Paper Mario: Sticker Star Catch-All

DSGamer wrote:
I feel like you're trolling me. I came here to honestly ask if it gets better, if I should hang with it, if I'm missing something.

Sure, but your beef (sorry, ham) seems to be with the core gameplay, the very essence of the game itself (and if, with the writing, it's exactly the same as it has been for every other Paper Mario game). Have you ever known an Nintendo game to deviate drastically from its initial formula? Do you expect things to change that much? You'll get some new stickers, but you've pretty much seen everything there is to see after the first couple levels from a core function standpoint -- you might just get some mayo or lettuce later on. Since I'm pretty sure you've played enough Nintendo games to know that already, it seems like you're disappointed that the box labeled "ham sandwich" actually contained a ham sandwich inside. At least, to me.

shoptroll wrote:
Demyx wrote:
Also, I'd say the writing in Paper Mario and M&L is rarely funny in a laugh out loud sort of way, it's more charming.

Isn't that true of most "funny" games?


It's certainly true of the Paper Mario series.

Farscry wrote:
I'm easily entertained when a game gives me an excuse (even a paper-thin one -- see what I did there? :D) to explore and poke around into every nook and cranny.

Yes! I love poking around the levels and peeling stickers off the scenery everywhere.

Please stop talking about beef, ham, and pizza. I didn't have time to eat breakfast this morning, and you're making my stomach growl.

Don't get too excited; the ham sandwich is just a sticker.

DSGamer, if it's really not clicking with you, it probably won't get any better. I'm up near the end of world 2 now, and aside from combat getting a few tweaks like fire flowers, shells, and whatnot (which you don't receive in such abundant supply as to use them every battle), it's pretty much the same game. If you aren't finding it charming enough to continue on, if you aren't enjoying the world exploration and the myriad ways in which they exploit the theme of a paper and cardboard world, you're probably not going to get increased enjoyment from playing more. But you never know, I guess.

In other news: Apparently the strategy guide for this game comes with actual stickers.

IMAGE(http://i46.tinypic.com/a3gkno.jpg)

In other other news, I now really want the strategy guide.

Oh my! I was lamenting that the actual game didn't come with stickers.

Those stickers aren't shiny or flashy though. I guess you can't have it all.

I was backtracking to get some more "things" without paying for them and when I hammered/jumped on some Goomba's it didn't initiate the battle sequence and instead they just poofed into a coin. I wonder if that's because I beat 2-5 or because my health meter has gotten to a point where I am over-leveled and the game doesn't want to give me cheap free coins in an easy fight.

Stay perky

Yeah, I think so. I'm up to 50 health now, still tracking down all the pieces needed to open up 2-5, and even paragoombas do that for me now. Spinys and bats still require defeat, though.

I've been playing this a bit and I'm very sympathetic to DSgamer's take. I went into this eyes open, and I pretty much like the things I expected to like -- the battle system, for example. I wish battles were a little more fatal. Most of them are pretty low-risk, and if you try to get everything (which is kind of compulsive) there are lots of battles. But I enjoy the core mechanics there, and the sticker-rationing problems.

I like exploring levels to find secrets, which is very "Mario" to me. I love Mario. The Yoshi sphinx level was pretty cool that way, for example.

I love the look of the game. Love! And the writing is not my fave but I've gotten some chuckles out of it. I do feel that there is too much of it.

They just put in too much trudging around for my taste. Example:

Spoiler:
so I unlock that sandstorm level (2-4 or something?) and I want to go try it out. Walk around a bit, see that "electric outlet" thing and figure, okay, some Thing sticker goes there. Go back to town to get a Fan sticker (fans plug in, they are related to wind; may as well try, right?). Bring it back, doesn't work, vanishes. Okay. I'm kinda annoyed so I ask Kersti for a hint (I hate the little familiars in Nintendo games, like Navi). She says, maybe there's something in a warehouse in a map area that you haven't been to before and have no reason to care about (it's the port)! I go there, climb around, talk to the NPCs. I see that there's a vacuum cleaner hiding behind some obstacles. Okay, that must be what I need. Explore a little further, and it seems I have to go through an unlit room to get there. Evidently I need to replace the lightbulb in the fixture in the room. So I need to go back to town, get a lightbulb sticker, go apply it, get the vacuum, go back to town to get the sticker, and finally I will be able to play the level I've wanted to try. To pass this supposed puzzle, I will have made three trips to the main town, two trips to another "town" level, bought two Things and made three Thing stickers.

