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Found 14 results

  1. If you've been an avid fan of the Paper Mario series since the first game, you've seen the games transition from traditional RPGs with platforming elements to, uh... the exact reverse, and more recently, an action adventure game with a bare RPG skeleton attached to it. Make no mistake, the most recent game -- Paper Mario: Sticker Star -- is definitely a divisive title for many fans due to its non-existent story, barely-there RPG elements, and its core sticker element causing a lot of headaches and confusion, even if we did like the game more than some. Where does that leave the upcoming Paper Mario: Color Splash? Some fans were hoping that the game would mark a return to the traditional RPG elements of the first two games, but according to Nintendo producer Rise Tabata, the series is charting a different path for its gameplay. Talking to Kotaku at E3 last month, Tabata described Color Splash as an "action adventure" title, and explained that the series deviated from the RPG elements from the first two games because Nintendo only wants one Mario RPG series and the Mario & Luigi series is carrying that torch now. Thus, it was determined that Paper Mario would focus on humor and puzzle-solving in order to differentiate the two series. There is some merit to this train of thought, especially given that the most recent Mario & Luigi title was actually a crossover with Paper Mario characters, so two RPG series focused on Mario might be a little redundant. Still, it's unfortunate given how beloved the first two Paper Mario games are by many games. Source: Kotaku What are your thoughts on the Paper Mario series' new direction?
  2. Jonathan Higgins

    E3 2015 Hands-On: Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam

    Like the cream filling sandwiched between two Oreo cookies, some things just go together naturally. Many people expected Intelligent Systems to be working on a brand new Paper Mario game, but I doubt people expected the worlds of Paper Mario and Mario & Luigi to collide. Here“s the thing, though: While the last Mario & Luigi game was a great experience, the last Paper Mario title was very polarizing (our own review was one of the more positive ones). So, the moment this game was revealed, one has to wonder: Does it feel more like a Mario & Luigi game, or is it a Paper Mario game? I am happy to report that, in terms of combat and most important gameplay elements, it is a Mario & Luigi game at its core. I suppose that“s evident given the game“s title, but in case you were worried — fear not. Everything familiar to longtime fans of Mario & Luigi has returned. There“s jumping, hammering, Bros. Attacks, experience points — everything you“d expect from a Mario RPG. Paper Mario, the character, is just an additive to an already successful formula. Having him around only enhances combat. And hey, outside of combat he can squeeze through tight places, which will probably mean plenty of environment-based puzzles in Paper Jam similar to Luigi“s dreaming mechanics of the previous game. The demo was divided into three separate experiences. One was a “quest” that set the two plus one brothers out to retrieve seven toads who needed to be rescued. This portion had the Bros. put in plenty of smaller combat situations where returning players would feel right at home, while new players got used to combat nuances like Bros. Attacks that hit shells back and forth. You control Paper Mario with the Y button; he needs to dodge and can attack as well. Trio Attacks are a new addition to the game that work like the powerful Luigi Dream World attacks from the last one. The combat is familiar, while doing new things, but nothing feels particularly groundbreaking or something that blew me away. The second experience pit you against a boss... which was definitely unique. Luigi was using Paper Mario as a paper airplane to dodge attacks, for example. I feel like this game“s bosses are going to be where its combat innovates the most, which has been a series staple since Superstar Saga, really. Look forward to having a smile on your face while you see what certain bosses are capable of and assess how to defeat them. Speaking of series staples: Papercraft Battles work a lot like the Giant battles of Dream Team & Bowser“s Inside Story. There are unique nuances specific to this game, but I“ll leave you to see what those are for yourself. I feel like experiencing these battles fresh is part of the fun! The short version of my experience with Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam is that it“s more of what made Dream Team great, but using a different approach (a paper one versus a dream-based one) to expand upon old formulas. If you“ve liked the Mario & Luigi series thus far, I guarantee this will be another solid entry. For more information, you can check out the game“s official site here.
  3. WildCardCorsair

    Stretchmo QR codes mega thread!

