of a number of stickers on my bottom screen — fire flowers, hammers, jumps. The usual.
  • I can earn blocking and attacking bonuses based on timed button pushes, just like most of the other Mario RPG games. Press a button at the right time during an attack and I’ll jump for more power; press a button at the right time when I’m attacked and I’ll defend for less damage.
  • There’s a world map! Holy shit there’s a world map!
  • Although I only get to see a town (Decalburg, where I can go to buy stickers and turn objects into stickers) and a small field area, I can tell from the map (and the trailer above this post) that there are a hell of a lot cool things to see.
  • No partners this time around. Mario goes solo. That’s kind of a bummer: party members like Goombella and Bombette were lovely additions to the older games.
  • Still, everything here feels just like Paper Mario. I reach a windmill-cottage thing whose blades are blocking its door. I need to find some way of moving the blades so I can get inside.
  • Thoughts from our companion sticker Kersti:

    Talk about awful cottage design. “Gee guys, did we forget anything?” OH WAIT, THE FRONT DOOR ACCESS.

  • The dialogue is weird and hilarious, as expected from a Paper Mario game. Those Nintendo of America translators do some tremendous work.
  • To get into that door, by the way, I have to take the big fan in my inventory (obtained before this demo started) and take it to Decalburg, where a snarky young toad will turn it into a sticker. Then I have to peel that sticker and place it on the world, where it will turn into a big fan and blow the windmill blades out of my way.
  • “Stay perky,” one toad tells me. Thanks, toad. I will.

Sticker Star hits the US on November 11.


  • Sigh.
    I’m really gonna have to buy a 3DS soon. I have no desire for the 3D, but without it too many games will pass me by.

    • I managed to avoid buying one until the other day. Tipping point was me noticing just how many games there are on it that I wanted to play.

    • You know you don’t have to use the 3D at all, right? Even Nintendo seem to be avoiding having 3D as the focus of anything – the new model doesn’t even have the indicator LED to tell you when there’s 3D content available for the top screen.

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