Built for especially for 3DS, Paper Mario: Sticker Star promises to be a living, breathing diorama inside your 3DS. As the name implies, stickers are everywhere. They’re stuck to walls, carried by enemies, hidden behind bushes, and you’ll need to scour environment for them too as they’re vital to your progress.
They’re most important in battles. Sporting a very familiar turn-based battle system to previous Paper Mario games, Sticker Star‘s differences are immediately apparent. Ordinarily you’d pick your battle options from a menu, but here you have an album of stickers on the bottom screen and you’ll need to use them to fight. A shoe sticker, for instance, lets you jump on an enemy, while a koopa shell sticker will let Mario kick a koopa shell into your goomba enemies.
A new feature is Paperisation. Hit the Y button and the entire scene will turn on its side, highlighting certain sticker spots where you can stick your stickers. One example in the gameplay demo showed Mario helping out Toad who’d lost his flowers, but if you paperise the scene, you can lay down your flower stickers to help him out.
Levelling up and its traditional RPG elements are still present, but this time around you must also solve puzzles and find secret sticker caches to boost your album size and Mario’s health and attacks.
There’s also the option to turn real-world items like big 3D fans into stickers as well. These special items are often crucial to advancing gameplay progress– the fan, for example, can be used to put the wind back in a windmill’s sails– but it can also be used in battle to deal out devastating attacks.
Battles are bigger in Sticker Star too, and can involve up to 5 goombas at a time. In these circumstances, you might want to use more than one sticker per turn, but in order to do this you’ll have to spend coins and use the Battle Spinner and hit the jackpot to use multiple stickers.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is due out during this year’s holiday season.