    As you might have guessed, here is the place for you to recklessly dump all of your Stretchmo QR codes. Don't go dumping illegally in other threads or Captain Planet will find you and use your lifeless body for compost in a sustainable rainforest plot! Here's one to start everyone off... A little thing I made to honor the good ol Game Podunk!
  4. It doesn't happen very often, but once in a while, Nintendo manages to make a surprise game announcement and release it on the same day. Usually this happens with Nintendo Directs and smaller eShop games. And yesterday was exactly one of those days (minus the Nintendo Direct). Seemingly out of nowhere, Nintendo dropped Stretchmo—latest installment in the Pushmo series—onto the 3DS eShop like it was just another Thursday with no prior warning or fanfare. But if you've played past games in the series, you're probably aware that the Pushmo games have been extremely solid puzzle games with lots of replay value; the original Pushmo actually received one of GP's highest review scores to date. Anyhow, Stretchmo once again puts players into the shoes of Mallo as he solves more puzzles, this time in the form of objects called Stretchmo. As the name implies, these new puzzles will not only be able to be pushed in and pulled out; they'll be able to be stretched as well, adding a new dimension and more depth to the gameplay. Also of note, it's free-to-play or rather—more accurately put—"free-to-start," meaning you can download it for free and then play through 8 puzzles or so before given the opportunity to buy the rest of the content in different packs. If you buy all four bundled together, the game is $10, so if more pushing, pulling, and stretching puzzle gameplay sounds good to you, you can check out Stretchmo on the 3DS eShop right now. Will you be checking out Stretchmo?
  5. We knew ahead of time that Nintendo had a presentation for a previously-unannounced 3DS title today, but all mystery has now been cast aside as the title is revealed to be a brand new IP called Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. It's one part strategy, one part third-person shooter, and it's based in a Steampunk setting in London where protagonist Fleming is fighting back against an alien invasion. As it turns out, S.T.E.A.M. is a unit that was created by Abraham Lincoln in order to combat aliens. The game is reportedly a lot like SEGA's Valkyria Chronicles (based on reactions from those who were there to watch the announcement video) in nature, with characters that are cel-shaded and inspired in design by American comic books; specifically those from Jack Kirby and Bruce Timm. Also, the aliens are said to be inspired by designs from H.P. Lovecraft. As far as visuals go, our own Christopher "WildCardCorsair" Garcia, who was in attendance, mentioned that the game looked sharp, colorful, and smooth, and that it had an impressive draw distance for a 3DS title. The terrain is also said to have a lot of depth and reflects the variety of strategic choices in the game. In addition, each character will have a special ability that they can only use once per map, with no two abilities being alike. Intelligent Systems was announced to be developing the game, with Hitoshi Yamagami (who has worked on titles such as Fire Emblem, Xenoblade Chronicles, and Pokemon titles) at the helm as director. Yamagami mentioned that he wanted to find a way to introduce more people to strategy games and have them fall in love with them. Finally, Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. was announced to be a 2015 title. In the meantime, expect more to hear on the game in future Nintendo Direct videos leading up to its release. Source: @NintendoAmerica What do you think of Nintendo's newest IP?
  6. Jason Clement

    Nintendo Announces Pushmo World for Wii U

    Pushmo is a Nintendo puzzle game series that originally debuted some two and a half years ago on 3DS and has since had one sequel (called Crashmo) released. Now the series is making its way to Wii U for the first time by way of the newly announced Pushmo World. Like the original game, Pushmo World will have players pushing, pulling, and climbing blocks in order to solve more than 250 new puzzles in HD graphics. Also new to this version is a brand new area called the Pushmo World Fair, which acts as a hub for players to share and download user-created puzzles. The original Pushmo is one of the highest scored 3DS games that we've reviewed on Game Podunk to date, so no doubt this is exciting news to hear for fans of the series. Pushmo World will launch on the Wii U eShop for $9.99 on June 19. Also, to promote the game, Nintendo is giving Pushmo and Crashmo a temporary sale from now until June 13 where you can get them for up to 33% off. Source: Press Release Are you excited to hear that Pushmo World is heading to Wii U?
  7. A whole lot went down during today's Nintendo Direct. The next iterations of popular games such as Mario Kart and Zelda were announced, but that wasn't all. Other interesting announcements peppered the show such as a Wind Waker HD version and, out of nowhere, a game called Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem for Wii U. Unfortunately, the name is nearly all we know about it so far. It is part of Nintendo's new strategy of working with other developers to help produce more game projects at once. What is shown in the teaser trailer is art for various characters of both respective series. Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem definitely is a mashup of some sort which is relying on fans to be excited by seeing characters they know. Will it be a strategy RPG? Will it be a turn-based JRPG? What about a fighting game? All actual details about this game, aside from its existence, will be shared at a later date.
  8. Shigeru Miyamoto is without a doubt one of, if not the most important video game designers within the last 30 years or so, and he's widely credited for much of the success that Nintendo's own games see time and again thanks to innovative and fun game design. Make no mistake though, when it comes down to the approval process for games in development, Miyamoto means business according to a recent Iwata Asks interview. Such was the case for Intelligent Systems and Vanpool Inc. when Paper Mario: Sticker Star had been in development for upwards of three and a half years. Development on the game started at the tail end of 2009, and the game that was announced at E3 in 2010 as one of the many titles that would be available for 3DS was actually the first iteration in what would be a longer and more arduous process than most 3DS games usually go through. The reason for the long development? Miyamoto rejected the team's design several times before it became what it is today. Upon playing a demo of the game after E3 2010, Miyamoto told the development team that it felt like a port of the Gamecube version (which many fans consider to be the best game in the series, I might add). That meeting ultimately led to the creation of the whole "sticker" concept and thus an entire game based around stickers, even down to the battles. A year later, the team would again present their work to Miyamoto, who told them that it felt too "boring." His counsel and suggestions led them to rework much of the atmosphere while also focusing less on story and more on the Mario world itself. Ultimately, the end design for Paper Mario: Sticker Star worked out pretty well as our review can attest to, but I will admit I'm a little sad to hear that Miyamoto wanted less emphasis on the story and characters this time around. With all of this in mind, hopefully the next Paper Mario won't take nearly as long to make.
  9. Jason Clement

