The problem with Paper Mario: Sticker Star

#31Counterpwnt(Topic Creator)Posted 11/16/2012 12:44:47 PM
ApolloJusticeAA posted...

where is it that paper mario was originally going to be called mario story? I thought Paper mario was originally going to be Super Mario RPG 2.

As for your points I respectfully disagree as I have had a blast with sticker star, but I assume that is simply because I came into the game with a completely different mindset on what to expect.

the bolded part is arguably subjective there is no definitive proof that everyone that played Paper Mario enjoyed it for what reasons you enjoyed it.

last the story in all 3 mario games have been rather generic (someone wants to do something evil but mario and whatever gang he has decide that aint going down like that) I wont say they werent better in connectivity than sticker star because yeah they had a better flowing story but to call the games story centric is opinionated at best.

there are plenty of games that have a way bigger emphasis on story than mario such as the Ace Attorney series where unless you deeply enjoy the story and dialogue the investigations and trials wont be nearly as enjoyable.


My mistake. It's called "Mario Story" in Japan. See, there was no emphasis on paper at all in that title.

I have also had a blast with it—that isn't the point of this topic. I'm not saying it's not "fun" or not enjoyable. I have fun with Rhythm Heaven, but I'm not going to be inspired to write fan fiction about it.

You can't disagree with my points, they're my opinion on "the problem with Paper Mario: Sticker Star." I figured that was clear. The idea that I could point out concretely objective flaws would be disproved as soon as someone enjoyed the game.

I was discussing all the tension on this board about "whether the game is good or not." The people who have issue with the "soulless" feel of Sticker Star agree with me. I have hit onto something, a subjective preference or not, that was present in all of the Paper Mario games except this one.

Both Paper Mario and TTYD give reasons for everything you do. The world is dynamic and persistent. You don't hop from level to level. Each area has its own sort of culture. There's a murder mystery for crying out loud! Toad Town has numerous areas, a post office, Merlon's hut, a whole sewer system, a cooking area... there's just more, it comes together cohesively. Think about layering paint on a wall. Paper Mario and TTYD are finely painted and deeply layered. Sticker Star is not.

I want more depth, character, and soul than this game offers. Even the bosses are just giant versions of Mario enemies. Bowser doesn't talk. Everything is just borrowing what it is from other games. There's no originality at all.

The best Paper Mario games feel like an interactive, cinematic experience.

If Paper Mario was BioShock, this game would be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
#32Counterpwnt(Topic Creator)Posted 11/16/2012 12:48:05 PM
Hirokey123 posted...

Because it's a lot of fun?

I dunno about you but I like having 3 pages of nothing but special attacks so I can anihilate enemies. I like being able to have a large arsenal of stickers at any time. I like that I've almost never had to backtrack. I like being able to explore and see every nook and cranny. I like being able to use multiple attacks in battle whenever I wish.

What would levels do? They'd give you experience so you can get stronger so you can beat tougher enemies to get stronger so you could beat more enemies to get stronger. You keep getting stronger for what? So you can annihilate things easier? That's what having a large variety of stickers lets you do to which is why coins serve the same purpose as experience ultimately. But exp didn't let you attack more than once per turn, exp didn't add an extra level of depth and exploration to the world.

Frankly the way they did battles now actually makes them MORE worth while because they do more than simply make you stronger. They give you more freedom, more ability to create strategies, help enhance the exploration of the world, and they still make you stronger to boot because you get more stickers, more attacks, and more options.


This topic isn't really about the gameplay. I can see no narrative reason for Mario to be doing what he is doing in combat though. "Hey, a random world full of enemies. Better use these stickers, which I've never used before in my existence, and will never question."
#33ApolloJusticeAAPosted 11/16/2012 1:18:13 PM
Counterpwnt posted...
ApolloJusticeAA posted...

where is it that paper mario was originally going to be called mario story? I thought Paper mario was originally going to be Super Mario RPG 2.

