To start, please add this game to your log, add it to your collection (if applicable), and (when you are ready) rate it using the link above!
I've seen a lot of people really down on this game since it got announced. I don't blame them, I was too! Really wasn't a fun of Sticker Star, so seeing them continue that style of gameplay was pretty disappointing.
But then I went back to play Thousand Year Door a few weeks ago, and found myself thinking... "This is fun, but I use the same strategy every battle. There are so many cool badges but there's no incentive to use them all! I would be really cool if there was, like, a system where each attack was a one-time use, and you had to improvise by playing with whatever you have at the time, and... oh crap, wait a minute."
So I'm willing to give this game a shot with a more open mind. I do think it's lacking a lot of Thousand Year Door's personality in its character designs, and I'd love to see a story that's a little more bonkers than Sticker Star's, but watching this trailer, the game looks gorgeous. It's like a polished-up 2016 version of what Paper Mario should be! I don't think it'll quite reach the heights of Thousand Year Door, but man, some of that stuff in the trailer looks really cool. I'm looking forward to it.
@Mr_Mustache Sticker Star brought the one-time use thing and the no XP thing into the series, both controversial decisions. It's an odd game but I liked it. Though the no XP thing is weird because you get into battles and think why am I even fighting right now? What's the point? So I wish there were XP but whatever.
I never disliked the one-time use battle system, there were stickers EVERYWHERE so it's not like you ever really ran out, and it really forced you to try out different things and made you think about everything you did.
Hmm, another thing a lot of people hated about Sticker Star that I didn't mind was that it was broken up into a bunch of short, contained stages instead of bigger worlds like RPGs usually have. But each stage was (more or less) unique and there were a lot of neat ideas so whatever.
Is it terrible that I didn't even realise that this was a WiiU title? I assumed 3DS for some reason.
I rather liked Sticker Star, it had good exploration and puzzles. I do remember one or two 'wtf' moments though- Usually to do with bosses and items required to give you a fighting chance. Sometimes it was obvious, but other times, not so much. And then you ended up having to 'sticker grind' a bit.
So maybe that mechanic could be tightened up slightly, but apart from that, expanding on a similar formula here should result in a great game.
You assumed it was 3DS because thats where all (most) of the interesting games get funneled, and breaking from tradition with IPs of late, they're following up the Paper Mario game on the handheld with a console sequel. That doesn't happen. Its been going the other way for years now (see: Monster Hunter, Fire Emblem, etc. I don't want to say anything else, its too sad!)
How hard was it to avoid the enemy encounters in Sticker Star? It's pretty easy to just run past them in the other games, but if you can't do that in Sticker Star, then the "no XP" criticism doesn't hold up.
@Secret_Tunnel I forget, but I think the criticism still holds up, because unlike action games that also don't reward you for fighting enemies, there is a big delay before the battle starts and then well... an RPG-like battle... so it takes a bunch of time. It really rips you from the core game experience and it often felt pointless. Don't get me wrong, battles in regular RPGs often feel a bit pointless too, but at least you get to feel like you're building up your character doing them.
To me though, saying "RPG battles aren't always great but at least you get XP" signifies a problem with RPG battles as a whole, not just ones that don't give out XP. I like that Sticker Star attempts to create a battle system that's genuinely fun even without the addicting character building.
I mean yeah, sure, but building up your character IS a core part of the experience of a lot of RPGs. It might just be a skinner box for stats in a lot of cases but it works to give battles a sense of purpose. Ideally they're also fun, but you know... some battle systems nail it, some don't. Just taking the character building away but keeping RPG-like battles is a bit odd. It didn't kill the experience for me or anything, but I thought it was not a good idea and it's a bit weird that they're doing it again.
Honestly if they really want this series to be the not RPG while Mario & Luigi is the RPG, then I wish they would bring back some of the mechanics from Super Paper Mario as well.
