Paper Mario: Sticker Star: More perfectly-pitched Mario magic

Throws everything at the wall to sees what sticks

This article originally appeared in Nintendo Gamer magazine.

As we write this, Euro 2012 is in full swing and the Nintendo Gamer squadron are in full-on child mode, feverishly collecting and swapping Panini stickers like we just don't care that our girlfriends are packing their suitcases and heading for the door.


But one day the tournament will be over. And we'll wake up the next day stone-cold sober, suddenly aware that where our girlfriends and cats once stood, now lie piles upon piles of useless Jack Butland and Aleksandr Kerzhakov duplicate stickers. If only there was a way to make practical use of them. For example, by summoning a real-life Kerzhakov to cook us bacon and eggs, or by magicking up a Lars Bender clone to nip the shop on a Toffee Crisp run.

In other words, if only life were more like Paper Mario: Sticker Star. In this fourth instalment in the Paper Mario series you see, stickers are the most magical, wonderful thing you could possibly own, and they're everywhere.
They're plastered on trees, hidden behind bushes, parped out by defeated enemies - they're all over the shop. Some can even be found taping parts of the scenery to the ground. Give 'em a yank and - volia! - papercraft staircases, bridges and other features unfold before your eyes.



Predictably all this litterbugging is the work of Bowser, who's stunk up the Mushroom Kingdom's annual Sticker Festival a treat. As a result the Six Royal Stickers have been scattered around the land, and it falls to Mario to play clean-up. Luckily he's accompanied on his trash walk by a 'sticker fairy' named Kersti, who infuses our boy Maz with the ability to summon whatever object happens to be scrawled on the sticker. It's in your interests to go the extra mile to stockpile these stickers then, as they form the backbone of the game's strategy.

Sticker Star sees a welcome return to turn-based combat...

This is never more evident than in battle. After the faux-platforming of Super Paper Mario on Wii, Sticker Star sees a welcome return to the turn-based combat of the classic Paper Mario games - but with a radical twist. The basics remain the same. Battles are initiated when our paperback plumber collides with one of the enemies ambling around the environment (preferably on the player's terms, so Mario can get the first lick in). Both attack and defence still operate on an active-battle system, where pressing the right button at the point of impact increases the damage dealt (and missing the sweet spot decreases it). But here comes the game-changer: your arsenal now consists exclusively of the stickers you've managed to peel off the floor.

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