Monday Gaming Diary: Wait…I’m Playing a Mario Game?

Paper Mario Sticker Star

Must find ALL the stickerzzz!

I’m still in shock over this fact: I’m playing a Mario game. Not only that, but I’m havingfunplaying a Mario game. I haven’t thought that was possible since I’ve given up all hope of ever liking platformer games, and this realization happened duringSuper Mario Bros. 3.Granted, this isn’t a typical Mario game, but I’m still shocked to say the least. What am I talking about? I’m talking aboutPaper Mario Sticker Starfor the 3DS.

This isn’t my first exposure to a Paper Mariogame. A few years ago, dear Press the Buttons owner MattG and I challenged one another to play a few games that fell outside of our normal comfort zones. The original challenge called for me to play Portal and for him to play Heavy Rain. Later we challenged each other to play other games, and we failed those side challenges, but one of those side challenges was to play Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door for the GameCube. MattG recommended it to me for two reasons: 1) it’s Mario and he loves all things Mario; and 2) it’s set up like a turn-based RPG. To be honest, that was what really kept me going with that game, but between my review schedule at that time with both Kombo and this site, I couldn’t devote more time to these challenges. With Portal, the game took me maybe 8 hours, but I knew PMTYD would take far longer than that. So I didn’t finish that challenge.

Since I did like what I played of that game, I was always intrigued when I heard aPaper Mariogame would be coming to the 3DS. Thanks to last week’s Thanksgiving road trip, I had plenty of time to give this portable game a go. Holy crap I can’t believe how much fun I’m having.

I’m about halfway through it, and unlike most RPGs, I haven’t really been bored yet. I’ve been nervous about that, because that’s always been my problem withLegend of Zeldagames–I get so far and I can’t take the repetitiveness any more. This has some repetitiveness in terms of gameplay, and yet every level is so different and so creative, I don’t feel much monotony.

Speaking of the creativity, PMSS (hahaha, what an unfortunate abbreviation) really forces players to be creative with both boss fights and level exploration. This game makes me feel as uncreative as Scribblenautsalways did, but at least with Scribblenauts, I could always use my uncreativity complete levels. Yeah, that doesn’t work so well here.

In other words, without this strategy guide, I’d still be stuck in the first world, and maybe not on the first boss. I may not be able to reach the first boss. Since I haven’t played any Paper Marioin length, and I haven’t played any Mario games since Super Mario World for the SNES (not counting Mario Kart here), I wonder if some of this required creativity would be more intuitive if I was more well versed in the Mario world. If not, well, then it’s obvious that I’m just not very tuned to the Nintendo frame of mind when it comes to inventing attacks and defense. And I’m okay with that.

I’m still having fun, despite feeling like an idiot. I mean, isn’t that what the Portalgames were all about?

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