I just want to play the level! I understand that this is the "adventure" gameplay you folks have been describing -- it is just much more cumbersome than I expected it to be. And I think it sits uneasily in this sort of game based on the other elements present. A lot of Sticker Star "looks" like a main-line Mario game. You have the division into numbered worlds and levels, the hunting for secret paths, jumping puzzles, etc. To me, calling a level "Level 2-4" suggests that it is kind of discrete and self-contained. It's a level rather than part of a big continuous world. In main-line Mario, any level can be played from the beginning without doing anything in any other level, without bringing any item from any other level, etc. In Sticker Star any level can start a chain of back-and-forth trips that can go on for quite a while -- you're fetching, which doesn't feel like playing to me. I understand that's the game Sticker Star is, but golly it would be much better for me if it was a little less like that.

I will probably play a bit more. I should probably make more use of the hints, but I'm not sure how much that will help.

If I had to sum it up, I guess I feel like the amount of time I am required to spend doing things that are not risky, difficult, or interesting (to me!) is too high.

Minarchist wrote:
Heh. I use it too often, constantly looking for little places to pop stickers that will (at the very least) upgrade normal items to shiny items. For instance, I discovered that every flower ring in the first world either had a hidden box above the middle of it, or a place to paperize for a shiny item. To the point where it slows me down because I'm hitting Y every five seconds. :)

Is there some way to distinguish the hidden-item boxes from the boxes that make shinies? I've lost some good items I wanted to shiny-fy when the boxes turned out to just drop a hammer or something.

Not that this really affects your main complaint, but

Spoiler:
You don't need the light bulb to get the vacuum. I have the vacuum and not the light bulb.

Well, I've played some more. I finished World 1. For better worse I think I have a better sense of this game. The battle system makes some sense now. I actually like how it's about managing which items you should use, when to use them, etc. in order to maximize your value for them. This is at least different from typical RPG systems and I see what they're going for. I'm in a rhythm now where I'm using jump stickers where it makes sense and hoping to parlay those into access to better stickers, etc. Unfortunately this means that I'm kind of grinding, weirdly. I'm not sure if it's better than XP grinding. I feel like it is, but it's obvious that it's still grinding, nonetheless.

Other random thoughts.

- I was really annoyed when I used 4 sheets of stickers and then got chastised by Navi, Issun, whatever its name is, that I should have used a bigger sticker. Apparently I missed one and thus burned through a bunch of stickers and money for the sake of the slot machine. I appreciate what the stakes were there (I survived the fight but burned resources). However I felt burned when this happened....

- I went back to where one of these larger stickers was found and saw that it had been put back. So in other words the large stickers replenish, even though nothing indicates that this is the case. So not only did I burn those stickers for nothing, but there was literally no value in me passing on one of the bigger stickers earlier. The lesson there is to carry as many big stickers as you can. Not sure if that's a good thing.

- Seeing that there are things I can't unlock until later only feeds into this idea that I'm going to be backtracking a lot to collect some random item that I can't get until later. I've solved the "puzzle" of the door. I just can't find the door.

- I tried going to the northern area and was gated off. So I can backtrack anywhere and I'll be forced to backtrack, but otherwise I can only go forward. The game is open and linear at the same time.

We'll see if I hang with it. I'm not taking it on vacation with me tomorrow. I'm taking my Vita for that. Getting through World 1 burned me out for now and we'll have to see if, after I get into Playstation All Stars and Persona 4, if I have the stomach for more grinding and backtracking. My sense is that I won't, but we'll see.

grobstein wrote:

Spoiler:
so I unlock that sandstorm level (2-4 or something?) and I want to go try it out. Walk around a bit, see that "electric outlet" thing and figure, okay, some Thing sticker goes there. Go back to town to get a Fan sticker (fans plug in, they are related to wind; may as well try, right?). Bring it back, doesn't work, vanishes. Okay. I'm kinda annoyed so I ask Kersti for a hint (I hate the little familiars in Nintendo games, like Navi). She says, maybe there's something in a warehouse in a map area that you haven't been to before and have no reason to care about (it's the port)! I go there, climb around, talk to the NPCs. I see that there's a vacuum cleaner hiding behind some obstacles. Okay, that must be what I need. Explore a little further, and it seems I have to go through an unlit room to get there. Evidently I need to replace the lightbulb in the fixture in the room. So I need to go back to town, get a lightbulb sticker, go apply it, get the vacuum, go back to town to get the sticker, and finally I will be able to play the level I've wanted to try. To pass this supposed puzzle, I will have made three trips to the main town, two trips to another "town" level, bought two Things and made three Thing stickers.

