I loved the first two Paper Mario games, really didn't like the one on the Wii. I don't know if I will try this one yet, before seeing your blog I had forgot that it was already out.
I just realized I never did a now playing for Professor Layton and the Miracle Mask.. Well, I ended up reviewing it today, so if you want to read it, go here.
I have spent about three or four weeks playing Paper Mario, The Thousand Year Door and Super Paper Mario in succession in preparation for this game, and now it's finally arrived. But, my excitement was dying down a bit when I started learning more about the game. First, there is no leveling system. That's right, there is NO XP to gain from defeating enemies, and any upgrades you get you need to find. Second, it's the sticker combat system. Every action, even a basic jump attack, has to executed via sticker. Although highly unlikely, there is a chance you COULD run out of stickers and not be able to win. Don't like that AT ALL! Strategy schmategy. Just not a fan of consumable weapons. Anyway...
I'm early in. Just finished 1-1, but I wanted to make sure I did this blog before forgetting like I did with Professor Layton. Anyway, aside from the consumable stickers and no XP, it plays just like the old Paper Marios. You can press buttons in time to make attacks more powerful, or you can do the same when about to get attacked to block. Because you have to collect stickers in order to attack, I find I'm actually involving myself more in the world looking for stickers to peel off. The hammer also plays more of a part here being able to change the environment as you slam it on the ground. I haven't even begun to delve into the Paperization mechanic yet, but I'm sure that will be a lot of fun as well.
It's still too early to comment on how well the writing is, but the story took off a lightning bolt, so fast that I'm still not sure what happened. There's some event called the Sticker Festival, and Bowser tried to grab a sticker comet that felt to earth. I guess it didn't like being touched because it split itself up into six pieces, yet somehow dropped a piece on Bowser making him incredibly strong and sticking toads everywhere with Bowser tape. Again, too early to say just how funny it is, but I'm enjoying what I'm seeing so far.
It's a great looking game, by the way. The 3D effect is used well, and this is practically the GC game (which is still very beautiful even by today's standards) on the small screen. The environments are actually made out of corrugated cardboard so they have a little extra dimension to them. Sound and music is already pretty good, and I've already seen a cool special effect where a fleet of scissors cut across the screen.
I was kinda hoping the game would have received higher marks because the game's pedigree is pretty solid, but it seems like it will be a nifty enough game. I remember reading from Carolyn's review that the lack of XP becomes a deterent for fighting, but so far the combat has been fun. If the game keeps up the pace of its sticker distributing, I may actively look for more monsters to fight just to make more room for more stickers. In case anyone's wondering, the stickers DO replenish themselves in the worlds when you leave and reenter, so if you're ever in a bind, you can just exit and start collecting again.
Anyway, if you love the series, you should definitely get this game.
Actually, I think the things that sound interesting about the game are its lack of experience levels and consumable commands. The timed-hits have always been a nice touch in those games, too. In a war zone of so many similar RPGs that stick to the norm, I appreciate it when a game comes along that does things differently, so I think Sticker Star should deserve some kudos for this move.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with sticking to tradition, either. I just think there's a lot more that could be done with turn-based RPGs than we've thought about.
I know it has been getting so so reviews, but I am still dying to play it. I am going to pick it up as soon as possible! The game sounds a lot of fun and really funny from the way you described it.
And I loved your Professor Layton review. That's another game I am picking up soon.