As for your points I respectfully disagree as I have had a blast with sticker star, but I assume that is simply because I came into the game with a completely different mindset on what to expect.

the bolded part is arguably subjective there is no definitive proof that everyone that played Paper Mario enjoyed it for what reasons you enjoyed it.

last the story in all 3 mario games have been rather generic (someone wants to do something evil but mario and whatever gang he has decide that aint going down like that) I wont say they werent better in connectivity than sticker star because yeah they had a better flowing story but to call the games story centric is opinionated at best.

there are plenty of games that have a way bigger emphasis on story than mario such as the Ace Attorney series where unless you deeply enjoy the story and dialogue the investigations and trials wont be nearly as enjoyable.


My mistake. It's called "Mario Story" in Japan. See, there was no emphasis on paper at all in that title.

I have also had a blast with it—that isn't the point of this topic. I'm not saying it's not "fun" or not enjoyable. I have fun with Rhythm Heaven, but I'm not going to be inspired to write fan fiction about it.

You can't disagree with my points, they're my opinion on "the problem with Paper Mario: Sticker Star." I figured that was clear. The idea that I could point out concretely objective flaws would be disproved as soon as someone enjoyed the game.

I was discussing all the tension on this board about "whether the game is good or not." The people who have issue with the "soulless" feel of Sticker Star agree with me. I have hit onto something, a subjective preference or not, that was present in all of the Paper Mario games except this one.

Both Paper Mario and TTYD give reasons for everything you do. The world is dynamic and persistent. You don't hop from level to level. Each area has its own sort of culture. There's a murder mystery for crying out loud! Toad Town has numerous areas, a post office, Merlon's hut, a whole sewer system, a cooking area... there's just more, it comes together cohesively. Think about layering paint on a wall. Paper Mario and TTYD are finely painted and deeply layered. Sticker Star is not.

I want more depth, character, and soul than this game offers. Even the bosses are just giant versions of Mario enemies. Bowser doesn't talk. Everything is just borrowing what it is from other games. There's no originality at all.

The best Paper Mario games feel like an interactive, cinematic experience.

If Paper Mario was BioShock, this game would be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.


Again I repeat that your argument is fully subjective. There is plenty of character in sticker star. The toads, wiggler, kamek, bowser jr., the bosses, etc. they may not have been to your specific liking but they still packed character.

second I dont like any game enough to write fanfiction for it but that is just me. I can fully disagree with your points like i am doing right now. that doesnt make them any less your points.

you didnt hit on anything. the complaints you listed are pretty much the same complaints that people have been saying since day one. The game doesnt have the "depth" of PM or TTYD. you arent creating any new points just restating what at this point everyone on this board has already read.

This game gives you just as much reason for everything as the previous games. something bad is happening go be mario
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#34LUlGIPosted 11/16/2012 1:21:54 PM
From: ApolloJusticeAA | #033

Every time I see you use the word "subjective" I get the impression you forget that you're on a site that revolves around opinions.

Plus, he already said it was his opinion, why bother pointing out (yet again) that his opinion is indeed an opinion, and not fact? >_>
#35Hirokey123Posted 11/16/2012 1:23:01 PM
Counterpwnt posted...
Hirokey123 posted...

Because it's a lot of fun?

I dunno about you but I like having 3 pages of nothing but special attacks so I can anihilate enemies. I like being able to have a large arsenal of stickers at any time. I like that I've almost never had to backtrack. I like being able to explore and see every nook and cranny. I like being able to use multiple attacks in battle whenever I wish.

What would levels do? They'd give you experience so you can get stronger so you can beat tougher enemies to get stronger so you could beat more enemies to get stronger. You keep getting stronger for what? So you can annihilate things easier? That's what having a large variety of stickers lets you do to which is why coins serve the same purpose as experience ultimately. But exp didn't let you attack more than once per turn, exp didn't add an extra level of depth and exploration to the world.

