Those who started the series with NSMB2 are more likely to find the game appealing and fresh and stuff. When I played through it, I tried my hardest to not compare it to the previous two games, and I got some enjoyment out of it. But overall, I was disappointed that the level design was where 99% of the effort went. Even if the music is rehashed for the third time, why the couldn't it be good music getting rehashed?
Anyway, although Sticker Star is not as good as the first two, I still enjoyed it a lot.
Well, that's my personal 3D Mario, so trending down from that a bit is normal. 3D Land was pretty good for a mishmash of what made both 2D and 3D Mario fun. NSMB2's rookie staff was better than NSMB's, and Sticker Star's a step in the right direction from the oddity that was Super Paper Mario.
I kind of regret spending my nonrefundable $40 on both games, but I definitely regret NSMB2 less.
See, both games are sequels to reasonably well-established series. That produces expectations. With NSMB2, I was expecting a game like NSMB. That is exactly what I got, and I enjoyed it for what it was. With PMSS, I was expecting a game like TTYD or PM64, or even SPM (which was still an actual Paper Mario game, just as an action RPG and not set in the Mushroom World). That is absolutely not what I got.
PMSS definitely had a lot more effort put into it (especially in the music, which is excellent in PMSS and nonexistent in NSMB2), but NSMB2 didn't lie to me.
"An apostrophe does not mean 'uh-oh, here comes an s.'" - Dave Barry