Paper Mario: Sticker Star PAX Prime 2012 Hands-on Preview -- Creating Stickers With The Sling-a-ThingBy Leah Jackson - Posted Sep 07, 2012
Paper Mario: Sticker Star is the upcoming interactive role-playing game from Nintendo that marks the first appearance of Paper Mario on a handheld console. At PAX Prime 2012 we got to play through one of the game's puzzles and test out the new sticker mechanics.
As the demo started, the first thing that caught my eye was Sticker Star's popping 3D graphics. The game itself is bright and beautiful, but when you crank up the 3D, Sticker Star's background and foreground layering effects are greatly enhanced. In addition, the entire world is made of paper and when you hit things like blocks, they shred rather than explode in to pebbles.
In the stage we played, Paper Mario had to get through a door that was blocked by a windmill blade. Along the way to the door we passed multiple stickers attached to just about every surface, including bushes.
Stickers introduce a mechanic that hasn't been used in a role-playing game before. Each sticker represents something that Paper Mario can use in combat, and once you use a sticker it's gone forever. Most stickers generate attacks, but some stickers, like mushroom stickers, heal. Don't worry about running out of stickers though, since they respawn in stages once you go back to them.
All of Paper Mario Sticker Star's combat utilizes stickers. When you start a fight, you select the sticker you want to use from your inventory on the bottom Nintendo 3DS screen. Some stickers deal damage to one enemy, while others can hit multiple enemies. There's also a dynamic element to combat, and if you tap the "A" button right before Paper Mario's attack hits, you'll deal bonus damage. You can even block enemy attacks right before they hit as well.
During battles you can also use the coins that you've collected throughout stages and battles to activate a slot machine mini-game. It cost three coins to use the machine, and if you get a match then depeneding on the match you'll get various prizes. One possible match is three coins, which results in a shower of coins falling down that Mario can collect.
To complete our puzzle, we had to go from the stage we were in back to a town called Decalburg. Decalburg seemed like a happy town, filled with friendly Mushroom People willing to help Paper Mario out on his adventure. The coolest part of Decalburg was the sling-a-thing, which turns ordinary objects in to sling stickers.
Sling stickers generate extremely strong attacks, but they're also used for things like the puzzle we were on. Since we had to move the windmill blade, we put a fan in to the sling-a-thing and it popped out a fan sticker for us.
We took the fan sticker back to the stage with the windmill and placed it in front of the door. We even had to use the stylus to press it down, because that's what you do with stickers. Once the sticker was placed, an absolutely enormous fan materialized on screen and easily moved the windmill blade, completing our demo. But we didn't even get to see what was behind the door!
From what we saw of Paper Mario Sticker Star, it's looking like a quirky role-playing game filled with all sorts of interesting mechanics and the same Paper Mario humor that we've all come to love over the years. You'll be able to play the game when it comes out exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS on November 11, 2012.