Paper Mario: Sticker Star is not a perfect game, but it still has enough charm and fun gameplay that makes it a worthy addition to the Super Mario universe. While a statement like this would seem standard with a number of other Nintendo titles, those directed at Sticker Star are met with an almost immediate dismissal.
We get it. The game took the classic Paper Mario characters and the special Paper Mario worlds and replaced them with your generic enemies and overused worlds. Not to mention the fact that the battle system was also given a revamp, the game did enough to put off Paper Mario fans that have been with the series since the beginning. These are all valid arguments and concerns.
With that said, Sticker Star also does many things right. You’ve still got fun gameplay, albeit different, and the game looks fantastic, standing out as the best looking game in the series. You also have the jazzy soundtrack, the limited but clever dialogue, and great level design. That last part in particular stands out, and it makes the fact that our most recent Super Mario Survivor just voted Sticker Star’s fourth world as one of the worst ice worlds in the Mario series that much harder to understand.
World 4 of Sticker Star is the most “Paper Mario” of all the levels in the game. You start off with the first two levels that are basic in design and easy in their goal, but they are gorgeous to play through. Going through the ice caves and seeing the mansion in the distance of Ice Flow are some of the highlights of the scenery in this world.
Then we move on the Engimansion, a mansion filled with ghosts and other creepy crawlers. This level sets up a fantastic environment and theme that plays well with the Boo hunting mission. The level features hidden passageways, the dancing disco Boo group, a hidden basement, and the summoning of Big Boo through the Book of Sealing. This entire chapter screams Paper Mario!
The last two levels are also full of cool additions and special features. Did you ever think you’d be riding a ski lift or riding through an icy mine cave on a trolley? Who forgot about the line of Shy Guys and Snifits waiting to get onto the ride in Bowser’s Snow Fort? What about that random Birdo encounter? And you can’t forget about the world’s final boss, Mizzter Blizzard. Using your Heater Sticker or your Hair Dryer Sticker was too satisfying on this boss!
Most importantly, this world was all about having fun, and it delivered. Yes, Paper Mario: Sticker Star has its problems, but you won’t find most of them in World 4. It’s a shame to see anything from this game get shut down because of its departure of the series’ classic roots when such a remarkable world exists. Here’s hoping that we can move past hating the game as whole and start appreciating the many things it did right!