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Paper Mario: Sticker Star: More perfectly-pitched Mario magic

Throws everything at the wall to sees what sticks

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Each sticker is a one-shot deal, so it's vital to make prudent use of them, lest you find yourself staring down the barrel of an empty sticker album and facing the underside of a Goomba's stomping boots. For example, a Slaphammer attack deals more damage to a single recipient, but if you're getting mugged by a chain of low-end baddies, it could be a better idea to save the WMD for a rainy day and chip away at their health bars with less-powerful stickers with a greater range, such as the trusty POW block.

If you're in a spot and want to use more than one sticker per turn, you have the option of calling up the 'Battle Spin' slot machine, which lets you gamble coins in exchange for an extra move or two on your next turn. Hit the jackpot and you'll get showered with coins as an added bonus.



The most drastic fallout from the new battle system is that you're no longer awarded experience points during scraps - instead, you earn it by whipping out your sticker album and performing good deeds in the overworld. As an example, at one point you happen upon a Toad who is bawling his little eyes out because a freak gust of wind had obliterated his flowerbed. Repopulate his garden with a few choice Fire Flower or Ice Flower stickers and he'll reward your altruism with an HP upgrade. Ta!

The sticker mechanic seems perfectly suited to the 3DS...

The source of the gust, since you're wondering, is a whopping great cooling fan, like the one you'd find on your desktop. For whatever reason, the Mushroom Kingdom has been inundated with real-world objects such as trumpets, water taps and the like, all of which can be scooped up by Mario and transformed into stickers by an industrious Toad who runs possibly the most niche store in the history of all stores. These special objects solve problems in the overworld (the fan, for instance, can be used to power a dormant windmill), but they can also be activated during battle as a devastating special attack. However, they also take up more space in your album (a bit like trying to cram full-size Rooney into your Panini book), suggesting a healthy spot of Resi-style inventory management. While we're disappointed that Mario no longer seems to have partners in tow, the sticker mechanic seems perfectly suited to the 3DS. Expect Sticker Star to wear the camera's QR code-reading lobe to the bone long before Mario's RPG reaches its papercut-sharp climax.

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