This also bummed me out. I realized that somewhere out there I needed to find that thing and put it there, bu tit was probably blocked by another thing I had to find elsewhere... Reminds me of the riff Idle Thumbs did on adventure games.

http://podcast.idlethumbs.net/music/chrisremo_yougottausethekid.mp3

grobstein wrote:

I just want to play the level! I understand that this is the "adventure" gameplay you folks have been describing -- it is just much more cumbersome than I expected it to be. And I think it sits uneasily in this sort of game based on the other elements present. A lot of Sticker Star "looks" like a main-line Mario game. You have the division into numbered worlds and levels, the hunting for secret paths, jumping puzzles, etc. To me, calling a level "Level 2-4" suggests that it is kind of discrete and self-contained. It's a level rather than part of a big continuous world. In main-line Mario, any level can be played from the beginning without doing anything in any other level, without bringing any item from any other level, etc. In Sticker Star any level can start a chain of back-and-forth trips that can go on for quite a while -- you're fetching, which doesn't feel like playing to me. I understand that's the game Sticker Star is, but golly it would be much better for me if it was a little less like that.

I will probably play a bit more. I should probably make more use of the hints, but I'm not sure how much that will help.

If I had to sum it up, I guess I feel like the amount of time I am required to spend doing things that are not risky, difficult, or interesting (to me!) is too high.

It's funny because I started with just flat-out "I don't get why this would be fun, I gave it a try and just don't get it."

Now that I've given it an honest chance I feel like I get what's fun, but I still think that price is too high. I would rather this was Super Paper Mario, honestly. I can see where this would be fun, but in some ways the world is so gorgeous and pretty that I just want to hop around pretty worlds and not do the backtracking.

World 3 is pretty big. These ninja dude's are jerks though with all their dodging.

Finally have access to the door sticker!

DSGamer wrote:
- I was really annoyed when I used 4 sheets of stickers and then got chastised by Navi, Issun, whatever its name is, that I should have used a bigger sticker. Apparently I missed one and thus burned through a bunch of stickers and money for the sake of the slot machine. I appreciate what the stakes were there (I survived the fight but burned resources). However I felt burned when this happened....

Y'know, I've thought about this one some more, because there really aren't as many subtle clues for that first battle as they typically use. I wonder if you're meant to go into the fight unprepared, get to the point where you see them all stacked up in a sheet but peeling off, and either (a) die and realize that you need to go back and get the scissors or fan again (either works) or (b) squeak through and then have what Kersti say help you realize that every boss will require a special thing to beat.

I think this for a couple reasons, partially because I've now beaten the world 2 boss, and his clues -- the title of the level being "stadium" and the boss arena (which you can leave before triggering the battle) looking like a big baseball stadium -- are much more obvious. The main reason, though, is that I've heard you can sorta grind through the first couple boss battles by burning your whole sticker deck, but from world 3 and beyond you are absolutely not winning without using the thing you need. In this way it's more akin to a boss battle in The Legend of Zelda than anything else.

BNice wrote:
World 3 is pretty big. These ninja dude's are jerks though with all their dodging.

I was getting pretty pissed at them, but I noticed something and they became very easy. If they're holding still, just standing on the ground, they will dodge jump attacks. If they're jumping up and down, they will dodge hammer attacks (although the shockwave from someone in front of them will still hit them!) Of course, projectiles like fireballs and their own ninja stars are pretty effective, too. Every enemy has a "tell"; just pretend you're playing poker with them.

And yeah, I'm still in world 3, as well. But I found door stickers! So right now I'm going back through worlds 1 and 2 and placing all of those. Found lots of cool stuff and "things" so far.

Minarchist wrote:
BNice wrote:
World 3 is pretty big. These ninja dude's are jerks though with all their dodging.

I was getting pretty pissed at them, but I noticed something and they became very easy. If they're holding still, just standing on the ground, they will dodge jump attacks. If they're jumping up and down, they will dodge hammer attacks (although the shockwave from someone in front of them will still hit them!) Of course, projectiles like fireballs and their own ninja stars are pretty effective, too. Every enemy has a "tell"; just pretend you're playing poker with them.

Dude, you are the Sticker Star zen master.

Minarchist wrote:
I think this for a couple reasons, partially because I've now beaten the world 2 boss, and his clues -- the title of the level being "stadium" and the boss arena (which you can leave before triggering the battle) looking like a big baseball stadium -- are much more obvious. The main reason, though, is that I've heard you can sorta grind through the first couple boss battles by burning your whole sticker deck, but from world 3 and beyond you are absolutely not winning without using the thing you need. In this way it's more akin to a boss battle in The Legend of Zelda than anything else.