I don't think every battle needs to be "fun." There are DEFINITELY some super-fun battles in RPGs, and Punch-Out!! even, but some fights are just hard as nails by design, and intentionally annoying. You guys have played Final Fantasy III? You've been to Zozo? You've climbed the tower? You've used the magic? You spend the whole game dealing with physical strength, buying armor, buying shields, buying helmets, and then you're forced to flex another muscle (so to speak) that you may not have been ready for. It encourages growth, and points to becoming a more well-rounded character. And when you're able to overcome everything and achieve success, it makes your victory even more rewarding. (You should've heard the noise that left my body when I first beat Castlevania.)
Then again, I get a kick (KINDA..) out of Dragon Warrior and working my guy up up up through the levels. Nothing easy about that game. Challenge is fun, too, dudes..
@Mr_Mustache Well, no leveling up here again, apparently. But Sticker Star was still a fun game. I mean, I guess it's like barely an RPG anymore but if you consider it an RPG it sure had interesting area designs for an RPG. Lots of neat stuff going on in most every stage.
I kind of feel like Nintendo doesn't quite know what exactly they want to do with the franchise, so we end up with something that is sort of a platformer, sort of an adventure game, and sort of an RPG. And it doesn't always feel like it all works nicely together, but it's still a lot more interesting to me than a lot of other more predictable games out there.
Though I kind of feel sorry for fans of the original and TTYD that don't like the new direction. Not that it is THAT different, but it's definitely gone in a new direction and at this point there may never again be another Paper Mario like those first two.
For me, and I think a lot of (if not most) people, character building just comes down to min/maxing. Equip all the best armor, make sure you're always use the most effective spells... unless there's a point to letting the player get creative with it (like in an action RPG where playing different classes feels different and you might have your own preference), the whole thing might as well just be automated. And for a lot of games, automated equipping is even an option!
That's one thing I actually really like about Thousand-Year Door, the character building is so customizable that you can totally break the battle system and do some really fun stuff with it. And that's neat, but once you've built your amazing character... that's kind of the end of the game's challenge.
This is why I think Pokemon is so brilliant. There's SO MUCH room for customization in how you build your team!
Ughh, another Paper Mario filled with gimmicks. I'm fine with the combat, that looks good. But the gameplay I saw was filled with tons of minigames and just things I don't want in a Paper Mario game.
And Nintendo...you can have an RPG Mario at the same time as Mario and Luigi. Those games are different enough. And how on earth do you not know about the massive fan want for a TTYD remaster? Are you deaf/blind?
I just don't know, you guys. I dunno why Nintendo is making Sticker Star 2 when the world is begging them for a PM sequel in the style of the first two games.
And I liked Sticker Star well enough, but I really don't think they need to make a second. All the ingredients are there in Color Splash--the lack of partners, the lack of EXP, the lack of NPCs that aren't Toad, the expendable items in battle, etc. It's like the exact opposite of Breath of the Wild, which is a game that paid attention to what Zelda needed and is seemingly doing everything wonderfully. Color Splash is one of the biggest examples of Nintendo being tone-deaf that I've ever seen! It's like if they made a new Metroid, and it was Other M 2.
I liked Other M more than most but the fact remains that both it and Sticker Star were unpopular, and it's been a long time since we got a PM RPG sequel or a Metroid sequel. It's just so strange to me that Nintendo is doubling down on the Sticker Star approach. Did it sell much better than the original PMs or something? Maybe that's why they're doing another.
WAIT, wait, I just realized the flaw in my battle system argument. If the game just gives you the cards you need to win, then there's barely any strategy! The possibility space is WAY smaller with Sticker Star's system!
At the same time, Thousand-Year Door's has a bigger possibility space overall, but within the battles, you're still limited to the few attacks that you have equipped... and when all those attacks are already pretty similar...
...looks like Pokemon is the only non-strategy RPG worth playing after all. And it also looks like I'll have to give Ogre Battle a shot!
I mean, they are making Federation Force. The outrage over Color Splash reminds me a lot of that, except it's even less warranted, because Color Splash looks fun in its own right, even if it's not what people want, whereas Federation Force looks kinda generic on its own.