Frankly the way they did battles now actually makes them MORE worth while because they do more than simply make you stronger. They give you more freedom, more ability to create strategies, help enhance the exploration of the world, and they still make you stronger to boot because you get more stickers, more attacks, and more options.


This topic isn't really about the gameplay. I can see no narrative reason for Mario to be doing what he is doing in combat though. "Hey, a random world full of enemies. Better use these stickers, which I've never used before in my existence, and will never question."


He doesn't question them because he's told right of the bat that stickers are the big thing thanks to the exploding of the sticker comet and sticker power being shot all over the place.

He fights enemies the same reason he does in every single mario game in existence. They are bad, they are in his way, they are a menace to the mushroom kingdom, and they are out to kill him.
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#36Counterpwnt(Topic Creator)Posted 11/16/2012 1:32:04 PM
Fully subjective? Of course it is. However, I can say objectively that there is not as much total dialogue, narrative, or non-enemy character count in this game as in the first two. I can say objectively that there are no original characters. I can even say objectively that I have yet to be surprised by anything I've seen. I can say objectively that Bowser has no dialogue. I can say objectively that all of these world designs have been used before in previous Mario games. I can say objectively that practically all of the stickers are rehashed badges.

"second I dont like any game enough to write fanfiction for it but that is just me. I can fully disagree with your points like i am doing right now. that doesnt make them any less your points."

If you have never felt passionately for a game, then how can you even BEGIN trying to argue with me about this? The whole discussion is about passion—or the lack thereof—in Sticker Star.

"you didnt hit on anything. the complaints you listed are pretty much the same complaints that people have been saying since day one."

Right. Two people replied and said I had put into words what they were feeling, three if you count the "+1" I got. I am not listing complaints. People have been complaining about the effect—the soulless feeling of the game. I was attempting to capture the reason for the cause.

If you didn't feel that way about the first two games, then naturally you aren't disappointed. But I feel bad that Paper Mario and TTYD were just more buttons and screens for you. People have been saying what Sticker Star lacks. I am trying to discuss what the first two games had that it is lacking—big difference.
#37Counterpwnt(Topic Creator)Posted 11/16/2012 1:38:44 PM
You want objective proof though?

The Super Mario Wiki requires 769 words to tell the entire plot of Sticker Star.

Paper Mario requires 4,588 words.

Case in point.
#38ApolloJusticeAAPosted 11/16/2012 1:47:43 PM
Counterpwnt posted...
Fully subjective? Of course it is. However, I can say objectively that there is not as much total dialogue, narrative, or non-enemy character count in this game as in the first two. I can say objectively that there are no original characters. I can even say objectively that I have yet to be surprised by anything I've seen. I can say objectively that Bowser has no dialogue. I can say objectively that all of these world designs have been used before in previous Mario games. I can say objectively that practically all of the stickers are rehashed badges.

"second I dont like any game enough to write fanfiction for it but that is just me. I can fully disagree with your points like i am doing right now. that doesnt make them any less your points."

If you have never felt passionately for a game, then how can you even BEGIN trying to argue with me about this? The whole discussion is about passion—or the lack thereof—in Sticker Star.

"you didnt hit on anything. the complaints you listed are pretty much the same complaints that people have been saying since day one."

Right. Two people replied and said I had put into words what they were feeling, three if you count the "+1" I got. I am not listing complaints. People have been complaining about the effect—the soulless feeling of the game. I was attempting to capture the reason for the cause.

If you didn't feel that way about the first two games, then naturally you aren't disappointed. But I feel bad that Paper Mario and TTYD were just more buttons and screens for you. People have been saying what Sticker Star lacks. I am trying to discuss what the first two games had that it is lacking—big difference.


What you consider passionate and what I consider are two separate things. if the fact that a wiki page can detail a script shorter than another does not mean that the story given was deeper just longer. I love Paper Mario and TTYD and still rank them higher than Sticker Star however this whole idea that sticker star is "soulless" is whining at what features others felt were needed.