    Review: Paper Mario: Sticker Star

    Developer: Nintendo/Intelligent Systems Publisher: Nintendo Platform: Nintendo 3DS Release Date: November 11, 2012 ESRB: E for Everyone Over the course of the last decade, Nintendo's mustachioed mascot has been featured in many different series and spin-offs, but none quite so unique as 2001's Paper Mario. The charming RPG became a hit with fans, and was soon followed up in subsequent years with Gamecube and Wii sequels. Now the series makes its way to handhelds for the first time with Paper Mario: Sticker Star, and Intelligent Systems is looking to shake the formula up even more with a game based around the idea of the simple joy of peeling and applying stickers. But is it too much of a departure from the other games, or does Sticker Star take the series in a brave new direction? You can breathe a sigh of a relief, as Sticker Star is very much a Paper Mario game at heart, and it's actually the first new game in the series in some 5 years now. 2007's Super Paper Mario deviated from the RPG formula that the first two games had established, instead creating a psuedo platformer RPG that received criticism from some fans for being too different, despite its being critically well-received. Sticker Star ultimately returns somewhat to the series' RPG roots while continuing to experiment with a new direction, this time including the use of stickers. The story begins in the town of Decalburg where the annual Sticker Fest is being held to celebrate the arrival of the Sticker Comet, which is supposed to grant the wishes of those who wish upon it. But wouldn't you know it, Bowser crashes the party and lays his hands on the comet, causing a large explosion and sending pieces of the comet as well as the five Royal Stickers all over the world. Naturally, Bowser gets his hands on the sixth and most powerful Royal Sticker, giving him a newfound power and making him virtually indestructible while kidnapping Princess Peach once again. It's a familiar story that you've heard before, with Mario needing to collect the comet pieces and the five Royal Stickers in order to face off against Bowser and save the kingdom (and its Sticker Fest). For newcomers to the Paper Mario series, the game plays as an action RPG of sorts where a paper-flat Mario moves about in 3D paper-like environments while solving puzzles and encountering enemies with whom he does battle with by entering a standard turn-based RPG battle mode. Sticker Star continues this formula for the most part, but for the first time in the series, also adds a world map into the mix with individual levels that can range from being short, linear areas to full-on Zelda-like labyrinths of sorts; both of which usually end by collecting a sticker star piece. In this particular adventure, Mario goes solo but receives help from Kersti, a floating sticker crown that assists Mario by giving him advice and the ability to "Paperize" and manipulate the environment with unique stickers in order to solve puzzles. For instance, there might be a river that Mario needs to cross but no way to do so, but using the Paperization technique, you can grab a bridge (which in turn becomes a sticker) and stick it down in the right place so Mario can cross to the other side safely. Stickers also play a huge part in the way battles play out, as each sticker represents a unique attack that is one-time use only (though you can always get more). Because of their limited nature, you're constantly needing to be careful of not wasting stickers and using the right kind on the correct type of enemy; jump attacks are no good on spiked enemies unless you're using the Iron Boots sticker, for example. There are also rare, super stickers that do more damage and usually attack all enemies at once; strangely enough, these stickers are actually created by finding real-world items in-game, such as scissors, staplers, and the like, and taking them to a certain place in order to turn them into stickers. If you're worried about the one-time use of stickers though, don't be. Stickers are literally everywhere in the game; you can find and peel them off of buildings and the sides of walls throughout levels in addition to buying them at shops and acquiring them at the end of a battle. There's even a Sticker Musuem you'll eventually discover and help to collect stickers for, and you'll learn that there a lot of different varieties of them. The lower screen of the 3DS actually acts as a stickerbook which houses the stickers you collect throughout the game. As you progress, you'll add more pages so that you can carry more, in addition to collecting stickers of bigger size as well (their strength increasing with the size of the sticker). Aside from the sticker element, there are also some other interesting changes made to battles. You can no longer select which enemy you want to target (unless a sticker attacks all); instead, you must start with the enemy in front and work your way to the back. One could argue that this eliminates strategy from battles, but it actually changes the way you approach the strategy. Thankfully, the