I guess I'm a little bull-headed. I played the second world boss several times before I went back with the right weapon, at least once because I knew I needed it but forgot to go round it up.

The gap in difficulties between with- and without- the particular sticker you need is HUGE. Without it, the battle was an extremely hard endurance struggle. On one attempt, I got the boss down to about 20HP (from 300) and ran out of stickers. There are strategies that make you a little more effective against him, just enough that I thought I could get it right and win if I played carefully.

But bring along the right special sticker and he goes straight down. I think I won on the third turn, the special sticker doing ~270HP in a single attack (is that normal? I think it was "Excellent!").

On that particular battle, it will do 45 HP for each non-head segment he has. At least, that's what I got, with an excellent for each one. So if he had 6 segments when you used it, yes.

Minarchist wrote:
On that particular battle, it will do 45 HP for each non-head segment he has. At least, that's what I got, with an excellent for each one. So if he had 6 segments when you used it, yes. :)

I think I got three hits for 90. Do you mean segments exposed aboveground, or total undestroyed segments? If the former I don't think I let him get to 6. . . . Maybe some other bonus was in effect.

Is there a reason why "things" have different colors in the menu? They seem to either be orange, pink or blue.

BNice wrote:
Is there a reason why "things" have different colors in the menu? They seem to either be orange, pink or blue.

Think it's size. Orange is small (one album-block), blue is medium (two), and pink is big (three). Or something like that.

grobstein wrote:
BNice wrote:
Is there a reason why "things" have different colors in the menu? They seem to either be orange, pink or blue.

Think it's size. Orange is small (one album-block), blue is medium (two), and pink is big (three). Or something like that.


That is correct.

I haven't yet figured out what (if anything) the background color on the sticker itself corresponds to. Class, maybe? Room in the museum?

"Snifit or Whiffit": Best thing ever? I posit that it is indeed so. I played it hours ago and I'm still laughing about it.

Played this for 3 hours on my flight today. So there's something to it overall...

A favorite part today.

Spoiler:
The Yoshi sphinx saying "Yoshi" in a deep voice when the tongue retracted. :)

Also, I love "Sombrero Guy".

Still not in love with backtracking, but I'm starting to entertain the possibility that this might be a "misunderstood" gem. We'll see how it holds up.

Guys. Guys. Guys. (and girls.)

This game just keeps getting better. I finished world 4 today; it included a brilliant haunted house (The Enigmansion), a deadly ski lift, and a Donkey Kong-style mine cart ride that still managed to use the paperizing theme to its fullest effect. I was attacked by a rabid stapler. I won a crazy-ass Japanese-style game show. Now I'm hunting pygmy bushmen in the tall grass.

This may be the game of the year.

I'm beginning to think that this will turn out to be even more beloved than 1,000 Year Door. There are some aspects about that game that were better, like the visual clarity and really cool boss battles that you can only really achieve on the big screen, but this one is so well put together and mechanically so well-refined that it may still take the cake (no 100s of trips backtracking through the main town for stuff all the time, for instance). The last game I remember that carried its visual style and theme so fully and completely was Wind Waker.

I bet all those pleasant things would be less charming if you knew they were coming ahead of time.

My new playthrough caught up to my old one and I finally got DOORS. Sweet, sweet doors.

Minarchist wrote:
"Snifit or Whiffit": Best thing ever? I posit that it is indeed so. I played it hours ago and I'm still laughing about it. :D

Oh man, I just played this part. Amazing

Also, the

Spoiler:
instant replay with the bowling ball

was hilarious. This game.

Edit:
Man, world 3's boss was not messing around.

Spoiler:
That damn poison attack was annoying. Finally found a way around it by using POW's. I liked how it clapped along to the song.

It's so satisfying when you get a Royal sticker.

BNice wrote:

Edit:
Man, world 3's boss was not messing around.

Spoiler:
That damn poison attack was annoying. Finally found a way around it by using POW's. I liked how it clapped along to the song.


Did you notice that when you originally found
Spoiler:
the sponge (I'm assuming you did, it was in plain sight), you had to hit it several times to knock the poison out of it? That was a clue. If you use it during the boss battle, instead of his poison attack rocking your world, it hits him! And deals 30 damage each turn while making him miss all his attacks!
Really try to think of the boss battles as Zelda battles; there's always a Key Item that helps out a ton.