I am sorry that people(not you in particular) cant take off their nostalgia glasses and see that 1) this is a handheld game not a full on sequel to TTYD so to expect it to have the same level of anything while still maintaining its portability is silly. 2) Mario has never been story focused. sure the first time had more dialogue and details but in the end they were still just generic stories with the mario cast.

this game is what it is and it is an excellent paper mario game once people stop trying to give the originals so much more credit than they are really due
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#39SeaArrKingPosted 11/16/2012 1:51:17 PM
The thing about storytelling in games is that, most of the time, gamers like the story to be spelled out in big flashy letters. A lot of the time, if a game has no cutscenes, gamers freak out and say "WTFthere'snostory?!?!111!1" (All right, I'm exaggerating a bit here, but you get my point). Anywho, back to my rather strong opinion. It is my belief, after playing some games that don't shove a story in my face, that subtlety is far better than heaviness. Allow me to explain.

As I said before, most games that want to present a story go for the "heavy" story option - they cut to cinematic scenes in which characters explain themselves or some important even is happening, or they pepper the play area with written notes and documents detailing motivations, et cetera. Some games do both; Resident Evil 4 is a game that tried the heavy approach to story telling, and it's funny because, in my humble opinion, that story wasn't very memorable. Now, onto some examples of the subtle approach to storytelling in video games.

About a year ago, Dark Souls was released. For a while, people who played it would say "Well, this game has absolutely no story" or "I don't know what the hell I just did in that game". This is because, unlike most games, Dark Souls goes for the subtle approach. There are almost no cutscenes in the game, and all the intro does is confuse you - at first. Rather than shoving story in your face, Dark Souls allows you, the player, to figure it out on your own. Each character you come across in the game will say a few interesting things to you, but only if you choose to talk to them. Every item in the game has a description that provides a little bit of backstory or explanation for pieces of the overarching narrative. However, the beauty of this narrative is that you don't have to experience it at all - it's up to you how much of the history and story you take in.

That, fellow gamers, is the epitome of subtle storytelling. However, other games have done the same sort of thing - Limbo tells a story with nothing but gameplay and visuals, while Journey drops you in a strange place and lets you roam around, figuring out the story by yourself. These games are often touted as highly artistic, and more often than not the reason for that opinion is that the games don't force a contrived narrative on the player. The player contrives a narrative for himself, or doesn't. It's elegant, in my opinion.

So how do these subtle games connect to Paper Mario Sticker Star? Well, I for one believe that Sticker Star falls in the realm of subtle games. Now, this is all my own opinion and I'm sure many will disagree, but I'll tell you why I believe this game tells a more elegant form of story. Good ol' Shigeru Miyamoto believed that the first Super Mario Bros. game told a story, but the story was all told through gameplay. What did you do in that game? You stomped bad guys, infiltrated castles and sewer systems, traversed hills and valleys, all to save the princess. The gameplay, and more importantly, what the player did wove that story together.

Sticker Star is the same way. The player controls Mario as he saves toads, fixes broken parts of the land, fights his way through a fortress to stop a bunch of goombas, and that's only the first world. The game didn't shove narrative in my face to tell me what I did. I did it. I ascended a big tower to defeat a giant cactus, I slogged through poison to cleanse an afflicted forest, I slid my way into every nook and cranny of a haunted mansion to banish ghosts from it - you get the point, yes?

The story of Sticker Star isn't printed on the screen for you to read and say "Hmm, yes, I suppose that is what I did". There is no supposing in Sticker Star. You did all that awesome stuff.

The story comes from you, and what you do, and how you color those actions in your mind. Now that's subtlety.
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#40DoctorPiranha3Posted 11/16/2012 2:28:39 PM
I agree with everything TC said. Sticker Star is a great game, but the first two games felt like epics, coupled with a near flawless (in my mind) turn-based battle system. That made for games that keep you on the edge of your seat, and just suck you into the worlds.
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