action commands return from previous games, and your attacks can be enhanced by pressing the attack button at the right moment(s); conversely, you can increase your defense from enemy attacks by doing the same. This element keeps the battles interesting and helps to stem the feeling that you're just watching your commands unfold. The game also plays up the paper aspect of the game a lot more than some of the previous entries. Enemies like goombas can now change their shape into cones so they become like a spike and hurt Mario if he jumps on them, and they can also fold themselves in half in order to perform two attacks at once. There are new "paper" status effects that can affect Mario and enemies as well, such as becoming crumpled or becoming soggy; both of which will make the affected lose a turn or two while they wait off the effect. Also, since Mario is alone in these battles, a new addition called the "Battle Spinner" has been included in battle mode in order to help even out the odds. At the beginning of each turn, you'll have the ability to pay three coins in order to use the Battle Spinner (essentially a slot machine) so that you can use more stickers at once. If you happen to line up at least two of the same symbols, you'll have the ability to use two stickers that turn; three symbols and you can use three stickers. It definitely helps in cases where you're outnumbered 3 or 4 to 1, or in Boss fights, but the random nature of it makes it difficult to really pin down. Fortunately, the cost of using it isn't too much as coins are readily found in levels, won in battles, and acquired by beating levels. Another big change from earlier Paper Mario games is that there are no experience points and no level progression this time around. Instead, Sticker Star takes a more Zelda-ish approach; you become stronger by acquiring Royal Stickers, and increase HP by collecting bonus hearts that you find by exploring and doing sidequests. Unfortunately, the lack of any kind of experience and level progression really makes non-mandatory battles moot and pointless, meaning that you can avoid many enemies and save your stickers for more mandatory fights. To its credit though, the game ensures that you'll fight at least half of the non-mandatory battles due to enemy AI awareness and the number of enemies in a given area. Sticker Star isn't quite as heavy on story as the previous three Paper Mario games are, but it has its share of memorable moments as well as the series' trademark humor, ranging from a sniffit game show to dancing disco boos to a truly strange Birdo cameo and more. Conversely, the lack of partner and side characters deprives the game somewhat of the great interaction and progression that those characters provided in earlier games. Thankfully, the gameplay holds up and offers a lot of secrets through the exploration of each level; you might discover areas that can be accessed with certain stickers or areas that can you hit with your hammer and reveal hidden pathways. It must be stated that I had trouble figuring out what to do at multiple points and was stuck for an hour or two at a time before I figured it out. Sometimes the game requires you to backtrack and search for certain real-world items (or "Things" as the game calls them) to turn into stickers, which can be hindrance; or you may have to use trial-and-error to figure out what kind of sticker you need to use to progress through an area because the game isn't clear enough on what you should do. This is the only instance I found to have a negative impact on what is otherwise a fun and great experience, not to mention a long experience as well. When all was said and done, I had clocked in at just under 25 hours, so it's a pretty meaty handheld experience. Paper Mario: Sticker Star ultimately succeeds more often than not with its newfound focus on stickers. The visuals carry over nicely from previous games; the 3D is well done and is used to the same great effect as in Super Mario 3D Land; and the new, streamlined innovations such as the world map and individual levels help make the Paper Mario experience bite-sized and easy to digest for quick sessions on the go. While the sticker concept isn't perfect in every way, it is a lot of fun and contributes to some clever gameplay. Whether you're a fan of the previous games in the series or are simply looking for a fun and lengthy handheld experience, Sticker Star is one of the best original experiences to grace the 3DS yet and well worth the money spent for it. Pros: + Sticker-based gameplay is fresh and intuitive + Trademark Paper Mario visuals and humor are back + Lots to the game; at least 20-25 hours long Cons: - Some sticker puzzles can lead to trial and error solutions - Story is a bit lighter than previous games in the series Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Paper Mario: Sticker Star has a few minor hiccups, but it's a worthwhile investment for fans of the series and those looking to get the most bang out of their buck for a meaty 3DS experience.
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